Gavin Drake

Journalist

Did you hear about the vicar who banned “Onward Christian Soldiers”?

Did you hear about the vicar who banned “Onward Christian Soldiers”? The chances are that you have: the story that the Revd Steve Bailey, team rector-designate of St Peter’s Church in Oadby, Leicestershire, has banned the Victorian hymn from this year’s Remembrance Sunday service has…

Happy Christmas (No – I’m not late)

When out and about shopping this week, I’ve noticed that supermarkets have stopped playing Christmas music – I would say carols, but it’s mainly the pop-style Christmas music that they have been blaring out of their PA systems for the past two months. Why shouldn’t…

Cinema Advertising? I’m offended!

I’m not a major cinema-goer these days. But I still go around three or four times a year. It wasn’t always that way. I used to go weekly to a cinema in Bloxwich, north Walsall, for the Saturday Morning Kids Club. Whether this was a…

The Bishop of Lichfield’s police incident

My old boss, Jonathan Gledhill, yesterday announced that he will retire from his post as the 98th bishop of Lichfield later this year after 40 years in ordained ministry. So I thought it may be an appropriate time to shed some light on a certain…

Church of England considers moving the north-south divide

The precise location of the north-south divide has been difficult to pinpoint with any clarity. Manchester is in the north, of course; unless you’re in the Highlands, in which case it is very much in the south. The midpoint of the longest north-south axis in…

Will you pray for the media?

What do you think of when somebody says “the media”? For most people, the term is synonymous with “Fleet Street” – the eponymous collective of scribes, hacks, journalists, reporters, photographers, snappers – whatever you want to call us, that write or take pictures for newspapers. Whenever I deliver…

When Christians lie to abuse the truth

Recently, a couple of websites have been created to cast doubt on last year’s investigation into the shamed evangelist Tony Anthony. I had carried out an extensive investigation into Tony Anthony’s “story”, supported by a group of concerned Christians who had been carrying out their…

Holy Land on the cheap!

Regular readers (do I have any?) will know that I have a close affinity with the Holy Land and love to visit Jerusalem. I try to go at least once a year. It isn’t always possible – either the finances aren’t there or I can’t…

Ex-gay ad may prove embarrassing to London Mayor Boris Johnson

London Mayor Boris Johnson may yet come to regret getting involved in the decision to pull an advert for the “ex-gay” group the Core Issues Trust after the Court of Appeal today ruled that he should be ordered to give evidence about his role in…

The sound of heaven in Jerusalem

The Old City of Jerusalem sounds pretty much like any Middle-Eastern city: the sound of market traders in a crowded suq competing with incessant tour guides – some amplified – over the Adhan, or call to prayer. Jerusalem is different, of course, and depending upon…

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© Gavin Drake 2017