The church services over Easter are my favourite of the year. The contemplation of Maundy Thursday, the grit of Good Friday, the waiting on Saturday and the joyful hope of Easter Sunday. But for me, the best thing about church this Easter weekend was deep conversations and prayers that I shared with three local people… Continue reading ‘A ship in harbour is safe. But that is not what ships are for’
A few years ago I was accused by someone of serious malpractice and discriminatory behaviour. I believed the accusations were cynical and baseless and contested the claims, but it led to a legal action which involved a whole week in court. In the end, I was completely exonerated but the whole process involved a considerable… Continue reading The divine circuit breaker
The podcast, The Holy Post gives a thoughtful Christian take on current affairs which is fresh, well-informed, non-tribal and often very funny. In a recent episode they interview the New York Times journalist and Yale lecturer David Brooks. Brooks is an interesting voice because he is a moderate conservative who spend much of his time… Continue reading The ironic consequences of believing we are good
This week I was invited to speak at an event hosted by Lazarus, a new initiative to support people affected by homelessness which is launching in London. Lazarus runs communities made up of formerly homeless people living alongside young professionals. Over 250 people live in their communities across Northern Europe and Mexico. It is yet… Continue reading Lazarus: friendship, trust and joy coming back to life
Another letter from a senior to a junior devil… (with apologies to C.S. Lewis)
My dear Wormwood,
I write to you today on the subject of managing people – the art of supporting and encouraging people to do their job well. As you know, churches and Christian organisationsare employing an increasing numbers of paid staff.
Now, even us devils know that to do our jobs well we need to be encouraged, so by helping the church to be ineffective in supporting its staff we will help our cause enormously.
We know that many Christians enter these jobs full of naïve enthusiasm. Dangerously, many even have a sense of ‘mission’, a desire to transform and bring so-called ‘hope’ to individuals and to the communities in which they work. Clearly this could be a disaster for us.
It is fortunate for us that bad management often undermines their enthusiasm and effectiveness…
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Amid all the terrible carnage caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, one of the most chilling aspects is the vice-like grip that Putin has over the Russian media. Hearing Russians who believe that this war is merely a defensive ‘special military operation’ to ‘de-Nazify’ and liberate Ukraine is almost as scary as anything else.… Continue reading Herd immunity
Our beloved daughter Annie died of natural causes in 2020. She was only 41. Nothing could have prepared us for her sudden death that June morning. In an instant our world fell apart. Later that day we found a small notebook on her desk with a single entry: “Don’t just live the length of life.… Continue reading “Don’t just live the length of life. Live the breadth of it as well” – by Anne O’Connor
The Netflix satire Don’t Look Up is about an impending apocalypse caused by a massive meteor heading for earth. Inevitably, there are references to faith and two prayers are said in the film. The first is by the President's Chief of Staff, played by Jonah Hill: 'I’ve been noticing a lot of prayers recently for… Continue reading A prayer in dark times
This week the world said goodbye to one of its most attractive personalities. Archbishop Desmond Tutu became a globally-recognised figure in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. His faith, passion, bravery and humour inspired the world. I remember reading Tutu’s 1999 book No Future Without Forgiveness on… Continue reading The grace and truth of Desmond Tutu
Even for the most broad-minded, it is easy to remain reading or listening to people who share similar views to ourselves. We can fall into the rut of following only those people who conform to our own perspective. We need to get beyond the simple critiques that can be found in the 280 characters of… Continue reading Beyond the echo chamber – by Andrew Drury