Recommended books, Social action

‘For Good: The Church and the Future of Welfare’ – Samuel Wells with Russell Rook & David Barclay [review]

In the 1990s, I used to buy just about every book I could find on Christian social action. Around the turn of the century though, I had to become more selective. One reason was because the number of books published on the subject increased so much. But also I had a nagging guilt about spending too… Continue reading ‘For Good: The Church and the Future of Welfare’ – Samuel Wells with Russell Rook & David Barclay [review]

Films & music, Homelessness

A little bit of hope can go a long way – review of ‘Hector’ (15)

Hector is a gritty and moving road-movie about a homeless man travelling from Scotland to London for Christmas. It is tough to watch in parts, but is also heart-warming and brilliantly acted. It avoids sentimentalising the characters or the subject matter. Peter Mullan’s acting is gentle and under-stated in the title-role.  As the film unfolds… Continue reading A little bit of hope can go a long way – review of ‘Hector’ (15)

Homelessness

Faith and homelessness: the further back you look, the further forward you can see…

Almost all homeless charities in the UK have their roots in the Church. Some are obvious, such as The Salvation Army, West London Mission, Cardinal Hume Centre, Providence Row, Emmaus, The Church Army and many others. Less people are aware that organisations like Shelter, the YMCA and Centrepoint were also established by church leaders and… Continue reading Faith and homelessness: the further back you look, the further forward you can see…

Theology & Church

Why the Church needs these Alpha males

In her memoir of her journey into (and then out of) church leadership, theologian Barbara Brown Taylor writes about young people leaving her congregation: ‘One way or the other, most of the children had left by the time they were thirteen. Twelve was the traditional age for confirmation...it was their turn to decide, we told… Continue reading Why the Church needs these Alpha males

Ethics & Christian living

Confidence in the difference faith makes

I read this in the Christmas Eve edition of The Times' newspaper earlier this week - written by a journalist who is not a regular church-goer: 'Come with me...to the schools, hospices and care homes where thousands of Christians do good work every day. Seek out the grittiest, grimiest edges of British life and they are… Continue reading Confidence in the difference faith makes

Homelessness

Faith in addressing homelessness: reflections on leaving WLM

This coming week is my last at the West London Mission (WLM) after 8½ years leading their work with people affected by homelessness, poverty and trauma. It has been a deeply rewarding job.  I have worked alongside many brilliant people and WLM has travelled a long way. In term of this blog, it has been… Continue reading Faith in addressing homelessness: reflections on leaving WLM