SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Andrew M Brown

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March 21, 2019
If you are one of those radio listeners who find the BBC’s Today programme boring, there is always Nick Ferrari’s LBC phone-in show in the morning. It is raw, abrasive at times, but addictive. “Get it off your chest and on the radio,” says Ferrari, a former tabloid journalist. So confident is he that people
February 21, 2019
Do you go “shopping” for a church where you find the style of worship suits you, or because you find the priest congenial and the congregation friendly (but not too friendly)? The practice is frowned upon in some Catholic circles, though it’s normal in the Anglican Church with its greater range of worship styles. Many
January 24, 2019
“I feel European,” says Jeremy Clarkson, the presenter of Amazon’s The Grand Tour, in an interview with the Daily Beast website a few days ago. “When I go to America and people ask where I’m from, I say I’m from Europe.” Most people will surely understand what he means – even if not all will
January 03, 2019
As the cost of the orgy of Christmas consumption pops up in the bank account, I wonder if I am being naive and foolish to pay through the nose for de luxe British-made things – such as pricey cashmere from Brora, say, or a gleaming stainless steel Dualit toaster, instead of the far cheaper mass-produced
December 06, 2018
For 36 years Kenneth Rose in his Sunday Telegraph “Albany” column chronicled the doings of the establishment. His connections with royalty were so extensive that when he once asked his secretary at the Sunday Telegraph: “Get me the King”, she replied: “Which King?” Rose liked “people of rank” and wrote approvingly of the historian HAL
November 15, 2018
The paradox of modern mass tourism is that we all want to visit beautiful places that aren’t spoilt by tourism, and yet each of us is a tourist who contributes in some sense to the destruction of those places. This is a subject that the visionary French writer Michel Houellebecq (pronounced “Welbeck”) explored brilliantly and
November 01, 2018
The inventor of the marshmallow experiment, Walter Mischel, died in September. If you remember, this was the psychological test where you leave a young child alone in a room with a marshmallow, saying you can either have this one straightaway, or two marshmallows if you wait 15 minutes. The children who held out for the
September 13, 2018
A fascinating phone call came through to the obituaries desk at the Telegraph last week. It was from an actress who had spent time with Elvis Presley in the 1960s, and after several in-depth conversations with him had gained a remarkable insight into how his strong Christian upbringing had left its mark. Barbara Whatley, as
August 16, 2018
“Soft refreshing rain” – those words popped into my head when the first thunderstorms of this summer broke. As in the hymn: We plough the fields, and scatter The good seed on the land; But it is fed and watered By God’s almighty hand: He sends the snow in winter, The warmth to swell the
July 05, 2018
About 15 years ago I went to a gym with my wife. We tried side-by-side stair climbers. Seeing our puffing, sweating, beetroot-coloured cheeks in front of the full-length mirrors sent us into hysterics. We never went back to the gym, and took to playing tennis instead. In the past, I found I could cut back
June 07, 2018
What’s happening to the Church of England and how does the situation compare with the Catholic Church? There was a recent pithy letter to the Times about Bishop Michael Curry’s “power of love” sermon at the Royal Wedding. It was from Trevor Beeson, dean emeritus of Winchester Cathedral and a former canon of Westminster Abbey
May 09, 2018
In the very sad case of Alfie Evans, plenty of views (or paraphrases of views) have been attributed to the English bishops. But it is worth reading what Cardinal Vincent Nichols actually said: “Wisdom enables us to make decisions based on full information, and many people have taken a stand on Alfie’s case in recent
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