christingle Derbys

Image source: Garth Newton, found at

Carols by candlelight

Stone-clad latticed windows flicker from the flames

Sprigs of holly, all dark green and red berry intensity

Tied to the end of creaking wooden pews

Where softly fidgeting children are sssshed

Holding spiky sputniks and coveting their fruits:

Jellytots affixed to cocktail sticks,

encrusted little jewels in the citrus sceptre’s crown.

Wax drips on fingers as reverential singers

intone the traditional

‘Christ the Saviour is bo-orn,

Chri-ist the Saviour is born’


Silent night, holy night

Numinous moment amid Yuletide bustle

There’s something about that candlelight

and the Jerusalem hymnsheet rustle


All too soon

the spell is broken, the lights come on and they all go home.


The Beverage Testament

In which I try to find a metaphor for Jesus more relevant to urban dwellers than ‘shepherd’. Inspired by @Unvirtuousabbey on Twitter.


The Java Psalm (Psalm 23)

The Lord is my barista; I lack nothing.

He lets me sit down in comfy armchairs,

he leads me to quiet corners,

he refills my cup.

He guides me into the right beverage choices

for his reputation’s sake.

Even though I walk into the busiest coffee shop,
I will fear no hassle,
for you are my barista today;
your apron and your name badge they reassure me.

You prepare a mocha before me
in the presence of an impatient queue.
You anoint my coffee with syrup;
my cup is grande not tall.

Surely your kindness and customer service skills will bless me

all the days of my life,

and I will frequent this coffee house forever.


The Good Bar manager of the Shepherd’s Tavern (John 10)

Jesus said… “I am the good bar manager. The good bar manager goes the extra mile for their customers. The agency bar worker is not the bar manager and does not have loyalty to the customers. So when s/he sees the competition starting to steal the customers, s/he does nothing, and the customers are scattered. S/he cares nothing for the customers so does not give them excellent, personal customer service.

I am the good bar manager. I know my regulars and my regulars know me – just as the Landlord knows me and I know the Landlord – and I give my all to serve my customers. I have other customers that are not of this pub. I must make them regulars also. They too will listen and get to know me, and there shall be one group of customers and one bar manager.”