Rev. Phil Parkinson
Be it marriage, baby welcoming, funeral, or an event of individual significance, I find that people, particularly young people, are hungry for Spirit, even though they often do not know with what words to ask. Connecting with Spirit entails sensing a connection with oneself, and then with something greater than oneself, and is not something thought out with our rational brains, but felt within our hearts.
If you want to find out more about me, please look at my website. I live in Preston and, besides working throughout the North West, am happy to travel anywhere in the British Isles – traveling gives me a chance to explore yet more architecture, fine art, mountains, landscapes and gardens. I helped revive fully legal marriages, mostly done in the name of the Supreme Spirit of Love, at Todmorden Unitarian Church, where I set up the registration for same-sex marriages and became something of an expert on marriage law and gay marriages. An ambition is to bless, and when the laws of this land are updated, actually contract a marriage on the top of a mountain. Any takers?
SERVING: Northwest England, Northeast England, West Midlands, East Midlands
AVAILABLE FOR: Funerals, Baby blessings and namings, Weddings, Other rites of passage, Worship services, Spiritual counselling, Spiritual support in times of crisis
MORE INFO: www.revphilparkinson.co.uk
More about Phil…
Love. What are ceremonies about? Love. They are rituals of personal meaning and significance, for a chosen person/couple, enacted in the presence of Love, and sometimes in the presence of the Supreme Spirit of Love, that mark an irrevocable stage in their life journey – a rite of passage.
Of course, none of us can manufacture this. Love, let alone the Supreme Spirit of Love, are not within our human bidding. Yet, as a minister, through careful planning, meticulous preparation, clear intention, and intense focus on the moment during the ceremony, I am privileged that the veils between the realities are sometimes drawn back, we all feel the presence of mystery, of Spirit, even of Soul, of God, whatever name you have for It, and the person/couple are, at an indefinably profound level, irrevocably changed.
In ceremonies, with myself as the connecting link between the realms, as the spiritual mid-wife, so to speak, the experience of Spirit is known in the quality of the silence inside the building, in the rapt attention into which my and other speakers’ words drop, and in the deepening of feeling as we approach the central act of the ceremony, be it vows, committal or blessing.
But, for this to happen, my words are not just any old words out of a book. Rather, words born out of a deep listening to the person/couple beforehand, and a process of then thinking through what would be the most beautiful form in which to express both the personality of the person/couple, and the kernel of meaning they seek to express through the words, music and actions to their family and friends. Each ceremony is thus written individually.
When it’s much easier just reading from a book, why would I want to go to all this trouble?
As a musician, I have known all my life, that, after hours of preparation, of hard, hard slog, the reward is to be transported into another realm while performing. (In our modern world, it seems to me, that the quickest way to ‘god’ is through music, something the western church has always understood, and it’s there even in the call of the muezzins.) As a minister, I stand with the person/couple and the people they care about, and all of us, with any luck, move into a place of mysticism, of Spirit, of Soul, of Union, of being in the presence of the Supreme Spirit of Love. And Spirit responds. You can see it as people’s faces light up and as tears well. If any of us humans take one step towards Spirit, It immediately takes two steps towards us in response.
What more can anyone ask of life? I love doing it and I even get paid for it!