Hoddidodds for BeeverSteve

something gritty to chew on

Welcome to my blog.

These are not the voyages of the Starship Enterprise but the reflections and musings of a local church minister about to begin a period of sabbatical study.  Some entries will have practical applications whilst others may resemble a Daliesque stream of consciousness. Those are the more personal entries as I’m holding up a mirror to my own thoughts as I reflect on my faith and life’s journey.

Feel free to comment but please respect these words, thoughts and ideas for what they are.  Most of them come from experience; others will reflect my reading and travel experiences over the next three months. Some are reworkings of older material (where is that PhD when you need it?) – a few will probably be written with the effort of getting my allotment ready for winter. (There’s a message in that somewhere, I’m sure).

Some will provoke, others warn or warm – some may even move you. When you do read, ask God what He might be saying to you. I’d love to hear about it.

The working title for my blog comes from two dialect words in use in rural Cambridgeshire until the 1970’s. A slap up meal at Mrs Miggins’ pie shop for anyone who deciphers the true meaning!

We have a winner ....but need a tie break

Congratulations to Val and Trevor who have (correctly) deciphered the Fenland Phrase that forms the title to this blog.

It’s not everyday that you have snails for a mid morning snack but if you did, it would be something really gritty to chew on. I’ve never come across anyone who’s actually eaten them in that way, although I do know from talking to Roma in the past that they enjoy wall fish (a West Country name for snails) from time to time, provided they are the larger Roman ones. Did we or the French get in first?

Reflection and best practice - Gorilla Theory

When you wrestle a gorilla you don’t stop when you’re tired, you stop when the gorilla’s tired

A goal without a plan is just a wish (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

Key premise

There are no magic bullets or secret strategies to successful work or project delivery. People skills (predominantly Emotional Intelligence to enable you to lead teams) and checklists are the central focus of the model, as is recognising the personal responsibilities involved to lead and deliver the project outcomes.

Learning points from Vennture (Hereford)


Vennture is a fast growing and innovative Social Enterprise with a strong Christian heritage. Its mission is to love people better by showing the transforming power of the love of Jesus in the public space[1].

What we know today as Vennture is built on a rich heritage of Christian service extending back to the pioneering activities of the Revd. John Venn, Vicar of St. Peter’s Church. Arriving by Fish Cart in 1832, Venn recognised that poverty was endemic in Hereford and, as a result, many families were struggling.

Replaying the video of my life

This month I’ve had the privilege of conducting the Thanksgiving Service for an old friend who died a day after she celebrated her 103rd birthday.  Her son in law had the unenviable task of bringing her memory to life – something he did with great skill, deep affection, real love and a good dash of humour. I’m sure she would have approved.

As with many such occasions, I find myself reflecting on my life in light of the example set by others. How has my life and/or my faith supported those around me through my example, involvement and encouragement? What regrets will I be left with for the things I wanted to do but somehow failed to embrace for one reason or another?

The latter question has been something which has come to mind time and again over these last few weeks. I’m sure it’s because I’ve had much more time to read, think and listen but it seems that this kind of question is an inevitable part of (and perhaps also an integral component within) any reflection on our spiritual life.

Living to please God

There is no work better than to please God; to pour water, to wash dishes, to be a cobbler, or an apostle, all are one; to wash dishes and to preach are all one, as touching the deed, to please God. (William Tyndale 1494 – 1536)

What does it take to please God? How can we go beyond faithful devotion to develop a way of living (discipleship) which embraces the practical values of God’s Kingdom?

A passage I return to time and again is Romans 12. I have long been challenged by the opening words which seem to me to be a blueprint for radical discipleship. As believers living counter culturally, expressing the grace and generosity of Christ, we will see people change and communities transformed. This is a personal call to a committed relationship with God and others:

With eyes wide open to the mercies of God, I beg you, my brothers, as an act of intelligent worship, to give him your bodies, as a living sacrifice, consecrated to him and acceptable by him. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity. (Romans 12: 1 -2)