Welcome to PrayingatHome.com
I set up this blog in June 2015, following a long struggle trying to think about the kind of things I could possibly write about.
A wise person once wrote, “Everyone is an expert in something”. So I’m writing this in case anyone wants to read it.
And as you’re reading it, then I guess you’re pretty unique. 🙂
What’s ‘Praying at Home’ about?
At the beginning of lockdown in March 2020, here in central Scotland, I realised that there would be a thirst for things of the Spirit (as well as perhaps some other kinds of spirit!).
Thinking not only of those people for whom lockdown and relative isolation would be new, I also remembered the many people for whom every day is lockdown.
As lockdown gradually eased during 2020 and required again in 2021, the importance of resources remains urgent.
Thinking of how I might appreciate such a “solution” myself, I hoped that resources I might produce would be
- Ecumenical & Interfaith-sensitive
- Helpful & encouraging
Having become sensitised to the importance of choosing words carefully, I have generally avoided the use of gender in referring to God; naturally Jesus (as a man) is “him”, while, following ancient and contemporary spiritual traditions, I frequently refer to the Spirit of God as “her”.
Gerard Hughes SJ’s marvellous book God of Surprises introduced me to this concept; after just a little while getting used to it, it now seems perfectly normal to refer to God’s self rather than himself, or his “this, that or the other”.
I don’t engage in polemics; however, I’m not afraid to reflect on issues of injustice in our world – and in the Church!
This is in accordance with (whilst not comparing myself to!) the great prophets.
The format is loosely based on a combination of the classic lectio divina and Services of the Word:
- short reading
- two daily readings plus psalm (optional)
- short reflection
- music for reflection
- the Lord’s Prayer
- final prayer
I have many years’ experience working with musicians of very different skill levels and styles.
For nearly 20 years, I worked for the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), mainly in education (Voice for Life and Sacred Music Studies) but also in the voluntary section, supporting its work in Scotland.
Church music experience includes 10 years as Director of Music at Arundel Cathedral, where I started the children’s choir, before supporting smaller churches.
I am currently (since 2012) Director of Music at Holy Trinity Scottish Episcopal Church, in the centre of Stirling.
Music in the Community
Since 2009 I have been Conductor of the Stirling University Choir, bringing a wide range of music to student and staff members of the University, as well as a sizeable contingent of members from the community.
I work with other choirs, including RHET Factor Choir and Rosenethe Singers, and have worked with the Gargunnock Songsters and the Stirling City Choir.
Qualifications & Awards
- Bachelors and Masters degrees in music (Surrey)
- Certificate in Theology (Southampton)
- Colleague (CRCO) diploma from the Royal College of Organists (my ARCO is in progress)
- Associate (ARSCM) of the Royal School of Church Music, for services to music and liturgy in both England and Scotland
- Fellow (FISM) of the Incorporated Society of Musicians
The Art of Music
Since 1992, I’ve worked as a freelance music engraver/typesetter for The Art of Music.
Projects (1000s of pages) include:
- Music for the Divine Office at Worth Abbey
(Worth Abbey, ongoing)
- Music for Common Worship
(Church of England & the Royal School of Church Music, 2000–2022)
- The Guitar in Georgian England
Christopher Page (Yale University Press, 2020)
- Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary According to the Use of Salisbury
(Stainer & Bell: Early English Church Music, 2019)
- The Guitar in Tudor England
Christopher Page (Cambridge University Press, 2015)
- Piping in the Inner Isles of the West Coast of Scotland
Bridget Mackenzie (Birlinn: John Donald, 2012)
- Hymns for Prayer & Praise
ed. John Harper (Canterbury Press, 2011, 2012)
- The Christian West and its Singers
Christopher Page (Yale, 2010)
- Music in Wales Before 1650
Sally Harper (Ashfield, 2007)
- The Play of Daniel
ed. David Wulstan (Plainsong and Medieval Music Society, 2007)
- The RSCM Guide to Plainchant
Mary Berry & John Rowlands-Pritchard (preliminary work for the RSCM, published in 2015)
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