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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
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
John’s Notes Parish Magazine Editorials, January 2019 In my childhood we welcomed in New Year by standing beside the River Mersey at midnight to hear the ships out on the Irish Sea sound their foghorns. They made an odd sound, groaning and weirdly pitched - not unlike the sound of... Continue reading
John’s Notes: Parish Magazine Editorial December 2018 If Jesus was born today what would it be like? Well, Mary was an ordinary girl, so if it happened today I picture the angel Gabriel appearing to her at home while she was sitting reading the TV Quick or tapping her on... Continue reading
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
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