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

Personal, Wellbeing

The lies we swallow about alcohol – by Jo Bega

I’m just back from a winter-sun holiday in Lanzarote. I swam in the sea, visited the volcanic vineyards, whooshed around the island on the back of a motorbike and ate some great tapas. It was fantastic – everything a holiday should be. And I did it all stone cold sober. A few years ago, a… Continue reading The lies we swallow about alcohol – by Jo Bega

Homelessness, Poverty, Theology

Reflecting God’s generous justice

I want to tell you about two inspiring people I have got to know over the last few years through my work. Pastor Alex in Tottenham The first is Alex Gyesi (pictured left), Pastor of Highway to Holiness, a Pentecostal church in Tottenham, North London. Back in 2009 the church was growing but Pastor Alex,… Continue reading Reflecting God’s generous justice

Poverty, Social action

We need to dig deeper in our response to poverty – by Greg Smith

Jo Moore's recent article on Grace + Truth highlights a significant issue: that unconditional generosity can so easily lead to dependency for the recipient. Those of us who have been active in this kind of work recognize the sense of entitlement which easily develops in response to whatever welfare provision or charity that is offered.… Continue reading We need to dig deeper in our response to poverty – by Greg Smith

Films & music, Recommended books & reviews

‘Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story’ by Bono [review]

I remember walking back from the shops after buying U2’s The Joshua Tree as a 14 year old and bumping into someone from my church who was about 10 years older than me. He said "Umm, I’m not really sure about U2" and started reading the album’s lyrics sheet.  He read out these words from… Continue reading ‘Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story’ by Bono [review]

Poverty, Social action

Feeding poverty: are we doing a dis-service to those in need? – by Jo Moore

A while ago, a lady came into the office of the charity I work in demanding a food parcel. I sat her down and gently told her I needed to find out a little more about why she needed the food. She was not happy with any questions being asked. I tried to explain there… Continue reading Feeding poverty: are we doing a dis-service to those in need? – by Jo Moore

Personal, Wellbeing

Confronting beauty & bulls**t on the road to Santiago – by Simon Dwight

Sweating and tired, I slipped off my backpack and slumped on the wooden pew. I sat looking at the stained-glass window in Bilbao Cathedral for an hour…maybe longer. Though I was physically still, my emotions continued the journey that had started the moment I began the Camino del Norte a couple hundred miles away. Wonder… Continue reading Confronting beauty & bulls**t on the road to Santiago – by Simon Dwight

Personal, Wellbeing

Finding hope amid devastating grief – by Andrew Ryland

The 19 November 2020 is indelibly etched on my mind as the darkest day in my life. It’s the day that my brother Stuart died by suicide at the age of 51.  Having just gone through another Christmas season without Stu (pictured on right), I would say that this has without doubt been the most… Continue reading Finding hope amid devastating grief – by Andrew Ryland

Ethics & Christian living

The political roots of the Watch Night New Year church service

The tradition of a New Year's Eve church service was originally started by Moravian churches to reflect on the year that has past and to contemplate the one to come. John Wesley adopted the practice for his Methodist followers. But it was given new significance by African-American communities on the 31st December 1862. Original basis… Continue reading The political roots of the Watch Night New Year church service

Ethics & Christian living, Wellbeing

Zuzu’s petals: reminders of what’s most important

In the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, the main character George Bailey faces bankruptcy and scandal. After a life of service and sacrifice, someone else’s negligence takes him to the brink of ruin. On Christmas Eve, in the midst of his angst and desperation, George goes home and sees his family. His young daughter, Zuzu, has… Continue reading Zuzu’s petals: reminders of what’s most important

Personal, Wellbeing

What I learnt from the barbed wire tree – by Lucy Horitz

I took this photo while out walking my dog Claude, a couple of weeks ago. At first glance, it’s a pretty normal autumnal scene: an old tree, covered in lichen and ivy, surrounded by fallen leaves. But look closer and you’ll notice something extraordinary. The tree has a barbed wire fence, consisting of three separate… Continue reading What I learnt from the barbed wire tree – by Lucy Horitz