This week I went to see a Salvation Army Officer who runs a church centre in London. As I walked in, he and a colleague were speaking with three women. As I waited, it became obvious that the women had problems with homelessness and drug addiction and that he knew them well. He and his… Continue reading The Cross: the ultimate place of grace and truth
In her memoir of her journey into (and then out of) church leadership, theologian Barbara Brown Taylor writes about young people leaving her congregation: ‘One way or the other, most of the children had left by the time they were thirteen. Twelve was the traditional age for confirmation...it was their turn to decide, we told… Continue reading Why the Church needs these Alpha males
We sing a song at my church with the words ‘Everyone needs forgiveness, the kindness of a saviour’. Most people today acknowledge the importance of kindness. Even atheists often respect the church for running food banks and night shelters. Being kind is generally appreciated. But the idea of needing a saviour is more controversial. Many… Continue reading Does everyone need a saviour?
'Management' is not a concept that sits well within the Church. After all, church leaders are called to be priests, pastors, and preachers, not CEOs of mini-corporations. But over the past 20 years, in attending, working for and with many churches and Christian organisations, I have consistently seen the bitter cost of poor staff management.… Continue reading Grace, truth and the tricky task of people management
At my church on Sunday afternoons, I lead a youth group which mainly consists of children whose families don't go to church. Most of them are boys aged between 12-14 and many know me from a football club that I have run for many years. Types of love This Sunday our theme was love. After… Continue reading Royal wedding sermon: stop the internal church critique and use the opportunity
There has been an incredible reaction to Bishop Michael Curry's sermon at the Royal Wedding today. Both the content and the manner of his talk broke the formality which so easily straight-jackets Anglican services and especially any religious events involving the Royalty. There was power, authority and a bold confidence in the way that Bishop… Continue reading Rev. Curry’s sermon summed up why I am a Christian
Behind All Saints’ church in Harrow Weald, North London, a woodland has been transformed into a Forest School for local children. It is only a few hundred yards from a busy London road, but for the children who visit the school established within the woods, it is a place of magic and surprise. The small,… Continue reading Beauty arising from the ashes of despair – by James Mercer