My name is Jon Kuhrt and over the last 30 years almost all my work has been with people affected by homelessness. I have been writing this blog since 2011.
As a Christian, this has caused me to reflect on the theory, practice and theology surrounding social justice (how society becomes fairer) and personal transformation (how individuals change).
The point of this blog
The reason I started the blog was to reflect on my work and other experiences through the lens of the Christian faith.
I believe that all theoretical and theological reflection is best done in light of practice. I think that Christian beliefs only become faith when they are put into action.
Grace and truth
The guiding theme of the blog is grace and truth; two concepts at the heart of the Christian faith. At the start of John’s gospel, Jesus is described as being ‘full of grace and truth’:
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
As well as being central to Christianity, I am convinced that grace and truth are fundamental to personal transformation and social justice. I am interested in exploring the personal, practical and political applications of this theology.
This brief paraphrase, The blog in my own eye, sums up how I want to write.
When I was CEO of West London Mission, I gave this talk is about how grace and truth are relevant to homelessness:
In January 2023 I began work as the new Chief Executive of Hope into Action which enables the church to house people affected by homelessness. It is a real honour to step into the shoes of founder Ed Walker MBE as I have long admired their innovative, empowering and faith-filled approach to addressing homelessness.
For the 4 years previous to this I was a Rough Sleeping Adviser to the government (DLUHC), with a special focus on how faith and community groups address homelessness. From 2010-2018, I was Chief Executive of the West London Mission leading their work with people affected by homelessness and addiction.
I was Director of Community Mission for Livability (formerly the Shaftesbury Society) from 2002 to 2010. I managed emergency hostels for the youth homeless charity Centrepoint in Soho from 1997-2002. Before that, I managed a Crisis Winter Shelter in Kent (1996-97) and worked in a large hostel in Hackney (1995-96).
I graduated in Social Policy & Social Work from Hull University in 1994 and during this time I was a volunteer at the Hull Homeless and Rootless Project and worked for the Shaftesbury Society in a direct-access hostel for young homeless people in Camberwell. After graduating, I worked for the Student Union overseeing HUSSO, the student community action group.
I have lived in Streatham, South London with my wife for almost 20 years and we have 3 children. Outside of work, I am a member at Streatham Baptist Church and my family and I are part of the Lee Abbey Youth Camp every summer. My favourite writer is George Orwell and favourite theologian is Lesslie Newbigin.
And I should add, I don’t like cricket. I love it. I play for Addiscombe CC.
Please note that I write in a personal capacity on Grace+Truth and the articles do not represent the views of any of the organisations listed.
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10 thoughts on “About me and this blog”
Hi Jon, I’ve been reading around your blog for a while now and share a lot of your sentiments! Perhaps you might like to read this blog post I wrote a while ago – I’m sure you’re up with Tom Wright’s theology on social justice – http://quirkycase.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/the-dangers-of-a-spiritualized-gospel/ I’d be interested to know what you think, especially about how social justice and the ‘spiritual’ gospel cannot be divorced from each other. Thanks!
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Thanks for sending this link to me and I enjoyed reading it.
I was struck by your comment ‘Rather, the two go hand in hand, at best not separated at all, at least in theory. How this works out practically is, of course, another matter.’ I think how we actually do this bringing together is the key task facing the church – how it integrates the explicit message of God’s love – the verbal exchange of the good news – with the more implicit outward working of that love through social action and social justice. We need to do this in practice – I have found that a concern for social justice is the best way to share faith– if you are prepared to be brave and speak up when opportunities present themselves (which I have found they do) and not go all soggy theologically and pretend everyone believes the same thing. So all the best in finding practical ways to hold these things together – it makes reading Tom Wright even more enjoyable and nourishing! Thanks and God bless, Jon
Hello, Jon! Mike Morrell asked me to contact you because he really appreciates your blog and thinks you’d be an excellent candidate for his Speakeasy Blogger Network. Do you like to review off-the-beaten path faith, spirituality, and culture books? Speakeasy puts interesting books in your hands at no charge to you. You only get books when you request them, and it’s free to join. Sign up here, if you’d like: http://thespeakeasy.info
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Thanks Theo – appreciate the encouragement! Jon
Hi Jon! Found your blog while assisting my boss with research for her dissertation. She heads a ministry for the poor in the Philippines and one of the target sectors is street dwellers. I write this blog: http://cctkaibigan.blogspot.com/ . Will read your blog often for added inspiration.
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John I came across your blog through reading a blog from a friend of mine, I have now joined your blog. What I want to say is your blog is inspirational, just too say the two people who highlight your blog are two people who influenced my life, namely James Ogers of Besom and Gavin Howard from Besom in Cambridge, these gentlemen as I read through my Bible, are the perfect example of the Good Samaritan today, they reach out to the poor with an unconditional love, with a heart full of love and compassion so your blog does highlight all these things, so go ahead continue the theme WWJD Hope and love thank you Gavin and James for my grounding in humility 🙏🙏
thanks woodentom! James Ogers inspired me when I was in my 20s and I once wrote to him asking for a job! And Gavin Howard has been a huge encouragement to me over the last 7-8 years and I am very grateful to him and the Hope into Action trustees for giving me my new job! Thanks for the positive comments about the blog and I hope its helpful
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