Hi my name is Phil Whittall, I’m a church planter in the Newfrontiers family of churches currently in the south-east of Sweden where I’m studying the Swedish language before moving to plant a church in the capital Stockholm.
The Simple Pastor is my personal blog (I’ve been blogging since 2006). I chose this 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. It’s a place to try new ideas, experiment, catalogue the vast tracts of information I come across, store book reviews, journal on my life and have conversations with others on shared areas of interest. Through the blog I’ve made some good friends. So I’ll keep investing in something that is bearing good fruit for me.
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 big aim is to seek out a richer way to live and that forms the basis for much of what I think and write about. I hope in doing so 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. You can get the latest posts by subscribing by RSS just click on the RSS button in the address bar or on the tab you’ll see on the left of this page. You can also follow me on Twitter or Facebook.
Here are some of my most read posts and some of the ones I consider the most important. They’re not always the same.
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 a right slacker at sixth form and for most of my time studying theology, I didn’t make good use of the time but I did make some wonderful friends. 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.
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 hope to begin a church plant in Stockholm.