Simon Parke  
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My word of the week: trauma

Posted by Simon Parke, 30 Jan 2023

‘Death by blunt-force trauma,’ is a common assessment in crime fiction. And rightfully so; the word ‘trauma’ comes from the Greek word for ‘wound’.

Like our crime stories, the Greeks used it in the physical sense, but these days, trauma can also describe a mental and emotional wound, as in Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, (PTSD) which describes the lingering and disturbing effects of a shocking experience.

Trauma can reveal itself in many ways: depression, anxiety, flash backs or recurring nightmares.

And because it arises from moments or times when we did not feel safe ...

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My word of the week: Contentment

Posted by Simon Parke, 23 Jan 2023

Contentment is a simple idea which can feel impossible.

The word describes the emotional state of being at ease with our situation, in body and mind.

It is a present condition, describing this moment, which finds us satisfied with what we have, who we are and where we are going.

It’s an unusual state, however, because of our inner climate, often polluted by our relationship to our plans.

A significant source of human discontent is the gnawing sense that things could be better…

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Word of the week: Power

Posted by Simon Parke, 16 Jan 2023

So, what is your experience of power? Perhaps it has been both good and bad. Perhaps you’ve met good power and damaged power. 

The word comes from the Latin potis meaning able, capable or possible.

It became podir in Old French, poer in Middle English (14th century) and then its present form power.

It would be cheering, if rather fanciful, if all power was able and capable...

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Word of the Week: Really

Posted by Simon Parke, 9 Jan 2023

My word of the week is Really.

It comes from the real – ‘No shit, Sherlock!’ - and means ‘in actual fact’.

But sometimes it’s really unnecessary, as in this sentence.

It’s adding nothing here because either it is necessary or it isn’t…

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My late Christmas

Posted by Simon Parke, 30 Dec 2022

I did not spend long in the stable.

I arrived late, you see, a few days late, due to ‘events beyond my control’, I think they say.

Expectations, other peoples’, have sharp elbows and will not take no for an answer, they really won’t.

Though I did in the end say no…

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An Inconvenient Convent

At the Community of the Holy Fire, Abbess Hildegard wishes to turn this convent by the sea into a beacon of ‘greenness’. But on the night of the Great Bonfire, the abbess is killed in a manner no one deserves. Who could hate her so much – and why?

Cover of Gospel: Rumours of Love

‘Meet Jesus unplugged,’ writes former Fleet Street editor, Richard Addis, after reading Simon’s latest novel, Gospel: Rumours of Love. ‘In a stunning act of imagination, Simon Parke shatters every stained glass window in your mind.’

Cover of Solitude

In Solitude: Recovering the power of alone, Simon describes solitude as the active path to inner silence and takes us on an enthralling journey there. In a world of haste and distraction, he commends the way of stillness and withdrawal where we can ‘recover the power of alone’.

Julian of Norwich

I've been working with musical theatre composer Martin Hoile on a musical based on the life and work of Julian of Norwich. Hear the songs and read about the musical here: All Shall Be Well.


This retreat will give kind space for us to reflect on what personal wellbeing might look and feel like at a time when so much around us is unwell. This is a silent retreat, with the chance to meet with Simon one-to-one should you wish.

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Listen to songs by Simon for the journey