Yesterday I was at the annual conference of the homelessness charity, Hope into Action. It was held at the vast Kingsgate Church in Peterborough and over 320 people attended. I had been invited to lead a seminar on how to ensure work with homeless people is both kind and effective. I’ll share some of that… Continue reading Hope into Action and the new wave of Christian social action
Vincent Donovan was a Catholic missionary who worked among the Masai tribes-people in Tanzania in the 1960s. He became increasingly concerned about the state of missionary work. After a 100 years of missionary activity in East Africa, the Catholic Church was very busy, running several schools, a major hospital and health outreach over a vast… Continue reading Is the Church just ‘an NGO with a pointy roof’?
In the 1990s, I used to buy just about every book I could find on Christian social action. Around the turn of the century though, I had to become more selective. One reason was because the number of books published on the subject increased so much. But also I had a nagging guilt about spending too… Continue reading ‘For Good: The Church and the Future of Welfare’ – Samuel Wells with Russell Rook & David Barclay [review]
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… Continue reading Crisis of faith in social action: keeping Christian distinctiveness
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
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
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