MOST RECENT POSTS

In this column you will find the most recent posts unless you have selected a specific poem, meditation or collection/index in which case that single item will appear here.

Friday, 23 March 2018

News of a songbook and Cancer 4


This has been a remarkable two weeks. Last week our printer delivered 250 copies of the songbook called ‘Sing of God and Science’ that I have been compiling over the past year. It is aimed at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children and a copy has gone to every Church of England primary school in Ely Diocese (mainly in Cambridgeshire but some in Norfolk, UK). There are nineteen songs in the book, nine of them written within schools in the Diocese; the remainder written by Barney Leeke (a fellow Licensed Lay Minister) and myself. It has drawn several favourable comments and I am in course of working out how to make it more widely available. When it is available, I will make it known here on this blog how copies can be obtained.

The compilation of the book has taken longer than we originally hoped and has happened alongside my diagnosis and treatment for Non-Hodkins Lymphoma, needing first chemotherapy and then radio-therapy. Just this week the consultant told us that he could find no residual trace of the cancer and that he thought there was a good chance it would not recur, having reached this milestone one year after treatment ended. I was moved from a four monthly to a six monthly review pattern. Wonderful news and a time for immense gratitude.

Both the treatment and the book project have entailed a lot of waiting and we have learned just how hard waiting can be, both by our own experience and through talking with some of the very many other cancer patients we met. Throughout both situations we have been very aware of being borne up in prayer by many, many friends and knowing that has undoubtedly sustained us at the more difficult times. Our grateful thanks to all of you. Alongside finding strength in this, we have also been consistently grateful for the amazing resources and the truly remarkable staff at all levels at Addenbrookes. We are so very grateful to them and I have also been profoundly grateful to Pam who has watched over me with a very great concern and done all she possibly could to help me be positive and comfortable throughout the year.

We are also very grateful to have been within easy driving distance of the hospital. For the many patients who live further away than we do, regimes similar to mine must be way, way more tiring, especially for those who have to negotiate the unpredictability of the A14 as it is in course of being re-developed.

So it has been a year of blessings amidst the unpredictability of the chemical battle being waged within me and we are both thrilled to have reached this stage. Our prayers now go out especially for friends we know who have not been so blessed and, as ever, it is so hard to even begin to make sense of the less successful outcomes of other peoples’ treatments. We can only be sad with them and for them.


This entry could go on and on, and have no-one left reading it all the way through – so I will stop now and ask those of you who have walked alongside us to give thanks and praise as we are, for all the blessed moments of our recent lives. However, it is good to be able to add into all of this the news that I have now been formally invited to be a Visiting Fellow at St John’s College, Durham for the whole of the Summer term to work on further ideas for singing of God and Science more widely than just for children. This, too, has been an amazing morale booster in the last few weeks and being ‘cleared’ by the consultant means that we can be less apprehensive about being well enough to enjoy the ‘un-flat’ terrain of Durham. once more, we feel very, very greatly blessed.
Radiotherapy mask fashioned to 
the shape of a patient’s face to ensure
that the treatment is consistently precisely 
targeted.

The two pictures represent something of the twin passage of the songbook and the treatment during the last year.

If you are minded to read more of this story, you can access Cancer 1 HERE
Cancer 2 HERE and
Cancer 3 HERE

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe
It is currently thought that the Universe has at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars! Hence the use of the word ‘scintilla’ for a mere ten thousand billion.

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)
Cross and Particle Accelerator. The words of 'A Prayer for Understanding' can be viewed by clicking on this image

Nebula (Embroidery)

Nebula (Embroidery)
Nebula (Embroidery) to accompany the poem 'Invitation' which can be found by clicking on the image.

Orange Galaxy

Orange Galaxy
'Orange Galaxy' posted to accompany 'Bounded and Boundless'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower
Cosmic Icon 7 - Summerflower Nebula (Acrylic)

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth
Cosmic Ikon 8: Moth Nebula(imagined-acrylic) The Gold field of deep space is intended to convey the Lordship of Christ over the whole of the Cosmos

Surprise garden rose (Photo)

Surprise garden rose (Photo)
This beautiful head of roses in our garden, which are giving off a delightful perfume in the morning sun, seems a fitting picture to link to the sonnet 'Evolution and Beauty'. Let the picture take you there. It is a surprise because it is growing high on a bush of otherwise pure yellow roses: amazing!

Cross and Vortex

Cross and Vortex
'Cross and Vortex' to accompany 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Glory'. Click on the image to go to the poem/hymn.

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)
Gaseous Cosmic Threads: Mixed media - acrylics and painted threads

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)
Warm Umbrian Hills: Click image to take you to the poem St Francis' Sky

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)
'Cosmic Labyrinth' - This icon is a symbol of the path through the near reaches of the Cosmos with its 'Havens' where current advances in science (2012/13) are celebrated. By clicking on the picture you will be taken to the latest version of the poem of the same name.

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)
Time, perhaps to consider a restorative break before the approach of Advent/ Christmas. Let this image take you to 'On Drawing Apart'.

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)
On the South shore of Iona is a bay which shows the industrial scarring of a beautiful place. Read of it by clicking on the picture

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)
The Imaginary Butterfly Nebula . Anything like this would be a real Curiosity! The image will link you to the reflection titled 'Curiosity' which is actually a celebration of the achievement of landing the Mars Rover of that name

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)
'Light of the world' posted to accompany 'To Light'. Find the poem by clicking on the image.

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)
Iona from Fionnphort. At this point of the Isle of Mull, the end of a pilgrimage or trip to Iona is in sight. Click on this picture to take you to the poem 'IONA - The Pilgrim Way'

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)
Cross and simple prayer rope: make one like this to use as an aid to using ‘The Jesus Prayer'