A DIY funeral for a peace activist

Brian's homemade coffin

Last summer I had a call from my friend Brian, to ask if I would help to plan his funeral. He had been living with cancer for several years, but now no more treatment was possible, and he was facing death with his typical courage and resilience. Brian and I had first met in November … Read more

The title ‘reverend’…

Pine tree

The title ‘Reverend’ sits easily/reluctantly with me because… #MonthOfMinistry Day 16: When I and my Onespirit Interfaith Minister colleagues completed our training, we were ‘ordained’ (another odd word), and told that we were now entitled to use the title ‘Reverend’. I really found this quite problematic! Firstly, it’s a title mainly used by Christian clerics. … Read more

What is your spiritual practice?

Quaker Meeting for Worship

#MonthOfMinistry Day 10 There are quite a few different things that I’d consider to be “spiritual practice”. What does that even mean? For me it covers all those things that I do, with intention, to help me stop, rest in the present moment, connect with The first is Quaker Meeting for Worship, our equivalent, perhaps, … Read more

My personal motto is…


#MonthOfMinistry Day 13 Our supper is plain, but we are very wonderful. It’s a line from the poem 23rd Street Runs into Heaven by Kenneth Patchen, and it speaks to me of the joys that can be found in simplicity. (The photo is a rather fancy supper: the lovely thali my housemates cooked for my … Read more

What’s the difference between an Interfaith Minister and a celebrant?

wedding ceremony

#MonthOfMinistry Day 5 Great, an easier question today! Interfaith ministers do lots of other things besides conducting ceremonies for big life events like baby namings, weddings, funerals and so on. I’ve colleagues who work in hospices, lead shamanic retreats, offer spiritual counselling and support, run mediation groups and women’s circles, offer spiritual and emotional support … Read more

Do you believe in God?

Julian of Norwich

Day 3 of #MonthOfMinistry A big question. The short answer is “no”; a longer answer depends on (1) what do you mean by “God”? and (2) what do you mean by “believe”? Of course, this is a really big deal for many religious people, particularly many Christians and Muslims, for whom belief in God is … Read more

Head for the hills! A Scottish elopement wedding

Glencoe wedding (photo: Bernadeta Kupiec,

It’s becoming very popular these days for couples to choose an “elopement” wedding, in one of the many picturesque, romantic and wild locations that Scotland abounds with. Nowadays, elopement doesn’t (necessarily) mean that you run away because your parents don’t approve of your marriage or your choice of partner. It’s just that you choose to … Read more