Is food poverty real and do food banks help?

If you were to talk to people about the big needs in communities and how churches can help, you’ll find that they quite often settle on the assumption that a primary issue is food poverty.  Furthermore, it tends to be assumed that a major solution to food poverty is the existence of foodbanks (alongside things… Continue reading Is food poverty real and do food banks help?

Pastoring Asylum Seekers

One of the privileges I had serving in an urban multicultural context was the opportunity to pastor asylum seekers and other immigrants seeking leave to remain.  As well as those with what you might call fairly conventional asylum claims and those who were primarily economic migrants we also saw a number of people who were… Continue reading Pastoring Asylum Seekers

Is there a Biblical argument against immigration?

In my article about Brexit, I explained that I did not see the key issue as immigration. In fact between you and me, it was one of the things that so easily could have turned me off against the whole referendum.  Ironically even though Brexit focused on immigration, it wasn’t really a debate about it… Continue reading Is there a Biblical argument against immigration?

Learning to See – That important detail

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On a couple of occasions, I’ve been asked for informal advice about a legal matter. Sometimes it has been to do with employment law, once or twice about family law and often to do with immigration and asylum.  Often people start with a lengthy story of every single possible grievance or defence that might have… Continue reading Learning to See – That important detail

Learning to see – the full picture

Going back a month or two, you may remember that when asked, Boris Johnson promised that if necessary, the armed forces would be made available to help with the effort against COVID-19. This led to predictable headlines and tweets about troops on the street and people claiming that the Government was using the pandemic as… Continue reading Learning to see – the full picture

Welcoming Refugees – The extra mile

There were about 35,000 asylum seekers who came to the UK last year. Some of them will have ended up at churches, some because they were Christians, whether nominally or as heart believers. Others will have come looking for help, advice, practical support  and ESOL classes. Some will have been avoided to kids clubs Toddlers… Continue reading Welcoming Refugees – The extra mile

Refugees – Blessing or burden?

Thinking back to a conversation I had with two other Christians about the Home Office’s approach to processing asylum claims, I was struck again by how much our perception of the asylum system is shaped by our view of asylum seekers themselves. If I think that asylum seekers are very likely to be fake, just… Continue reading Refugees – Blessing or burden?

How we respond to asylum policies is likely to depend on our presuppositions

Steve Kneale has argued here that we need a different type of blue-skies thinking to get to grips with the issue of asylum. He helpfully identifies a number of problems with the current situation and some of the suggested solutions. He then goes on to make some of his own recommendations. The challenge with responding… Continue reading How we respond to asylum policies is likely to depend on our presuppositions

When a community has a blind spot

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I want to pick up on a brilliant question that was raised by one of our church family on the Zoom discussion last Sunday. We had listened to James preach on Matthew 7:1-6 and then one of the members asked “is it possible for these verses to talk about a whole community, church or institution?”… Continue reading When a community has a blind spot