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Should your church employ a nurse?

The latest Grove Pastoral booklet makes a surprising proposal: that local churches should consider employing a nursing professional as part of their staff as an integral part of their missional engagement with their local community. The author is Helen Wordsworth, who is the Founder Director of Parish Nursing Ministries UK, a charity set up in 2006 […]

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Is ‘mindfulness’ Christian?

Mindfulness is the topic of the moment. The father of one of our daughter’s friends was seriously injured in Iraq, and he has only been able to recover a sense of stability in life by means of mindfulness. (He was part of Gareth Malone’s Invictus choir at the Rio Paralympics.) Mindfulness is increasingly being seen […]

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The subversive power of grace

The latest Grove Biblical text is by John Barclay, Lightfoot Professor of Divinity at the University of Durham, and is a profound exploration of the meaning of grace, following his major work from last year Paul and the Gift. John starts with a very helpful analysis of what might be called the taxonomy of grace: when […]

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What does the EU vote mean?

The first dust has settled from the EU Leave vote, but it feels as if the earthquake has only just begun, and there is no telling what foundations it has yet to disturb. David Cameron has resigned; George Osbourne is likely to follow soon. Jeremy Corbyn faces a vote of no confidence, and already Nicola […]

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Does grace despise virtue?

In our mid-size group in our church we are using the Pilgrim Course to study the Lord’s Prayer. This week we were reflecting on ‘Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us’, and we were directed to explore the so-called parable of the Prodigal Son (really, the parable of the Forgiving […]

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Adding dialogue to monologue preaching

There has been some fascinating discussion in response to my two previous posts on why monologue preaching doesn’t work and why dialogue preaching isn’t practical. Before looking at how we might take the best of both together, two observations about monologue. First, those (usually clergy) who have theological training do have something valuable to bring to […]

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