Today is quite an exciting day for me. I start recording on my first musical project since 2013. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but a lot has happened in our world since then. Back then, when we were working on Mirrors, my friends and I, on both sides of the Atlantic, had no idea what would happen to each of us, to people we love and care for, and to the world at large over the next few years.
In the intervening time, I’ve become quite, ahem, busy, with my Church work and all the other things I’m privileged to do. I’ve also missed music. A lot. Writing about something is not the same as actually doing it, so I’m really excited to record these songs and see what everyone else thinks of them. I’m really glad and grateful, too, to be working with some fantastic people on this project. What’s best is that all of us have other things going on in our lives, so we can make this album at our pace, release it when we’re happy with it, and make sure that, as best as we can, we capture what we feel needs saying at the moment and how it needs to be said. It’s a sign of the times in my life that we’re beginning this recording with a three day session. That’s the time I have spare…
A couple of years ago now, I was at Lee Abbey in Devon, and Simon, who was the warden of the house at that time really grabbed my attention when he used the phrase ‘ruthless trust’ about how he felt I would need to live in the months and years to come. A lot of people say a lot of things to me. I say a lot of things to people, too. It’s interesting though that the odd phrase or few sentences of all of the conversations we have can really stick with us and either change the course of our lives or at least give them a renewed focus and vision. That’s what Simon did for me that day. He probably didn’t even realise it, either.
More than anything else that this year has demanded from all of us, a ruthless trust in the people, institutions or gods we follow has to be one of the most important. All of us follow something or someone, from a football team, to a political party, to the calendar of the social club or group we belong to. Or a religious faith. For me, leading the Churches I serve and trying to support the huge and wonderful community it is my privilege to work with as part of my ‘job,’ from the schools I visit, to Northampton Town, Weston Favell Centre Foodbank, to MPs and everything in between, a ruthless trust is the thing that has kept me going, even as I’ve been doing most of it over the last 7 months from an office at home. I would be lost without the confidence that the One I trust most of all is actually worthy of that trust, that it really is worth basing my life around being a friend and follower of God – what a gift that is – and so it seems like a good time to be making an album of songs that reflect that trust. The songs are also angry, aggressive, disappointed, frustrated and plenty more besides. They will, I hope, be pretty loud, and I’m so fortunate that I have a great team of people joining with me to bring them to life. I have no idea when the songs will see the light of day but I’m posting this so that whoever reads this can see that my intention is there and that I’m getting started on the endeavour. There’s something good about admitting publicly that you’re doing something. It brings with it a sense of purpose, but also an accountability that the aim is to see this through to completion and bring whoever chooses to give time to listening to the songs something to actually enjoy.
So, this is Ruthless Trust. It’s just getting started but I feel like we’re all going to need a lot of it before all this is over.