Martin Wroe, Writer, Journalist, and oh yes incidentally, Assistant Vicar of St Luke’s Church, Islington

Christians can be born again. It’s just like the vaccine against the Invisible Magic Friend’s Holy Virus. But not everyone has access to the vaccine against the Invisible Magic Friend’s Holy Virus.

Although the Invisible Magic Friend has given us the vaccine against the Invisible Magic Friend’s Holy Virus, he hasn’t given us enough of it. This is your fault. We Christians believe that everyone in the world should be vaccinated NOW.

6 thoughts on “Martin Wroe, Writer, Journalist, and oh yes incidentally, Assistant Vicar of St Luke’s Church, Islington

  1. I was lucky enough to receive my first jab yesterday, for which I am extremely grateful. I started to list all the people I needed to thank for making this possible, but the list soon became longer than an Oscar’s acceptance speech. So if anyone reading this is involved in this wonderful project, in any way, no matter how small, then thank you.


  2. Strange how little throw-away remarks sometimes leap out of a narrative. Wroe, listening to the heartening news of increased vaccination numbers in his evening ritual said “I want to cheer every time.” So why doesn’t he? It’s such an odd thing to admit – suggesting he resides in a household where emotional outbursts are frowned upon.

    I rather thought the successful landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars would be more ‘of the moment’ today than the vaccination programme, important though that is – and Rev Peter’s synopsis sums up Wroe’s approach to that story perfectly. Perhaps planetary exploration, and the potential thereby of discovering more about the origins of the universe and of life is a bit daunting for any religious commentator, immured as they are in scriptures that are – in the context of cosmology – very recent and arriviste indeed. By comparison with growing human knowledge of how we came to be, and of the seemingly limitless universe in which we thrive, all the crucifix and turban wearing; the circumcisions and beard-growing; the praying, the funny rituals and non-sensical prohibitions of religious faith, all appear the quirky cultural creations of pre-modern, superstitious humans that they actually are.

    Incidentally, I was surprised to hear Wroe, a hymn-singing church-goer, mispronounce the name Wesley – with a z sound; Wesley was very particular over that sibilant in his surname.


  3. Being from a Methodist family I had never heard that story about the soft ‘S’ in Wesley. Going back to the recent names TFTD, why didn’t Wesley just add another S, then it wouldn’t have been a problem. Having done some recent trawling through my family on Ancestry it seems that misspelling in the past was quite acceptable – as Shakespeare’s spelling of his own name shows.

    Onto Wroe; I would agree with Liverpudlian that another take on the virus and vaccination could easily have been put on hold to allow a religious take on humankind’s expanding exploration of our universe and its implications for religious belief. Imagine in a few months time on the day that signs of life are reported to be found on Mars – how will the TFTD speakers discuss that god-awful small affair? Wroe will be one of those yelling “No” in exasperation that their IMF never told them in its BBoMS that we aren’t unique. He will be walking through his sunken dream while the rest of us evidence lovers will be hooked to our high-definition full colour screens enjoying the fantastic scientific discoveries. Sadly, I imagine the TFTD regular that day will ignore that world changing news and ask us to focus on a minor story about the mouse such as the population explosion in the Norfolk Broads.

    Once again Wroe’s TFTD has been a saddening bore.


    1. John Birch writes at “English has never been a centrally controlled language so it has never been “standardised” at an official level. Like all things spelling (in Britain) is a matter custom and practice.

      English spelling – and the English alphabet – are to a great extent set by those who started to print English in the 15th/16th century. That is when we lose several letters from English, replacing them with letter combinations that do not quite always work (replacing the letter thorn with “th”, for example).

      That said, essentially English spelling was still largely all over the place until really the 17th or 18th century. Dr Johnson’s dictionary had a massive standardising effect, as had others such as national newspapers (The Times especially) and also Chambers and Oxford dictionaries – which is a little odd in all of these would argue that they record (or recorded) usage, rather than prescribe it, but in the end what they “record” and what they do not comes down to a matter of editorial choice.”


    2. I think it simply comes down to custom or preference rather than spelling, Paul. John Wesley’s grandson Samuel Sebastian (who would have been S. S. Wessley) might have thought the double ‘S’ somewhat de trop!

      I had a games master at school named Mainwaring, and he was definitely Main-waring, and not (like the Platoon Captain in “Dad’s Army”) Mannering. Similarly, I recall a TV interview with John Betjamen who spoke of the author John Galsworthy (whom he knew) as Gals [as in Guys and Gals] – worthy; whereas today the name is almost universally pronounced Gauls-worthy. And don’t even start on the likes of ‘Cholmondeley,’ ‘Cockburn’ and all that lot!


  4. Hear hear, Rev Dr Peter. (And hear hear, Liverpudlian).

    At a virtual meeting yesterday, the G7 nations agreed to give over £5bn to the Covax fund for poorer nations, plus hundreds of millions of spare doses of the vaccines they have ordered, even though it is less than three months since the first vaccine was approved. (And the reason we will have hundreds of millions of spare doses in the first place is that we have spent a fortune on R&D, production facilities and logistics).

    Maybe this news came too late for Martin Wroe to take into account before writing his “Thought”. Or maybe it was just too inconvenient for his contention that we are not doing enough to support the poorer nations. Still, if he had taken any notice of it, you can be sure that he would have given the credit to the IMF.

    As for feeling a sense of freedom and release, that cuts two ways. The biggest feeling of liberation I have experienced was when I finally turned my back on religion for good. I know that others on this site feel much the same.


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