Posts Tagged ‘British church’


Le Pen, Trump, Putin as Crusaders

So Donald has Trumpit the Brexit. Nigel (Farage) told us in the early hours that 2016 opens a new era.  Indeed.  For what?  In a British pub in Moscow last night, I saw them sit up and cheer Trump.  A painting is brought in, of three mounted Crusaders.  But the portraits are of Marie Le Pen, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.  It is derived from a famous painting of Adolf Hitler as a mounted knight in armour, holding a standard, searching for The Holy Grail.  A crusade you want to be part of?

No mistake – this is epochal.  We are all revolting against the elites that patronised us for years now.  Popular disgust is being captured and (more…)

Wbooitches in the neighbourhood.  Squeals of groups of children trick-or-treating up my street last night.  With parents at a discrete distance watchful behind.  Ha ha, harmless fun?  Well of course.

But my pumpkin went into soup, not onto the window sill. But overall – we are missing a trick here.  There is a need for a proper something.  What we currently have is pale entertainment.  Ditch the Americanised saccharine of Halloween.  Fast-forward over the faux fright-fests.  Skip on the Satanic stuff that creeps in.  Let’s get statistical. The ultimate statistic – one in one dies.  You dear reader will die, as will I.  The lights will go out.


John Lewis wellbeing

New Year – new me. Well the Church calendar of set readings had me preaching last Sunday on Good News to the Poor.  Jesus opens his work with “Good News to the Poor. Liberty to the Captives. Sight to the Blind. Freedom to the Oppressed.” Goodness, that’s strong stuff.  Meanwhile, on the same day John Lewis sends me a booklet with another vision, and not a bad one either.  RE:NEW.ALL.  with the message “Time for renewal – feel healthier in your mind, body and spirit”.  Well – I’ll say yes to that too.

It is an odd choice.  Just compare (more…)

Something for free? Two Saturdays ago we were giving things away. In the morning, there was little interest. In the afternoon there was a clamour for more. The reason was not the time, nor the people, but in the gift.

Two Saturdays ago it was World Book Day (see We were one of the 20,000 participants, signing up for a book giveaway last autumn.  We had selected Mohsin Hamid’s “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” and had 48 copies to give away; to our neighbours, to the Bromley Ecumenical Singers where Bill is a first Bass, to church members, to colleagues at work. That Saturday there was a concert, and at the afternoon rehearsal I offered 20 copies to choir and orchestra members. I expected to have 10 copies left after an hour. But in less than 5 minutes – all were gone. Woosh. Perhaps it is explicable. Choir and orchestra members are usually serious readers, often retired and on lower incomes. So an offer to 60 people of 20 copies of a brand new copy of a modern but accessible novel could be expected to go, and go fast.

And the other gift? That very morning we went on our own knocking on doors in our parish. It is part of the church’s efforts at low key evangelism, just letting the community know what’s on offer at their doorstep, with a leaflet and a few words. Of the 84 dwellings we visited, we got no response from 67.  (more…)

Wanda chats during a church visit

Wanda chats during a church visit

“Nice Holiday in UK?”  Having been in UK for two months, people in Kisiizi ask us whether we enjoyed our holiday.  We visited nine churches. We went to 42 church meetings/services/lunches/fellowships /dinners.  Not to forget visits to dentists, GPs, hospital specialists.  We travelled 5346 kilometres by car alone.  We slept in 12 different beds.  It was not a two month holiday.  However two dear families did let us stay in their homes while they were away (in Battle and Worcester).  Five days in Lee Abbey was a blessing too.