ABOUT ME                                                                   

AN INVITATION TO SHARE MY JOURNEY 2022.p[...]
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How did I get to here? I often wonder! I no longer have any official role or status in any church; I just turn up to Evensong and help my historic City centre church with tourists and visitors. I have made my own very modest contributions to keeping the story alive  because no-one else ever quite says what I want to say myself! It may help someone else.

 

I was brought up with Church, the child of a Baptist Manse, baptised as a teenager, then a deacon, youth leader and even a Minister (briefly) - but always a bit of a rebel.

 

After taking a Sociology degree and CQSW at Bath University, (the first boy from my stuffy grammar school ever to go on to study such a subject), 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! Then, following the sudden death of my father - who was also rather unconventional - I decided to take a break and study theology at the radical Northern Baptist College and University of Manchester. This was pastoral suicide as far as many Baptist Churches were concerned but it opened my eyes to a world of academic thinking and experimental worship and practice-based theology. My 'faith' had to grow or die now that it had emerged from its safe little world.

 

I did a postgraduate theology degree (First Class!) focusing especially on church history and social and moral theology. I even learnt to read the NT in Greek, (which I've now forgotten). I also spent a short time at the World Council of Churches Study Institute at Bossey in Geneva. These were exciting years in the late 1970s and early 80s as I encountered the whole area of contemporary debate about God, the incarnation etc. In those days the nation was actually interested. But the Church soon closed it all down and has retreated into a mixture of fudge, denial and inevitable decline. 

 

Because it seemed the logical next thing to do I then became a Minister myself for over 5 years in a Midlands brewery town. But I'm not sure that such a role was ever right for me. I simply didn't have the confidence in what I was supposed to believe, though those outside the Church seemed to welcome my interest and care. I generally felt  more at home there! So I then went 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 as my full-time career. I carried on occasionally preaching and leading services for another 10 years as a Church of England Lay-Reader in two Stafford parishes, then pretty much walked away from any involvement in church life in 1999.

 

As well as my day-to-day work, 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 courses and worked with schools as an Independent Consultant and Trainer until I retired again from active work in early 2020. 

 

I know I have set myself an impossible task - to redefine 'Christianity' without a God. I am nobody important or influential - just one beggar telling another beggar where there might be some bread. But this journey won't last forever, so this Prodigal is returning to ask some awkward questions before it is too late. 

 

I am also the Convenor of the East Shropshire and Wolverhampton group of the Progressive Christianity Network.

 

  

WELCOME. This website contains a variety of resources to interest those looking for a radical and progressive approach to the Jesus story.  You may have been told there is only one response; take it or leave it. That may be true for most believers and non-believers alike. I'm more interested in those who may have given it all up or are just hanging on by the skin of their teeth but who are open to finding a new way to go in our C21st context. 

Do you have to believe the whole Bible literally? What do we mean by 'God'? Who was Jesus really? What does it mean to walk in his 'Way'? For those who are prepared to risk losing the 'faith' they have or searching for something that  makes sense in the modern world, I hope this will encourage you to continue in your own journey. Feedback or invitations to speak are always welcome. 

 

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