Author Archives: Kevin Watson

To Malvern with Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other

If Karl Barth really said: “We must hold the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other,” he did refer to it in interview in 1966: “The Pastor and the Faithful should not deceive themselves into thinking that they are a religious society, which has to do with certain themes; they live in the world. We still need – according to my old formulation – the Bible and the Newspaper.” Armed with both, we headed for Malvern, which holds an annual Science and Faith Weekend.

 Mgr. George Lemaitre who invented the Big Bang Theory talks with Albert Einstein

I have always been suspicious of a Faith that won’t have a conversation with Science, or Science that pretends it doesn’t need Faith! In a world which seems to perpetuate a myth that science and Faith are at best incompatible, and at worst bitter enemies, determined to destroy each other it is so brave of Malvern to host a Science and Faith Weekend. Each year they attract respected and renowned speakers from the perspectives of not only science, but also politics, economics, philosophy and beyond. Described as ‘A Festival of Ideas’ there are lectures, seminars, workshops for all ages, with plenty of opportunities for questions and answers, exploring issues deeper and in relation to faith. No wonder it attracts hundreds of people who want to explore the meaning of life, and how Science and Faith can enrich our experience of that life. For us, the two came together in one person in our act of worship, as I shared it with the Right Revd. Dr. John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, who is also a passionate chemist.         Continue reading

Prayer, Power, Parliament and P.M.

An honour certainly, to be invited to a reception for Church Leaders given by Prime Minister, Theresa May at 10 Downing Street. Before attending, I had opportunity to attend Eucharist at Westminster Abbey. I prayed in the garden of St. Catherine’s, where in the former monastery, where Henry III committed himself  to Magna Carta, and then I looked up to see Big Ben above the roof-line – here is the close relationship between our Christian Faith and the history of government. Just before the service, I spoke with the presiding minister, telling him I was going to the reception. In the prayers for the world, he included special prayers for the P.M. and for the denominational leaders. I thought that was very special, and I felt like so many people do, when they hear we have included them in our church services. As prime minister, Mrs May needs our prayers, and Scripture calls us to pray for our leaders.

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people —for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour…” 1 Timothy 2:1-3

                                                                               I hope we all do! Continue reading

“For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful”

An anonymous moderator of southerly disposition was overheard saying this prayer before breakfast. I asked if this was a prayer for the food to be eaten or for the day ahead to be lived in. As she selected the latter, this got me thinking whether we begin each day in thankful spirit for what lies before us, and do we offer those thanks to God in prayer. And does it depend whether we are looking forward to recreation and reflection, or just think we might escape the day without pain or struggle. But what if we know we face hard and testing hours, or our health is failing us? Continue reading