Can we deal with hard questions?

At our  church weekend away last weekend, I ran two seminars on how we engage with difficult questions about faith. The blurb for the sessions said: One of the things that keeps us quiet about our faith is a fear of the questions that might follow. Can you prove the existence of God? Why is … Continue Reading

Services of Remembrance

Which form of service is growing fastest in the Church of England? Perhaps surprisingly, the answer is services of remembrance for the bereaved. Despite the fact that there are now many other options than the Church for the taking of funerals, the reality is that no-one does follow-up and continued pastoral care like the Church—and … Continue Reading

What to preach at a funeral?

The previous post, including a competition to identify a quotation, was prompted by my reading the next Grove Worship booklet, How to Prepare and Conduct a Funeral by Charles Chadwick and Phillip Tovey from Oxford Diocese. Aimed primarily at Readers as well as other licensed lay ministers, it is an excellent guide to the whole process of … Continue Reading

God and grief

Tuesday evening. The phone rings. My brother’s voice. ‘Joe’s been killed.’ Three words that change the world. I didn’t know what to say. ‘I don’t know what to say.’ That’s it. Do not go gentle into that good night…Rage, rage against the dying of the light. So wrote Dylan Thomas about his father dying in old … Continue Reading