flagging faith


United Methodist Bishops' Letter to LGBTQ kin

On Friday 28th December, the Bishops of the United Methodist Church published this letter: To our Global LGBTQ Kin in Christ, The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church recognizes the ways in which the convening of the Special Session of General Conference creates a time and space of harm for you and members of your family. To be the focus of attention, discussion and debate is hurtful. Demeaning and dehumanizing comments and attacks on LGBTQ persons in conversations related to the upcoming February Conference are a great tragedy and do violence to hearts, minds, and spirits. When you suffer, the whole body of Christ suffers. Together, we need to work to resist hate, violence, and


It still amazes and humbles me that people from all over the world are reading my blog. In places I have never visited like Senegal and Colombia, people are taking the time to read what I write in a language other than their own. Thanks to facebook and twitter, I get to hear from some of those who read the posts, but am aware that many, many do not. I would love to know more about who you are and how I can improve my writing. Your ideas on what I should be writing about would be much appreciated as we begin another year together. So whether you are reading this in Fiji or Fort Worth, Ghana or Greece, Argentina or Aylebury (you know who you are!), please can I ask you to take a couple of min

Why I Write Too

In 1946, George Orwell published a short piece entitled: ‘Why I write’, in an attempt to reveal his motivations. In it, he describes the ‘four great motives for writing, at any rate for writing prose: Sheer egoism. Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc. It is humbug to pretend this is not a motive, and a strong one …. there is also the minority of gifted, willful people who are determined to live their own lives to the end, and writers belong in this class. Serious writers, I should say, are on the whole more vain and self-centered than journalists, though less interested in mone


How did we get here? How is it that a nation defined by its sense of fairplay and reasonableness is now locked in the zero-sum game of Brexit? It is highly unlikely that one referendum campaign, no matter how sophisticated, caused the level of intensity of division that we have seen in the last 30 months. More likely the divisions were already there but submerged beneath the surface for a variety of reasons. When the lid was finally lifted off decades of resentment, confusion, anger and disenfranchisement, is it a surprise that it expressed itself in convulsions of polarising rhetoric that expressed itself in threats and even the murder of an MP? Brexit has revealed a dis-United Kingdom, uns

Still Waiting

Advent has taken on a new meaning for us this year, as we have been involved in the Methodist stationing system. Little did we know that, at this stage, we would still not know where we would be serving come September 2019. We have now completed two rounds of ‘matching’ and visited various Circuit, but no invitations have been forthcoming. I remember back to the start of this process, when we met with our Acting Chair and Lay Stationing Rep to discuss our profiles. Personally, I found filling in the relevant forms and answering the questions about the kinds of ministry I had been involved with or wanted to explore, a really fruitful process. It was great to chart two decades of a journey tha

SOBBSITD - sick of Brexit but still in the dark

Earlier in the year, I began a short series of blog posts about Brexit and how one Christian - me! - approaches it. Some of what I said provoked a very angry response from some quarters of the Church but, by and large, those posts went unremarked. After two years plus, I guess most of us are either BOBs - Bored Of Brexit - or SOBBSITDs - Sick Of Brexit But Still In The Dark . Analysis shows that (probably) most church-going Christians voted Leave in the referendum, a wake-up call if one were needed, to those who thought that the Church was full of well-meaning liberals who would want to remain. After the spectacle of last night in the House of Commons, we have woken up, literally and metapho

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