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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Sunday, May 13, 2007
    Tough Minds in a Time of Violence
    Tidying up files on the computer I rediscovered an article I wrote in 1996, Tough Minds in a Time of Violence, my response to the untimely death of Revd Christopher Gray, killed on his Anfield vicarage doorstep aged 32.

    Strikes me now that the legacy of this tragedy for the diocesan authorities was their heavy investment in CCTV on clergy premises. Rather like the legacy of Hillsborough being the government and football authorities forcing clubs to massively invest in all-seater stadia. Rather missing some more fundamental points like how we can learn to be radically nonviolent in a culture of violence, which was what most struck me at Chris's thanksgiving service.

    Eleven years on, my character squeezed and squashed and bruised and battered by a decade of ministerial training and parish slog, it's very refreshing to re-read that article and hear the younger me being open to the possibility of taking such ideals into ministry. Working hard at being radically nonviolent; having a tough mind in a time of violence - I still gratefully take these things as Christopher's great legacy and inspiration.