In the last 20 years there has been a significant rise in Christian social action projects and initiatives to combat poverty. Foodbanks, night shelters and debt-relief such as Christians Against Poverty, have grown at a remarkable rate.
But in the enthusiasm for social activism, we cannot deny a central fact: change does not come easily.
For those labouring day after day on the frontline, it is easy to become dispirited amid the continued rise of inequality, debt and desperation. On a more basic level, people let us down, problems don’t get solved, volunteers don’t turn up, staff argue and funding runs out. It’s not easy to avoid cynicism.
More than ever, I believe in the relevance of a Christian hope which can resource and encourage us in our work. Reality is liberating – God wants us to be honest about the struggles we face. Accessible and applied theology can equip us and underpin a spirituality which sustains and nourishes us.
Weekend at Lee Abbey, Devon, October 2018
I am leading a weekend at the beautiful Lee Abbey in Devon on this theme. We’ll explore the transformative power of Jesus’ message of grace and truth and what it means in the gritty reality of our broken world.
It is a weekend for those who are working hard for others and who need encouragement and inspiration in their work. Do you know someone who could benefit? Why not send them the link and encourage them to come?
For more details and how to book a place on the weekend, see the Lee Abbey website.
Grace and truth in action
As an example of the kind of teaching we will explore, here is a short talk I gave at a recent conference hosted by the London Diocese on Responding to street homeless people:
Chris Ward, with whom I wrote the booklet Homelessness: Grace, Truth and Transformation also spoke powerfully about his recovery journey from homelessness and addiction. Chris will be coming to the Lee Abbey weekend too and you can hear some of this story here: