Thanks for visiting my website!
For the past twenty years I have been a Methodist minister (presbyter)
working in the British Conference. I'm originally from across the Irish Sea
and still retain close links with the Methodist Church in Ireland and the
Corrymeela Community. I currently split my time between the South
lands College in the University of Roehampton. Whilst it is never easy to do
two part-time jobs, the combination allows me to fulfil what I believe is my
bi-vocational calling to serious academic work and practical pastoral
ministry. The two roles allow me to try to follow the dictum of St Dominic,
founder of the Order of Preachers:
'Contemplate in order to share the fruits of your contemplation.'
At heart, I am an activist, and much of what you see here reflects my passion for justice, equality, honesty and reconciliation. I believe my faith demands that I get involved in transforming the world into what it is meant to be - a home where all are welcome and given their full dignity. As a clergyperson, I am committed to remain fully engaged in this struggle with the added responsibility of leading other Christians to roll up their sleeves and come off the fence. In the words of Seamus Heaney:
No such thing
I am also a member of the British Labour Party having stood twice before as a candidate for local elections in London. I am an active member of a Trade Union and am incredibly proud of Methodism's part in creating both institutions.
More recently, I became a co-founder, with my partner, Mark Rowland, and others, of the campaigning group, Dignity & Worth. This now boasts about 500 members from across the country and further afield, all committed to fighting for the justice, equality and dignity so long denied to LGBTQ+ people in the Methodist Church.
At heart, I am a preacher above all else, but try to avoid being 'preachy'! My apologies If I don't always succeed. My blog, 'Flagging Faith' allows me to give vent to my opinions on a whole range of topics, from equal marriage to US politics, flag design to international development. The title is deliberate, a combination of my vexillological leanings and spiritual health.
PLEASE NOTE: All the views expressed here are my own and do not represent those of my Church or anyone else who employs me.
Why the Cassowary? I spent five years working at the Queen's Foundation, directing the Global Christianity Programme. I discovered that the Methodist seminary which preceded Queen's - Handsworth College - had a cassowary on its official Coat of Arms and the adjacent street in north Birmingham was named Cassowary Street. It is still a bit of a mystery how a large flightless bird from Australia and Papua New Guinea ended up in a Brummie suburb, but it may have had something to do with Punch magazine and the number of Handsworth graduates who ended up in the mission field. In honour of that history, we adopted the cassowary as a symbol of our programme and I have had a strange fondness for the creature ever since! It reflects, I hope, my love for the World Church and especially that part of it called Methodist. I am a member of the World Methodist Council, and a member of the Coordinating Group of MTSE, the Methodist-related Theological Schools in Europe.