Tag Archives: interview

Charlie Chaplain


17 years ago today, I was interviewed for the post of full-time Chaplain to the Dumfries Hospitals.

The interview was scheduled for 12 noon, so I set off from Edinburgh (in a hire car – I had flown in from Guernsey the day before) in plenty of time. No need for maps; I knew the route well – aye, that would be the A7 then? Oops! Near Selkirk, I realised that I was heading to Carlisle.

Got to Selkirk – then the lousy track, via St. Mary’s Loch and the Grey Mare’s Tail, and on to Moffat.

The clock was ticking….. and even more so when I found myself somehow on the by-pass, driving away from the Infirmary.

It got worse: after the interview, I drove up Bankend Road, missed the turn for Annan, drove in what was effectively a circle – past Caerlaverock – and back into Dumfries and St.Michael’s Street.

“Funny?” I thought, “didn’t realise Annan was as big as this….”

Back to the interview; arrived with five minutes before I was scheduled to be questioned. Hot, perspiring, crumpled.

The old boardroom at DGRI; probably nine folk round a table asking questions.

“You’ve been just a year in your present Charge; why…..”

I cut him off by making a lame joke about no longer wishing to spend by time drinking tea with old women….of both sexes!

Ha! Ha! How we laughed – not.

The replies to most of the other questions, mostly involving hypothetical situations, were “I don’t know”, “It would depend on circumstances/ situation / patient in question / whether I had a hangover…” (I’ve just made up the last of these)

Finally, after an apparently unproductive hour of inquisition, the last question: “What do you think is your main strength?”

Answer, “I don’t take myself too seriously”


I got to the car park, and phoned Helen. “Don’t bother packing up – that was grim”

And then the scenic route back – as outlined above.

Back in the Channel Islands, a phone call a couple of days later. I was out at the time. On my return, Helen said that I’d been offered the post.

“Should I take it?”

Her answer was in the affirmative, accompanied by threats that, if I didn’t……well, if you have a vivid imagination, you can perhaps guess how horrendous the consequences for my marital life would be!

On the 11th June 1999 we left on the 1 o’clock ferry from St Peter Port to Poole, and I began what was to be 13 happy and fulfilling years as the Dumfries Healthcare Chaplain on the 14th at 8.30 am.

ps I no longer get lost – thank the good Lord for those clever folk who invented the GPS sat-nav.

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Bono on Jesus

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Bono Vox

Bono talks to Gay Byrne about religion and his beliefs

When Bono and his family want to worship, they read Scriptures, go to church or sometimes just pile into bed and pray.

In an interview with Ireland’s RTE One in June 2013, the U2 frontman opened up about his belief in Jesus, his prayer practice and the way he and his wife instill religious values in their children.

“I pray to get to know the will of God, because then the prayers have more chance of coming true — I mean, that’s the thing about prayer,” Bono told interviewer Gay Byrne. “We don’t do it in a very lofty way in our family. It’s just a bunch of us on the bed, usually, we’ve a very big bed in our house. We pray with all our kids, we read the Scriptures, we pray.”

Byrne presses Bono on his perception of Jesus — Was he divine? Did he truly rise from the dead? Bono answers in the affirmative.

“[Jesus] went around saying he was the Messiah. That’s why he was crucified. He was crucified because he said he was the Son of God. So, he either, in my view, was the Son of God or he was nuts. Forget rock-and-roll messianic complexes, I mean Charlie Manson-type delirium. And I find it hard to accept that whole millions and millions of lives, half the Earth, for 2,000 years have been touched, have felt their lives touched and inspired by some nutter. I just, I don’t believe it.”
When asked if he believed Jesus made promises that would come true, Bono replied, “Yes, I do.”

Apart from his prolific music career, Bono is also an avid philanthropist and social entrepreneur. In 2002 he co-founded DATA, an AIDS and poverty awareness organization that would go on to create ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History.

Bono’s faith has been an ongoing factor in his advocacy work, and it even cropped up in the lyrics of some of his most famous U2 hits. From ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’: “I believe in the kingdom come/Then all the colors will bleed into one.”

(from Huff Post)

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April 11, 2014 · 15:30

The utterly unpleasant Franklin Graham (son of Billy)

exclusive interview with Huff Post

In just the first 60 seconds of this interview with Franklin Graham, the son of charismatic preacher Billy Graham, viewers are treated to his condemnation of gay adoption as “recruitment,” fear-mongering about a political gay agenda, as well as a strong endorsement of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s harsh policies towards LGBT individuals.

The interview, conducted by Charlotte Observer religion reporter Tim Funk, stands in stark contrast to the statement released earlier this week by major Christian charity World Vision, which announced that it would treat gay job applicants the same way that it would consider straight ones.

“Gays and lesbians cannot have children,” Graham commented. When Funk pointed out that they could adopt, he retorted, “Yeah, they can recruit.”

He went on to imply that gay adoptions are tantamount to exploitation of children:

You can adopt a child into a marriage, but you can also recruit children into your cause. I believe in protecting children, OK? From exploitation, all exploitations.
During the interview, Graham insisted that he was simply speaking out the way his father once did, despite the unpopularity of his views.

“You talk about controversy – my father stood with Martin Luther King in the early 1960s,” Graham told Funk, according to the Charlotte Observer. “My father never worried about polls. I don’t care about them, either. And with the issues we are facing today – if my father were a younger man, he would be addressing and speaking out in the exact same way I’m speaking out on them.”

Dartmouth professor Randall Balmer, author of The Making of Evangelicalism: From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond, questioned Franklin Graham’s assessment of his father’s civil rights record in an email to The Huffington Post:

Billy Graham, to my knowledge, never stood publicly with MLK. He did invite King to give the invocation one evening at one of the gatherings during his 1957 revival campaign in Madison Square Garden, but Graham was conspicuously absent during the March on Washington or the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in the wake of the police shooting of Jimmie Lee Jackson in nearby Marion.
For Franklin Graham to compare the Civil Rights movement to his opposition to gay and lesbian rights is not only laughable, it is, frankly, odious.

Graham’s comments over the course of the interview are not limited to jabs at the LGBT community — he also warns of the threat posed by American Muslims, the left-wing media, and the Obama administration.

Watch it above, if you can stomach it.

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March 27, 2014 · 08:53

Russell Brand and the Westboro Baptist “Church”

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October 24, 2013 · 13:48

The Dis – Courses

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September 17, 2013 · 10:35

Russell Brand and the Westboro Baptist “Church”

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September 15, 2013 · 11:30


At a Church of Scotland selection school (where candidates for the ministry are chosen) a good friend and contemporary, in answer to a question “If you didn’t wish to be a minister, what would you like to do?”

He answered “Play for Hibs”

The psychologist who interviewed him asked “So you play football?”

“I’m terrible at it, but you asked ‘What would I LIKE to do?'”

He got in and the Rev Dr W.  should, in his 60’s, consider pulling on his boots to help out the Hobbos!

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Funeral Planning

An 80 year old lady was being interviewed by the local news station because she had just  married for the fourth time.

The interviewer asked her questions about her life, about what it felt like to be marrying again at 80, and then about her new husband’s

“He’s a funeral director,” she answered

. “Interesting,” the newsman thought. He then asked her if she wouldn’t mind  telling him a little about her first three husbands and what they did for a living.
She paused for a few moments, needing time to reflect on all those years.

After a short time, a smile came to her face and she answered proudly, explaining that she’d first married a banker when she was in her early 20’s, then a circus ringmaster when in her 40’s, later on a Minister when in her 60’s, and now in her 80’s, a funeral director.

The interviewer looked at her, quite astonished, and asked her why she had married four men with such diverse careers.

She smiled and explained “I married one for the money, two for the show,  three to get ready, and four to go”.


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Holy Flying Circus


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July 5, 2013 · 14:32