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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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Why as a Christian I am voting for Labour

This is the third in a series of guest posts, in which regular readers of this blog explain why, from a Christian perspective, they intend to vote for a particular political party—or, in one case, why they intend to spoil their ballot paper. In this one, Ali Campbell, who is Youth and Children’s Ministry Consultant at […]

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Why as a Christian I am voting Conservative

This is the second in a series of guest posts, in which regular readers of this blog explaining why, from a Christian perspective, they intend to vote for a particular political party—or, in one case, why they intend to spoil their ballot paper. In this one, Revd Patrick Gilday, who is Curate at All Saints, Ascot, explains […]

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Why as a Christian I am voting Liberal Democrat

This is the first of a series of guest posts, in which regular readers of this blog explaining why, from a Christian perspective, they intend to vote for a particular political party—or, in one case, why they intend to spoil their ballot paper. In this first one, Revd Iain McFarlane, who is Priest-in-Charge at Boyatt Wood, Eastleigh, […]

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How should Christians vote?

A friend posted online a short story which highlighted a key issue for Christians in voting on June 8th. Recently, while I was weeding my front garden, my neighbours stopped to chat as they returned home from walking their dog. During our friendly conversation I asked their little girl what she wanted to be when […]

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What’s wrong with Comic Relief?

We were subjected once again to the annual ritual of Comic Relief, where it is demanded that we oscillate between the emotions of laughter and grief in order to reach a fund-raising target. There seems to be more criticism of the event this year then in previous years, not for its ends but for its […]

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Can we Dethrone Mammon?

Ven. Dr Gordon Kuhrt reviews Justin Welby’s Lent book Dethroning Mammon: Mammon is money or possessions when they are enthroned. The author says there is nothing wrong with money in itself, but when it exercises supreme power (is enthroned) it becomes mammon: evil, destructive and dangerous. A Foreword commending the book is from Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche movement which now has nearly 150 […]

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Can we disagree better online?

For the last two days, I have been accumulating material towards a post reflecting on Trump’s executive orders and how much of the response to them fails to explore the facts. It seems odd to me that we can accuse someone of disregard for the facts—and then fall into the same trap ourselves in our […]

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Can theology save the NHS?

By any account, the NHS is in crisis, and a crisis more acute this winter than we have seen before. Some have described the challenges facing the service as a ‘perfect storm’ of pressures, and whilst there is a debate about whether it is a question of quantity of funding or how that funding is […]

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Is it a sin to be rich?

The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is starting today in Davos, Switzerland, attended by the leaders of the the wealthiest economies and the biggest corporations. And, in what has become something of an annual ritual, Oxfam has expressed its objection to the gross inequalities between rich and poor in the world. Eight billionaires […]

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