Through a glass darkly – 47

Deaths column We have just lived through a week of mourning following the death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. As many tributes emphasised, the Duke of Edinburgh, the longest living consort in British history,  lived an exemplary life of public service. He was, as the Queen herself has told us, a rock and supportContinue reading “Through a glass darkly – 47”

Through a glass darkly – 46

The Water of Leith The Water of Leith is a small river that flows from the outlying village of Balerno to the south-west of Edinburgh, on the edge of the Pentlands, down to the Forth at Leith. Leith most probably derives from the Brittonic word meaning ‘damp’, while ‘Water’ here indicates a large stream, somethingContinue reading “Through a glass darkly – 46”

Through a glass darkly – 45

The Christmas Truce When I was writing about the international working class movement a few weeks ago [TaGD – 36], I regretted that international solidarity died with the outbreak of the Great War. When many of the delegates at the meeting of the Second International in Brussels in July 1914 rushed home to join upContinue reading “Through a glass darkly – 45”

Through a glass darkly – 44

A Journey towards the Cross We are rapidly moving through Lent towards Passion Week and Easter. Lent is, as preachers often tell us, a journey towards the Cross. In both Christ Church, Duns, and in Lyon we often arranged things so that Easter Day was an all-age Family Communion service. Which called for some creativityContinue reading “Through a glass darkly – 44”

Through a glass darkly – 42

On the home front Susie and I are grateful to have had our first COVID jab, with the Oxford AstroZeneca vaccine, at the beginning of February. I know it doesn’t work, apparently, in France and in Belgium, but there is no prospect of our being there in the immediate future. Friends in continental Europe areContinue reading “Through a glass darkly – 42”

Though a glass darkly – 40

The Mediterranean For me the words ‘The Mediterranean’ are wonderfully evocative. Heat, sand, sunshine, the smell of sun protection cream and of Gitanes; the clink of ice-cubes in pastis or in citron pressé. I’m not sure how much the images owe to Scott Fitzgerald or to Françoise Sagan. And how much to my own memories.Continue reading “Though a glass darkly – 40”

Through a glass darkly – 38

Sometimes I think that if I weren’t a Church of England vicar [retired], I’d be an anarchist. Not of the balaclava-wearing, window-smashing kind. And certainly not of the gun-toting, Trump-supporting, libertarian kind. But I can certainly believe in a society where power is devolved to the local level; where, in the absence of multinational companies,Continue reading “Through a glass darkly – 38”