The good old days

It’s said that every generation has misgivings about the next. I know I do. It’s probably a natural part of growing older. Not only do the young seem younger than ever before, but those in charge, those now in their forties and fifties, seem, in ways both mysterious and self-evident, …

Who is Christianity for?

Christianity is for believers, right? This is certainly the message that Christians send to those outside the church. Christians of all denominations project their faith through liturgy, song and prayer. The message, whether stated through the recitation of creedal liturgies or not, is unmistakable: ‘I believe, I believe, I believe’. …

Home and away

  If you are a fan of British comedy, you will no doubt recall that memorable episode of Fawlty Towers, when Basil, the crazed Torquay hotel-keeper played by John Cleese, welcomes some German guests. The more Basil tries not to mention the war, the more obsessed with it he becomes, …

The glittering prizes

  The first time I missed out on promotion (a type of prize, I guess), a wise old academic said to me that it was always tempting to reject a system that had rejected you. It’s a fair point. Any committee that selects oneself, shows startling sagacity. One that does …

Finding the spirit

I was talking to some friends the other day about spiritual discipline – not the sort that involves self-mortification – but the kind of practice that enables us to communicate within, and without. Reading William James’s Varieties of Religious Experience has been a great help to me in understanding a …

Finding your place

I have never known an organisation that would not have been improved by a few well-judged changes. Not, I hasten to add, re-structurings or purges, just the addition of a bit of common sense to the pot pourri of accepted practice.