Christian Comments

/Christian Comments
7 10, 2019

Good conversations

October 7th, 2019|

It is, as they say, good to talk.  Conversations - good, Gospel centred conversations - ought to be at the heart of the life of the church. It was my privilege last week to be with one of our Synod churches at the climax of an Inviting Forward process.  Inviting Forward is our way in the Yorkshire Synod of helping churches review their life and plan for the future using Appreciative Inquiry principles.  If you haven’t heard of Appreciative Inquiry, it uses conversations focused on the strengths of the church to build a vision and decide on practical steps forward. [...]

16 09, 2019

Making a difference in Sheffield

September 16th, 2019|

Manor Church & Community Project – The first five years… The Manor is a sprawling ex Council estate, south east of the City centre of Sheffield, with a population of about 15,000 people. The Manor and Castle Ward is currently the most deprived ward in Sheffield. The challenge to the Church on such an estate is how can you still be relevant and make a difference to the lives of those living there? It became clear, over 8 years ago, that an ecumenical approach was the best way to achieve our aims. The Manor Church and Community Project was established [...]

9 09, 2019


September 9th, 2019|

“Let us worship God” and, with these familiar words, the weekly service begins. An hour later – or even longer if the preacher gets carried away! – the service ends with yet more familiar words of blessing. Yet is this really just what worship is about? One hour out of the 168 that make up a week? A relatively brief interlude before we return to whatever it is that occupies most of our time? Or, perhaps even worse, is our understanding of worship confined to just singing together, as when someone, frequently referred to as ‘a worship leader’, says something [...]

28 08, 2019

For everything there is a season

August 28th, 2019|

Sitting in the Church Office, surrounded by boxes, black bags and as yet unresolved chaos – what to write?  And my mind wanders …… Have you noticed how ‘decluttering’ continues to be a live topic for so many of us?  For some the issue arises from a need for the latest equipment or that new thing – often only a click away.  But for others it is about holding onto those things that we’ve always had and are comfortable with – that we ‘might need’ one day. Having recently been through this process personally it is now interesting to see [...]

19 08, 2019


August 19th, 2019|

Over the years I have made many pilgrimages to places that are considered Holy and sacred for all sorts of reasons. I have made many pilgrimages over the years to the Island of Iona, a small island in the Inner Hebrides off the Ross of Mull on the western coast of Scotland. Iona was a centre for monasticism for four centuries and was founded by the monk Columba in 563 AD. Although Iona is a relatively small Island, it became known as a centre of great learning. Many important books and documents celebrating and witnessing to the gospels from a [...]

12 08, 2019

“Changing the world, one heart at a time!”

August 12th, 2019|

Recently two truly inspiring people died. One was Jean Vanier (above), who in 1964 was one of the founders of the L’Arche community (taking its name from Noah’s Ark). This Christian community has spread across the world, through establishing homes, programmes and support networks to enable people with learning disabilities to live the fullest and most fulfilling life possible. The premise is that everyone, whatever our disabilities, has the potential to mature into adulthood with the dignity of being their own person, and as a valuable member of community. L'Arche is not run for profit, and is seen as living [...]

5 08, 2019

Being Church in the Community

August 5th, 2019|

At Moldgreen United Reformed Church we have made the church garden in to a Community Garden. Children from the local primary school came and planted bulbs in a raised bed that was built for us by people from a growing project at ‘Support 2 Recovery’ a charity that promotes positive mental health and wellbeing. Then a small group of young people started to come twice a month on a Saturday to garden. We have grown a small but varied amount of produce for the community to share. The two pictures show the children planting and then sharing the lettuces they [...]

29 07, 2019


July 29th, 2019|

As some of you know, I love cars! Cars and driving were a big part of my sabbatical these past three months. However, I have come to realise that the more the automobile industry focuses on the future, the more passionate car fans like me celebrate the past. The number of events where people get together to talk cars seems to be growing every year! Which I love, but this also worries me because I have been wary or critical of those with a great fondness for looking backwards, especially in church circles. However, looking back and celebrating that which [...]

15 07, 2019

What does the outside of our buildings say about God?

July 15th, 2019|

This was a question posed by two representatives from the Methodist District Property Committee when my previous church, a Methodist/URC LEP, was considering a major redevelopment of its buildings. It was a question we discussed at our Church Council and I must admit it was a very enlightening conversation for us all. Comments made were that perhaps those who saw our building would think; God is something of the past, God is unkempt, God does not welcome those with mobility issues or prams, God is shut [mainly closed big wooden doors] and worse, God is dead. This question shaped our [...]

8 07, 2019


July 8th, 2019|

Words and images on the news this last week or so have included the death of a father and baby daughter on route to the Mexican/US border, of US refugee detention centres, with torture-like conditions reported, and the lone man who sadly passed away stowed in an aircraft. These are added to by remembering those who have recently tried to cross the English Channel, and of those who have lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea. All were in search of freedom from persecution or oppression, or for what they perceive as a better life, where they could earn enough [...]