Browsing Articles Written by

Elis Matthews

Elis is a vicar in West London, where he combines drinking tea, riding his creaky bike and leading a church. Having been diagnosed with azoospermia in 2012, he now blogs occasionally about infertility and writes spoken word on the subject. He and his lovely wife, Sheila, had fertility treatment to have their son.


Saltwater and Honey – a poem

By On 30 January 2023

The weekend just gone, it was such a privilege to be with Sheila at Rhythm of Hope. This day, sensitively curated for couples journeying with infertility and childlessness, is an amazing thing, combining thoughtful talks with heartfelt worship and bringing together people who are walking a difficult path, often feeling alone. SWH has always been a supporter of this day,…



By On 7 May 2019

Since a few people have asked, after I performed some spoken word poems at Fertility Fest, here’s a recording of the poem Zero, which I did as part of The Invisible Man event at the Barbican. You can listen to the whole of the Nihal programme on BBC Radio 5 Live, which includes a lengthy chat with Elis and Sheila,…


Owning the landscape

By On 7 July 2018

When I was diagnosed as infertile, there was a delayed reaction before I fell headfirst into a breakdown that disabled me for about 5 months. The emotional impact of childlessness and infertility has enormous potential for mental illness, and for me, this was the most acutely painful part of our story. I’d never experienced anxiety or depression before, and stress…


The Rhythm of Hope: a reflection

By On 7 January 2018

I’ve just got back from The Rhythm of Hope, a retreat/conference day for couples going through their own journey of childlessness and infertility, where Sheila, Lizzie, Dave and I were honoured and humbled to serve, and share a bit of our stories. I know several of the couples there today have read posts on Saltwater and Honey, and it was…



By On 3 November 2017

Here’s my contribution to National Fertility Awareness Week. It’s probably going to be inadequate, and my blogging muscles are a bit rusty, but then I’m no stranger to feeling inadequate, as are most, I imagine, men whose infertility is the cause of their childlessness. I have azoospermia (complete absence of sperm). Always have had, it turns out. I learned of…



By On 18 June 2016

Last year I celebrated ten years of being married to Sheila. Way back we’d had grand plans of how we were going to celebrate this milestone. It seemed like a biggy. An exotic holiday, an eternity ring (this seemed like a pretty central demand), a full-on romantic blowout… Then, of course, I felt called to become a vicar, and Sheila…


Talking Childlessness on Radio 4

By On 14 December 2015

We’re thrilled that the conversation about childlessness is starting to get recognised so that hopefully staying silent about this painful issue won’t remain the norm.  Our very own Sheila and Elis were invited onto Radio 4 to talk about their own experience of infertility, their interview is about 13 minutes in. Listen to Sheila and Elis talk about childlessnes on Radio…


Happy Anniversary

By On 13 August 2014

Today marks nine years of marriage to my beloved bride. I could fill a book with thoughts and feelings dedicated to the remarkable woman who bounded down the aisle before the music had chance to play on 13th August 2005 and kickstarted the biggest adventure of my life so far with vows, rings and barbecue and a bouncy castle. But…



By On 28 March 2014

As a Christian, every Sunday is a festival, a day of life as I remember that Jesus died for my sins and rose again on Easter Day in glory. I celebrate that truth by breaking bread and drinking wine in church among other believers. It’s a glorious meal of unity where all are equal, all are welcome. But this Sunday…