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

Theology & Church

Let’s be encouragers in this time of anxiety – by Olive Kuhrt

Martin Rinkart (1586 -1649) was a church minister in Germany during the savage Thirty Years War. Thousands died in the vicious conflict but after the fighting, a terrible famine and plague killed thousands more. Such was the severity of the war and it’s consequences that 30% of the population in his region died. Rinkart often… Continue reading Let’s be encouragers in this time of anxiety – by Olive Kuhrt

Ethics & Christian living

We rarely know the impact of what we do (for good and bad)

In the late 1990s, I was the manager of a hostel for young people in central London. One of the residents, I’ll call him Will, had serious mental health problems. These manifested in paranoia and bizarre delusions about religious conspiracies and plots. Sadly, his health declined and the extremity of his behaviour increased. The worst… Continue reading We rarely know the impact of what we do (for good and bad)

Social commentary

Why I’m no longer talking to Black people about race (the way I used to)* – by Adrian Lock

(*with apologies to Reni Eddo-Lodge, author of Why I’m no longer talking to White people about race) An open letter to other White people in the UK... Dear fellow faded Africans, On the 25 May 2020, the death of George Floyd rocked our White world. In the following weeks, global protests even reached the bastion… Continue reading Why I’m no longer talking to Black people about race (the way I used to)* – by Adrian Lock

Theology & Church

‘The Cross and Shame: speaking of atonement to a shame-filled society’ by Rebecca Winfrey [review]

A continual challenge in Christian community work and social action is the connection between the practical work being done to the actual message itself.  People can pour into church buildings for toddler groups, foodbanks, lunch clubs, youth clubs and night shelters. But often these social action programmes become detached and disconnected from the message which… Continue reading ‘The Cross and Shame: speaking of atonement to a shame-filled society’ by Rebecca Winfrey [review]

Social action

‘Make the community livable’: Shaftesbury’s legacy of Christian social action

Livability is a Christian organisation which is now focused on providing services and support to people affected by disability. But the organisation also has a rich history of community action and urban mission which should never be forgotten. The name Livability came into being in 2007 when the disability charity John Grooms merged with the… Continue reading ‘Make the community livable’: Shaftesbury’s legacy of Christian social action

Ethics & Christian living

7 steps that helped me find healing from depression – by Martin Kuhrt

Mental weariness. Bodily exhaustion. Self-condemning thoughts. Poor self-esteem. Regret. Shame. Desperation. At its worst, depression can feel like a living death. Until about the age of thirty, I did not understand that I had an issue with depression. When I was growing up it was not well understood and there was a lot of stigma.… Continue reading 7 steps that helped me find healing from depression – by Martin Kuhrt

Social commentary

The petrol station Samaritan: how ‘Namaste Man’ saved my birthday

It is my birthday this week, so with lockdown easing, our family all got in the car to visit my parents yesterday. It was our first trip together for months. My three children were especially looking forward to a slap-up (if socially-distanced) Sunday lunch cooked by their Granny. As a bonus, we were also going… Continue reading The petrol station Samaritan: how ‘Namaste Man’ saved my birthday

Ethics & Christian living

‘Hopelessness is the enemy of justice’: personal belief & social change

Bryan Stevenson graduated in law from Harvard University and went to work for men on death row in Alabama. He established the Equal Justice Initiative to provide legal support for those who had not received fair representation and whose convictions were based on weak evidence. Just Mercy is a great film about the story of… Continue reading ‘Hopelessness is the enemy of justice’: personal belief & social change

Social commentary

Something YOU can do on Windrush Day – by Adrian Lock

On Windrush Day, today, we celebrate the contribution of so many from the Caribbean that responded to the UK government’s request for help to rebuild post-war Britain.They came, suffered ongoing racial abuse, but struggled through, becoming part of the nation’s backbone, fulfilling so many of our keyworker roles, which many of their children and grandchildren… Continue reading Something YOU can do on Windrush Day – by Adrian Lock

Poverty

How I learnt about structural advantage

In my summer holidays between the ages of 19 to 23, I volunteered on a holiday club for kids run with local churches in Islington in London. Growing up in more suburban areas, going into the ‘inner city’ was like venturing into another world. I helped run a group for 11-14 year olds who lived… Continue reading How I learnt about structural advantage