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  • Writer's pictureTony Holden


Our February blog – has links with our twins Sian and Adam and their websites; four recent drawings by Tony; and Barbara writing on St David, Wales and ‘living with difference’.


Sian Newton fundraising consultant - 

Dr Adam Holden Durham University - 

Adam Holden music - – and link to ‘playtime for everyone’ 

Tony's drawings

Barbara Holden - St David, Wales and ‘living with difference’.

Most years I’ve remembered St David’s Day. It celebrates both our nation of Wales and the sixth century St David whose work was the city Cathedral, teaching and churches throughout Wales. I often quote his final sermon: "be joyful, keep the faith, do the little things."

Living as we do in Loughton, an Essex commuter town on the edge of London, I’ve often shared these insights with friends and at our church. In 2021 I wrote:

“My identity and life are bound up with my South Wales Valley upbringing. From the outset I enjoyed being Welsh including of course music and singing. My generation were not taught the language. I was not aware of feminism [let alone Christian feminism!]. Indeed, my own religious life was in the Methodist Church but that was set within very strongly non-conformist Welsh and independent strands. Then, as I grew older and learnt about what was happening in Welsh politics I also began to learn about Celtic spirituality”.

Out of all this and from my work experience has come my passion for the importance of ‘living with difference’. Given our human conflicts it seems to me to be at the heart of human happiness and survival.

There have been many influences along the way.

[1] One is my continued study of the life and teaching of Jesus in the Gospels within Christian [Methodist] churches.

[2] Then all I’ve learnt from other Christians, including most recently, Quaker’s with their emphasis on “Hold yourself and others in the light” (Quaker A&Q3) and their practice of ‘peace vigils’ during these times of war.

[3] Further my experience of living and working in multiracial communities not least in the London Borough of Newham for 30 years {1976-2006}. The lifetime effects of two study tours to India. My commitment to interfaith dialogue, in all of the places we’ve lived, is now worked out with two small groups of women who meet regularly.

[4] Then there is my daily experience, that if you seek to meet with and listen to the people you encounter (including strangers), then your own life and faith is enriched. I’m talking the church café, the High Road, Morrisons!

[5] Finally I’m aware that one version of world history is to do with migration! So, I arrive at the idea that the hardest question of all is how we persuade people and institutions to change from prejudice, hatred, revenge and violence to ways of kindness, compassion, peace and justice.

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