Posts by admin

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November 2017

by admin

Mind: Blown I have a weather station in my garden that is connected to a controller in my study, which in turn connects to my computer and uploads weather data to a global weather database called Weather Underground (you can see real time weather information from my garden on their website). My interest in weather […]

October 2017

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Oh dear, what can I say? How often have we thought that or heard that said when we’ve been told something sad, bad or worrying news? Words often fail us and we almost go into a panic mode in case we have to say something before we’ve thought it through. Maybe the facts that words […]

September 2017

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I was born in the mid-195os and during career in IT saw the transition from computers that filled basements to the desktop personal computer. I was involved in making that happen in the company I worked for in the 1980s and loved it. I embrace technology, believing it to simply be a tool which is […]

August 2017

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FIFTY YEARS A LAY READER. It was in 1967 that my vicar at the time asked me to become a Lay Reader: the parish was Sonning (near Reading) and the vicar’s name was Robin Brutton. I did not feel I could possibly refuse; and so began 50 years of duty and obligation. Therefore, looking back, […]

July 2017

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I am writing this on the day after the General Election which saw a major change in the balance of seats in the UK Parliament. It was quite a surprise to all of us – expert and novice alike – and reflects and echoes the turbulent and unpredictable political landscape here and elsewhere in the […]

June 2017

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I’m writing this Pastoral Letter after returning from a weekend singing with a choir in both of the Liverpool Cathedrals. The Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral is modern, round and has some stunning artwork. The Anglican Cathedral is the biggest in the country. It is huge! It also has some beautiful artwork. Cathedrals have long been […]

May 2017

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The wedding season is upon us once more. There are wedding fairs all over the country almost every weekend as couples look for inspiration, ideas, products and services. From cakes to caterers, drinks to dresses, hen and stag dos to honeymoons, stationery to shoes, everything you could ever need or want or desire can be […]

April 2017

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  “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15 v13.” There are many amazing people through history who have done just that. I want to tell you of one of them. Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish Franciscan friar whose church provided shelter to thousands of refugees […]

March 2017

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Well, what a tumultuous start to 2017 we have seen in the political world. President Donald Trump is just a few weeks into his term of office as I write this, and whatever your political views, there is much controversy surrounding his style of leadership. I follow him on Twitter (@realDonalTrump and now @POTUS President […]

February 2017

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I recently visited a friend who has moved from London to Greatstone . She is now coming to terms with having a mile and a half round trip to the nearest post box, learning how the Council deal with refuse/recycling and not having a major shopping centre ‘on the doorstep.’ She is thrilled to be […]

January 2017

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As we enter the New Year (yet another one I hear you say) and we dust off our resolutions and gather up our resolve to do better things, lose more weight, get fitter, be kinder, more thoughtful, more holy, work harder, I would like to suggest you do all of that in a meditative, thoughtful […]

December 2016

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If November is the month of remembrance December is the month of anticipation. For some it may be eager anticipation – for children the expectations of school days filled with little work as rehearsals are under way for Christmas plays, of school holidays and of much desired gifts at Christmas. As Christians we eagerly look […]

November 2016

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November has become the traditional time for remembrance with All Souls, All Saints Day and Remembrance Sunday in the month. This is also the month in which, with the issuing of the Christmas stamps, for the last 50 years my thoughts turn to my Christmas letter and the events of the past year.   Ever since […]

October 2016

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By the time you read this we will be celebrating and giving thanks for the Harvest. The starting point for Harvest has always been a veneration of and thanksgiving for the natural created order of things. Although the Old Testament prescribes a feast to celebrate the first fruits of the harvest and another to celebrate […]

September 2016

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This is the time of year for new beginnings: young children starting school, older ones venturing into secondary school; young adults commencing at University or beginning a new job. Altogether a challenging time. So how do we cope with these issues? We are all different , so of course we shall each have our own […]

August 2016

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‘Go compare!’ Just one Cornetto!’ ‘A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play!’ ‘Washing machines last longer with Calgon!’ ‘…. with mild, green, Fairy liquid.’ ‘If you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit join our Club!’ I’m quite sure that it was impossible to read these advertising slogans without at least […]

July 2016

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What’s in a name? that which we call a rose; By any other name would smell as sweet. (Romeo and Juliet Act II Scene II). William Shakespeare certainly had a way with words. And he introduced many words and expressions into our language. Some claim that over 1700 words in use were formed initially by […]

June 2016

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Dear Friends One of the things that we all have in common is that there are special “landmarks” in each of our lives. From a tiny baby we have those landmarks of our first tooth, our first words and our first steps. As we grow we have our first day at school, our first date […]

May 2016

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I am currently training to be a Guide at the Cathedral. The course is accredited by the Institute of Tourist Guides so it is not easy. Twelve of us started, I just hope 12 will finish! It irritates me somewhat when people say it was Augustine who brought Christianity to Britain. He brought it to […]

April 2016

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I have spent the last six weeks or so in a cancer ward. Not as some act of ministry or piety but because my wife Alison is there, and will be for several more months. Her prognosis is good, with the aim a complete cure from the lymphoma that has attacked her bones. The damage […]

March 2016

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This month’s article comes from Michael Cooper, member of Coxheath church and National Director of Christian Vision for Men. To celebrate my wife’s ‘significant’ birthday I decided to book us a short break in Iceland (not the one endorsed by Peter Andre). This was a desolate stony expanse of God’s world, haunted by howling winds, […]

February 2016

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In the UK a new record has just been achieved in the pay out on the National Lottery – two winning tickets each collecting 33 million pounds. The Euromillions prize for the upcoming weekend draw is estimated at £61 million. The US Powerball lottery jackpot was £1.04 billion streling. Yes, over a billion pounds. £1,040,000,000. […]

January 2016

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Another year comes round again and with it the thoughts from previous years. One hundred years ago my grandparents got married, seventy five years ago my parents did the same and fifty years ago, on 1st January 1966, I got married. (25 years ago nothing happened!). Strange how figures, numbers and events can form patterns […]

December 2015

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What a year 2015 has been: commencing with Magna Carta there has been a succession of commemorations; The Battle of Britain; a celebration of the end of World War II, Waterloo – even Agincourt! Then of course we always remember the miracle of Dunkirk. Is there anything that we can learn today from these important […]

November 2015

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Dear Friends As a child I remember vividly the rhyme, Remember Remember the 5th of November. As a family we all gathered together to go to an organised firework display, which we rounded up by having a special feast at my mothers house. The menu usually consisted of baked potatoes with many different toppings along […]

October 2015

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I have just returned from a conference at which over 200 clergy gathered in a university campus to worship, pray, discuss and enjoy fellowship around the theme of “Reconciliation” which has been a theme explored in depth by Bishop Brian, Bishop of Tonbridge. We learned that reconciliation is a theme which begins and ends the […]

September 2015

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I have just returned from holiday with Alison, and as well as enjoying some time with the family, we had some time just to ourselves. As part of that we explored a new part of Switzerland (which some of you will know has family connections on Alison’s side and where we visit fairly frequently.) We […]

August 2015

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I am sitting by the open window listening to a sky lark! I have not heard one for ages but years ago there were a number nesting in the fields around and when I was walking the dog I used to try to spot them up in the sky. We had cuckoos, too but I […]

July 2015

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Abide with Me. Watching the FA. Cup Final, I was struck by the enthusiasm of that huge crowd as they joined the ‘fans choir’ to sing ‘Abide With Me.’ It is the favourite hymn of Queen Elizabeth, it has been sung on sinking ships, at major sporting events and at the passing of loved ones. […]

June 2015

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As you read this letter, I will be in a distant land having jetted away for our annual holiday, which reminds me of a story which I now share with you.   Young Jimmy returns home from Sunday School and immediately gets out his toy aeroplane and zooms it around the lounge.  His mum asks […]

May 2015

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Politics matters This month’s pastoral letter draws upon resources from Christians in Politics. I attended a fascinating workshop at the Spring Harvest Conference in April facilitated by CiP. More details from www.christiansinpolitics.org.uk When you read this, the UK will be about to go to one of the most hotly contested elections in living memory. Yet […]

Travel Plans

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Hello, Chris tells me we are going to Belgium at the week-end. I am not looking forward to crossing the Channel to France. I am told it will only be two hours but I don’t understand how Chris knows the tides and winds will be so favourable; I have never done a crossing so fast. […]

Introductions

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 Hello! I am Aelred and I have been asked to tell you a bit about myself. I was born in Northumberland in 1109, the son of a priest. Dad sent me to school at the Scottish Court where I grew up with Prince Henry, son of King David. The King gave me a job when […]

April 2015

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Spring has sprung. The evenings are lighter, the day is longer, the weather is warmer. At least that’s what should be happening at this time of year – along with the April showers which bring refreshment and energy to the growing plants. Life begins to re-emerge and things are all a little greener. (By the […]

March 2015

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The Motherhood of God Reflecting that this is the month of Mothering Sunday I remembered this little story that resonated with my own experience and maybe yours, of being a mother and grandparent, living some distance away with the hope of a card a call or a visit: Sue was glad when the phone rang […]

February 2015

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As I write this, the news is full of the atrocities in France, the subsequent march of over a million people joined by many world leaders, and the consequent government meetings about security. “Je suis Charlie” has been the rallying slogan of the past week or two as the French (and others) seek to identify […]

January 2015

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Another year has gone and a new one lies ahead. Do you look back on 2014 and say ‘Thank God that 2014 is over and I hope next year will be better?’ I know people who do every year and look forward to the New Year as a fresh start, a change of fortune, an […]