Monday, 9 September 2013


I had the privilege of baptising a wonderfully active little lad in church yesterday morning. He had those shoes with the lights in the soles that flicker when you walk and he did a brilliant job of demonstrating them during the service. When it came to the actual baptism this little boy proved to be something of a moving target, however, I managed to connect water to forehead at some point during the rite so can confidently declare that he has been baptised. It was great fun and it got me thinking about what alternative strategies one might employ with non-compliant baptism candidates and here are a few suggestions.
  1. A water pistol or for the really uncooperative a large pump action super soaker. My weapon of choice would be the NERF Super Soaker Xtreme Switch Shot Water Gun Banana Ammo Clip Tank Blaster.
  2. Organise a game of head tennis with a water balloon.
  3. Wait until it’s raining.
  4. Arrange an outing to the local water park.
  5. Include a game of bobbing for apples in the sermon.
  6. Make an arrangement with the local hair dresser and offer a two for one haircut and baptism.
  7. Tell the candidate that the one thing they must never do in church is go near the font.
Other suggestions which comply with our church health and safety policy, have undergone an activity hazard assessment and conform to the good taste commensurate with the solemn sacrament of holy baptism (or as the C of E website likes to call it ‘Christening’) gratefully received.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


Back from spending a couple of weeks in Picardie with the family. I confess I was looking forward to the holiday with some trepidation when I discovered, after booking, that our gite didn't have wifi. For the last five years I've been able to get online abroad and even in deepest Wales while on vacation. I did some research on getting a SIM card in France for my IPad but the process seemed to be both complicated and expensive and this was confirmed while I was there.

So how was I going to cope without access to social media and all the other online stuff that has become part of my everyday life. Well it turns out I was going to be absolutely fine. Not only did I not really miss it but when the occasional opportunity arose to log on thanks to free wifi in a cafe it was all rather half hearted. I quickly scanned my twitter timeline but had no real desire to tweet. I uploaded some photos so that friends and family could see what we were up to and that's about it. The only time I went out of my way to get Internet access was following my daughter's birthday so that she could check her Facebook timeline. That involved a trip to MacDonalds which I will never repeat. (Autocorrect just tried to change that last word to repent which is just about right).

So there you have it. I was wondering how I would cope without my digital umbilical chord and I can honestly say it was a surprisingly pleasant experience.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Conflicted... again!

I thought the Olympics last year were brilliant and I always look forward to the World Cup, even if it is a triumph of hope over experience when my team is involved. However, what is happening in Brazil at the moment leaves me conflicted and here is why...

With thanks to my friend Father Nick Wheeler who ministers in the City of God, Rio de Janeiro.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

My flirtation with heresy

I studied theology at Durham and my main doctrine lecturer was Professor Stephen Sykes who later became Bishop of Ely. One afternoon in a seminar he invited my fellow undergraduates and I to suggest different analogies to explain the Trinity. As each of us trotted out our explanations he reeled off the list of heresies we had just articulated. We ran the gamut from A - Z including: arianism, sabellianism, modalism, adpotionism, partialism, docetism, tritheism, ebionitism, macedonianism and patripassianism. Looking back I think the only thing we didn't cover was Rastafarianism. One by one our neat explanations were ground into the dust under the heal of orthodoxy. Is it any wonder I usually try and get someone else to preach on Trinity Sunday?

To be honest I don't really care too much how inadequate our explanations of the Trinity are, after all it is Almighty God we are dealing with so it's no surprise our accounts are going to be lacking. I'm much more concerned that we experience and live out our life with God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Anyway, if you haven't a clue what I've been writing about, here's a useful little video to keep us on the straight and narrow.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

2 minute Pectecost

Great little summary of what today is all about from the gang at Busted Halo.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

A simple job made complicated.

I was taking a school assembly this morning about Pentecost. We began by recalling the Ascension of Jesus which a colleague had taught the children about last week. I then asked them what job Jesus had left the disciples to do. They responded straight away: 'Go and tell everyone about Jesus'. That was it. Of course doing it is another matter and that's where the Holy Spirit comes in.

A few days ago the Church of England published its attendance statistics for 2011. There has been a mixed response to the figures and the stats have been spun in different ways; viewed by some as encouraging and by others as evidence of continued decline. The British Humanist Association sought to use the figures to bolster their argument for disestablishment.

David Keen has done an excellent job on his blog of analysing the figures in a post entitled Church of England: Not levelling out. David injects some hard headed realism into discussions, challenging some of the complacency that was doing the rounds when the figures were initially presented. He has continued to post related articles on the issue of church growth and strategy including one today about Archbishop Justin Welby's address to the Diocesan Church Growth Strategies Conference. ++Justin's priorities are summarised as:

  • prayer and renewal of the church's spiritual life 
  • reconciliation, within the church and as an agent in the world
  • evangelism
As I read this straightforward summary, I think back to this morning's assembly and the children's summary of the task Jesus has given his followers: 'Go and tell everyone about Jesus'. How have we made it so complicated?

h/t anglican memes for the picture.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

I could not bear being in my own head...

A few days ago Katharine Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury's daughter, wrote on her blog about her ongoing struggle with depression. Her blog post Hopeful Depression was picked up by the media and this morning BBC Breakfast ran a short piece in which Katharine speaks about her depression and what has helped her to cope. A powerful statement about the illness and a challenge to the church in how we support those facing this daily struggle. As Katharine wrote:
The church is the place where hope can be found, but this is only possible if the church is willing to accept that life is not always rosy. The stigma around mental health illness – of any kind, must be eradicated. The bible is full of people who screw up, who get miserable, angry, who hurt and who weep. Even Jesus, in the garden of Gethsemane found life a little too much to bear and pleaded with God.

Monday, 13 May 2013

When the saints

I am reliably informed by Whispering Bob Harris that today is the 75th anniversary of Louis Armstrong's recording of When the Saints go marching in. Blow that horn Satchmo!

 May 13th 1938, New York. Decca.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Teeth on edge

I heard some sad news yesterday. My wife was booking an appointment with our dentist and was informed he had left. Recently I had a very painful abscess under a tooth and he saw me twice within an hour of phoning the practice, carefully explained the problem and prescribed the appropriate treatment. There was no charge for the appointments and x-rays, though there are basic charges for my usual treatment. He was an NHS dentist. His practice has recently moved to new premises in the same village with the latest equipment, good parking, a comfortable environment and the clincher... free WiFi! What more could we ask for. He was brilliant and POLISH and as a family we are going to miss him. The good news is there is a new dentist at the practice and if she is anywhere near as good as him we will be very happy. She is also Polish.

We moved to our dentist's practice a few years ago because our previous dentist, who was British, had written to advise us that his practice was going private and he enclosed a load of bumf about our options for taking out private insurance. Call me old fashioned but I have a commitment to the National Health Service and am happy to pay my taxes so that people can access treatment free at the point of need. I recently had some gastric problems and again received excellent treatment from specialist physicians in a recently rebuilt hospital. The whole process from booking appointments, prepping for the procedures, the endoscopies and the after care were first class and again in a friendly comfortable environment that made an unpleasant procedure as bearable as possible. First class service on the NHS and don't ask me to list the number of different nationalities of those involved in my care.

A couple of thoughts. Yes, there are problems with the NHS. That's no surprise given the size of the organisation and the demands made of it. But as we seek development and improvement let us not lose sight of the jewel of the nation that we already have. Danny Boyle was right to celebrate the NHS at the heart of the Olympic Games opening ceremony. So let's stop selling it off on the sly piece by piece so that we have to pay again for what we already own.

And I want to say thank you to my Polish dentist for his friendly manner, his excellent treatment and for the contribution he has made to our family's well being and to the local community he has served. When I hear people moaning about immigrants swamping our country, read the pernicious propaganda distributed by UKIP and listen to politicians from the other political parties targeting immigration as the great ill of our age, it is my Polish dentist that comes to mind and I am ashamed of the quality and tone of our public discourse on this matter; it really sets my teeth on edge.

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Thursday, 9 May 2013

The Legendary Journey

Looking forward to the British and Irish Lions roaring down under against the Wallabies this summer.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Thank you.

I knew it was coming. I had a glimpse of what it would be like over a decade ago when an announcement was made, although the decision then was hastily reversed, but the day has finally arrived. Sir Alex Ferguson has announced his retirement as manager of Manchester United F.C..

There are so many memories of triumph and despair that I’m struggling to put them in any sort of order. The greatest moment must surely be the treble winning last few seconds of the Champions League final in 1999 against Bayern Munich when certain defeat was turned on its head. ‘Football, bloody hell’ was all Ferguson could say when the ITV interviewer shoved a microphone in front of the incredulous manager after the final whistle as MUFC were crowned champions. The victory over Chelsea in Moscow on penalties for Sir Alex’s second CL trophy in 2008 comes close; the agony following Ronaldo’s penalty miss replaced with relief and then joy as Edwin van der Sar saved from Anelka’s spot kick.

The most recent moment of despair, setting aside the ups and downs of this season, was that final goal by Manchester City with almost the last kick of the last game of last season to snatch the Premier League trophy from Ferguson’s grasp. How satisfying that Sir Alex has chosen to bow out having taken the league title back in emphatic style to secure United’s 20th Premier League title and his 13th as United’s manager.

And here is my most valued Manchester United possession; a message from the great man inside a copy of his autobiography, given to me by colleagues as I left my diocesan role in Chelmsford to take up my new post as Team Rector in Great Baddow.


Thank you Sir Alex for so many great memories.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Leaked: Today producer's notes

At no expense I have managed to acquire the production notes and running order for today's Today programme on Radio 4.

6.00am News headlines: UKIP triumphant; everyone else pants.
6.10am Interview by Evan with the victorious Nigel Farage.
6:20am Education: Will national curriculum changes reflect UKIP's domination of politics.
6:25am Sport: Have UKIP snookered their opponents?
6:35am Immigration. Theresa May and Yvette Cooper say 'we agree with Nigel'.
6:45am Finance: Robert Peston speaks to UKIP's economic's spokesperson - Nigel Farage.
6:55am Weather: The sun is shinning out of Nigel Farage's...
7:00am News headlines: UKIP this, UKIP that...
7:10am Should Nadine Dorries defect to UKIP
7:20am Will David Cameron call an EU referendum now?
7:25am Sport: Gary Richardson on Nigel's runners and riders for Aintree.
7:35am Whatever happened to the Green Party?
7:45am Nick Robinson on why no one voted for anyone except UKIP
7:50am TFTD: The European Union is the beast of Revelation
8:00am News headlines: Bombing in Syria, Iraq & Afghanistan - the UKIP foreign affairs spokesperson Nigel Farage gives his reaction.
8:20am Evan interviews UKIP's glorious leader Nigel Farage again in case you missed it earlier.
8:30am Sport: Is it time for UK football clubs to withdraw from Europe? UKIP's sports' spokesperson Nigel Farage shares his thoughts.
8:40am Toynbee, Delingpole and Brandreth analyse the UKIP manifesto - when we can find the fag packet it was scribbled on.
8:50am Culture: Will Spielberg follow up Lincoln with Farage?
8:55am Nick Robinson on how UKIP have rewritten political history.

If you think this is a spoof have a listen to this morning's broadcast.

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Friday, 3 May 2013

Labour behind the label

The story seems to be disappearing from the headlines but the latest estimate is that over 500 people have lost their lives in the clothing factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The tragedy has raised the issue of ethical trading and forced people to ask questions about how their discounted clothes can be produced at such cheap prices. However, my guess is that odhakance the media circus has moved on people will stop asking the questions and go back to picking up their ‘bargains’. And it isn’t just the discount stores who source their clothes from factories like the one in Dhaka.

Labour Behind the Label is an organisation committed to supporting garment workers' efforts worldwide to improve their working conditions. Anna McMullen, a campaigner with the organisation, has written a hard hitting piece for CNN in which she describes some of the issues behind the clothing trade and the work being done to help address the injustices faced by workers. McMullen argues that it is the clothing brands that must shoulder responsibility for addressing the problems:
Business must stop just holding up its hands to say: "It is not our fault -- they bought it." The responsibility for ensuring that a product was made with human rights in mind has to fall somewhere, and the United Nations guiding principles on business and human rights says that it falls jointly to states and mass corporate businesses to "protect, respect and remedy" human rights.
In short, the brands, not the consumer, are the ones who must take responsibility for the endemic problems that this industry faces.
Along with other lobby groups, Labour Behind the Label is calling on businesses sourcing their products from Bangladesh to sign up to a transparent building and fire safety scheme.

While I fully support the campaign calling for brands to adopt the proposal, I can’t help feeling that we consumers should not be let off the hook. The simple truth is that brands depend on the consumer purchasing their products. If we stopped sourcing our clothes from brands that refuse to place a premium on workers’ safety and employment rights, then those businesses would have to reconsider their position because the only language they understand is the bottom line of a spread sheet. Think about it the next time you pick up 3 T-shirts for a fiver.

I’m grateful to my friend Kate Gowen, whose cousin wrote the CNN article, for drawing my attention to the work of Labour Behind the Label.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

We will finish the race

This is the powerful front cover for Boston magazine put out within a few days of the Boston marathon bombing.


The shoes were collected from runners who took part in the race and the accompanying feature ‘The shoes we wore’ told the stories of fifteen owners of the shoes. Great job and great response.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Skin in the game

No, this is not a post about the eating habits of Luis Su├írez during a football match. The phrase ‘skin in the game’ was coined by Warren Buffet ‘referring to a situation in which high-ranking insiders use their own money to buy stock in the company they are running’. It has a wider application in that it can refer to the need for people to have a stake in the work they are doing as an incentive to better performance. The classic example of this is the insistence that top financiers need massive bonus incentives in order to perform well; the better the company does, the higher their bonuses. Unfortunately, it seems in some cases that even when the companies performed disastrously the high-ranking insiders still expected the bonuses and other financial benefits on top of the salaries.

welbyThe phrase ‘skin in the game’ was referred to several times by Justin Welby, the present Archbishop of Canterbury, in his role as a member of the parliamentary commission into banking. Questioning HSBC’s top executives shortly after HSBC had been fined £1.2bn over the money laundering of drug money, Welby asked the following:
I'm increasingly baffled at the discussion we are having. What is it essentially about bankers that means they need skin in the game [bonuses]? We don't give skin in the game to civil servants, to surgeons, to teachers.
There's a whole range of people who don't have that. It seems to me that you are putting huge effort into a values-based organisation and yet at the end of the day, particularly for your most senior staff who are most important as regards setting values and culture, you seem to be saying the only way you can motivate them to any significant extent is with cash.
The Archbishop continues in his role as a member of the commission and in a BBC radio interview to be broadcast later today sets out his reasons for continuing to address the issues afflicting the City of London. He clearly and succinctly explains his mission as Archbishop before linking it to his concerns about ethics in the City:
My key mission is to lead the Church in worshipping Jesus Christ and encouraging people to believe in him and follow him. That's my mission.
The Christian gospel has always had strong social implications and one of them is around the common good and it's one of the key areas in which the Church of England focuses.
So issues of how the City of London, which is so important and so full of very gifted people, how that behaves in relation to the common good is very key, not to the whole thing that I'm about or the Church is about, but to how we express the implications of that in day to day life.
Not surprisingly the Archbishop’s engagement with the finance sector has drawn much attention and comment, some critical and some more positive. The BBC’s Robert Peston concluded a piece on Welby stating:
But why should anyone care what this man of the cloth says about the men - and occasionally women - who provide vital credit to businesses and households?
Well he was a relatively senior businessman in his earlier incarnation (that said, he self-deprecatingly and amusingly pointed out that he was the only innumerate treasurer of one of the UK's biggest companies, and his employer, Enterprise Oil, paid someone to check all his numbers).
Also, he is a member of the influential parliamentary commission on banking standards, although his remarks to the Christians in Parliament All Party Parliamentary Group were personal, rather than representing those of the commission (I should perhaps point out that I was the token non-observant Jew on the panel that then responded to the Archbishop's reflections).
But perhaps more germanely, the UK's economic malaise shows no signs of being fixed any time soon by the supposed experts in the Bank of England or Treasury, so there may be a case for looking elsewhere for wisdom - and it is no longer eccentric to argue that what went wrong in the financial system was as much ethical as technical.
What Justin Welby is doing is demonstrating that as Christians we have ‘skin in the game’, we always have. We are called to live out our faith as followers of Christ in the world we inhabit; we are as invested in it as anyone else. We are not immune to the trials and difficulties of life and we are as affected by the financial crisis as our neighbour. If our faith had nothing to say about the ethics of the City then it is not much good to us or to our society. Of course the present situation and the particular gifts of the Archbishop in the financial sector makes this more apparent, but it should be as true for every other aspect of our common life.

One final thought. We have just celebrated Easter and been reminded afresh that we are called to follow one who had ‘skin in the game’ literally. Jesus gave himself completely for the benefit of humanity and his skin was scourged, nailed and pierced for the sins of the world; including the structural sin of economic injustice and oppression. As followers of Christ we are called to have ‘skin in the game’, to be so committed to the values and priorities of the Kingdom of God that we are willing to invest our very lives for him.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

IF… we slay the monsters

There are some great resources out at the moment in support of the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign. One of the supporters of the campaign is Tearfund who state:
We believe in a God of abundance and justice who wants to see the hungry fed. And we believe God can use the church to speak to our nation.
That's why we are joining the IF Campaign to speak out against one of the biggest injustices of our time: Hunger.
In June the UK is hosting the G8 and David Cameron has a special opportunity to take action.
Together we can make 2013 the start of the end of world hunger.
Here are a couple of excellent videos explaining the campaign.

IF… we slay the monsters.

And IF… the G8 were kids.

You can join the IF campaign here.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Belief+Doubt=Sanity #SH2013

Looking back on my notes from Gerard Kelly’s excellent Spring Harvest Bible Readings on 1 John, I was drawn afresh to his referencing of Barbara Kruger’s art. It came in the context of some reflections on 1 John 2:15-17:
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
New Living Translation
Gerard asked the question ‘Where does our identity come from?’ The point being that our identity comes from what holds our heart and he used some of Kruger’s art to illustrate. So I went back to look up some of her work which I find both challenging and illuminating. Kruger’s iconic image is:

i shop

But the image that really grabbed my attention and got my mind buzzing is this one which Gerard also referenced:

Kruger-Belief DoubtSanity

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Whose church is it anyway?

A few days ago a local election leaflet dropped through my letter box. It was for a Tory candidate and would have been 'filed' in the same way as other posted spam if it hadn't been for a photograph that caught my attention. The picture showed the candidate standing in front of our church. My first reaction was to rack my brains to try and think when I had seen this person in the church. Now she might have been at the Remembrance Day service, when we get quite a few visitors we don't see the rest of the year, or at one of the major festivals when we average over 350 and I don't get to meet everyone. I can't say with certainty that this candidate hasn't been to the church during my time as Rector but she is certainly not a regular member of the congregation and not known to me. I found myself asking what right has this person to use a photograph of the church as part of her political propaganda? Looking at the rest of the leaflet and some of the boasts in it about the achievements of her party in local and national government and the pledges for the future disturbed me and I wouldn't want the church to be identified with these claims. A couple of examples of my misgivings are the way in which the leaflet frames issues of welfare reform and immigration.

As I thought about this leaflet I began to consider what place the church building had in the community, why the candidate chose to use this picture and what they hoped to communicate by using this particular image? I also began to ask myself who the building belongs to and what rights there are, for example, in terms of image control?

I haven't worked through all these questions but one thing does strike me. The candidate obviously thought it was a good thing to be identified with the church, or at least the church building, otherwise why use the picture? My concern is whether it is a good thing for the church to be identified with the policies she and her party espouses not least in the leaflet which was shoved through my front door.

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Tuesday, 9 April 2013

That’s how the light gets in #SH2013

Arrived home from this year’s Spring Harvest at Minehead after a surprisingly smooth journey to discover Essex is much warmer than Somerset. As in previous years, I’ve been reflecting on some of the memorable quotes that I picked up from speakers. The theme The Source: Be, Say, Do was in some ways a back to basics focus.

Gerard Kelly led the Bible readings each day on 1 John and did an excellent job of opening up the text and relating it to life, mission and ministry today. In my last blog post I mentioned something that Gerard said during the first evening Big Top celebration talk which stirred up much discussion with some of my twitter pals. One of the characteristics I’ve always enjoyed about Gerard’s talks is his use of imagery, poetry and music to open up a thought or insight and this year he didn’t disappoint. Referring to 1 John 1:8 ‘If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us…’ Gerard spoke about the brokenness at the heart of each of us and he then quoted this chorus from Leonard Cohen’s song Anthem:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
This beautiful lyric stayed with me throughout my time at SH and I’ve been doing some reading around it. The song is complex and took Cohen a long time to write. In various interviews he has sought to explain the lengthy period of the composition and its meaning. This is what he had to say about the chorus in 1992:
...That is the background of the whole record, I mean if you have to come up with a philosophical ground, that is "Ring the bells that still can ring". It's no excuse...the dismal situation.. and the future is no excuse for an abdication of your own personal responsibilities towards yourself and your job and your love. "Ring the bells that still can ring" : they're few and far between but you can find them. "Forget your perfect offering" that is the hang-up that you're gonna work this thing out. Because we confuse this idea and we've forgotten the central myth of our culture which is the expulsion from the garden of Eden. This situation does not admit of solution of perfection. This is not the place where you make things perfect, neither in your marriage, nor in your work, nor anything, nor your love of God, nor your love of family or country. The thing is imperfect. And worse, there is a crack in everything that you can put together, physical objects, mental objects, constructions of any kind. But that's where the light gets in, and that's where the resurrection is and that's where the return, that's where the repentance is. It is with the confrontation, with the brokenness of things. (from ‘The Future Radio Special’).


Friday, 5 April 2013

Should I stay or should I go?

Yesterday I tweeted a comment from Gerard Kelly's evening talk at Spring Harvest Minehead. Gerard was speaking on Jesus as The Source of our faith. In the course of his talk he drew attention to the way in which Christians can contradict the Good News they seek to proclaim by their behaviour. Gerard mentioned how he observed the way some Christians spoke about each other on-line, including Christian bloggers. I thought this a fair point and tweeted a quote as follows:
@philritchie: Gerard Kelly laying into Christian bloggers 'saying things to each other we'd never dream of saying if we were in the same room'. #sh2013
Gerard also referred to the way some interacted on Twitter and Facebook and wondered how good friends he knew could end up at the point where they even questioned if the other was a Christian anymore. Some people were surprised and annoyed by this and wanted to challenge the assertion. I must admit this surprised me because I have been dismayed again and again at the way some Christians have attacked one another on-line. I think of some of the comments and posts flying around on-line following the General Synod vote on Women and the Episcopacy; the tone of discussions over equal marriage and more recently responses to George Carey's comments over Easter about Christians and persecution. Let me be clear, my dismay has not been about the merits of people's position but the tone and language of some of the discourse. This of course is not limited to blogging and social media interaction but let's not pretend it doesn't go on.

Gerard was not attacking Blogging, Twitter and Facebook. He is a blogger, uses Facebook and is one of the most imaginative writers on Twitter as the author of @twitturgies. He was simply pointing out what I took to be blindingly obvious. I did wonder why some were so defensive about the comment and its questioning of on-line behaviour. It is not unreasonable to ask people to step back and reflect on the way they interact with others on-line and to question why they feel free to say things to others via digital communication that they would not say face to face. Again this is not about avoiding argument and disagreement, it is about how we engage in these controversies.

As the discussion on Twitter developed some of us switched to discussing the merits of blogging as Christians. I mentioned that I was ambivalent about continuing to blog and had 'sort of lost heart'. In part this is because of what I have mentioned earlier in this post. I recognise in myself the danger of firing off self righteous and intemperate posts which do neither myself and those I am writing about much good. I shudder to think about some of what I have written and then deleted before hitting the publish button.

As it happens I have only published one post on my blog since Christmas and to be honest I haven't missed it as much as I thought I would. However, I have been surprised and encouraged by some of my blogging colleagues' comments and challenged to think again about chopping down the Treehouse. I want to thank them both for this debate and for their blogging which I continue to value and frequently link to via Twitter and Facebook.

For Doug Chaplin's reflection on the same discussion check out Is blogging worth it?

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