Columnists

I feel I have been rather nobly restrained about my strong dislike of the new translation of the Mass. “You’ll get used to it” people told me, and by and large they were right.

The Church of England is once again in disarray over its teaching on homosexuality. Or to put it another way, it has declined to put forward any teaching on homosexuality at all, because there is not enough agreement among its members about what that teaching should be.

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23 February 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
I stopped at the gate. Rain drilled on my hood; the wind soughed through the telegraph wires. From the farm, the tethered collie barked.

I was surprised to see The Times describe Phil Shiner (the human rights lawyer instrumental in bringing cases against British servicemen, who has now been struck off) as a “devout Catholic”.

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16 February 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
The lambs’ tails wagged in the wind. Not the woolly variety, but the catkins on the hazel tree.

In 1994, after I had spoken at a conference entitled “Women and Men and the Future of the Church”, I received a letter of rebuke from the local bishop.

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09 February 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
We buried my father here five years ago. Today I have returned to the lime trees and wreaths of Thirsk Municipal Cemetery.

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02 February 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
The train stopped. I looked through the window. It wasn’t a particularly promising sight, just a junk yard with a wall-eyed dog barking at us from a small mountain of crushed cars.

One day in February 1988, John Hurt the actor was having a quiet pint of Guinness in the Coach and Horses in Soho when one the regulars there who had the not negligible title of its drunkest denizen turned to him and said: “You’re just a bad actor. All you want is fame.”

Kenneth Baker, who served in several Cabinet posts during the Thatcher and Major years, said to me just after Donald Trump won the US presidential election: “We know already that 2016 will be one of those years, like 1939 or 1945, of which we will come to say, ‘before 2016’ or ‘after 2016’.

One lesson of the annual remembrance of the Holocaust, which happens each year on 27 January, is to remind us of the consequences when democratic politics fails.

Last month I had the surgery I had been waiting for – and for the past six weeks have been recuperating. In addition to being deeply grateful to the NHS – first, just for existing, and, second, for its excellent care – I have been thinking a lot about love and friendship.

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25 January 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
They call it Blue Monday, the mid-January Monday said to be the most depressing date on the northern hemisphere calendar.

Although Buddhism has been one of the greatest passions of my life, I almost never talk about it. Few of my colleagues are aware that my first research degree was in Buddhist philosophy. Few of my Christian friends are aware that my first religious practice was Zen.

You are in a foreign country if the streets are named after unfamiliar dates. Not that many British streets are named after dates even of the most familiar kind, though one or two, thanks to the bad joke played on the inhabitants by city planners, might suitably be renamed “1st April Street”.

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19 January 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
I had climbed the stile and was halfway up the hill when the covey broke cover. Clucking in alarm, wings whirring, the grey partridges bulleted directly above my head.

Two weeks into 2017, and the top executives who head the FTSE 100 companies have already earned an extraordinary £80,000 apiece.

It is almost a year since Laurian Bold, a 31-year-old chemistry teacher at Hollingworth Academy in Milnrow, Rochdale, died after falling to her death from a motorway bridge.

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12 January 2017
Who would have expected to find an orchard here?

When the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” was released in 1966, there was uneasiness about how the public would take its invocation of the Deity. Tony Asher, who co-wrote it, later remarked: “Unless you were Kate Smith and you were singing ‘God Bless America’, no one thought you could say ‘God’ in a song.”

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04 January 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
A night of freezing fog was falling. Our breath steaming, my nephew and I paused at a gate. In the field, bunched together for warmth, sheep munched on a pile of fodder beet.

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