Learning the Wrong Lessons: Lies damned Lies and Statistics

Every day brings more news about new coronavirus cases and a rising death toll.  The figures are put under intense scrutiny. Questions being asked are Is the rate of infection increasing or slowing? Is the figure accurate, does it confuse those who die from an illness with those who die with?  Does it include allContinue reading “Learning the Wrong Lessons: Lies damned Lies and Statistics”

Rest: Sabbaths, cycles, recessions and plagues

I remember listening to a lecturer at University argue that you could track world economic activity against 50 year cycles. Each cycle would include a period of growth and a period of decline.  He argued that in fact there was little that government intervention could do to change the overall direction of things. In hisContinue reading “Rest: Sabbaths, cycles, recessions and plagues”

How Long ?

Do you find yourself asking “Why hasn’t God stopped the pandemic yet?” How would you respond to someone asking that question? In John 11, we read that Jesus gets word that his friend Lazarus is ill in Bethany.  Yet, Jesus decides not to go immediately to him.  Later, Jesus says to his disciples that theyContinue reading “How Long ?”

Learning the wrong lessons – A vaccine and the mark of the beast

Whilst some people are working hard to find a vaccine for coronavirus, the scare stories are already doing the rounds even before the drugs are available. The vaccine will lead to other illness, will cause autism, etc – the same kinds of worries raised about MMR. At the same time, Christian speakers with a focusContinue reading “Learning the wrong lessons – A vaccine and the mark of the beast”

Church in the new normal

I wanted to share a few reflections on our experience so far during the Coronavirus lockdown. It has been tough and challenging but in other ways, refreshing and encouraging. These are not structured thoughts – just some jotted reflections and interaction with concerns of others. Body ministry kicks in … if it is already inContinue reading “Church in the new normal”

A strange Easter?

Easter Sunday is going to be weird this year. We are used to celebrating in style. For Bearwood Chapel, Easter means a week long festival including gatherings, a breakfast and communion on Good Friday, children’s clubs and usually some special events such as Arts Days and café nights. Then on Easter Sunday we all gatherContinue reading “A strange Easter?”

The absence of mourning?

A few years ago, one of our young mums had sad news, her sister back in her home country had died. Due to her immigration circumstances, she could not return for the funeral. So, we offered the opportunity for a memorial service here.  It hopefully eased the pain but clearly was not the same asContinue reading “The absence of mourning?”

Food from around the World Wide Web

Friday 10th April 2020 Qualified well wishes aren’t well wishes and in this case aren’t human … what do you do if someone you disagree with politically falls ill? You just wish them well. Stephen Kneale argues that if you need to explain your political disagreement whilst wishing them well then you are falling intoContinue reading “Food from around the World Wide Web”

Learning the wrong lessons from a crisis

Don’t you long for the days of good old political knock about and debate? December, the General Election and Jeremy Corbyn’s resignation as Labour leader seems so far away now. For us political anoraks, this week should have been a big occasion. We would be looking forward to the special conference revealing a new leaderContinue reading “Learning the wrong lessons from a crisis”

The ugliness of death

Yesterday, Steve Kneale reported on new restrictions concerning burials and funerals that are being imposed in West Yorkshire. Grave-side mourners will be limited to 10 maximum (nb it is 6 here in Sandwell) but now, no mourners will be allowed at the Crematorium. Instead the Council will offer “direct cremations” with no mourners present andContinue reading “The ugliness of death”