Social action

Crisis of faith in social action: keeping Christian distinctiveness

A huge number charities have been started by committed Christians. One example is my former employer, the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint. It was started in the late 1960s by the Rev Kenneth Leech in St Anne's Church in Soho. But by the time I worked there in the 1990s, Centrepoint had virtually no connection with the church.… Continue reading Crisis of faith in social action: keeping Christian distinctiveness

Social action

Authentic change does not come easily – a weekend retreat October 5-7th, 2018

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.… Continue reading Authentic change does not come easily – a weekend retreat October 5-7th, 2018

Social action

Justice, mercy and humility: a weekend retreat in the Yorkshire Dales

From the 10th-12th November, I am facilitating a weekend away at the beautiful Scargill House in the Yorkshire Dales. Today, the richest 1% of people own more than the rest of the world combined. We see refugee crises across the globe and growing homelessness, poverty and debt in the UK. How do we confront inequality… Continue reading Justice, mercy and humility: a weekend retreat in the Yorkshire Dales

Social action, Theology & Church

Doing To or Being With? Re-thinking Christian social engagement

This year marks 130 years since the founding of the West London Mission. It was in October 1887 that WLM began its work to bring spiritual and practical hope to people affected by poverty. Back then in Victorian London we ran food depots, clothing stores, soup kitchens and even a job service for unemployed servants.… Continue reading Doing To or Being With? Re-thinking Christian social engagement

Social action

Losing their religion: why Christian charities lose their ethos

It cannot be disputed that Churches are very good at establishing social action projects. In recent years this is illustrated by the high-profile rise of church-based Food Banks, Night Shelters, debt services and a whole range of street outreach.  Organisations like The Trussell Trust, Street Pastors and Christians Against Poverty have seen their work grow at an incredible… Continue reading Losing their religion: why Christian charities lose their ethos

Social action

Love without structures: learning from the collapse of Kid’s Company

This week the BBC screened a fascinating documentary, Camila’s Kid’s Company: the Inside Story, on the demise of the famous children’s charity. What made the programme so compelling was its intimate portrayal of the Chief Executive, Camila Batmanghelidjh.  We see her close-up, as she lived through the collapse of the charity she had founded, in the full… Continue reading Love without structures: learning from the collapse of Kid’s Company

Social action

Honour where it’s due: Neil Jameson, Citizens UK and the difference between profile and genuine influence

I am not a big fan of the Honours system which awards Knighthoods, CBEs, OBEs and MBEs every year. Again this year there has been controversy over political bias in the awards as the director of the Conservative election campaign, Lynton Crosby, was given a knighthood. And as The Times reports, despite only 7% of the… Continue reading Honour where it’s due: Neil Jameson, Citizens UK and the difference between profile and genuine influence