flagging faith



In the last couple of months, I have been places where I speak next to none of the local langauges. This deeply frustrates me! I would love to be fluent in any number of languages and see how the nature of relationships change when you are speaking in someone else's language rather than their speaking yours. I am incredibly lucky to be a native English speaker though, of course, that came at the expense of a beautiful language that still enthralls and captivates me, the more I hear of it. I've also just finished a book on learning languages: Fluent in Three Months. It's a great read, and it highlights to things I want to share. The first is that over half the world's population speak more th

I wouldn't start from here ...

This is my second attempt to offer some reflections on the current state of play in Middle East. The title is a quote from an old joke about asking for directions in Ireland and, visiting Israel/Palestine for what is now the fifth time in ten years, I increasingly get the feeling that everyone involved wants to start the process from anywhere but here. SOme want to return to 1967 or 1948, the 1947 UN partition plan or even 1917 and pre-Balfour Declaration. The thing is that we only get to start from here and now and that's the problem. As I said previously, no-one now talks of the two-state solution seriously because it ceased to be viable about ten years ago. Not that it would have provided

Hope vs Solution

'Do you have hope for the future?' A simple question perhaps, and one where you would almost always expect a positive answer (which raises questions about why you would ask the question in the first place). It is surprising, shocking even, when the answer is 'no'. I've been a little quiet over the past week or so because I have been working in Israel/Palestine, a part of the world that tends to absorb all your attention whilst you're there. As we travelled to different places and talked to Jewish Israelis and Palestinians, the question of hope was often raised. I think this was perhaps the first time in 10 years of visiting that no-one from the region even bothered to mention the so-called t

Pastures New

A lot of people have been asking me what I'll be doing next, having announced a while back that I am leaving Queen's in the summer. I can now announce that, alongside some concentrated focus on my doctoral research, I will also be ministering in the Mid-Warwickshire Circuit on a part-time basis. I am incredibly excited by this prospect, working alongside lay and ordained colleagues in the implementation of a new mission strategy. I will not be leaving academia completely as the Susanna Wesley Foundation of Roehampton University, London has offered me a part-time post as Research Officer, focussing on issues of leadership and connexionalism in Methodism. It is a real joy for me to be invited

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