Former Liberal Democrat Leader’s Remarks on the Death of Queen Elizabeth

Former Liberal Democrat Leader’s Remarks on the Death of Queen Elizabeth Tim Farron (Lib-Dem), MP for Westmoreland and Lonsdale spoke from the floor of the House of Commons to express his thoughts on the late Queen Elizabeth. The day after her untimely demise he...

Queen’s Choice of Hymns and Scripture Readings

Queen’s Choice of Hymns & Scripture Readings Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth demonstrated the depth of her faith and understanding of the scriptures and hymnody when planning her funeral.  The hymns were melodic works of substance, truth, and comfort designed for...

Church Leaders and Parliamentarians Pay Tribute

Church Leaders and Parliamentarians Pay Tribute In a statement given shortly after the announcement of the Queen’s death, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said: “As we grieve together, we know that, in losing our beloved Queen, we have lost the person whose...

Keene Review: God’s Church for God’s World Part One

God’s Church for God’s World Faithful perspectives on mission and ministry Tom Woolford and Adam Young (eds.) IVP, 2022 (ISBN: 9781789742244, 218pp, £19.99) Part One   This is an important book which takes a snapshot of evangelical ministry in 2022. The title and...

The Faith of the Queen; A Cleric’s Reflections

The Faith of the Queen A Cleric’s Reflections As far as we know, Queen Elizabeth II commended only one book published during her long reign. In 2016 she penned the Foreword to a volume produced jointly by the Bible Society, HOPE and the London Institute of...

Collins: The Elizabethan Settlement

The Elizabethan Settlement By Revd Canon Chuck Collins Queen of England for 44 years, Elizabeth died March 24, 1603. She was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, the last of the five monarchs in the House of Tudor. She never married ("Virgin Queen"). Her coffin...

Pilgrim’s Process: Rebuke

Pilgrim’s Process By the Revd Dr Peter Sanlon Rebuke In the fifth century some monks in France realised that Augustine’s theological writings commended a Biblical and God focused vision of the Christian pilgrimage. Augustine has been called the ‘Doctor of grace’ for...

Anglican Bishop of Norwich Joins in Roman Catholic Requiem Mass for The Queen

Anglican Bishop of Norwich Joins in Roman Catholic Requiem Mass for The Queen Church of England Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher joined in a Roman Catholic Requiem Mass for Her Majesty The Queen at St John’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Norwich on 15 September.   Roman...

The Queen’s Faith in Her Own Words

The Queen’s Faith – in Her Own Words Its formal name was ‘Her Majesty’s Most Gracious Speech’. To the royal household, it was known as the QXB – the Queen’s Christmas broadcast. Queen Elizabeth II spoke about the significance of Christmas to more people than anyone...

Anglican Futures: A Cure for the Lambeth Hangover?

Anglican Futures Commentary A Cure for the Lambeth Hangover? As the bishops of the Anglican Communion disembark from their flights and return to their dioceses, there is a danger that some will rub their eyes, and realise that however great the party was, there has...

That Happy Certainty – Robin Ham

That Happy Certainty

By the Revd Robin Ham


“We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience”


Part of the reason I blog is to reflect. Life happens, and sometimes it happens pretty fast. If we’re to learn and to grow and to see the hand of God at work, not least in shaping us, then sitting down, taking a breather and reflecting upon life is pretty crucial.

As anyone familiar with the adult learning cycle will know, it’s a key element of how we develop. That might just be analysing a simple cause and effect we have observed, or it might be more ‘ponderous’: re-running a crucial conversation over in your mind, looking back with a friend on a sermon you gave, or just ‘debriefing’ the day, as my wife likes to call it.

The challenge I find is building the time in. Time is needed to consider questions like ‘How is that going?’, ‘What could we have done differently?’, and ‘What’s God teaching us through this?’. At college we have a particular module called ‘Theological Reflection’, and the aim is to give us that time. Time to talk with peers about what we’re experiencing at the churches we’re based in. I remember initially, it’s fair to say a few of us were a bit sceptical. What? Time just talking and thinking? But actually it’s proved to be one of the highlights of each week.

Now obviously reflection needs a mark stick. We need to have some sense of what we’re meant to be aiming for, some sense of what is excellent and what is healthy and what is beautiful. There’s a lot of good wisdom out there, but as Christians that ultimately comes down to the Scriptures.

But if we have the mark stick but no time to reflect, then chances are we plough on without really ever checking whether or not what we’re doing is just being done because that’s-the-way-it’s-always-been-done kinda thing. Or whether or not we’ve actually set a course for some pretty unhealthy waters. Or maybe we just miss the opportunity to give thanks to God for what he’s doing in our lives. Yep, reflection gives us a chance to take stock. And like with the original sense of that phrase, our stock could be running on empty, it could have gone past its sell by date, or it could be full of good things to share. The way to find out before it’s past us by is to take time to reflect.

As this little piece below from 99U says,

“We do not learn from experience … we learn from reflecting on experience.”

The Revd Robin Ham blogs at  He serves at Grace Church, Barrow.