The “F” word

By June 30, 2011 Blog, identity

I’m an enormous fan of  Caitlin Moran. I say fan, but stalker might be more appropriate.  I could marry her prose – it’s witty, insightful and laugh-out-loud funny.  So  I was thrilled to read that she’s published a  book on feminism – ‘How to Be A Woman’. Moran uses the backdrop of her life to explore all kinds of issues facing women today – from weight to sex.  On overeating for example, she writes; ‘Overeating is the addiction choice of …Read More

Talking to Myself

By June 28, 2011 Blog

From a talk I gave at the weekend on Psalm 42.. I wonder if we spend far too much of our lives LISTENING to ourselves, when we should be talking to ourselves instead.  I used to tell my granny that she was bonkers for talking to herself.  But actually, she had the right idea. In the bible, talking to yourself isn’t the first sign of madness – it’s actually the path to sanity. Let me give you an example.  I …Read More

Me-Shaped Church

By June 27, 2011 Blog

Here’s a question.  What would the church look like, if everyone in it was exactly like you? I feel nauseous just thinking about it.  On the plus side, there’d be some haphazard pastoral care and a bit of children’s work.  Better coffee.  (Forget the roof repairs, we’re investing in the world’s biggest Nespresso (and George Clooney if he’s free).  No rotas.  (I have nothing against rotas, but the mental energy required to synthesise forty different schedules into one spreadsheet is …Read More

Brave New Words?

By June 26, 2011 Blog

I can’t help thinking that most women’s magazines are the modern-day equivalent of a picnic by the gallows. ‘Old Jimbo’s being hung today in the square – bring a bottle and we’ll make an afternoon of it’.  In the same way, other people’s misery (aka ‘celebrity news’)  is often  packaged as entertainment.  After all, these aren’t real people – they’re on the telly.  And there’s nothing comfier than settling in to pass judgement on someone worse than yourself.  It’s fine …Read More

Sticking-Plaster Morality

By June 24, 2011 Blog

How much of our ‘godly’ behaviour is actually  self-interest with a lick of paint? Frugality for example. At the local discount store I pick up 12 loo rolls for the price of six.  I think I’m rejecting consumerism but I’ve bought into the same lies – only  for slightly less money.   I feel wonderfully smug at poking one in the eye to foul Mammon .  But er –  I’m still buying Andrex. I feel like a radical, but  I’m still …Read More

Louis Keeps It Real

By June 23, 2011 Blog

Aaaah, planet fashion. Just feasting my eyes on the latest campaign for luxury brand Louis Vuitton. The advertisement features  the ridiculously beautiful Angelina Jolie, reclining by a swamp in Cambodia.  As is the norm in the tropics, her make-up is perfect, hair frizz-free, designer clothing unwrinkled and there’s not a sweat patch or mozzie in sight. That’ll be because she’s got some insect repellent in her backpack, right? Mais non, my friends.  She’s come jungle-equipped with her Vuitton handbag.  Yes, …Read More

Boardroom Games

By June 22, 2011 Blog, identity

So which is it?  Women in the workplace are too aggressive – or too compliant? Two reports in the media this week, claiming both that women  are bullies in the boardroom and that we let ourselves be walked over. The first, by Dr Judith Baxter of Aston Uni, argues that we are held back in high level business meetings because we defer to men and try to avoid confrontation. Her research found that women were four times more likely than …Read More

Helping the Sick

By June 21, 2011 Blog

Mental health services in the UK are at crisis point due to overcrowding and staff shortages, according to the president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Professor Dinesh Bhugra claims that many sick patients are being discharged back into society, putting both themselves and others at risk. 14% of consultants’ posts are either unfilled or filled by a locum.  Not enough British medics are choosing to train as psychiatrists, but visa restrictions means that foreign doctors cannot meet the shortfall. …Read More

Pick ME, Pick ME!!

By June 20, 2011 Blog

I’ve been moved today by the  sorry tale of social networking site, ‘’, which has been hit by the (brilliantly named) ‘Shrek’ virus.  The site, as you may have guessed, is for a very select membership.  Those wanting to sign up have to pass a rigorous screening process, where existing members vote on whether or not new candidates are good-looking enough to join. It’s like the playground times a million.  And if – oh bliss! – you did make it …Read More

Locked In

By June 19, 2011 Blog

Do you ever feel like you’re locked inside yourself? You want to reach out, but the words just aren’t there.  Maybe you’re not even sure how you’re feeling.  Maybe you’re too tired to bother.  Maybe you’ve been hurt in the past and are frightened of being rejected again. Whatever the reason for it, being ‘locked in’ is a horrible place to be.  But imagine if this was a physical as well as a psychological reality.  Imagine if you were fully …Read More