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simon jenkins

I was born and brought up in Cardiff, with equal amounts of Welsh and English DNA, and as soon as I'd finished school set out for London to find fame, fortune and... er... theology. I've hardly ever lived out of London since.

Fresh off the Paddington train, I checked into London Bible College, where I did my first degree, edited the student magazine, and tried to strike a balance between beer and theology that Martin Luther would have been proud of. 1977, the year I left college, found me spending a winter and summer as a conductor on London's famous red buses (on the model of bus before the Routemaster) and launching a small magazine called Ship of Fools. We stapled it together ourselves.

Fellow student and bosom buddy Steve Goddard and I worked together for a year, touring the UK with an act known as Goddard & Jenkins (him: singing at the piano; me: reading poetry), after which I married Roey and we settled in West London, where we still live.

I've never actually had a career, so there's no smooth progression up any sort of ladder after 1980, although I did spend five very happy years as a commissioning editor at Lion Publishing, when they were in the wilds of Tring, Herts. Since 1988, I've been a freelance writer, editor and designer, and eventually web producer. I've also done quite a lot of cartooning.

In 1996, I finally bought a cable long enough to connect my Apple Mac to the phone socket, and I was on the net. Two years later, Steve Goddard and I relaunched Ship of Fools as a web magazine and were gobsmacked when it proved so popular and developed into an online community. In many ways, the ship is a career-devouring monster. It's hugely rewarding, but the treasures have so far been mostly found in heaven, rather than on earth.

I've spent a lot of my life in low-church Anglicanism, but I was once a Baptist and I've also been strongly attracted to Eastern Orthodoxy for as long as I've known it existed... which is how I wrote a book on Orthodox icons.

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