The Jeff Cuttell Diaries...


My Dear friends,

My current bedtime reading is keeping me awake until far too late. I am on the first volume of the Alan Clark Diaries, with its entries ranging far and wide as he reflects on matters as diverse as the sexual magnetism and Margaret Thatcher to the personal details of his massive overdraft.

Our fascination with the intimate and the trivial in people's lives has a long literary tradition, from the historical and autobiographical diarists such as Samuel Pepys and George Herbert, to the modern fiction of Adrian Mole and Bridget Jones. In our electronic age perhaps its newest incarnation is the phenomenon of the internet web-log.

From time to time I have just toyed with the idea of keeping a regular diary myself, my jotted notes from serving in the Balkans were not entirely uninteresting. However, it doesn’t take long before an honest assessment of your entries makes you realise the hard truth - your life really just isn’t that interesting! A quick comparison with Alan Clark for illustration: AC was born the son of one of the intellectual giants of the 20th century, my Dad was a coal miner turned biscuit salesman; AC’s family home was Saltwood castle, I was brought up in a 3 bed semi; ACs hobbies included blondes and vintage cars, mine include fried egg sandwiches and the occasional run. It’s hardly the stuff of a best-seller is it?

Here’s the honest truth: The great british public would have no interest in my secret life... but God does. God has been avidly following its journey from the moment of my mistaken conception. He was with me through the turbulence of adolescence and my journey to faith. He knows my hopes for the future, my bad day at work, my struggles to do the right thing, my little triumphs... These matters of the deepest disinterest to most of this world are matters of the utmost concern to God. From Jesus teaching in the Gospels I know he is even interested in my hair loss and the sparrow that builds its nest in the eves of our home.

Whilst the News of the World and the great british public find the private life of the Beckhams a source of fascination, God may be the only one out there with a similar passion for the cares and concerns of the life of this middle aged Vicar. And actually, I’m not sure if I don’t have the better deal!

Jeff Cuttell.


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