Almost all homeless charities in the UK have their roots in the Church. Some are obvious, such as The Salvation Army, West London Mission, Cardinal Hume Centre, Providence Row, Emmaus, The Church Army and many others. Less people are aware that organisations like Shelter, the YMCA and Centrepoint were also established by church leaders and… Continue reading Faith and homelessness: the further back you look, the further forward you can see…
This week I was in my local park with my youth football club. One of the kids found something left next to a tree and called me over. He had found a weapon. It was a jagged knife blade which had been bound with gaffer tape to a foot-long handle. It had been well made.… Continue reading Lives on a knife-edge
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
I read this in the Christmas Eve edition of The Times' newspaper earlier this week - written by a journalist who is not a regular church-goer: 'Come with me...to the schools, hospices and care homes where thousands of Christians do good work every day. Seek out the grittiest, grimiest edges of British life and they are… Continue reading Confidence in the difference faith makes
This coming week is my last at the West London Mission (WLM) after 8½ years leading their work with people affected by homelessness, poverty and trauma. It has been a deeply rewarding job. I have worked alongside many brilliant people and WLM has travelled a long way. In term of this blog, it has been… Continue reading Faith in addressing homelessness: reflections on leaving WLM
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?
I will never forget talking with an old school friend in the pub after he got back from the first Gulf War in 1991. He had left school at 16 and joined the army just as I went into the Sixth Form. In the Gulf he served as an officer in a tank regiment. At… Continue reading ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ – a film by Peter Jackson [review]