A Year of Service

  This last weekend I was able to look back with friends at the wonderful year I had with the Vincentian Volunteers. Looking back I can see that there are many elements to this year that have remained always with me. These I can now see and after reflection have shaped my life since this most formative year. From this year I went on to train for the priesthood and became a priest. After 16 years I left ministry and now try my best to live my Christian values and life in the world. In a recent upgrade to my CV I realised that my whole adult life has been in some sort of service to others and usually to the most vulnerable and those on the fringes of society. From working in Top Shop to ministry to the Hospital to the work I now do in education. This all stems from this year I had with the community and putting Love in action. Yes I have made mistakes on the way and my human frailty has been evident but this life was never going to easy and straight forward.  When I look back on that yea

The beauty of the first part of Holy Week.

  This week we are celebrating Holy Week. We recognise this week the beauty of Jesus love for us. We witness his entry into Jerusalem. This king of peace riding on a donkey comes not to take over the city but to win over peoples hearts. We recognise that here in this man we can see the face of God in human form. I love this day the palms and the excitement of seeing Jesus. This changes as we enter the Upper room. The fact that our God washed and kissed his disciples feet and invites us to do the same. We learn here to love others to be humble and wash others feet just as Jesus did for us. I often think where do I wash others feet. It's in my work in my interactions where I give up my time to help others freely sacrificing my own wants. I love watching the washing of feet seeing all the different people coming forward. The depth of the love of Jesus comes out in Good Friday. We are the disciples we run away, we deny, we are jealous, we sell Jesus out and yet Jesus says I still love


  Over the last few years I have had major issues with the Catholic Church. I think that my issue is the authority of the Church and how many clergy, not all, use and abuse their power and class the laity as stupid idiots. I can say this as for 16 years I was a priest and caught up in the system. When you're in the middle of it you can't aways see what is going on around you. I could not see what the Church as a structure was doing to peoples lives. Until I was out I realised that the Church and Im talking about the Catholic Church here is full up of repressed men who are scared of change scared of themselves and scared of the laity. Those who speak out especially clergy who want significant change are laughed at by others and classed as trouble makers. This includes Pope Francis himself who wants change but sometimes can't get it because of what he has inherited. It is an issue that has gone on your centuries.  This does not allow for a healthy functioning Church. There ne

Narcissist not me !!

  This morning I went to the shops and went to my usual hang out of Waterstones. I was busy looking at the CBT books and self help books. I noticed that as  I looked at books on what makes you happy other such books I over heard a couple talking.  I listened in pretending to look at a books. This is how the conversation went. " She's so full of herself, I really don't like her" Said the big black girl who so I gather was on the way to a doctors appointment.  " I know I just don't like people like that so inward looking and never really see the whole picture" As they talked they described how they did not like narcissistic people and that although they drain a lot of energy and suck the life out of you they needed to have empathy  for them. They may never speak to them and distant themselves from these toxic people. They finished the conversation saying that they thanked God that they were not Narcissistic themselves. I so wanted to say that we all had Na

What have we learnt? Covid and the last year.

Over the last year since the start of the Covid pandemic there has been much in the press about the affects on society. We have seen that there are many people who are anxious, feel alone and worried about the future. So I looked on the Internet for the Christian response to the Pandemic. I was not surprised to see that there were many articles to suggest that the Christian Church as a whole has failed in this time.  In the first Lockdown the Churches were asked to close and there was no public worship. As the infection rate went down the Churches could open for private prayer. In the recent lockdown many places of worship have remained open although the infection rate being a lot higher. I have maybe been a thorn in peoples sides by asking why. I even wrote to the Cardinal  to ask him why. I argued that they should be left shut because of the demographic that tend to go. I got a standard reply back. When I looked in newsletters I read many times about how to give your collection and t

The smile of God

  The smile of God Last    nights dream    We are loved into being. When we were created God smiled he saw and he loved what he had created. He held us in the palm of his hand. He gasped and enjoyed what he had created.    When we laugh and enjoy life he smiles and enjoys our fun. When we call upon him he smiles and listens gently. When we are hurting in distress and far from his smile he hold us with a gentle smile of encouragement. When we feel alone and hopeless he smiles and sends people to us to smile at us to do his work and help us. He recognises that life can sometimes be overwhelming. This is called being human. In these times he sends someone an angel with a dirty face just to help us. God smiles because he sees others doing his smiling for them. Sometimes we cannot see things to smile at. In these times we have to look more carefully and see the things that we are grateful for. The small things that will help us to see the smile of God. When we get things wrong    when relat

Hope V Anxiety Lockdown 3

This Lockdown feels different from the other one in March, I am not sure I count the lockdown in November as so much was still open, I don't know if anyone else has felt the same? I was trying the other day to think why it did feel so different. I think that there are a few things that has made this so different. The first thing is the weather.  In the previous lockdown I was able to sit outside with my books and a cup of tea. The warmth of the weather meant that the days were filled with reading and lovely walks in the park and discovering new walks in the local area. This time with the cold weather the feeling is different. With the new Variant of the virus we are seeing numbers of infections growing everyday. The fear and anxiety is shown to us of the number of those in hospitals and those who have died.  I must say sometimes when I watch the news I feel a certain amount of dread and Hopelessness. With the national anxiety there are also personal and individual anxieties going o