God’s sense of Christmas time

Christmas is fast approaching.

Every Christmas-countdown calendar, every new Christmas product on the shelf, every Christmas catalogue mocks my lack of preparation and fills me with an ever-growing sense dread about what I still need to do before Christmas.

In the popular imagination and the life of the church, Christmas is the pinnacle as the year comes to an ...

House pet Jesus: A Christmas story

I write this as a vile demagogue who campaigned on the emesis of hate has become president-elect of the USA.

Of all the stories to follow in the train of this disgrace, such as the rise of white nationalism, the daily reports of hate crimes, and the self-serving incompetence of the so-called ‘political elites’, one of the more ...

Context and Contingency

Is there any theology that does not have a context? Is there any theology which can avoid a hermeneutic of suspicion? Clearly, the answer to both these questions is ‘no’. Are we obliged to do our theology in context? Absolutely ‘yes’. But, do we need ‘contextual theology’ to do theology in context? In my view, ‘no’. It is important to ...

Forgotten meaning of Halloween

With Halloween goodies and Christmas delights jostling for space on the shelves of our supermarket, it can be hard to remember that the season of trick-or-treating has its foundation in the Christian celebration of All Saints and All Souls.

Traditionally Halloween is the vigil day before All Saints day. All Saints day is the day to remember that all ...

Caring for carers

I have written and spoken before about my partner Michael’s depression and anxiety and his death. With Mental Health Week approaching, I offer a brief reflection on some of the beliefs and attitudes I have experienced that make having a mental illness or caring for a family member with a mental illness more difficult.

People who have mental illness ...

On visioning

Guru Ravidass, who was active in the 15th century CE, was a North Indian Guru mystic of the bhakti movement, a monotheistic reform movement in which equality and rejection of caste hierarchy were major themes. His devotional songs and verses made a lasting impact upon the bhakti movement.

In one of his poems entitled, “Begumpura” he writes:

The regal realm ...

Animals in our lives and in our hearts

By Rev Barbara Allen
Spirituality and Creation Project Worker

As we approach World Animal Day (Feast of St Francis, 4 October) it is timely to take stock and consider our animal brethren. Animals feature in our lives, homes and churches in a myriad of ways, from companion and/or protector, as therapy/assistance animals, or as a reminder ...

Safety lesson is one we need to learn

Over the last few weeks I have spent considerable time thinking about safety, security and what it means for us to become a safer church. Some of this thinking has arisen from meeting with survivors of abuse.

Their courage in telling their stories and holding us accountable for what they suffered demands that we work as hard as we ...

Time to love


Ok, so we’re born, live, and then we die.

“There is a time for everything under the sun.”

But I’m not sure that it always feels like that. How about that time in between – when you’ve not yet died, but you’re no longer able to live as the person you once knew yourself to be? That ...

What prayer brings to the table

By Katharine Massam

Prayer is…

The 1656 painting Praying Always by the Dutch painter Nicholas Maes is an icon of the Reformation. It shows an old woman at her kitchen table, with a simple but symbolic meal set before her. The fish, the bread and wine, the key hanging on the rudimentary hook alongside the hourglass, the bell, the ...

Love, light, life

Goodness is stronger than evil;
Love is stronger than hate;
Light is stronger than darkness;
Life is stronger than death;
Victory is ours through Him who loves us.  – Desmond Tutu, An African Prayer book

Over the last few weeks I have found myself returning again to this powerful prayer written by ...

A reflection and prayer on a week of global violence


Over the last few days our news has been full of stories of violent acts that have resulted in the deaths of many hundreds and suffering for innumerable people. Such acts of violence, while reported in graphic detail, can seem so far away, so enormous in impact, so overwhelming in their destruction and evil that ...