Race Across the World

I wonder if any of you have been watching the TV show “ Race across the World ” in the last few weeks. It’s a fascinating show. It features 5 couples from the UK racing (in this season across Canada) for £20,000 worth of prize money. Except what makes this race special is the competitors aren’t allowed any phones or any plane flights, and their budget is limited to cost of the equivalent airfare, and of course they have TV cameras following their every move. What I like about it is that not only do you travel with the couples across the beautiful scenery of Canada, but also you travel on a bit of their life story as well. There’s a pair of brothers who never got on as kids, who lost their dad and are trying to pick up the pieces of their relationship. There’s two dad-daughter couples battling through the highs and lows of a race together. But the couple whose story was perhaps the most moving was married couple Zeinib and Mobeen, medics from Manchester who for years have b

The Way

I have recently been watching The Mandalorian on Disney +. This hit Star Wars spin off series follows Din Djarin on his various adventures across the galaxy. The Mandalorian is full of religious language. The way of the Mandalore is a religion followed by the main character. There are rules to be followed, character traits to be admired and creeds to be spoken. There is much to admire about the way of the Mandalore. They prize honour and loyalty; they protect one another and take in foundlings. However, to me the way seems fairly empty. It is unclear where this way is taking them or where it comes from. It mostly seems to be an arbitrary set of rules and traditions. Interestingly early followers of Jesus called themselves followers of the way. In fact Jesus says in the Bible that he is the way.  John 14:6 says “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Like the way of the mandalore this is exclusive – there is only one way. Unl

The King's Crown

  2868 diamonds, 269 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds and 4 rubies. Those are the precious gemstones that we will see on Saturday, when King Charles exits Westminster Abbey wearing the Imperial State Crown, which is estimated to be worth between £3bn and £5bn. Weighing in at 1.06kilograms it is actually only half the weight of the other crown that will be used on Saturday, the St Edward’s Crown that is only ever worn at the moment of coronation, and that comes in at a hefty 2.23kg (that’s almost 5lbs). The word Coronation means to crown someone. It comes from the latin word corona which means crown, (you’ll remember corona-virus was a named after the crown like image when seen under a powerful microscope). While King Charles took over from his mother Queen Elizabeth the moment that she died on 8 th September, the symbolic high point of recognising him as the monarch will be when the archbishop of Canterbury puts the crown on his head. No pressure! Christians believe

Amazing Grace

  It’s been described as the “spiritual national anthem of America” [1] , the hymn Amazing Grace is probably one of the most beloved religious songs ever written, and this year marks the 250 th anniversary of origin of the song back in 1773. The song actually nearly disappeared into obscurity. It was one of a number of hymns written by church of England minister, John Newton with a friend of his, William Cowper when they lived in Olney in Northamptonshire. (William Cowper by the way once lived in Huntingdon and after which Cowper Road is named). But after slow beginnings the hymn grew in popularity in the US and indeed around the world, and has been sung at weddings, funerals, and special occasions ever since, including at memorials for the NASA astronauts in 1986 and at Ground Zero in New York in 2001. It is one of only a few Christian songs to have made it into the UK singles charts, and has been sung by artists as diverse as Rod Stewart, Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Frank

Bear Grylls in Ukraine

  I was very moved by the documentary last week on Channel 4 showing Bear Grylls, the scout ambassador, survival expert and TV presenter going into Ukraine to meet with and interview President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. It was a striking interview for a whole number of reasons: the courage of the individuals he met, many of whom had lost loved ones. The perseverance of the Ukrainian people through the challenges of winter and winter, and the resilience and leadership of Zelenskyy himself. At one point in the programme Bear Grylls met a Ukrainian family. The mother and young son had returned to Kiev from exile to live with the dad, seeking to carry on with normal life despite the considerable risks and threat of shelling. They gave Bear a pack of tea. They called it Victory tea, and they said that he needed to keep it until the war was over. At that point he could drink it to celebrate the victory. I found that very moving. Here was a normal family, like the ones known to so

The Sheep are in Danger!

Last Saturday if you walking in the Riverside Park in Huntingdon you may noticed a rather strange sight. The River Ouse had broken its banks and was flooding over the fields on both sides. That’s nothing new, and probably most of us have seen that before. But the field on the Godmanchester side is home to a flock of sheep at the moment, and as the floodwaters rose around 30 of them had become cut off on a slightly raised piece of land opposite the boathouse with the fast flowing river on one side and a massive lake on the other. Take a look at the Christ Church Huntingdon blogspot to see a photo, or there may still be one on the Huntingdon Living facebook page. When I saw them, they were beginning to start fighting and butting each other! Well a flurry of social media posts and photos later and the illustrious whatsapp group of our neighbourhood received a message that eventually a land rover had been spotted and rescue was on the way, though it sounds like it took a


 As you listen to this, I will hopefully have finished the Cambridge half-marathon, Sunday 5 th March (as I record this I haven’t done it yet). I’m currently a little apprehensive about the weather, but we’ll see how it goes. One thing that they’re planning on doing at the race is having pacers, people who try and run the race at a specific pace so if you’re going for a time of, say, 2 hours, all you have to do is keep up with them and you’ll do it in that time. Now, I’m not actually going to make use of a pacer on Sunday, because they run at a constant speed, and when I run I tend to set out quite quickly when I’m excited and then gradually slow down until at the end I’m hobbling along to the finish line. But I think it’s a really great idea! A pacer needs to be experienced, they need to know what they’re doing, and to set an example for you – so all you need to do is fix your eyes on them and you’ll get through just fine. Now, Jesus is a little bit like a pacer for