Homelessness

The need for grace and truth: the complexity of compassion #1

When I was in my twenties, I lived in Kings Cross in London and was a member of a local church. There, I got to know a man who was a former crack addict. We'll call him Ian. He was doing his best to put his life back together and get work as a painter… Continue reading The need for grace and truth: the complexity of compassion #1

Ethics & Christian living

‘Service in life; hope in death’: Welby’s counter-cultural message

I can understand the feelings of those who struggled with aspects of yesterday’s funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. However much respect and gratitude there is towards the Queen, the fusion of militarism, opulence and imperial power alongside Christian worship should create dissonance and provoke questions. The medium cannot be separated from the message. It’s a struggle… Continue reading ‘Service in life; hope in death’: Welby’s counter-cultural message

Homelessness, Theology

Farewell to Britain’s best public theologian

In the summer of 1997 I started a job with Centrepoint, the youth homelessness charity, as manager of a new hostel for young people in the City of London. One of the things I learnt on my first day was that it was going to be formally opened by the Queen. The official opening happened… Continue reading Farewell to Britain’s best public theologian

Social action, Social commentary

Reality bites: migration, kindness & truth – by Jonathan Thomas

The last 5 years I have been on a journey with migration and Christian faith. This has changed how I think about both of these things. And myself. My initial interest in migration came from a place of international law and metropolitan liberalism, not faith. At 48 I went back to university, to do an… Continue reading Reality bites: migration, kindness & truth – by Jonathan Thomas

Ethics & Christian living, Wellbeing

Something better than happiness

In the last 2 weeks I have been struck by the incredibly positive reactions of young people coming back from Christian summer camps. Even from those normally more reticent with their enthusiasm, I have seen faces light up and heard the superlatives flow: 'Amazing', 'brilliant', 'so good', 'incredible', 'definitely going back next year'. These camps… Continue reading Something better than happiness

Homelessness, Social commentary

Rough sleeping & the inverse reality of social media

The plight of another human being sleeping rough is one of the most visceral and obvious expressions of poverty and social exclusion. The instinctive empathy it provokes makes rough sleeping a potent subject on social media. For example, a few years ago a video went viral which showed how Amazon Prime could be used to… Continue reading Rough sleeping & the inverse reality of social media

Politics, Recommended books & reviews

‘A toolbox for peace & liberation’? An activist reads the Bible

Review of Open for Liberation: an activist reads the Bible – by Tim Gee (Christian Alternative, 2022) Tim Gee believes the Bible is chiefly a narrative of liberation for the oppressed. In Open for Liberation, he claims Jesus led an anti-colonial movement of the dispossessed which affirmed women's leadership, racial equality and sexual diversity. Gee… Continue reading ‘A toolbox for peace & liberation’? An activist reads the Bible

Ethics & Christian living, Social action

Ronald Sider 1939-2022: an obituary by Elaine Storkey

With the death of Ronald Sider we say ‘adieu’ to one of the most significant Christian voices of the last 60 years. Born in in Erie, Ontario, Canada in 1939, he became known for his rejection of any dichotomy between evangelism and social action and his claim that the gospel encompassed the whole of life.… Continue reading Ronald Sider 1939-2022: an obituary by Elaine Storkey

Social commentary, Sport

Pure Class: Flintoff’s challenge to cricket’s elitism

The issue of class is woven into the history of cricket like no other sport.  As a non-contact game, it was more socially acceptable for the English upper classes to play alongside the working class.  It was a shared sporting endeavour but without the potentially awkward physicality of rugby or football. Thus cricket helped forge… Continue reading Pure Class: Flintoff’s challenge to cricket’s elitism