A tribute to Prince Phillip

I grew up hearing stories about 1stLieutenant Phillip from my father who was the 2nd lieutenant on the bridge of the Flower class Corvette where they served together.

In those days, ‘Philip’ was a penniless émigré fighting the Nazis on the high seas. When he married Princess Elizabeth he had to undergo the most profound transition of role and character. Naturally exuberant, independent, competent, opinionated and dynamic he had to find the strength of character to inhabit the role of consort to the Queen without either wrecking the delicate protocols that governed the role or subsiding under the weight of the institutional gravity that held everything together.

While we have been arguing about the different priorities of public-service versus self-service, Prince Philip managed to be supportive without succumbing to anonymity, and kept the integrity of his character without imposing it egotistically. His independence of mind and rugged integrity illuminated the dull routine of monarchy with a biting wit and a delight in paradox and the absurd.

In giving up a career in the navy he loved, where he excelled he exemplified the kind of humility and self-giving that Christianity has at its heart. Baptised as a Greek Orthodox he accepted the idiosyncrasies of Anglicanism for the woman he loved and at whose side he walked for eight decades. He exemplified patience, long-suffering, humility and kindness, when the cost of all of these virtues was demandingly high.

His was a generous, tough, reliable, protective and imaginative masculinity, complementing the role and character of his wife both in private as well as public.

We should never take such virtue for granted, but instead be deeply grateful for it and recognise it for containing the depths of human integrity that gave such stability to both family and society.”


Dr Gavin Ashenden. Former chaplain to the Queen.

Gavin Ashenden in conversation with David Virtue on The Peterson Phenomenon.

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Civil War and identity.

I have tried to reinvent myself a few times as I was growing up. Twice when I changed schools obviously. I remember thinking  “this is going to be a totally new start. I can become someone completely new.” But the most ambitious attempt was when I went to university I had spent nine months growing my hair and beard in North America. When someone in the law faculty as I was enrolling mistook me for a postgraduate revolutionary, I thought I would try to inhabit the role. I wasn’t sure how long I would get away with it.

Continue reading “Civil War and identity.”

Is Jordan Peterson about to move from Jung to Jesus?The spectator podcast:- a conversation between Damian Thompson and Gavin Ashenden

https://www.spectator.co.uk/podcast/is-jordan-peterson-about-to-move-from-jung-to-jesus-


“Is Dr Jordan Peterson about to convert to Christianity? If so, it’s a big deal. The earnest but sardonic Canadian psychologist is already the most effective advocate for the moral precepts of Christianity in the English-speaking media. But, until now, his penetrating exposition of the Bible has been inspired more by Jungian symbolism than by actual religious belief.

That may be about to change, albeit not in the happiest of circumstances. In recent months Peterson has suffered from a combination of medical conditions that have left him in wretched pain, both physical and psychological. This has left him wondering whether it’s time to submit to the dogmatic assertions of orthodox Christianity. He explains his complex reasoning in an extraordinary podcast, in which he presents himself to his friend Jonathan Pageau, an Eastern Orthodox Christian, as something close to a broken man. He certainly sounds and looks like one. The contrast with the Jordan Peterson who politely humiliated the sneering Cathy Newman of Channel 4 News is excruciating. 

Peterson will survive his crisis, I’m sure. Whether he will convert is, of course, impossible to say; he doesn’t know himself. But my guest this week, Dr Gavin Ashenden, is well qualified to describe his dilemma. Gavin was himself a disciple of Jung before what he describes as an encounter with demons led him back to Christianity. He makes the point that, even if Peterson doesn’t take the leap of faith, he has already led more people into that faith than any number of dim-witted or intellectually cowardly bishops. Please don’t miss this episode.”

Damian Thompson.

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