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Beware of Christmas family-olatry

I THINK it may be an apocryphal story, but I heard recently of a new curate who expected Christmas Day to be a day off — after all, she said: “Christmas is family time."

Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

Ronald Blythe finds magic in the sound of carols on a frosty day

Reductive secularism is no answer

Instead, the richness that religion brings should be celebrated, says Paul Vallely

A long way to go on misogyny

I AM in mourning for the lost pres­idency of Hillary Clinton

Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

Our faces can unwittingly reveal our inner being, says Ronald Blythe

Seasonal safety

Maggie Durran suggests what to look out for as churches put on Christmas events

Finishing the Jubilee Year of Mercy

The world needs the pope’s ‘revolution of tenderness’ in Advent, says Paul Vallely

Cryonics won’t give eternal life

THE tragic story of the 14-year-old cancer sufferer who won permission from the High Court for her body to be cryogenically preserved has two aspects that need to be kept distinct. The first is that the girl, who died in October, had every right and reason to rebel against the illness that cut short...

Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

Ronald Blythe commends pottery as a philosophical occupation for humanity

Some haunting echoes of the 1930s

Paul Vallely hopes that Mr Trump will prove to be no worse than a pragmatist

Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

Ronald Blythe thinks of the lives of those named on a war memorial

Fear at the forces of darkness

I WAS on a Virgin East Coast train last Friday, when to my surprise a two-minutes’ silence was announced in memory of the dead of two World Wars. It was, of course, Armistice Day, but somehow I had not expected a packed train to be drawn into this very public moment of remembrance

He offered a fragmented redemption

Paul Vallely celebrates the art, honesty, and faith of Leonard Cohen

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?

Beware the dangers of post-truth politics

British politicians should be wary of emulating Donald Trump, says Paul Vallely

Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

Ronald Blythe considers the pathos of the Unknown Warrior

Word for Wormingford

Word for Wormingford

Ronald Blythe thinks of a former companion on a trip to Scotland

Female Lear fails to land emotional punch

Glenda Jackson’s King Lear falls short of Paul Vallely’s expectations

Word from Wormingford

Word from Wormingford

Ronald Blythe waters his flowers, and feels guilt at neglecting his fruit trees

A benefit system inspired by Kafka  

Ken Loach’s new film has exposed new bureaucratic cruelty, says Paul Vallely

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.”

Most popular

Appointments

ATKINSON. The Revd Jane Atkinson, Hon. Assistant Curate...

Letters to the Editor

The Church of England, the deprived estates, and the...

Canon Jeremy Pemberton loses same-sex marriage tribunal appeal

Canon Jeremy Pemberton loses same-sex marriage tribunal appeal

CANON Jeremy Pemberton has lost his appeal against...

Heeding the voices of the popular revolution

Heeding the voices of the popular revolution

”WE NEED to hear the voices of the poor.” It is an...

Resignations and retirements

ARCHER. The Revd Neill Archer, Area Dean of North Wiltshire:...

Job of the week

2 x House for Duty posts

West Midlands

2 x House for Duty posts, Ross-on-Wye A flourishing benefice with an established H4D tradition in a great location. Details: www.hereford.anglican.org or contact the Rector informally: sarah.jones@...  Read More

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Top feature

Still singing when the snowman melted

Still singing when the snowman melted

From angelic chorister to daytime-television presenter, Aled Jones will be forever associated with The Snowman. He talks to Sarah Meyrick  Subscribe to read more

Top comment

The theology behind Renewal and Reform

The programme rests on solid foundations, rooted in scripture and tradition, says Jeremy Worthen  Read More

Sat 10 Dec 16 @ 18:22
Church Times readers save 10% on books in our Christmas Review. Just use the voucher code in the paper @CHBookshop:… https://t.co/NCsvJf4ygk

Sat 10 Dec 16 @ 18:17
Child abuse inquiry publishes testimonies of abuse in church settings https://t.co/zy0FiJ8uSk