Homelessness

‘If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you’: re-thinking kindness #1

I saw these words on a wall of a centre for homeless people I visited this week. I think they display a realism and wisdom which is helpful for everyone seeking to help people in need. The centre helps people with some of the most complex issues imaginable. But I was struck by the perseverance and… Continue reading ‘If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you’: re-thinking kindness #1

Social commentary

Eddie Izzard kicked me out of the Liberal Metropolitan Elite

Guest post by Simon Hall Eddie Izzard gave me something to think about, but it wasn’t his jokes. I think I can count myself as a member of the Liberal Metropolitan Elite (let's call us the LME). After all, the BBC told me I was. I live in the bohemian part of town, but in one… Continue reading Eddie Izzard kicked me out of the Liberal Metropolitan Elite

Films & music

Enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world

Over the last week I have watched the Lord of the Rings film triology for the first time since seeing them at the cinema.  What struck me again was the tiny glimmer of hope which Frodo and his faithful friend Sam carry through the most hopeless of situations. They keep going through relentless violence, temptations, threats and… Continue reading Enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world

Recommended books

‘The Church and Its Vocation: Lesslie Newbigin’s Missionary Ecclesiology’ by Michael W. Goheen [review]

In 2009 I attended a conference in Birmingham to mark a 100 years since the birth of Lesslie Newbigin. I found it a disappointing experience. The conference engaged with Newbigin as a theologian and thinker but neglected the thrust of his life as a missionary.  There was a lot on his views on modernism and… Continue reading ‘The Church and Its Vocation: Lesslie Newbigin’s Missionary Ecclesiology’ by Michael W. Goheen [review]

Social action

How Lesslie Newbigin has helped me bring my faith to work

I have spent most of the last 20 years working for social action organisations founded on a Christian ethos. As they grew they developed services in some of the most complex areas of social care, such as housing high risk offenders, those with chronic addictions and those with acute physical and learning disabilities. Along with… Continue reading How Lesslie Newbigin has helped me bring my faith to work

Social commentary

Telling the truth: the importance of critical conversations

The most important factor in the health of any team, organisation, club, household or relationship is this: how well are critical conversations handled? Are key issues talked through honestly? Or are they avoided and left to fester? Anxiety Difficult issues provoke anxiety for those involved. But unless tackled, they can be like weeds which grow… Continue reading Telling the truth: the importance of critical conversations

Politics, Recommended books

‘The Ministry of Truth: a biography of George Orwell’s 1984’ by Dorian Lynskey [review]

When Donald Trump took his oath of office as US President in January 2017, his press secretary claimed the crowd present was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration. Later, when challenged on what plainly seemed to be a lie, she described her statement as ‘alternative facts’. Over the next 4 days, sales of… Continue reading ‘The Ministry of Truth: a biography of George Orwell’s 1984’ by Dorian Lynskey [review]

Films & music, Sport

Ability, vulnerability and mental health: ‘The Edge’ [review]

This week it was World Mental Health Day. I was struck by the number of men I know posting on social media about their struggles with their mental well-being. Even just a few years ago, I doubt people would have been so open. And this weekend, I watched the film The Edge which is a documentary… Continue reading Ability, vulnerability and mental health: ‘The Edge’ [review]