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

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

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

Ethics & Christian living

Grace helps people engage with the truth

I am part of a Facebook group for cricket fans. (For US readers, this is the sport Robin Williams described as ‘baseball on valium’.) What strikes me is that comments and opinions on quite minor subjects (yesterday it was a radio commentator's retirement) often produce incredibly heated arguments. And quickly these rows descend into name… Continue reading Grace helps people engage with the truth

Recommended books

‘A House Built on Love’ by Ed Walker [Review]

Ed Walker worked in Darfur, Sudan with the Christian relief and development charity, Tearfund, before returning home to the UK with his wife, Rachel. They moved to Peterborough where Walker started working for a homelessness charity. The death of one of the residents provoked him to question the inadequacies of the system he is working… Continue reading ‘A House Built on Love’ by Ed Walker [Review]

Social commentary

Nostalgia just ain’t what it used to be…

‘Never ask, "Why were things so much better in the old days?" It's not an intelligent question.’ (Ecclesiastes 7:10) There is often no shortage of people in churches who look back fondly on the past. In times gone by there always seems to be more vision, more energy and more faith. A similar tendency affects… Continue reading Nostalgia just ain’t what it used to be…

Ethics & Christian living

Good Friday? Coronavirus, conspiracies and the cross

In recent weeks I have been sent a number of videos which share conspiracy theories about the ‘real cause’ of Coronavirus. Often they blend an pretty incoherent mix of pseudo-science (e.g. about the 5G mobile network), along with some character assassination (e.g. Bill Gates or Barack Obama) and a dollop of ‘end-time prophesy’ (often from… Continue reading Good Friday? Coronavirus, conspiracies and the cross

Politics

Faith in Politics Simplified

My 16 year old son Danny is really into politics. He and some friends have started a youtube channel Politics Simplified which aims to explain political processes and ideas to young people. Here is one of their videos about the First Past the Post voting system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNc_o5P38rk&t=62s Recently, they also went to Parliament to interview… Continue reading Faith in Politics Simplified

Ethics & Christian living

Faith and courage in response to a deadly virus

In 1665, the people in the remote Derbyshire village of Eyam realised that their village had become infected with the bubonic plague. Fleas infected with the disease had been brought to the village in a bundle of damp cloth from London. The tailor who unpacked the cloth and hung it to dry in front of… Continue reading Faith and courage in response to a deadly virus