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
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
Churches and their community projects are often the first to spot a problem and act. Churches run the vast majority of food banks, as well as community pantries, debt services, homelessness provision, not to mention youth clubs, parent and toddler groups, pre-schools and groups for older people. It may seem incongruous in this current heatwave,… Continue reading Fuelling the problems? – by Corin Pilling
New England Captain, Ben Stokes and new Coach, Brendan McCullum Just a few weeks ago, English Cricket was in deep crisis. The team had only won one Test match in 17 games. The team was thrashed by Australia last winter and beaten by the West Indies in the spring. The Director and Coach were sacked… Continue reading Transforming leadership: the power of a fresh approach
In my 20s, I was a member of a church near King’s Cross where we started a community project called Decorating and Gardening to do practical jobs for vulnerable local people. We called it D&G for short and borrowed the Dolce & Gabanna logo. We never heard from their lawyers. The first person we did a job for was a… Continue reading Colluding with chaos or maintaining healthy boundaries?
It could be logical to assume that belief in God, life after death or anything supernatural would lead to people who are less committed to issues in the here and now. Surely ‘pie in the sky when you die’ displaces a concern for ‘steak on your plate while you wait’? But actually, it is extraordinary… Continue reading Faith don’t live here anymore
Dear Elizabeth II, I genuinely wish you and your family well, but I will not be participating in your Platinum Jubilee celebration. I and many others see no reason to celebrate 70 years of your ascension to the British throne because your leadership, and that of your predecessors, have presided over one of the greatest… Continue reading Why I am not celebrating this jubilee – by Neil Charlton
I have lived in Streatham, south London for almost 20 years. Over this time, I have spent many hundreds of hours on Streatham Common: playing with my kids, running a football club, volunteering on Love Streatham fun days, walking my dog and talking with friends. I even held my 40th birthday there which included a… Continue reading The freedom of commitment
It would be hard to find a more succinct summary of the polarisation of religion and politics than the campaign bus of Kandiss Taylor who is running for Governor in Georgia. Three starred bullet-points tells you all you need to know about her core commitments: Jesus. Guns. Babies. When I first saw this picture, I… Continue reading Jesus and guns: faith, politics & polarisation
However challenging the work, often the most stressful thing in any job are difficulties in relationships with colleagues. It has certainly been the challenges of managing people that has most kept me awake at night over the last 25 years of my working life. There are many good tips and techniques that can be learnt… Continue reading The critical difference: between good judgement & being judgemental
A few years ago I was invited to speak at a conference in a church in the North East of England with the title: Homelessness: are we really helping? The organisers had read a paper I had written for a Housing Justice forum titled The practice of grace and truth with homeless people and wanted… Continue reading Homelessness: are we really helping?