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Radio 2's Pause for Thought 


Matt is a regular contributor to Radio 2's Pause for Thought on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show

Check out a couple of his scripts...

Zoe Ball and Matt Woodcock

Saint Irene


A precious friend and former clergy colleague was recently honoured by Her Majesty
The Queen.  Commended for her ‘invaluable’ contribution to the community.
I was thrilled for Irene.
For years her work amongst Hull’s homeless and marginalised had been largely
unseen and unrecognised.
It’s how she liked it. 
But even my humble friend confessed to bursting with pride and a smile wider than
the Humber Bridge when she received news of the Royal award.
In my time working with Irene I came to see her as a Saint Jude-type character. A
champion of lost causes. 
I marvelled at her absolute belief that no-one was beyond transformation.
Everyone should be given a second chance, she’d tell me.
And then another one.
I lost count of the many broken lives she helped try to heal with practical support and
simple, loving friendship.
One afternoon Irene suffered a devastating blow. 
She walked out of our church after leading prayers and was carjacked by a young
man.  Left sprawled on the pavement beside her walking stick as he sped away.
The traumatic aftermath was the only time I’ve seen my friend’s hopeful spirit
And yet after seeing the culprit sentenced in court, she was moved to try and help
even him. 
Making prison visits. Writing letters. Sending gifts.  When he was released, she
aided his rehabilitation.  An extraordinary woman of grace, then.
The downside of being around someone like Irene, was the quick realisation that I’m
not enough like her. 
I suffer compassion fatigue too easily. Find it hard to forgive sometimes. 
Struggle to bounce back from disappointments.
Wonderful works of love, mercy and benevolence are easy to admire in others. 
And yet as a Christian I’m still called to put them into action myself - however
I know God wants me to be the best Matt possible.
As the Queen’s letter to Irene stressed, following the loving example Jesus is ’a call
to service for all of us.’
Faith or no faith - and in my case, even when it doesn't come naturally.
My abiding memory of Irene is of her serving hot drinks to the homeless with the help
of a cheerful young man. 
It was the carjacker.
Saint Irene? She certainly is to me, Zoe.

(Transcript from Radio 2's Breakfast Show, 10th June, 2020)

Letting Go

I’ve reluctantly pulled my head out of the sand
lately and accepted a distressing fact.
Our twin daughters - my precious little girls - are fast
becoming little women.
I’m struggling with it.
I want my babies back.
They finally returned to school this week after nearly six
Not that I got to enjoy the moment.
I’m far too embarrassing to be acknowledged in public with
them these days.
Those lovely times of ‘high-fives’ and goodbye cuddles in
the playground are over.
I get a whispered ‘will you go now - our friends might see
you’ - if I’m lucky.
And I’m still recovering from the other night.
It was like a heartbreaking scene from ‘Toy Story’.
Tucking them in as normal, I noticed one of the girls
wasn’t clutching her beloved fluffy giraffe, Alfie.
The Alfie that’s watched over her since she was three
days old.
That she’s cuddled, chewed, dried tears on and
transported to all manner of imaginary worlds.
‘I don’t need him now, daddy,’ she told me.
‘I’m not a baby anymore.’
Well, I’ve since rescued Alfie from the charity shop bag.
My nickname is ‘Woody’ after all.

But the truth is, I’m quite scared about my girls growing
About letting go of them a bit and embracing their new-
found maturity, independence and love of crop tops.
I still want to wrap them in cotton wool.
Try to shield them from life’s harsher realities.
And yet deep down I know that’s not healthy.
It’s born out of worry and fear.
Over the years I’ve learnt that facing up to my deepest
fears - be it over my family, work, or relationships - is
never easy, but nearly always liberating.
A Christian friend got me into the helpful habit of writing
them down and offering them to God in quiet prayer.
So much of my faith is about seeking to trust that all will be
To live with a hopeful optimism and letting go of all that
causes inner dread.
This new school year will certainly put that to the test.
I know I have more cotton wool to unwrap from those little
women of ours.
But I will be holding onto Alfie, Zoe.
I suspect he may still be needed from time to time.

(Transcript from Radio 2's Breakfast Show, 10th September, 2020)

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