Simon Parke  
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Jo Brand's joke

Posted by Simon Parke, 13 Jun 2019

Jo Brand is in the news for a joke she made on the radio.

It sounded like a ‘spur-of-the-moment’ gag, in which she criticised milk shakes being thrown at ‘nasty people’ - and recommended throwing battery acid instead.

She immediately reassured us that this was a joke…

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What is prayer?

Posted by Simon Parke, 11 Jun 2019

What is prayer?

Prayer is stopping

Prayer is stopping rather than starting

Stopping rather than doing

It is stopping talking…

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Contentment. True or false?

Posted by Simon Parke, 10 Jun 2019

I remember the conversation at a gathering. We could go there now. The woman is telling me how contented she is.

‘I’m very contented,’ she says. ‘Very, very contented.’

I ask if she ever gets angry. She says that people dying in Afghanistan makes her angry.

Why that war in particular?...

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Happiness notes

Posted by Simon Parke, 7 Jun 2019

It is a big moment in our lives when we discover we are our own happiness.

For happiness is neither an emotion nor a reaction, but a space – a space within us. If we want to consider happiness then we must first consider space…

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Grace, she's amazing

Posted by Simon Parke, 5 Jun 2019

As you will know, (I have nothing new to tell you) grace is variously disguised and never knows quite how we will respond.

Sometimes she’s simply someone listening to our story without judgement.

I remember one young man. When he left me, he said, ‘I feel like I am walking on air.’

I had done nothing…

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Cover of The Secret Testament of Julian

Julian of Norwich, contemporary of both Chaucer and Langland, was the first woman to write a book in English. Yet remarkably, she disappeared from view for 600 years, before her rediscovery in the 20th century. My new novel is Julian’s own telling of her life.

Cover of Another Bloody Retreat

In the first of my Abbot Peter mysteries, in a prequel to the Abbot’s Stormhaven adventures, Peter takes us back to the monastery of St James-the-Less. There in the shadows of Mt Sinai, Abbot Peter faces a discomforting cocktail of deception, delusion and death.


Julian of Norwich was the most remarkable of the 14th century mystics, whose Revelations of Divine Love has only grown in substance down the centuries. On this retreat, in a contemplative spirit, we sit with Julian in her cell in 14th century England, listening both to the remarkable times in which she lived; and to her life, her words and her soul.

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