Todays Daily Mail has this article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2248292/Tory-MP-thanks-God-s-alive.html#comments which follows Wednesdays debate on women bishops and faith, which is here: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2012-12-12a.376.0&s=speaker%3A24962#g386.0
Quentin Letts column is a good piece but I should make 2 points clear, which don't get mentioned in the article, which is based on a brief exchange after the women bishops debate. I have repeatedly thanked the NHS, and the wonderful doctors and nurses at the National Hospital in Queens Square, for saving my life. As to the question of faith I go to church when I can, but do not believe that you need to go to a specific building every day to have faith or belief. That having been said I am attempting to go and worship in every church in the constituency of Hexham [which has a very large number of churches] during the duration of this parliament.
The full article from todays paper is here:
Guy Opperman (Con, Hexham), 47, was taken ill last year and told that even if he lived he might lose his speech, his eyesight and be paralysed.
His good fortune in making a recovery after two operations, including a craniotomy, has, he says, ‘changed my view on many things’.
Mr Opperman, a convivial barrister and former jockey, spoke briefly in the Commons this week about how he has reverted to his Anglican faith.
He tells me more: ‘I am not “born again”, but I now have a genuine sense of faith, a sense of purpose. My abiding memory of before and after the operations was the desire to be “of use” if I was given my life back. This provides the backbone to everything I am now doing as an MP.’
Previously a sporadic churchgoer, he has become an ‘enthusiastic’ member of the Church of England and intends to worship at the more than 50 churches in his Northumberland constituency.
‘The morning after one of my operations, as I awoke at 7am in the high dependency unit at the National Neurological Hospital in London, I found the Canon of Hexham Abbey, Graham Usher, seated quietly at my bedside. He had travelled there to give me support. We talked and prayed together. It was a moving spiritual experience.’
Mr Opperman says his illness, and the experience of being in a ward where several of his fellow patients died, has left him with a better understanding of the NHS. He says he also now has a greater sense of empathy and a belief that it is possible to be Right-wing on Europe and other matters, but Left-leaning on what one might broadly call ‘social issues’.
His jockeying days may be over but that, he says, will only generate further allelulias — from racecourse punters.