Reflections and Stories

Why I’m Spending a Year Living With a Community of Nuns

3 Jul 2017

Vocation was described by Frederick Buechner as the place where our deep joy meets the world’s deep need. In a few days, I’ll be attempting to find my own sense of calling by spending 12 months living with the Order of the Holy Paraclete, a community of nuns at St Hilda’s Priory in Whitby. Often...

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What Makes a Good Leader?

5 Jun 2017

I have sometimes half-jokingly said that a fair bit of what I know about ministry, I learned from my mother. I think I might have learnt a few things from her about what makes a good leader, too. After all, I doubt you can bring up three children single-handed as she did without some skills in...

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Rach's Reflections - Celebrate with SCM

1 Jun 2017

It is usually about now we start to think about things coming to an end, whether it is the last exam or essay being handed in for the summer, or even completing the last one ever. I wonder what is coming to an end for you? How are you celebrating?

I’m the sort of person who gets excited...

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When your team doesn’t win

31 May 2017

This week my Facebook feed is full of political posts about how if I vote a certain way then certain things will definitely happen – money for schools, better healthcare trusts - you name it, there is a manifesto pledge for it, somewhere. I always feel hopeful the week before an election as more...

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Rach’s Reflections: Life In All Its Fullness

19 May 2017

A couple of Sundays ago I was preaching twice. On both occasions I used the same readings which included John 10:1-10. It ends with the well-known and often quoted, “I came to give life—life in all its fullness.” This blog is version three of the sermon, as I’ve never yet said the same thing...

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Rach’s Reflections: Whatever the Future May Be

2 May 2017

I ended up on the Telegraph website the other day, (not on purpose, you know what happens when you click on one article from Facebook), after pondering what to blog about this week. I came across two articles that confirmed my theme of vocation, discernment and life choices.

The first...

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Rach's Reflections - The Stones Will Cry Out

13 Apr 2017

I made a comment to a friend yesterday about having a long weekend off work at the end of this week. His response was "oohh that's nice".  I think he'd forgotten that Easter weekend means bank holidays for me now – while last year I was working for the church, when Easter is not a lovely four...

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The Challenge of Lent: Prayer and Action

12 Apr 2017

Writing as someone who used to be absolutely terrified of speaking in public spaces, Lent this year has involved a bit of a challenge for me. Why? Because during Lent, I attended and presented a paper at an international conference of politics students. In the weeks leading up to the event, I...

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The Gift of the Present: Dealing with Mental Health During Lent

5 Apr 2017

I’ve written for SCM before about my schizoaffective disorder and how religious buildings are a major trigger for it. What I did not mention was that my symptoms tend to flare up hugely during Lent. From 2011 to 2016, every Lent without...

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Faith, Politics and Hope: What I Learned From The Launch of JPIT Yorkshire

13 Mar 2017

As a Politics student who has lived all my life so far in the North of England, regional and local politics are important to me. My interest in politics is closely linked to my faith – I strongly feel that it is God’s work to tackle issues of inequality, poverty, disenfranchisement, and...

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