Hi my name is Phil Whittall, I’m a leader in Grace Church, a new church in the city of Stockholm. We’re planting with Relational Mission, a part of the Newfrontiers family of churches.

The Simple Pastor is my personal blog (I’ve been blogging since 2006). I chose this name when people gave blogs names other than their own but there’s no hiding here. I also chose the name because I am a pastor without too many airs and graces and I’m interested in the spiritual discipline of simplicity and a simpler way of life. Most of my friends think I’m quite ‘simple’ so that works too.

There are 3 main parts to this blog: My reflections and study, often about consumerism, culture and Christ but a few other things too. Book reviews both the ones I read and the ones I write and links to things I find interesting from all over the internet

The main aim is to discover more of what it means to follow Jesus Christ in the 21st Century that doesn’t pander to consumerism or confuse western values with kingdom values. If you’re interested in these issues then I hope this blog will be of regular interest to you.

I try to post fairly regularly usually about 4-5 times a week. Here are some of my most read posts and some of the ones I consider the most important. They’re not always the same.

You can get the latest posts by subscribing by RSS or email. You can also follow me on Twitter or Facebook or get in touch


Extended Biography (If you’d like to know a little more about me then read on).

I was born in 1975, Ipswich, UK. Not much more to add really except it explains why I am a tractor boy. I grew up a pastor’s kid in Broadstone, Dorset. This was the church my father pastored. In 1989 our family moved to Shrewsbury, Shropshire. I was 14. I wasn’t happy. I changed churches and went here. It really helped me rediscover my faith.

I was not a good student and generally squandered the opportunity of studying theology. Even though I didn’t make good use of the time, I did make some wonderful friends, that have walked with me ever since. The CU was a good place for me to once again find my feet with my relationship with God. Soul Survivor helped too! I also dislocated my shoulder playing American Football for the Nottingham Outlaws. I’m a fan of the Miami Dolphins.

After studying theology I trained as a secondary school teacher of Religious Education at what is now the University of Cumbria. After having surgery on my shoulder I changed course and worked for Christian aid agency Tearfund serving with them for a year in London, almost a year in Burundi and then before a second operation on my shoulder three months in Kosovo.

After a second round of surgery I spent a year serving my church. I mostly washed up, locked gates and discovered I wasn’t a worship leader. At this point I was asked to consider church planting, which I did and began what is now Hope Church Shrewsbury. A challenging way to begin the 21st century.

As a way of responding to the challenges between faith and consumerism I co-founded with some good friends of mine a network for simpler living called Breathe.

In 2004 I married my wife Emma and we now have two children, Noah and Anna. However for several years I worked as a trade journalist on The Jeweller, a magazine first called Release and then Enough about social justice and for many years Christian Marketplace. I also invested into Illuminate a Christian bookshop in Shrewsbury. We were bought out by a trust in 2010. To bring the journey up to date our family moved to Sweden in 2011 and in 2012 we began Grace Church Stockholm.

About the blog

It’s a wordpress.org blog with hosting from Patrick Internet. The theme is Fresh News from WooThemes. I like it.