WELCOME to Brentwood United Reformed Church


Ian Davidson is an  Elder of Brentwood United Reformed Church also  Public Relations Officer and Spokesperson for the church. He is  married  and has children.


Ian Davidson works as an internationally published and recognised  professional news, events and fashion phtographer following his retirement from the City






He worked for a reinsurance company in the City of London, as Global Head of Reward and HR Operations.  He is a nationally recognized expert in his subject field sitting on National Committees and speaking at select conferences.  He is a leading writer and commentator on reward and pay issues, particuarly in financial services.  He has had a chapter publsihed in the best seeling HR e book, "Humaine Resourced" and writes for the CIPD, HR Matters and other leading publications

He also worked for seven years as Head of Reward in a London Investment Bank

Hobbies include collecting Signed First Editions, and browsing the Internet

Interests include the study of relativism, (particularly the philosophy of Professor Harry Collins), the theology of the late Reverend Professor Colin Gunton, the growth and importance of social networks (see the work of Castells for example) and the role of the brain in creative thought and processes (See also the work of Guy Claxton and course B823 - Creativity and Innovation of the Open University MBA) and the Management of Knowledge including the use of Artificial intelligence in computers which links nicely back to relativism.

Through a glass darkly

“For now we see through a glass, darkly” 1 Corinthians 13 V12. 

I woke from a dream, not a vivid, full coloured dream; but a muted, shadowed vision.  It was a gathering of old university friends, not as we are now but as we were thirty years ago, a memory not full of life but glimpsed shadows.  The soundtrack, an echo of remembered laughter and gay, carefree conversation. Even the place of the meeting was not a concrete physical reality but an amalgam of jostled memories; a favourite place on campus, a jolly pub in the city, a seat on a patch of sun lit grass outside a lecture hall.

Unbidden, a phrase from the Letter to the Corinthians sprang to mind, one that that had been read at our wedding, of seeing our current world through a glass darkly.  Recollection of one of Colin Gunton’s last sermons flowed from my reflection on that passage,  He spoke of a piece of writing by CS Lewis, who talked of heaven as being like earth – but so much more so, the light more vivid, the grass greener, the sunlight brighter.  We know we live our lives “through a glass darkly.’ We cannot know God’s plan, his intentions for us are beyond our comprehension.  We seek meaning and structure in our lives and yet what we live now is but a shadow of what will be in heaven.  By one of those strange coincidences that invade our consciousness, Colin spoke in the same sermon about the philosopher Michael Polanyis, who I had studied at university. Colin had, a few days before the sermon, been at a conference that talked about his philosophy.  Polanyis was both a relativist and a Christian. What had caught Colin’s ear was the comment that we have to develop a frame of mind     “in which I may hold firmly to what I believe to be true, even though I know that it may conceivably be false”.  We believe absolutely and passionately in our God and in his son Jesus Christ, but both intellectually and spiritually we must, as I suppose, a tenant of our faith, understand that we may be wrong,  That is because we see the world and God, through a glass darkly.  Search as we might we can never find that Plato’s perfect table.  We can never know, absolutely, God’s path for us, nor even, dare I say it, of his existence.  We believe absolutely in his being, but it is through a glass darkly. 

Like my melancholy reverie – sad not because of its content – which was full of fun, fellowship and fond memories; but because it was a dream; our lives can never be fully complete, fully real until we enter the kingdom of heaven.  We make the best of our lives as they are today, in the shadow of God’s grace, but knowing we live them through a glass darkly.      

Ian Davidson



Ian has gained a post graduate certificate in Digital Marketing from Google Squared

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