Chaplains Blog – Stardate 25-05-2023

Life is somewhat hectic at the moment and the last couple of weeks especially busy with the Bishop’s study day in Wadebridge and Reader Day in St Petroc’s with story telling afternoons in school in between – not to mention the second session of the new safeguarding leadership course which we leaders are getting our heads around.

The  All New Safeguarding leadership Course

The new course is markedly different to the old leadership course although still delivered on ZOOM. The training team have adopted it before any other diocese because we don’t want people to have to repeat the old course…. And because it means we can feed our experiences back to the national team who write the courses. We have already changed quite a lot of the language in the document which might cause confusion and irritable complaints! So if you are approaching the end of your three years since your last leadership course do book onto a new one and give the team some feedback to help shape the course for others.  It is all too easy to complain about courses and it takes a bit more effort to approach them positively with the aim of helping to make them really fit for purpose.

Book Safeguarding Leadership Training

Incidentally, if you need sample risk assessments for your church activities to get you started, Newcastle Diocese have a great resource here: Safeguarding Templates and Resources – Newcastle Diocese (

Back to being busy…. And some thoughts about the two study days.

I am not complaining about any of it however! It was wonderful to see a lot of colleagues at the two study days although with only about a quarter of the Readers at Bodmin on Saturday it did mean that many missed a thought-provoking and inspiring day.

Links to documents of which you should be aware:

The days were closely linked in many ways with 

The Diocesan Plan for Change and renewal being the common thread. Click the title to open the

32-page plan from the Diocesan website. Before you get too deep into the technical detail of the plan it is probably wise to go the 

The Saints Way Page which describes the Diocesan vision behind the plan. Simon Robinson, the interim Dean at the Cathedral spoke about his journey on the saints way to begin the day. His is an interesting story and much of what he said resonated with others, especially with those of us who spent a lifetime in schools.

The Saint’s Way document is here.


On Tuesday afternoon Professor David Ford joined us by Zoom from Germany to talk about his latest book, A Theological Commentary on the gospel of John.  it was a twenty year labour of love and he spoke with huge passion and enthusiasm about John being  a Gospel of abundant truth, life, and love. There is a brief biography of David at the bottom of this post. 

You can find the book here in various formats and various prices at Amazon 


Much as the worship was uplifting at the Bishops study day, the speakers thought-provoking and the food tasty, the best part of the day for me was catching up with a lot of folks I knew and making some new contacts! The bonus was being given a lift up and back from our Rector who is sadly leaving us in the Summer and having a good chat about all things benefice of Redruth.

As with many other places going into a period of transition or reorganisation it set me pondering on the tasks ahead, both in the sort and longer terms and how they would fit in with what we heard across the two days. 

  • Do we need to be better equipped?
  • What training / education do we need?
  • What does the Benefice and Diocese actually need of us and
  • have we the capacity to fill that need? 


Reader Day took a vast amount of preparation and we should be particularly grateful to Claire as our events administrator who managed it so admirably. It was a shame that less than a third of our number were there to take part in the workshops and listen to the speakers.


I attended two of the workshops, one on Sens Kernewek of which I need to find out more but have only heard good things from reader colleagues who have done it and Inter-generational Church with archdeacon Kelly. 


The line that stood out for me in the latter was that it was not ‘All age Worship’ which immediately piqued my interest and made me want to investigate much further than the time for a short workshop would allow. I will do another blog on All Age Worship and Family services in order to do that subject justice and to give me some thinking time. 


My main task at the Bishops’ study day was as chaplain, and even had a reserved seat near the door, but on Saturday it was to interview some willing readers about being community theologians. my thanks to Martin Smith. Kathryn Hill, Claire Charlton and Robin West for stepping up and speaking with such commitment.


Perhaps next year we can put Reader day in a less busy week so the poor folk who had chapter meetings, village events and other meetings can attend. 


Since the Session on Sens Kernewek I have applied to do the course – but I will save my thoughts on that for another blog post.





Together with Certain Women….


Just like a number of other readers / LLMs, I really enjoy the chance to take the service and preach in our local Methodist Circuit.  Last week I was in Troon for the first time since the pandemic and what a joyful bunch of folk they were although my choices of ‘All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name’ and ‘Jesus shall Reign we’re the Sun’  (because they were good singable tunes) backfired when they had different Methodist tunes  with extra twiddly bits that had me lost. 🙂 

It is a joy to have a little extra time to explore the readings and to set the challenge for the coming week and it is especially uplifting when, as at Troon, there are half a dozen folk who want to tell you things or ask about the sermon.

In these services I like to comment briefly on each reading as it is read, perhaps pointing out something that I will refer back to in the sermon. One of my throwaway remarks was after reading about the list of folks gathered to watch the drawing of lots to select the Judas replacement disciple. I noted the seeming dismissive way that women were almost begrudgingly included in the group. At the crucifixion – there is a similar phrase “there were also women…”  After the service on lady told me that her father and grandfather had been local preachers and when her grandfather died there had been a gathering of the great and good at a large funeral which was reported in the local press. The names of all the male dignitaries were mentioned and at the end was the line “and also there were women.” I make no further comment…… for the time being. 😊


Reader Joy Gunter is my conscience when it comes to prayer lists, often nudging me to send out a new one. I mentioned this at the Warden’s Meeting today and there was a reminder that all readers are included in the  Diocesan prayer list


In your prayers at the moment please include John and Sue, Christine, Becca, Garth, and Nigel. If you know of folk who need to be on our list or want to be included in mine and Joy’s prayers please do let me know!



Professor David F. Ford OBE is Regius Professor of Divinity Emeritus in the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Selwyn College. He was born in Dublin, read Classics at Trinity College Dublin, and then Theology and Religious Studies in Cambridge, Yale, and Tübingen. Prior to taking up his post in Cambridge he taught in the University of Birmingham (1976-1991), where he lived in the inner city and engaged in local church and community life and in urban theology.

Alongside continuing work on Christian theology and on inter-faith relations, Professor Ford’s current research includes work on the Gospel of John; glorification; theology, modernity and the arts; Scriptural Reasoning; contemporary worldviews; and education in schools and universities. 

Professor Ford has published numerous books in theology, including The Modern Theologians (3rd Edition edited with Rachel Muers,) Blackwell, 2005); Christian Wisdom: Desiring God and Learning in Love (Cambridge University Press, 2007); Self and Salvation: Being Transformed (Cambridge University Press 1999). His latest work is a commentary on John’s gospel.

Professor Ford was founding Director of the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme (2002-2015) and a co-founder of the inter-faith practice of Scriptural Reasoning. He was awarded the Sternberg Foundation Gold Medal for Inter-Faith Relations in 2008, the Coventry International Prize for Peace and Reconciliation in 2012 and an OBE for services to theological scholarship and inter-faith relations, in 2013. Professor Ford chaired the Theological Reference Group for a Church of England initiative launched in 2016, the Foundation for Educational Leadership, and is a trustee of the National Society, the Church of England organisation responsible for over a million pupils in state-funded church-related schools. He co-chairs the Rose Castle Foundation, a centre for reconciliation, inter-faith engagement, religious literacy, and conservation, the UK hub for Scriptural Reasoning, and chairs Faith in Leadership, which offers leadership training to emerging and established leaders from several religious traditions.


Professor Ford is a Lay Canon of Birmingham Cathedral and is married to Revd Deborah Ford who is an Anglican priest.


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