Thought for the Week

An emotional person

Would you describe yourself as an ‘emotional’ person? I don’t mean do you cry at films or shout during sports matches!? We often tend to think of emotional people as those who express their emotions in very obvious ways and by and large, English people are not renowned for being emotional. We are caricatured as

Read more

Pope Francis: Person of the Year

Every year Time magazine, as part of its review of the year just ending, selects its Person of the Year. For 2013, their choice was Pope Francis. As their writer Nancy Gibbs explains, “In his nine months in office, he has placed himself at the very center of the central conversations of our time: about

Read more

Nelson Mandela

There is no doubt that Nelson Mandela was a great man, as the thousands queuing this week to pay their last respects bear eloquent witness. For me, two qualities stand out. The first is his courage, typified in the speech at his trial in 1964 when he stated calmly that “a democratic and free society

Read more

The Pilling Report

What is the Pilling Report, and why does it matter? The report, published this week, takes its name from Joe Pilling, the chair of the Church of England’s House of Bishops’ ‘Working Group on human sexuality’. It matters because of the findings and recommendations it makes. Sadly, there is a lack of confidence in what

Read more

The Grace of God OR the world of the West?

That was the intriguing and provocative question raised by Mike Ovey in his outstanding address at the recent GAFCON gathering in Nairobi, Kenya*. He argues, most convincingly in my view, that large parts of the western church have distorted what the Bible really says about the grace of God and turned it into what the

Read more

Good question!

I could have pretended that these thoughts were my own. However, the rest of the staff team will know (if they read this!) that they come from a book we’ve been reading together: Gospel DNA – Apostolic ministry values for today by Richard Coekin. In one chapter, he points out how the Lord Jesus Christ

Read more

The ultimate sacrifice

“Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”. Those familiar words, from John 15:3, are fittingly wedded to Remembrance Sunday. After all, on this day we remember many who did indeed lay down their lives on the battlefield, at sea and in the air; they lay down their

Read more

Is the word of God the word of God?

“Is the word of God the word of God?” That was the striking question put by Dr Peter Jensen, General Secretary of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, at the start of the second Global Anglican Future Conference recently held in Nairobi. (Sorry about all the long names – I want to be accurate!). That

Read more

Dearly beloved…

What would you think of sitting next to a young girl wearing a hijab (and so presumably a Muslim)? Living in multicultural Birmingham as we do, most of us would think nothing of it. Now suppose you were both sitting in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge waiting for choral evensong to begin! That’s what happened to

Read more

Is God dead?

There’s a wonderful story told about Martin Luther (if I recall it correctly). It’s said that one morning he was looking particularly miserable and downcast. So much so, that his wife Katy said to him, “Martin, what’s the matter? Is God dead?” What a godly woman! And what a brilliant piece of pastoral counselling! Just

Read more