PG on Red Nose
Click on Picture for Enlargement
THE PORTRAIT OF PG
AS A YOUNG-ISH CHIMP
born at an early age; my mother was there at the time.'
the wise cracks, PLEASE!!
I'm a born
optimist, always able to smile at the face of adversity (and, to the horror
of those who know me, at the misfortunes of others!) I laugh at most things,
and most people, but especially at the Rowan Atkinson, John Cleese and
Charlie Chaplin's of the world.
So that is
something of my character - what of my jobs? Having trained at Durham as a teacher (and
also met my now former-wife), I then taught Religious Education and Games. I
suppose a form of 'muscular Christianity'. Hemel
Hempstead survived my teaching for four years. Then it was a
case of 'Constant change is here to stay'.
Then I became
Warden of a youth hostel attached to Coventry Cathedral. That was an
experience and a half. By that I mean I was put in at the deep end,
liturgically speaking. Having been used to a nondenominational, charismatic,
evangelical free church-style of worship, I couldn't at first cope with all
the ritual. I came to appreciate this more! One of the more memorable
occasions was the birth of my daughter Anna
had come, "the Walrus said, "to think of many things "... like
where do we go from here? What could be a more natural step than to train for
the ministry in the Church of England? I did this for two great years in Nottingham. My son Tom
was born there in 1984. Dear little Tom
was 1½ when we moved to Kingston-on-Thames,
where I was the curate of a low-evangelical church (excuse all the terminology.
but it will mean something to somebody! 'Onest guv').
I was a curate
for just six months when I had my asthma attack. This led to cerebral anoxia
(starvation of oxygen to the brain) which left me very much as I am today
i.e. not able to do much for myself, and can only talk quietly.
I prefer to say that I'm 'wheelchair-bound but mentally sound.'
So I haven't lost my 'marbles' (though some would question this! How dare
What are, and
were my interests? These ranged from sport to music. I used to play all the
racquet sports quite well, even if I say so myself! I'd try my hand at
anything, and loved skiing too, though I only went a handful of times! On the
music front, I used to play the guitar (ragtime style). I especially enjoyed
the music of Ralph McTell, Tom
Paxton and of course Simon and Garfunkel (well that definitely dates me). I
also taught myself to play the flute, the piano and my uncle taught me to
play the saw - definitely my party piece!
I moved to the Royal Hospital
for Neuro-disability, in Putney (SW London) after my initial stay in Kingston Hospital, in 1986. Since then, I've
benefited from the various therapies i.e. speech, physio, occupational and
I had my own
regular column, called 'PG's Tips for Survival at the RHN' in a Hospital's
quarterly magazine, which are the 'Sidney
'What has happened to my
Christian faith?, I hear you cry!'
was never angry with God, though of course I was occasionally jealous of
However these moments never lasted.
I was kept
afloat by the Lord - and by the thoughts of my late school friend Robin. It
was said of him that
'he focussed not on the "What if?" nor the "Why me?" but
rather "What am I going to do today?"'
My peace, given
by God (Philippians 4:7 "the peace of God, which transcends (is
beyond the grasp of) all understanding, will guard your hearts and your
minds in Christ Jesus.") is best summarized by Bob Gass, in one of
his 'Word for Today' from www.ucbmedia.co.uk
"Only in acceptance lies peace...not in resignation. There's a big
Davis points out that:
is surrender to
Acceptance is surrender to God.
down quietly in an empty universe.
Acceptance rises up to meet the God who fills that universe with purpose and
Resignation says 'I can't'.
Acceptance says 'God can'.
Resignation says 'It's all over for me'.
Acceptance says 'Now that I'm here, what's next Lord?'
Resignation says 'What a waste'.
Acceptance says 'In what redemptive way will you use this mess, Lord?'
Resignation says, 'I'm alone'.
Acceptance says, 'I belong to you Lord'.
My interest in
computers developed while I was at theological college, where I started with
a Sinclair Spectrum - you remember, the one with rubber keypad. Anyhow, I saw
the potential for the computer in ministry but never really got the
opportunity to put it into practice.
However, I can
use a keyboard, even if with one finger at a time, using the remarkable EZ
Keys software. This has largely been overtaken by being hooked up to a switch / button which scans a grid system of new
I also use a trackball.
Being on the
Internet, and using e-mail has opened up the world. It's amazing to have
access to so much information, and be able to correspond so easily to so
many. Through my disability came the chance to communicate, via the computer,
using the written word.
thus the yarn began...."
Top of Page
Please email me
with any comments/feedback