Pastoral

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Abide with me

by Andy Robinson

A couple of Saturday afternoons ago I sat down to watch the F.A.Cup Final. I’m not entirely sure why- given that it was between Arsenal and Chelsea I wanted both teams to lose. But shortly before the match that strange old tradition took place- the singing of Abide with Me. Except this year there was […]

Rejoice with those who rejoice…

by Andy Robinson

A couple of weeks ago I was able to stay with my parents. Because I live on my own, the Government’s support bubble system kicked in and I was allowed to visit them. As I did so, I was very conscious of those who were not in the same position. At that point those living […]

Solitude and Isolation

by Andy Robinson

I happened to be speaking on the subject of singleness exactly a month before lockdown was introduced. With hindsight I might have included some material on singleness in a pandemic but I wasn’t a sufficiently good prophet to foresee what would take place. However, the experience of being on my own in a flat for […]

One day at a time

by Andy Robinson

Back in March Boris Johnson talked about turning the tide on the virus in twelve weeks. To be fair to him, he didn’t promise life would return to normal by the end of June- but I suspect many of us assumed that would be the case. So we began to have in our minds a […]

The will of God

by Andy Robinson

In a parallel universe somewhere I am currently in Heathrow Airport, about to fly out to Kenya to speak at a couple of conferences next week. It is one of a number of events that I was looking forward to this year that will no longer happen. And my own experience in this regard is […]

Pandemic Preaching

by Andy Robinson

What do you preach during a pandemic? I’m conscious that is probably not one of the most pressing questions for many people at this time. But I have been struck by how important our online services have been for people. We have even by joined by those who don’t normally attend church. As a result […]

It is a call to change

by Andy Robinson

The question is beginning to be asked: what should we learn from the coronavirus pandemic? There are wise answers around- we need to be better prepared for such eventualities. More profoundly we need to reflect on how we value certain groups. The vital individuals over the last few weeks have been cleaners, hospital porters, carers […]

Perspective

by Andy Robinson

“Two men looked through prison bars/One saw mud, the other saw stars” That little ditty has been running through my mind a bit over the last week. I suppose lockdown naturally brings jail metaphors to mind. To be honest I am beginning to regard Port Meadow as a fairly pleasant prison exercise yard. You wander […]

The week that was

by Andy Robinson

It is the odd mixture that strikes me at the moment. Deep tragedy mixed with the strange amusement of a novel situation. Yesterday I conducted a funeral for a lady (that I didn’t know) who had died in her 80s. There were two others present and the service ended up taking around 10-15 minutes. I […]

Surreal- yet not surprising

by Andy Robinson

None of us will ever forget last night. The time when the Prime Minister was forced to order us to stay in our houses. “Surreal” is a word that I have heard a lot over the weekend. We struggle to believe what is actually going on. How can life change so much so quickly? And […]