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John Davies
Queen Camel, Somerset
Married to Diana. Rector of the Cam Vale Benefice, Somerset (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 six rural Somerset parishes. Have lived in Waterloo, Llanbedr, Cardiff, Crosby, Toxteth, Cambridge, Wavertree, Norris Green, Croxteth Park, Lydford, Whitegate, and now the very different setting of 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: Parish Magazine Editorial November 2018 The day our communities stand together to remember those who have fallen in the conflicts of the past century, November 11th, is also the Feast Day of Saint Martin of Tours, the patron saint of both soldiers and conscientious objectors. Saint Martin fits... Continue reading
John’s Notes: Parish Magazine article, October 2018 [1] In 1993, when the Dual Cyclone vacuum cleaner arrived, people praised the genius of inventor James Dyson. The same James Dyson who had been less celebrated in the previous fifteen years when he had come up with 5,126 machines, before the one... Continue reading
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Barbara Ehrenreich, Natural Causes: Life, Death and the Illusion of Control. There's a lot more biology in this book than (a) I'd expected there to be, thinking of Barbara Ehrenreich primarily as a investigative writer and social historian; and (b) I've ever read before in one place, science not really... Continue reading
Love is not a thing, you can get, or own. And it’s more than a feeling you find described in a pop song or a sensation that mysteriously comes and goes. Love is a verb. And a verb - as many of us were taught in primary school - is... Continue reading
John’s Notes Parish Magazine article September 2018 September 30th is International Blasphemy Day - is that something for Christians to celebrate? Established a decade ago, "International Blasphemy Day encourages individuals and groups to openly express criticism of religion and blasphemy laws." Organiser Ronald Lindsay says, "We think religious beliefs should... Continue reading
From the Inside Out: Reimagining Mission, Recreating the World. Ryan Kuja, Cascade Books There are countless books critiquing Christian mission's historic complicity in the impositions of colonial empire; and other more recent writings bringing that critique into the present day, redefining empire as neoliberalism's global reach. Ryan Kuja follows this... Continue reading
‘Putting away all falsehood, let us speak the truth to our neighbours, for we are members of one another.’ Christian speech is not just neighbourly in a soft way. It is a way of talking about all others which recognises that however different we may be in terms of culture,... Continue reading
Sometimes we just can’t get enough of wanting a thing and then when we get it - we find we don’t want it any more.... ...The crowd with its famished craving wants more and more feeding with healings and miracles and food. They want a sign like the manna in... Continue reading
John’s Notes - Parish Magazine editorial, August 2018 I like the story which the Christian speaker J. John tells about the way he avoids admitting to people he’s just met that he’s a ‘Reverend’, because of the preconceptions people carry about that role, and instead being creative in telling people... Continue reading
When Barbara the Methodist minister was told her church building was going to be sold off and not replaced, she had to use her loaf. “I want you to carry on serving in the centre of Liverpool,” said the Methodist superintendent. Lacking the usual ingredients for a ministry: no building,... Continue reading
... the good news is this. God, through the gospel writers, put Crazy Mary at the heart of the resurrection story. When Jesus put death to bed by rising again he made sure that Mary was chief witness to the events of that morning. What this tells us about Christ... Continue reading
Jesus came from another world altogether than the world which John and Herod understood and in which they danced their antagonistic dance. It is possible that Herod could neither admire nor fear Jesus because he just could not comprehend Jesus’ message, a message of absolute love for neighbours, allies and... Continue reading
... We liked Jesus the youth, devoted to learning, devoted to prayer. For those of us who find learning and prayer difficult he seemed to be acting for us, on our behalf, living out his life that way. We appreciated and accepted him when he was our devout young carpenter.... Continue reading
‘God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living,’ wrote Solomon in the book of Wisdom. ‘For he created all things so that they might exist; the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no destructive poison in them, and... Continue reading
John’s Notes - Parish Magazine editorial, July 2018 Not so much the FIFA World Cup, it’s the alternative World Cup which has caught my attention of late. The Conifa World Cup is an international football tournament for states, minorities, stateless peoples and regions not affiliated to FIFA, organised by the... Continue reading
... One small detail of this gospel story which struck me reading it this time - is that it wasn’t just the one boat struck by that storm on Galilee that day: ‘other boats’ were on that lake, Mark records. Now, you may not be totally sure if you are... Continue reading
John’s Notes: Parish Magazines editorial, June 2018 The Barnsley writer, wit, and raconteur Ian McMillan lives what he calls a ‘peripatetic word-driven lifestyle’ (he was onstage at Clapham Village Hall on 6th June). A consequence of this is that he wakes up in lots of different hotel rooms and the... Continue reading
... This is crucial for the times we are living through. For we are a homeless people grasping for our identity in things which may harm and embitter us, which may divide and alienate us from each other. If we can grasp that in God comes our sense of self-worth,... Continue reading
... Things come in threes when you're celebrating: Hip hip hooray!, hip hip hooray!, hip hip hooray! Blondes, Brunettes and Redheads could tell you, The Three Musketeers would let you know, Every Tom, Dick and Harry express this: Things come in threes. Mark Twain once made up a saying about... Continue reading
“I wonder how you feel about the Bible? I know a lot of people who feel conflicted about it, somewhat wary of it, for having had the experience of turning to it for spiritual inspiration, or guidance, for good learning and direction, but instead finding themselves embroiled in tales of... Continue reading
My first Sunday among the farmers of the Dales had me preaching on sheep: On being sheep. Continue reading
... Because for those of us who have grasped this, the power of the cross and resurrection means the transformation of our lives. The ruler of this world has been driven out of our hearts; the Saviour of the world is there instead. God does not condemn us - and... Continue reading
What a beautiful day ... what a beautiful day, missus, for preaching a freshened-up version of a favourite of mine, Turning the tables on the taxman (2018), featuring the celebrated 1989 court case of Kenneth Arthur Dodd, "Singer, photographic playboy and failed accountant!” alongside Caesar's coin, the widow's mite and... Continue reading
... Graham fought hard to avoid the Messiah Complex to which so many lesser leaders - in all walks of life - have succumbed. To do otherwise would have been Satanic. He worked tirelessly to direct his audiences to Jesus, the One whose scandalous behaviour was and is to overcome... Continue reading
An influential Christian campaigner for women’s suffrage, for pacifism and for women’s ordination, Maude Royden, saw the Christian faith and journey to peace and justice as ‘the great adventure’ and derided the Church of England’s reluctance to walk on the wild side of reform. In one speech Royden reminded her... Continue reading