Not Ready


The following poem is a reflection on one of the most difficult funerals I have ever had to lead. It contains upsetting themes. If it leads you to a dark place, please take time to talk to someone, anyone, about how you feel.

For some things, you are set

You know how to prepare

You get appropriately dressed

Brush your teeth, do your hair

Even when things are hard

You can make yourself ready

Practice the words

Keep your voice nice and steady

Stay on top of emotion

Keep it bubbling below

Showing no cracks

Keep the pace and the flow

You can do this, you think

It’s your job to get through

But the surprise when it hits

Almost paralyses you

10 minutes old

That’s all that they saw

The tiniest of souls

Knocks on heaven’s open door

Stood on church steps

It’s gets even worse

As you suddenly realise

They won’t need a hearse

The shock of a coffin

Cradled by hand

A parents pain

I can’t understand

I wish I could have done more

I wish I’d know what to say

But nothing I could do

Would temper the sorrow that day


Getting Fit

I’ve started doing lunges to get into shape

That’s a big step forward, but what else will it take?

Eat less, move more it’s just that easy

But if I eat less then sometimes I can feel a bit queasy

And moving more is fine I guess

I could run to meetings but then I’d arrive a sweaty mess

Beers a problem, it’s majorly calorific

I can’t see that when I’m drinking it though

It just tastes terrific

The problem, I think

Is I do want to be thinner

But it’s a struggle when you’re lazy, drink booze and like a dinner!

I hate TikTok

It’s making us stupid, it’s rotting our brain

Our powers of attention are starting to wane

Seconds of video, flick one to the next

Ridiculous voices read meaningless text

The cruel and brainless are starting to trend

It seems the banality might never end

‘Life hacks’ are rubbish, none of them work

And stop with the dancing no one should ‘twerk’

Vacuous faces sharing meaningless guff

Bragging about places and showing off stuff

No one cares about your ‘dirtbag phase’

Or your ‘catfish make up’ or the ‘next big craze’

So put the phone down, stop taking the pee

Before we all end up getting ADHD

I don’t usually swear, so you’re in for a shock

I just can’t, help it, I fu🤬ing hate TikTok!

(Oh, and if you don’t like me having my say

You’re only annoyed you can’t swipe me away!)

Summer Blossoms

We scan the autumn trees

Watching falling leaves

As they linger for a while

Pausing like a smile

On the lips of lovers

They dance on bare branches

Before taking their chances

Tumbling to the ground

Silent, not a sound

Joining others there below

Their flourishing will remain

In memories of the same

Young leaves of spring

Now lost until that thing

We call winter is gone and past

Then in our minds eye

Casting looks into the sky

We see our lost

Understand the cost

Our tears, our love for the summer blossoms

Death and Hope

A reflection on Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane

Death (read top to bottom)

I am dying for nothing

And I refuse to believe that

Grace will find a way

I realize this may be a shock, but

The Father has a plan

Is a lie

This is all we can ever be

In time people will realise

I am right


Is more important than


I will tell you this:

In the beginning

I had a hope for all of you

But this will no longer be the truth

You are worth no more than dust

Ancient Scholars say

Death and destruction will follow

I conclude

This is the last hour of great beauty

In the future,

None will be saved

No longer can it be said that

You are God’s people

It will be evident that

You are alone

It is foolish to presume that

You have a Saviour.

Hope (read bottom to top)

On This Street

They know me at this bar

Where I sit sipping silken foam

The world passes by

A mix of the electric and the eclectic

So much life gather together

An enjoyment of all that is good

Broken only by the tearing noise of raging traffic.

Then once passed, we resume our enjoyment of all that is, and was, and still could be.

Live life with me

Here on this street


Sometimes I can still hear the bleeping

You’d think after all this time I wouldn’t

But it still haunts me when I’m sleeping

In the light of day I can switch off and stop

But in the early hours, just me awake

It fills my head like a heavy drop

The bleeps go on

Sometimes I can still feel the pain

I should be over this by now

But maybe that’s the way it takes the sane

You push it down and won’t give in

So it lingers there just beneath

Searching always for its way to win

The beeps go on

I’m lucky though, I live my dreams

With someone beside me

We changed the beeps to blips on screens

The joy of life passed on

And kept, and treasured and more

Through my daughter and son

The blips go on

Holy Week Photography Project 2019 *Post Updated*

For our journey through Holy Week and into Easter day next year, 2019, the Bradford South Methodist Circuit would like to invite local photographers to capture a series of images. We hope that these images will show the broad themes of death and Resurrection which permeate our thoughts throughout this season by photographing places and situations around the City of Bradford. The Following document sets out the suggested inspiration for each of the photographs throughout the series.

It is the intention of The Bradford South Methodist Circuit that these photographs will form an exhibition in a gallery upstairs at The Peacock Bar on North Parade through Holy Week and Easter. The cost of publishing the images for display will be met by the Circuit.

There will be an opening night exhibition on the evening on Palm Sunday, 14th April (the Sunday which proceeds Holy Week) this exhibition will be open for viewing during The Peacock bar’s opening hours during Holy Week and the final ‘Resurrection’ photos will be unveiled during our Easter ‘Beer and Hymns’ at 7:30pm on Easter Day.

All contributors will be asked to provide a short biography and self portrait which will be printed in a program given to those who visit the exhibition.

The following passages should serve as inspiration for each of the images.

Monday Photograph 1- Jesus in the Garden

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?’ he asked Peter. ‘Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’

He went away a second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.’

 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!’

Tuesday Photograph 2 – Jesus is betrayed


While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: ‘The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.’ Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed him. Jesus replied, ‘Do what you came for, friend.’[d]

Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. ‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?’ In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, ‘Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.’ Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Wednesday Photograph 3 – Jesus is denied by Peter


Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him. ‘You also were with Jesus of Galilee,’ she said. But he denied it before them all. ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ he said.

Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant-girl saw him and said to the people there, ‘This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.’

He denied it again, with an oath: ‘I don’t know the man!’

After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, ‘Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.’

Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, ‘I don’t know the man!’

Immediately a cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: ‘Before the cock crows, you will disown me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Thursday Photograph 4 – Crowned with Thorns


Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers round him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ they said. They spat on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

Friday Photograph 5 – Jesus Dies

From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli,[c] lema sabachthani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’).[d]

When some of those standing there heard this, they said, ‘He’s calling Elijah.’ Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, ‘Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.’

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

Easter day and beyond – Resurrection – 5 Photographs showing the life and rebirth of Bradford

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’


Photographers wishing to take part in this project are invited to submit their photograph for the first of the series to as soon as possible.

All photographs you would like to be considered for the exhibition will need to be submitted before Sunday 3rd March in order to allow time for the exhibition to be curated and the images prepared for display.

Thank you