Image of two copper pennies (British). Title: The Silent Finance Awards. Text: Matthew on money: Jesus teaches on almsgiving. A comedy. Matthew 6:1–4. Faith in Grey Places.

On giving to the poor: ‘The Silent Finance Awards’ (a comedy based on Matthew 6:1–4)

Today’s sketch is based on Jesus’ teachings about giving in Matthew 6:1–4. There are many kinds of financial giving, but according to the NET, the kind referred to in this passage is ‘alms’, referring ‘primarily to the giving of money or food for the relief of the poor.’ 

Continue reading On giving to the poor: ‘The Silent Finance Awards’ (a comedy based on Matthew 6:1–4)
Picture of neon lit up in the dark saying saying "THIS IS THE SIGN YOU'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR". Text on the left: Matthew on Money: Jesus sends out the twelve: "The Miracle Method". A satire | Matthew 10:5–15. Faith in Grey Places.

Jesus sends out the twelve: ‘The Miracle Method’ (a satire based on Matthew 5:5–15)

Happy new year!

This week, I have another short sketch, based on Matthew 10:5–15 when Jesus sends out the twelve. I imagine a conversation between Peter and Andrew and their host as the two apostles visit a town. 

Continue reading Jesus sends out the twelve: ‘The Miracle Method’ (a satire based on Matthew 5:5–15)
Picture of a caravan of camels silhouetted against a desert sky. Title text: The Three Wise Wives. Other text: Matthew on money: the visit of the magi; a short drama, Matthew 2

The Three Wise Wives (a short drama based on Matthew 2)

Happy First Sunday of Advent! Today I have a very easy-going, light-hearted-but-serious sketch for you.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve really enjoyed writing short sketches about money, but the festive season is no time for satire.

Today, I’ve explored the story of the visit of the magi. There’s actually a lot that can be said about money from this chapter of Matthew’s gospel (Matthew 2). 

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Picture from above of medical equipment used by people with type 1 diabetes. Title text: "Offering and greed: the apocalypse of price gouging". Side text: Matthew on money: The cleansing of the temple. A satire. Matthew 21:12-13. Faith in Grey Places.

Offering and Greed: The Apocalypse of Price Gouging (a satire based on Matthew 21:12–13)

Today, I wanted to write about price gouging – a practice of exploitation through unnecessarily high prices. I noticed some similarities between the story of insulin (how it was discovered and how it is now priced in the US) and the story of Jesus cleansing the temple. 

The sketch is 1,000 words long, but it’s also light-hearted for a satire and has a refreshing declaration of Jesus’s ministry. 

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Picture of pots of seeds sprouting with text on the left: "Wealth managers outraged by 'deceitful' slur". Matthew on money: the parable of the sower. A satire based on Matthew 13:1–23. Faith in Grey Places

Wealth managers outraged by “deceitful” slur (a satire based on the parable of the sower)

As I was finishing the last series for Faith in Grey Places, I began to think the next one would look at Matthew’s gospel in some way. Then as the news-feed scrolled on I thought maybe this was a time to write about money. 

According to The Infographic Bible by Karen Sawrey, money is the fourth most-frequently preached on topic of Jesus’ teaching [p148-151]. The top three being the kingdom of God, the Father, and faith. 

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Scene 6: Samuel talks with Jesus. Living with conflict theatre series. Faith in Grey Places.

Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and Jesus

For lent and Easter 2022, I’m writing six duologues between Samuel and other people in the Bible, all on the theme of living with conflict. The prophet Samuel, now deceased, converses with a series of guests in paradise, reflecting on their past experiences and what it was to live with conflict. All posts in the series are listed here.

In this, the sixth and final scene, he finds himself standing with Jesus outside the Philistine city of Beth-Shan, after Saul and his sons were defeated in battle. They talk about Saul’s life, the silence of death and the dead. 

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Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and Jonathan

For lent and Easter 2022, I’m writing six duologues between Samuel and other people in the Bible, all on the theme of living with conflict. The prophet Samuel, now deceased, converses with a series of guests in paradise, reflecting on their past experiences and what it was to live with conflict. All posts in the series are listed here.

In this, the fifth scene, he meets Jonathan amongst a colonnade of marble pillars. Jonathan shares how Michelangelo’s David prompted him explore stories from other traditions and see echoes of his life in them.

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Text on dark blue background: Scene 4: Samuel talks with Peter's wife. Living with conflict theatre series. Faith in Grey Places.

Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and Peter’s wife

For lent and Easter 2022, I’m writing six duologues between Samuel and other people in the Bible, all on the theme of living with conflict. The prophet Samuel, now deceased, converses with a series of guests in paradise, reflecting on their past experiences and what it was to live with conflict. All posts in the series are listed here.

In this, the fourth scene, he meets Peter’s wife, Abigail, inside a heavenly version of St Peter’s Basilica. They discuss the hazards of fame and the role of art in helping people approach God.

I thought this duologue would be with Paul. Last week I realised Peter was a better candidate. Then this week, I saw a chance to introduce another female voice by bringing Samuel to meet with Peter’s wife instead. 

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Scene 3: Samuel talks with John the Baptist. Living with conflict theatre series. Faith in Grey Places

Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and John the Baptist

For lent and Easter 2022, I’m writing six duologues between Samuel and other people in the Bible, all on the theme of living with conflict. The prophet Samuel, now deceased, converses with a series of guests in paradise, reflecting on their past experiences and what it was to live with conflict. All posts in the series are listed here.

In this, the third scene, he goes to visit John the Baptist, whose ministry of repentance helped people prepare for the coming of Jesus. 

Samuel discovers that John has chosen to make his dwelling a flat expanse of desert. John wryly recounts the things people say to him when they interrupt his solitude. 

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Text on black background with a thorn motif in the corner: Scene 2: Samuel talks with Ezekiel. Living with conflict theatre series. Faith in Grey Places

Living with conflict: A duologue between Samuel and Ezekiel

For lent 2022, I’m writing six duologues between Samuel and other people in the Bible, all on the theme of living with conflict.

The prophet Samuel, now deceased, converses with a series of guests in paradise, reflecting on their past experiences and what it was to live with conflict. In this, the second scene, he meets Ezekiel, the would-be priest who was exiled to Babylon, where he saw some pretty indescribable visions of God and wrote them down in a book of prophecy.

Samuel asks Ezekiel whether he’d rather be a prophet or a priest. Ezekiel answers that he’d be a mathematician.

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Text on black background with a thorn motif in the corner: Scene 1: Samuel talks with the 'young girl from Israel' Living with conflict theatre series. Faith in Grey Places

Living with conflict and 2 Kings 5: A duologue between Samuel and the ‘young girl from Israel’

For lent 2022, I’m writing six duologues between Samuel and other people in the Bible, all on the theme of living with conflict. The prophet Samuel, now deceased, converses with a series of guests in paradise, reflecting on their past experiences and what it was to live with conflict. 

In this, the first scene, he meets Ronit who (when she was alive) prompted Naaman, commander of an enemy army, to seek healing from the prophet Elisha. The story is recorded in 2 Kings 5. 

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Close up picture of a rich woman in a large ornate room, sitting on a red and gold couch, wearing a tiara, looking out towards the light with a concerned look on her face. Has the text: His blood and his body, a poem reflecting on when Pilate washed his hands

His blood and his body (a poem reflecting on when Pilate washed his hands)

Bible and other references for this poem: Matthew 27:11–26, Mark 15:1–15, Luke 23:1–25, John 18:28–19:16.
Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’: Act One, Scene V; Act One, Scene VII; Act Two, Scene II; Act Five, Scene I.
Also: Matthew 23:27, Daniel 7:28.

Last week I wrote that I’ve written these poems starting from a blank slate, meaning the end result often surprises me. Again, this one surprised me.

Also, I hope you like Shakespeare.

I wanted to reflect on Pilate’s agency, especially how on Good Friday he tried to wash his hands in public and absolve himself from the guilt of Jesus’s death. The account is in Matthew 27:11-26, Mark 15:1-15, Luke 23:1-25 and John 18:28-19:16.

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Two Boys From Nazareth (a sketch about John the Baptist’s ministry)

This is a monologue / narrative sermon based on Matthew 3:1–12. It’s told from the point of view of an anonymous man.

James and I grew up in Nazareth. We were best friends; inseparable; always getting into scrapes together. 

One Sabbath, at the synagogue, we crept up behind Rabbi Cohen and tied the tassels on his shawl together. We nearly got away with it too, but then he leaned forward in his prayers when we weren’t expecting it and he felt the tug from behind. He was furious. Of course we said we were sorry but, the truth be told, we were only sorry that we got caught!

Rabbi Cohen would say, [grandiose] “Repentance is like the sea: one can bathe in it at any time.” [wry] Except that in the case of our sorry sinful state, our repentance had to be there and then. It had to satisfy him. James and I hated him for that. 

It seemed that Rabbi Cohen always wanted us turn away from something good, or else face something bad. It felt like a pretty miserable deal so you can guess how much repenting James and I have done since we grew up. 

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Skandalon: Mary teaches the boy Jesus

This is a short story / sketch based on the events recorded in Luke 2:41–50. It is told from Mary’s point of view.


We went to Jerusalem again this year to celebrate Passover. It was the third time we’ve been able to do so since Joseph and I returned to Galilee, but still it conjured so many emotions for me.

On the one hand it was good to be amongst family and friends, walking with them and seeing the children play together. On the other hand it reminded me of all that I missed during the years we were in Egypt. I heard the young mothers asking questions of the older women, receiving good advice and homely encouragement. It stung to be reminded how I didn’t have that community and I tried so hard not to begrudge them.

The children were a handful, as ever.

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Black and white picture of New Jerusalem Bible open at the passage for the circumcision of John the Baptist

His name is John: Elizabeth writes to Mary

I was contemplating what it must have been like for Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist. She went  through childbirth in her old age, knowing she would not live see her son minister and having to wrestle with the religious and political tensions of her culture. It can’t have been easy. This is an imagined letter written from Elizabeth to Mary (her cousin and the mother of Jesus), inspired by the events told in Luke’s gospel chapter 1, verses 5-25 and 57-80.

By the way: this piece was so popular when I first wrote it, that I wrote a sequel: a monologue from Mary’s point of view when Jesus is 12 years old and they travel to Jerusalem. If you like this sketch, be sure to read that one too: Skandalon: Mary teaches the boy Jesus.


Elizabeth, a delighted mother whom God has mercifully remembered in her old age,

To Mary, my dear cousin and blessed mother to be,

Peace be with you.

It seems but a day since you returned to Galilee, and yet I know it has already been some three months. Please forgive me for taking so long to write to you.

Continue reading His name is John: Elizabeth writes to Mary