In recent years I have fallen in love with podcasts. These are short radio programmes which are not broadcast live but rather downloaded by users to be listened to at leisure. Users may also subscribe to favoured programmes, via an app on their phone or computer, to ensure they do not miss latest episodes.
Of course podcasts are only as good as the content. Some are total rubbish and soon discarded, others genuinely fascinating. ‘Stuff you should know’ is a favourite of mine as each episode is on something totally different but explored at depth by two infectiously enthusiastic characters. It is a delight for lovers of trivia. Another guilty pleasure is true crime but I also use them to catch up on current affairs, sport, politics and, of course, religion.
The latest episode of the Holy Smoke podcast, a religious affairs podcast hosted by the journalist Damian Thompson, is well worth a listen. If you don’t use podcasts then you can visit this website to listen online.
In this latest programme Gavin Ashenden, a former chaplain to the Queen who recently left Anglicanism to become Catholic, is interviewed. What he has to say about the malaise of the Church of England in the present day is important for it affects certain trends in the Catholic church too. I especially applauded his point that churches fail us all when they cease being spiritual supernatural entities and descend to the realm of human politics.