Divine Appointments

Hi, on this page I will be sharing, reviewing, and recommending resources for children’s, family, and all-age, church-based work. I love to explore and discover new ideas, and creative ways of supporting this fantastic ministry. It’s such a privilege to serve the church and to help make worship meaningful and fun for children and families. I hope you’ll find my ideas and recommendations helpful. 

As I mentioned last week, I retired from my job at Church House at the end of July. I then had to edit an academic book I am publishing with Palgrave Macmillan to meet a deadline for the end of August. Thankfully, we managed to fit in a few days break away before the new school term began. Although my life has become somewhat simplified at last, I still love my voluntary School Chaplaincy work and I Deacon once a month for the Cathedral. At first, I found it quite daunting to retire and to become accustomed to all the freedom from diary commitments. But I have to say it is only now that I appreciate how complicated my work life balance was and the release that retirement can offer.

Having said that, both Ish and I believe we never retire from serving God whatever our age. I have been amazed at how much I have been able to help out in situations I could not have got involved with if I was still at work with a diary full of work commitments. I am enjoying the freedom just to be able to spontaneously go out for a coffee or lunch with someone.  Or when I meet people in the street, rather than rushing away to another appointment, it’s nice to be able to stop and talk and catch up over casual conversations.

I believe the Holy Spirit guides us wherever we go. Sometimes it’s in those unplanned meetings or conversations that we might call ‘divine appointments’, where we often achieve more than our pre-planned work strategies. I am reminded of Celtic spirituality in which peregrinatio or wandering was practiced.  Monks would cast out a small boat called a coracle onto the ocean and without an oar or rudder let the winds and the current of the Holy Spirit carry them to an unknown destination or place of rest that they had not chosen for themselves. It was a practice of complete trust in God who shepherds and guides us to our divine appointments in life. Peregrinatio is the call to wander and to go wherever God takes us. It’s a willingness to yield to the direction of the Holy Spirit, to let go of our own agendas and discover where God ultimately wants us to be, at any stage and age of our lives. The Christian life is not as boring as people think – in fact – it’s really quite exciting.


The scriptures below help us to focus on faith and perseverance, even when we are tired, old, and feeling worn down, never give up, God wants to use us to bless others at every stage of our lives. Meditate on the verses below and pray to the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you today and always.

Galatians 6:9-10 Let’s not get tired of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest—if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have the opportunity, let’s practice doing good to everyone, especially to the family of faith.

1 Timothy 6:11-12 You must pursue righteousness, godliness, faithfulness, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the faith. Keep holding on to eternal life, to which you were called and about which you gave a good testimony in front of many witnesses.

Philippians 3:13-14 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

(We are so proud of our daughter Suzy who ran the London Marathon in 2019 in aid of the Sussex Snowdrop Trust.)


I write about Celtic spirituality in ‘Our Cancer Journey’ book in Chapter 9 but here are some other resources if you are interested in reading more about it.

Celtic Spirituality by Ray Simpson

Following the Celtic Way by Ian Bradley

Celtic Benediction: Morning and Night Prayer by J. Philip Newell