Personal, Wellbeing

Learning from difficult times: 9 lessons in leadership

This post is adapted from a talk I gave recently for Homeless Link to a group of CEOs and senior managers who lead homelessness charities. In the winter 2014/15, I went through a difficult time in the charity I led.   We hit a crisis in one of our main residential services due to some… Continue reading Learning from difficult times: 9 lessons in leadership

Wellbeing

No such thing as ‘safe space’ – by Jon Canessa

I work at Newcastle Cathedral leading the Lantern Initiative. We seek to be a beacon of light to people experiencing dark and difficult times. Some of this work involves walking in solidarity with people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.  Addiction Addiction is part of the human condition and can be understood as both ‘dis-ease’… Continue reading No such thing as ‘safe space’ – by Jon Canessa

Wellbeing, Youth work

Something better than happiness

In the last 2 weeks I have been struck by the incredibly positive reactions of young people coming back from Christian summer camps. Even from those normally more reticent with their enthusiasm, I have seen faces light up and heard the superlatives flow: 'Amazing', 'brilliant', 'so good', 'incredible', 'definitely going back next year'. These camps… Continue reading Something better than happiness

Social action, Wellbeing

Colluding with chaos or maintaining healthy boundaries?

In my 20s, I was a member of a church near King’s Cross where we started a community project called Decorating and Gardening to do practical jobs for vulnerable local people. We called it D&G for short and borrowed the Dolce & Gabanna logo.  We never heard from their lawyers. The first person we did a job for was a… Continue reading Colluding with chaos or maintaining healthy boundaries?

Wellbeing

Reality is liberating, even when things go wrong

This week, something I was responsible for did not go well.  I won’t go into details, but I found it difficult and stressful. Like everyone, I want to be involved in work and activities which go well and to be associated with things which are effective and successful. But of course, it is when things… Continue reading Reality is liberating, even when things go wrong

Social commentary, Wellbeing

Good fiction helps us live in the real world

There has been a lot of articles and discussion about how parents can talk to their children about the horrific war in Ukraine. See these examples from UNICEF, Sky and the New York Times. One element that is often overlooked is captured in C.S. Lewis' quote above: the role that great stories and good fiction… Continue reading Good fiction helps us live in the real world

Reflections & Poetry, Wellbeing

Showing love online on Valentine’s Day

If I blog with sparkling wit and powerful prose, but do not have love, I am just a blaring horn or a screech on a blackboard .  If I tell great stories, show brilliant intellect and can shine light on the mysteries of life, but do not have love, I am nothing.   If I make myself look… Continue reading Showing love online on Valentine’s Day