Putting the C of E at risk

In these days of governing-by-bureaucracy, every organisation is obliged to have a risk register. If you are a trustee of an organisation, reviewing such a risk register will be a regular item on your meeting agendas. The Church of England is no different, and the Archbishops’ Council reviews the risk register regularly at its meetings. … Continue Reading

Is our worship any good?

Have you ever had the experience of attending a church (visiting another, or even attending your own), and what you need is some sense of encounter with God—but the entire attention is taken up with the words on the screen not appearing on time, or the person leading constantly going ‘Ummmm…’ or the thurifer not … Continue Reading

One in a million

At some point today, someone reading this will be the one millionth page view on this blog! Mostly since June 2013, I have written 544 posts, comprising around 650,000 words, and had 10,277 comments. My first response to this is gratitude—gratitude to God for his faithfulness as I have responded to his call to write, … Continue Reading

What same-sex marriage brings with it

Earlier this week, the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland decided to recognise and accept the ministry of clergy in same-sex marriages, as a logical extension to its previous decision to accept those in civil partnerships. (A rather odd article in the Telegraph followed, which suggested this was a ‘model’ for the C of E, as if … Continue Reading

Should Christians be theologians?

It is always entertaining to read the online theological commentary following Trinity Sunday. One of the most popular memes was ‘Heresy bingo anyone?’ (Do a search if you did not see it.) The most strident comment amongst my Facebook ‘friends’ was this: This morning had to listen to another tediously irrelevant sermon on the lines … Continue Reading

The Trinity is not our social program(me)

There are moments of the year which all preachers dread. Perhaps ‘dread’ is too strong a word; but there is a definite sinking of the shoulders as we, once again, think about finding something new to say on the occasion of the major festivals. Christmas and Easter are, of course, the regular challenges—yet in both … Continue Reading

Can leaders be truly vulnerable?

In current discussions about the challenges facing the church, there is often a call for ‘strong leadership’. Sometimes this is explicit, but more often it is implicit: we need pioneering, courageous, risk-taking leaders who will help make the step-change that the church needs to address key issues. This approach raises a key pastoral, ministerial and … Continue Reading

The movements of Pentecost

Coming once again to the New Testament texts about Pentecost, I have been struck by the extraordinary dynamism which seems to be present in every aspect. In the gospels, Jesus is the dynamic focus of action—constantly on the move physically as a way of expressing the dynamic presence and movement of God in his ministry—and … Continue Reading