How did I get to here? I often wonder! After taking a Sociology degree and CQSW at Bath University, I began my professional career in 1974 as a social worker with the now defunct Avon County Council. In those days social workers were generic, not knowing much about everything! Following the sudden death of my father - who was a rather unconventional Baptist Minister - I decided to take a break and to study theology at the radical Northern Baptist College and the University of Manchester.
I did a postgraduate theology degree (First Class!) then became a Minister myself for over 5 years, before going to work for the Diocese of Lichfield Board for Social Responsibility at the time of 'Faith in the City', helping parish churches to make connections between what they did on Sundays and the rest of the life of their local communities. But I had become increasingly sceptical about traditional Christian beliefs so when that job ended I went back into social work and Education Welfare. I carried on preaching and leading services for another 10 years as a Church of England Reader in two Stafford parishes, then pretty much walked away from any involvement in church life in 1999.
In my new career I published widely on the educational implications of the Children Act 1989 and other welfare issues during over 20 years' experience in Staffordshire and Wolverhampton Local Authorities until I took early retirement in 2011. I then ran training courses and worked with schools as an Independent Consultant and Trainer until I retired again from active work in September 2020.
I know this journey won't last forever, so this Prodigal is returning - well, sort of! I am the Convenor of the East Shropshire and Wolverhampton group of the Progressive Christianity Network.
Can Christianity and its central human figure still mean anything to those who are not convinced by the usual ideas of a 'God'? Maybe what we used to call 'God' is actually an aspect of ourselves that Jesus embodied in his life and death. Maybe deeds are far more important to our mutual wellbeing than creeds. This website offers a range of ways to explore these questions.
On this page you'll find details of how to obtain my book 'The Apostate's Creed'. PLUS a series of short essays 'Updating the Map' on the different kinds of themes in the Bible and how we might engage with it today as human literature.
PLUS a link to a page that explains why I am not 'a Christian' and another which sums up my approach to the Way of Jesus. Is there another way to engage with the Jesus story that doesn't require you to take it all literally or sign up to the religion that bears his name?
In Study Resources you'll find a PowerPoint (with audio) on 'Who Wrote the Bible'? And some Discussion Notes on the classic book from the 1960s, ''Honest to God' which still raises so many key questions that have never been answered. And my own first book: humanist reflections on the Psalms from 2011: 'Walking without God'. These are all FREE.
Book Reviews suggests some reading which I've found helpful.
Friendly Feedback is always very welcome. Please let me know if you have found my ideas interesting.
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