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John Davies
Austwick, North Yorkshire
Married to Diana. Priest in Charge of Clapham with Keasden and Austwick with Eldroth (Church of England)
Interests: Born in Walton Hospital, 1962. Raised in a house on the banks of the Mersey. Played football each break time for the entirety of my school life. Never much good at it but thoroughly addicted. Varied working life has included engineering apprenticeship, welder, draughtsman, volunteer in an outdoor pursuits centre, unemployed, civil servant, computer programmer, community worker, and now a Church of England vicar serving four parishes on the Lancs - Yorks border. Have previously lived in Waterloo, Llanbedr, Cardiff, Crosby, Toxteth, Cambridge, Wavertree, Norris Green, Croxteth Park, Lydford, Whitegate, and Queen Camel. Married to Diana since September 2009. Five (grown-up) stepchildren. Currently working hard on re-learning what it means to be human.
Recent Activity
John’s Notes: Clapham Village Newspaper, August 2020 Watching the school leavers of 2020 planting a time capsule in Clapham village park on the school’s last-ever day, 17th July, reminded me that a long time back - staggeringly, 49 years ago - I buried a time capsule of my own in... Continue reading
War is the metaphor of choice for the national effort against the pandemic: it is a fight, or a battle, and NHS workers are heroes; raising questions about government strategy feels treasonous; Johnson issues exhortations in cod-Churchillian style. Even if this is simply the favoured national cliché, it feels wrong:... Continue reading
Austwick Village Newsletter May 2020 In the space of a few short weeks, through acts of collective will, we have created a new sort of world. It is a world where hedgehogs safely meander across our roads; a world where armaments engineers now make medical equipment; a world where every... Continue reading
Johnny's in the basement Tryin' to find some medicine I'm on the pavement Worrying about the government The man in the white coat Says "Keep away", "Stay off" But I ain't got a dry cough And haven't had a pay-off Look out kid It's nothin' you did God knows when... Continue reading
John’s Notes: Parish Newsletter, March 2020 Mt Roineabhal from St Clement's Church, Rodel. Photo: Alastair McIntosh Roineabhal is a hill on Harris in the Western Isles of Scotland, its anorthosite granite similar in composition to rocks in the mountains of the Moon. When the people of Harris made their representations... Continue reading
John’s Notes: Parish Newsletter editorial, February 2020 At the age of 21 I was made redundant and joined the ranks of the unemployed. It was one of the most formative experiences of my life, if entirely unwelcome. I found myself unprepared for a difficult journey: from being a young engineering... Continue reading
My tribute to Graham Maule written for the Greenbelt festival website. The words and music of the Iona Community’s Wild Goose Resource Group have been central to Greenbelt’s spirituality for upwards of three decades, and whilst the Wild Geese have changed in formation many times over the years, at their... Continue reading
The God of all eternity, Unbound by space yet always near, Is present where his people meet To celebrate the coming year. What shall we offer God today - Our dreams of what we cannot see, Or, with eyes fastened to the past, Our dread of what is yet to... Continue reading
John Davies finds out what sustains Elton John Review published in the Church Times, 29 November 2019. ARGUABLY one of the most significant acts of public liturgy of the 20th century, Elton John’s rendition of “Candle in the Wind” at the funeral service of Diana, Princess of Wales, reached a... Continue reading
Wray Parish Church, 6 November 2019 I deliver many eulogies in my line of work, but this is one I never imagined I’d be giving when Diana and I moved back up north just a short drive from here early last year, after almost a decade in the West Country,... Continue reading
John’s Notes: Parish Newsletter editorials November 2019 As autumn takes hold the year cycles on towards winter. We defy the dark evenings by lighting bonfires, we deny the cold by burning fuel indoors. And the life of the church cycles on also, into a time of remembering - lost loved... Continue reading
A harvest poem in troubled times Harvest gives perspective On this troubled world we’re in A world, some say, in chaos While others speak of sin There is so much anxiety On the direction where we’re going There is so much uncertainty No easy way of knowing So it’s good... Continue reading
John’s Notes: Parish Newsletter editorials September 2019 What is the force that drives nature? What makes flowers flourish, what is the creative force causing health and growth in the crops and creatures we celebrate at Harvest time? It’s a mystery to us - which maybe only poetry can express. Dylan... Continue reading
"...Now if Dorothy was sitting next to you in a church pew now, you know that she’d be in your ear making comments like, ‘What’s he saying, I can’t hear him?’ or ‘I don’t agree with that.’ She was loud, Dot, she knew her own mind very well indeed and... Continue reading
John’s Notes: Parish Newsletter editorials August 2019 Morwenstow Church today Of the many eccentric clerics Revd Robert Hawker stands out. Dressed in a claret-coloured coat, a blue fisherman's jersey, long sea-boots, a pink brimless hat and a poncho made from a yellow horse blanket, Hawker talked to birds, invited his... Continue reading
I used this passage, paraphrased from a Church Times article by Angela Ashwin, as my introduction to Communion on Sunday 21 July 2019, on the weekend the world was commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. ‘The wine danced’ DURING the first Moon landing, something remarkable happened: a... Continue reading
John’s Notes: Parish Newsletter editorials July 2019 “I often hear adults say: ‘We need to give the next generation hope’. But I don’t want your hope. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I do. Every day. And want you to act. I want you... Continue reading
‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day. ‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first—verdict afterwards.’ ‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first!’ ‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple. ‘I won’t!’ said Alice. ‘Off... Continue reading
John's Notes: Parish Newsletter editorials June 2019 Continue reading
John’s Notes: Parish Newsletter editorials May 2019 The Queen said to Alice, ‘I’ll give you something to believe. I’m just one hundred and one, five months and a day.’ ‘I can’t believe that!’ said Alice. I remember once visiting a nursing home where in the lounge an aged lady beckoned... Continue reading
The writer Robert Macfarlane says that we are living in an age of ‘untimely surfacings' - of ‘unburials’, as he calls them. In this globally overheated era of ours the long-hidden dead are literally rising again from the earth. Across the Arctic, ancient methane deposits are leaking through “windows” in... Continue reading
John’s Notes: Parish Magazine editorials April 2019 This is in praise of all Resurrection People, in celebration of those who never say die. When I say ‘Resurrection People’ I’m thinking of those who have a zest for life: like George, an ex-parishioner of mine who once abseiled 100ft off a... Continue reading
John’s Notes: Parish Magazine editorials March 2019 Justine Sacco made a quip to her small circle of Twitter followers and it ruined her life forever. It was a feeble little joke, in poor taste, sent absent-mindedly at the start of a flight from New York to South Africa. As the... Continue reading
John’s Notes: Parish Magazine Editorials February 2019 “My life, it’s slipping away,” says Billy Connolly, the Glaswegian comedian who in recent years has been living with the degenerative disease of Parkinson’s. “But it doesn’t frighten me, it’s an adventure. I still get furious, but then I just collapse in laughter.”... Continue reading