Rev Dr Rob Marshall, Priest at St John the Evangelist, Welwyn Garden City

And in the Big News today from a Faith Perspective, the Invisible Magic Friend’s Holy Virus has made us more spiritual. This is undoubtedly why the Invisible Magic Friend invented his Holy Virus, so that we could appreciate being dead.

And I went to see a play about being a priest. It was really good, just like being a priest, I can tell you.

And as if that wasn’t enough news today from a faith perspective, tomorrow is St Doubting Thomas’ Day. Phew, there’s just so much news to cover.


3 thoughts on “Rev Dr Rob Marshall, Priest at St John the Evangelist, Welwyn Garden City

  1. No, Mr Marshall, you don’t require “faith” to generate “hope” where there is “doubt”; you need a rational pragmatism.

    “Faith”’s wishful thinking might make the pious feel better, and they are welcome to it – but that doesn’t make the world better. Quite the contrary it appears.


  2. There may well be ‘hundreds’ of people being ordained into C of E ministry this weekend. But there is no doubt that the C of E is many hundreds short of clerics than it was even just a few years ago; and nowhere near the number it supported in centuries past. These new recruits will be spread very thinly over the parishes. Unlike the Vicar of Emmerdale who spends his day drifting around the village from pub to cafe, and occasionally popping into his one place of worship, rural clergy today usually have charge of several parishes and spend most of their day driving around between them. Urban clergy have parishes of hundreds of thousands of residents; of whom they can barely keep in touch with the faithful few who come through the doors on a Sunday.

    Marshall says the job of the Priest (or other religious leader) is to listen, and ‘be beside’ people. I would suggest that the vast majority of the population never encounter a priest of any denomination from one end of the year to the other. Many cannot even get to see a dentist or doctor when they need one, and I suspect they’d see a religious figure as a very poor substitute.

    Like Rev Peter, I heard Marshall essentially proclaiming that the pandemic had led people (those still alive at least) to a greater sense of ‘spirituality.’ So, that’s OK, then.

    Dire stuff indeed.


  3. Well, as someone who tested positive for Covid last week, I can confidently testify that it has not made me feel more spiritual. Not even a little bit. I’m triple-jabbed, so the symptoms are fairly mild, but my main emotion is annoyance that I won’t be able to sing in my choir’s summer concert this evening. Nor do I detect any increase in religiosity in the country as a whole. This is largely Rob’s wishful thinking.

    Clergypersons like to use the word ‘doubt’. It suggests that, with a bit of persuasion and change of viewpoint, people will find their faith flooding back, as strong as ever. In fact, for most people, loss of faith is replaced by total indifference, or even outright hostility, especially when they realise how far and for how long they’ve been conned.


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