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Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

Ronald Blythe recalls cycle rides as a boy, splashing through puddles

Chat beyond the grave is no substitute for hope

IT WAS recently reported that an American technology company has created a virtual version of a dead person. This is a “chat bot”, based on thousands of text messages sent by the deceased before he died, and recreating his speech patterns to enable virtual conversations to continue between him and his bereaved friends

Find trusts that work for you

We have some significant stonework repairs to do on our village church, but we do not have much experience in applying to trusts. Can you help us to get going?   YOUR first task is to identify a few trusts that may help you with grants towards the work. The list on the Churchcare website (www.c...

A priestly life: human, well-lived

THE Revd John Lee, who died on 27 September, was best known in the Church as the Clergy Appointments Adviser, a post he held from 1998 to 2015. He advised hundreds of the clergy, not only in finding the right posts, but in understanding more deeply where their true vocation lay

Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

Ronald Blythe contemplates culture and harvest over the years

Time to prepare for the winter

As new churchwardens this year, we are unsure of all the items we should cover in preparing our church for the winter. Some things are obvious — others are not.   WHENEVER announcements about Harvest Suppers begin to appear, I recollect that it is time to use this season of mellow fruit­f...

Pastors who smell of their sheep

Pope Francis’s new cardinals bring a fresh approach, says Paul Vallely

Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

NEXT Sunday is harvest evensong, the churchwarden Meriel says. I must tell my old farmhouse. There is so little to remind it of its ancient purpose: the barns, the stackyard, the threshing floor. Just my garden and the tall ash trees which were once worshipped in Suffolk

Putting a gloss on our lives

TERESA MAY’s luxury on Desert Island Discs was a year’s subscription to Vogue, which would be no small matter to deliver to a distant island. All that heavy shiny paper weighs a ton

Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

The changing season leads Ronald Blythe to think of two artists

The two big parties’ social theology

OUR two main political parties, Labour and Conservative, not only appeal to our political convictions, but also to our habitual way of seeing the world

Have an architect on board

It can help the building project if an architect is on your PCC — possibly even your vicar may have been an architect, once. Failing that, you need on your committee someone who is not fazed by technical plans and documents

Beware Mr Trump’s populist appeal

The candidate is skilled in harnessing voter discontent, says Paul Vallely

Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

Ronald Blythe considers a young map maker who recorded country houses

Check every detail twice

CHECK the minute details before proceeding. I have often quoted a carpenters’ saying: “Measure twice, cut once.”

A big no to themes for Sundays

TIME for a liturgical rant: my beef this week is with themed Sundays. There are many, and they are no doubt a godsend to those ministers who have abandoned the calendar, along with the liturgy, and need an endless supply of new “re­­sources” to keep worship going week by week

Grasping the details of asylum

The debate needs Christians to get involved in the tough questions, says Paul Vallely

Deeds that illuminate a dark night

Deeds that illuminate a dark night

MOTHER TERESA of Calcutta wanted the letters destroyed that charted the desolation of her spiritual life. They were not; they were published in 2007. They revealed that, at the same time as her work for the poorest of the poor was turning her into a world celebrity, her inner life was a private hell...

True public-service broadcasting

True public-service broadcasting

The Archers’ domestic-abuse story has spread sympathy, says Paul Vallely

Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

Ronald Blythe attempts to get some work done, in spite of the sunshine

Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

Ronald Blythe recalls feeling cold as a youth, on a visit to Aldeburgh

Reach the young where they hurt

THE Children’s Society’s Good Childhood Report, pub­lished last week, telling of a growing gap be­­tween the happiness levels of girls and boys, provides new evi­dence of the fragility of young people’s men­tal health

Listen carefully to the Brexiteers

Many of the poorest people voted to be even worse off, says Paul Vallely

Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

Marvellous words can emanate from prison, says Ronald Blythe

Mother Teresa: the fast-track saint

The Nun is the newest swift canonisation in a Vatican craze, says Paul Vallely

Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

Ronald Blythe considers Prayers Written at Vailima and Wormingford

Destroying people is still worse

Cultural vandalism should not take priority over human rights, says Paul Vallely

Agree early with your architect

Your architect is paid by you to do what you want. He or she is not some minor deity who must be obeyed at all costs. I knew a church­warden who asked for a new external oak door to be finished with oil of some sort, but the architect insisted that it had to be varnished. Eight years after it was do...

Perishing without lay prophets

WE HEAR much of lay leadership today. Often it chiefly means lay people’s participating in the Church’s decision-making processes and helping to implement its policies. This is all very important, no doubt, and the Church is, of course, deeply dependent on the mostly voluntary work of th...

Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

The disciples were afraid of drowning, says Ronald Blythe

In praise of the fourth place

Paul Vallely celebrates the heroism of the runners-up to the runners-up

Sex-abuse inquiry is too big

IT ALWAYS seemed a bit strange to me that the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse appointed a judge from New Zealand, Dame Lowell Goddard, to chair its inves­tiga­tions, after her two predecessors had stepped down. She was, of course, appointed precisely because

Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

Ronald Blythe travels to Aldeburgh and joins the suntanned crowd


How might Shakespeare have voted?

Paul Vallely probes the links between the playwright and the European Union

Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

Ronald Blythe reflects on the country silence and gifts of creation

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Clowning glory

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Clowns are having a bad press, but they represent an ancient and holy tradition, Pat Ashworth discovers  Subscribe to read more

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Not the comfy chair!

Decisions about pews and reordering reveal the very purpose of a church, argues William Whyte  Subscribe to read more

Tue 25 Oct 16 @ 11:08
Services held to commemorate 50th anniversary of Aberfan disaster

Tue 25 Oct 16 @ 10:32
Lots of free resources for using the #QueenOfKatwe film for discussions in schools, churches & community groups here