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11:04am Tuesday 4th March 2014
10:41am Tuesday 25th February 2014
We can rely on the bishops – Anglican or Catholic – to do anything, except teach the Christian faith. The hierarchy of both churches have just had a good old go at the Government for its changes in the rules about benefits. Of course, the church has a responsibility to the poor which derives from the words of Jesus Christ Himself who, according to St Luke’s gospel, said: “Blessed are the poor.”
11:09am Tuesday 18th February 2014
10:17am Tuesday 11th February 2014
WHENEVER we were enjoying a spell of fine weather, my granddad, a Leeds newsagent, would say: “We’ll pay for this – you’ll see.” He knew what he was talking about. Every morning, from 1911 until 1955 he got out of bed at 4am, walked to the bridge in Armley Road, picked up his papers then set off with two full bags around his shoulders on his four-mile delivery round.
10:53am Tuesday 4th February 2014
SOME things are too horrific to write about. Even the seasoned journalist recoils from the truly terrible. Over this past year I’ve written about wars and atrocities, disasters and catastrophes galore. I think I once even mentioned Lord Kinnock.
9:42am Tuesday 28th January 2014
CHRISTENINGS in this country have become such posh and trendy affairs – like society weddings. We live in the age of the designer Baptism. Personally, I prefer to do Christenings as part of the Parish Communion, rather than hold them as hole-and-corner affairs in private at 3pm on a Sunday.
10:27am Tuesday 21st January 2014
IAM tempted to stop reading the papers. I mean, to open any of the regional or national newspapers this last couple of weeks is to become convinced that everyone is either a paedophile, serial groper or, alternatively, a victim of such a despicable person.
10:28am Tuesday 14th January 2014
10:32am Tuesday 7th January 2014
MOST of us celebrated the 12 days of Christmas as a time to exercise peace and love. At the Wren church of St James’s Church, Piccadilly, in London, they used the festival to demonstrate prejudice and hatred. The vicar and church council erected a replica of Israel’s security fence as part of their propaganda promotion called Bethlehem Unwrapped. The replica wall is so huge you can hardly see the church for it. It is lit up after sunset when a montage of images and anti-Israel slogans are projected on to it. There are, however, no counterbalancing images of the bombed-out Israeli buses, pubs, restaurants and nightclubs which occurred so frequently in Israel before the security barrier was installed.
12:21pm Tuesday 31st December 2013
10:50am Tuesday 24th December 2013
CHARLES DICKENS’ books are not the gospels, of course, but his Christmas stories are worth reading again at this time of the year. A Christmas Carol exhibits the spirit of an English Christmas, perhaps more perfectly than anything in our literature.
10:55am Tuesday 17th December 2013
1:52pm Tuesday 10th December 2013
10:10am Tuesday 3rd December 2013
THE world is suddenly a far more dangerous place owing to Barack Obama’s, David Cameron’s and others’ willingness to be duped by the treacherous Iranian government which, following recent superpower talks, have consolidated its perceived right to continue enriching uranium.
9:48am Tuesday 26th November 2013
PAUL SYKES, the business tycoon, has made a substantial contribution to Ukip’s funds for he wants “…to free Britain from the European Union”. Fair enough. He has a right to do as he likes with his own money and there are many less welloff people in Britain who cherish the same wish.
10:40am Tuesday 19th November 2013
OBRAVE new world that hath such people in it. Last week, I came across a phenomenon – a Church of England clergyman so politically-correct it set your teeth on edge. He had given permission for an independent organisation to hold a service in his church. This organisation had thoughtfully printed its own order of service and invited the clergyman to read the written prayers. He did so – after a fashion. But where the printed original said, as it might have been, “We pray that every man may keep his courage...” the priest altered the line and read: “We pray that every person may keep their courage.”
10:25am Tuesday 12th November 2013
“FOUR legs good, two legs bad,” was the slogan coined by the communist animal dictatorship in George Orwell’s Animal Farm. The obvious unfairness of the slogan is because it takes no account of the conduct of either twolegged creatures or four-legged ones. It is simply a matter of whether you are two-legged or four-legged that counts. It is a statement of political prejudice.
10:52am Tuesday 5th November 2013
THIS weekend it will be Remembrance Sunday and, as chaplain to the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Chapel, I have the annual honour of leading their evocative commemoration at the war memorial in the City and then preaching for the church service.
12:11pm Tuesday 29th October 2013
SO we’ve gone and done it again and mucked around with the clocks. Now it’s dark at 5pm and, in a month’s time, it will be dark at four. Why do we do it when experience and oft-repeated research has proved beyond any doubt that the darker evenings cause more deaths on the roads than darker mornings?
11:59am Tuesday 22nd October 2013
WE are approaching Halloween. This is a weird innovation – when I was a lad growing up in Leeds in the 1950s we contented ourselves with mischief night, November 4, the night before Bonfire Night, when we cheekily knocked on our neighbours’ doors, and then ran away before they could catch us and clip us around the ear.
10:36am Tuesday 15th October 2013
11:33am Tuesday 8th October 2013
LAST Sunday, my wife and I walked the two miles across the golf course here under the South Downs to the 8am Prayer Book Service at St Mary’s parish church and the dewy grass sparkled white like so many dropped sixpences in the brilliant early sunlight.
11:26am Tuesday 1st October 2013
“LET us be quite clear: this appalling, brutal and cowardly scene recently played out in Nairobi is not done in the name of a religion – not in the name of Islam – but in the name of terrorism.” That’s what David Cameron said the other day, so solemnly. He generally speaks solemnly, except when he’s speaking fatuously and, being a man of such oratorical gifts, he is when the occasion demands it, able to be both solemn and fatuous at the same time. As indeed he was the other day. The BBC won’t even go so far as to call these murderous thugs by their correct name: terrorists.
11:01am Tuesday 24th September 2013
OH heck, that’s torn it! Poor old Godfrey Bloom of Ukip just doesn’t understand the rules. He’s been offensive to women, but the only people allowed to be that are footballers, fundamentalist Muslims and all those rap artists so lovingly reviewed by The Guardian.
11:16am Tuesday 17th September 2013
12:22pm Tuesday 10th September 2013
11:26am Tuesday 3rd September 2013
HAS there suddenly occurred a stunning outbreak of good sense? The Commons voted against an attack on President Bashar Assad and it looks as if President Barack Obama – after ten days rattling his sabre and banging his drum – has backed down too.
12:27pm Tuesday 27th August 2013
THAT’S it then, the last Bank Holiday of the year. It’s hard to believe that twothirds of 2013 has gone – with the first four months of it lost in the big chill. So what we all need is some good news.
11:51am Tuesday 20th August 2013
WHATEVER happened to the Arab Spring? It seems ages since all those social media savvy secular youngsters, intoxicated by popular notions of “democracy,” orchestrated revolutions across North Africa and were cheered on by The Guardian, The Independent and The New York Times.
12:00pm Tuesday 13th August 2013
11:20am Tuesday 6th August 2013
BY seven o’clock this morning I’d learnt a new word: “fubbing”. Have you ever fubbed? I haven’t. I’ve done many other things which I’m sure are very reprehensible, but as to fubbing, I’m not guilty, mi’ lord. I’ve cussed on too many occasions. I’ve dozed off in lectures and sermons, and once I even revoked at the village whist drive which nearly got me exiled from all polite company. But no, I ain’t never fubbed and I’m not going to start, for the simple reason that I don’t have anything to fub with.
12:18pm Tuesday 30th July 2013
HERE’S a tale of two journeys. It was the best of trips, it was the worst of trips. The train ride from the South Coast into London began well. Drawing out of Eastbourne with the early sun throwing the Downs into pastel shades, we stopped at Polegate and collected a shoal of schoolboys.
2:03pm Tuesday 23rd July 2013
12:21pm Wednesday 17th July 2013
THERE is something sublimely comical about simply living in Britain these days. For example, wondering in an idle moment what the Meteorological Office is for. I did think it was to do with their having hugely expensive computers so that they can tell us accurately what the weather will be. But that can’t be what the Met Office exists for, because they make such a habit of getting it wrong. Remember the other year the promised “barbecue summer” when we all shivered in the wind and the rain? Or the drought and accompanying hosepipe ban when it proceeded to pour so unrelentingly that folk were caught trying to build an ark?
12:08pm Tuesday 9th July 2013
THE Church of England has apologised for the abuse of children by its priests and other officers. In issuing “an unreserved apology”, the General Synod said the scandal of child abuse would remain “a deep source of grief and shame for years to come”.
12:06pm Tuesday 2nd July 2013
IAN BRADY – is he mad or bad? Why can’t he be both? Last week the tribunal to decide whether the Moors Murderer should remain in a psychiatric hospital or be transferred to prison was treated to a barrow-load of technical vocabulary.
10:46am Tuesday 25th June 2013
10:26am Tuesday 18th June 2013
3:29pm Tuesday 11th June 2013
11:24am Tuesday 4th June 2013
THE sound of stable doors being slammed shut is echoing throughout the land. Following the murder of April Jones by Mark Bridger, there is a debate – if lurid articles all over the papers can be dignified with the description “debate” – about whether to ban child pornography on the internet.
2:17pm Tuesday 28th May 2013
10:17am Tuesday 21st May 2013
ARE you still quivering? It’s a serious question. I’ve just been reading about a new movement which began in the US – where else? – called the Quiverers. They are Evangelical Christians who have taken literally the words of Psalm 127: “Lo, children, and the fruit of the womb, are an heritage and gift that cometh of the Lord. Like as the arrows in the hand of the giant, even so are the young children. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.”
11:14am Tuesday 14th May 2013
GPS tagging devices are being used to keep track of people with dementia. If only this enlightened scheme had been operating in the days of the great GK Chesterton. When he was a reporter on The Evening News he once sent a telegram to say: “I’m in Huddersfield. Where should I be?”
10:24am Tuesday 7th May 2013
FRACKING for shale gas has transformed energy supply in the US, brought down prices and reduced the need for imports of other fossil fuels. It is already contributing massively to economic recovery in the US. Self-sufficiency in the provision of energy is bound to have profound consequences for US foreign policy too and lead to a revolution in geo-political power balances.
11:39am Tuesday 30th April 2013
4:33pm Tuesday 23rd April 2013
A HAPPY St George’s Day. It’s very good to see English people making more of our Patron Saint. In this we are following the excellent example set by our friends in Wales, Scotland and Ireland who always celebrate David, Andrew and Patrick with great revelry and panache.
11:17am Tuesday 16th April 2013
12:35pm Tuesday 9th April 2013
WHEN it comes to the concept of hate crimes, I confess I can’t, as they say, get my head round it. Doesn’t all criminal activity against the person involve a degree of hate, or at the very least dislike or lack of respect for the victim? Or are we to suppose there are not only hate crimes but love crimes during the perpetration of which the villain says such as: “Give us a kiss love while I snatch your purse – or I’ll knock your block off.”
10:11am Tuesday 2nd April 2013
EASTER is a time for love, peace, joy and the celebration of life. So naturally every year there’s a row. This Easter it’s the turn of George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, to drop the incendiary bombs. He has accused David Cameron of “aiding and abetting” the persecution of Christians in Britain.
10:27am Tuesday 19th March 2013
GENERAL ELECTION: CONSTITUENCIES
- Barnard Castle
- Bishop Auckland
- Crook & Weardale
- Durham City
- York & Harrogate
- Newton Aycliffe
- Richmond & The Dales
- Tyne & Wear
- Whitby & Scarborough