Dominic Grieve On Faith And His Political Career

Christianity and Brexit were amongst the topics discussed at a well-attended event at St Nicks


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A great many people turned out on a cold winter’s evening (Sunday 27th Jan) to listen to Dominic Grieve talk about his faith and his political career. The talk was part of the Conversational Evensong events organised at St Nicholas Church.

He spoke about how he came to his faith after his confirmation at Westminster School and has been attending Church ever since. He chose three hymns for the evening. The first one “Father hear the prayer we offer” he sings as he goes walking. He talked about his love of climbing mountains (which he felt removed the fear of death), sometimes with his two sons and sometimes on his own.

The reading he chose was Luke 6 Ch. 27, which he felt describes in essence the attitude Christians should take towards their enemies. (Love your enemies and don’t take revenge). This had great resonance for me too, as it was as a result of that passage after my confirmation at Westminster School that I became a conscientious objector.

Dominic talked about how he followed in his father’s footsteps and became a barrister. After his pupillage he concentrated on advocacy and criminal work. His interest in politics started at University and afterwards he became a Councillor. Then came “a revolution in my life” as a seat suddenly became available and very soon he was elected as an MP. Christianity plays a big part in his beliefs. He said he had to question the ethics of intervening in Kosovo and Syria. He also stressed the need to keep a sense of humour. He soon progressed up the ladder and became a shadow minister, and then shadow attorney general. When the Conservatives got into power he became the attorney general.

When asked his favourite piece of music he said it was “The Black Bear” (the pipe tune played on return to barracks of a Scottish Regiment). He said that he would whistle this on leaving his house in the morning. Most unusually, he then whistled this tune, quite brilliantly, to us all! He received a rousing round of applause. He went on to say that he would frequently whistle when he climbed mountains. His favourite hymn was “The Apple Tree”, which we all enjoyed singing.
Dominic’s favourite item was a match holder given to him by his wife, Caroline. When he went to speak at a girl’s school he had this in his pocket and the girls asked if he had a lucky charm and he produced this. After his talk to the girls, the headmistress berated him. She said they were trying to persuade the girls not to believe in lucky charms!!

Dominic’s favourite prayer is the prayer for Parliament, which is said there every day. This prayer asks that politicians should never lead the country through love of power or for unworthy ideals. Dominic’s ideals are certainly very Christian. He ended by elaborating on his earlier comments about loving your enemies and felt this is particularly applicable at the moment over the arguments on Brexit. He answered various questions from the audience.

As I left the Church a couple of people said to me “Wouldn’t he be a good Prime Minister?” He certainly would.

Many thanks to Fr. Simon for arranging another inspiring and fascinating evening.

Simon Rodway

January 28, 2019

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