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Grove: Evangelical LeadershipTo learn more about my concerns for ministry, read my Grove booklet on Evangelical Leadership.


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LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 21:  Protesters hold signs calling for justice for the victims of the Grenfell Disaster and shout slogans as they march towards Westminster during an anti-government protest on June 21, 2017 in London, England. A series of protests are held in the capital in response to the Queen's Speech including a "Day of Rage" organised by the Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary.  The Clement James Centre helping residents of the Grenfell disaster have emphasised that they do not want their grief hijacked for violent means.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Prayer, anger and Grenfell Tower

Following the appalling disaster of the fire at Grenfell Tower, local people planned a ‘Day of Rage’ to protest at the injustices and cost-cutting that appears to have led to the catastrophic failure of fire regulations in the tower—and almost all others like it clad in a similar way. The immediate response from many Christians was to plan a ‘Day of Prayer’, for many based on the maxim that ‘Human anger does not achieve God’s righteous purposes’ (James 1.20), and perhaps out of anxiety that the planned protest would result in violence—fears that were not, in the end, realised. But in response to this alternative, Mike Higton (Professor of Theology and Ministry at the University of Durham) makes a striking observation:

I must admit, I’m disturbed by the ‘we need a day of prayer, not a day of rage’ line. We should be angry; we need to be angry. As a Christian, I’m a reader of angry scriptures, and serve an angry God – a God who rages against the machine. Discovering how to be angry well, how to harness anger constructively, how not to let anger spill over into violence – yes; absolutely. Discovering how not to be angry? No! I don’t think I’m yet anywhere near angry enough.

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Miracle Worker

What miracle(s) does the Church need on sexuality?

There was a brief report in the Daily Mail online that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, believes ‘that the Church of England will need a miracle from the Holy Spirit to solve its long-running row over gay rights.’ The Most Reverend Justin Welby said the divisions cannot be healed by human hands but only […]

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Ministry at Grenfell Tower

Gabby Thomas writes: On Wednesday 14th June, like the rest of the UK, I awoke to the most harrowing pictures of Grenfell Tower on fire. Like many others, when the circumstances began to emerge around how 24 storeys could burn to the ground that easily, I was utterly speechless: How could something so simply prevented […]

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What causes disunity?

It is fairly common in discussion about church relations to cite Jesus’ so-called ‘high priestly’ prayer (John 17) and his concern ‘that they should be one’—not least because Jesus himself connects the unity of his followers with the oneness of God himself, and in both Christian and Jewish contexts this is a fundamental truth about […]

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Violence in Christianity and Islam

Following the atrocities in London and Manchester in recent weeks, many commentators have been quick to say ‘This violence has nothing to do with Islam.’ When that is claimed by a leader within the Muslim community, then it appears to mean something particular: ‘This violence is nothing to do with Islamic beliefs as I understand […]

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Preaching on Trinity Sunday

Here it comes again: that Sunday in the lectionary which most preachers dread or (to disguise this) suddenly think of guest preachers who need an opportunity to contribute their ministry. Yes, it is Trinity Sunday! Rather than offer you a sermon as a resource, I thought it would be helpful to point out three things […]

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Debating transgender

One of the most difficult debates facing General Synod when it meets in July arises not from the main business agenda, but from a diocesan motion from Blackburn Diocese, which will be proposed by Revd Chris Newlands: That this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, […]

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