Talking to children about death and grief

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It is said that the Victorians had a taboo about talking about sex but spoke freely about death and dying.  In our age we have reversed that.  Yet, life is fragile and death can come at any moment.  So, it is important that we should be able to talk about it and this includes with… Continue reading Talking to children about death and grief

Homeward bound: More on a Biblical Theology of death as exile

Yesterday I wrote about the theme of death as exile.  In the Old Testament, it is that theme of banishment and exile that most visibly shows the consequences of death for humanity.  However, it is important that we remember that this is about how death is the post-fall penalty for sin. Christ’s death on the… Continue reading Homeward bound: More on a Biblical Theology of death as exile

It’s time we learned to talk about death and dying

I wanted to share some thoughts about how we approach death and dying.  Our last church, Bearwood Chapel had the full range of ages with plenty of children and young people but also a significant number of people in their 80s and 90s. That meant we saw a fair few deaths and funerals for people… Continue reading It’s time we learned to talk about death and dying

Her Majesty … Our Queen

Yesterday evening it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II had died aged 96.  I was in the city centre when the official news came through.  Even though we knew she had been increasingly frail and even though we had known through the afternoon that there were health concerns for her and her family were gathering… Continue reading Her Majesty … Our Queen

The Fragility of Church Plants

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Over the past decade, there has been a renewed interest in church planting. It’s something I write about quite a bit with a particular focus on reaching urban contexts.  Since we moved to the West Midlands, we have been linked with an initiative first known as 2020 Birmingham and now as The Birmingham Collective. The… Continue reading The Fragility of Church Plants

The joy and pain of celebrating Mothers’ Day

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Today is Mothering Sunday in the UK – or nowadays the British version of “Mothers’ Day.”  The original concept was a celebration of the church as mother but it has evolved into a day celebrating mums everywhere and an opportunity for children to buy mum flowers, gifts and cards.  Churches still tend to do something… Continue reading The joy and pain of celebrating Mothers’ Day

PTSD and church revitalisation

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 A little while back I wrote about how churches can experience a form of PTSD or complex PTSD.  You see, a church can experience trauma leading to experiences and responses that affect the life of the church.  Trauma for a church might include: A split where members of the church fall out, argue publicly and… Continue reading PTSD and church revitalisation

On grief, anger and agendas

It’s funny how things said can suddenly take on a whole new level of poignancy.  On Friday  morning I was involved in two little twitter threads. The first was started by Daniel Blanche sharing the lines of a beautiful worship song: The second linked to a TV discussion that Graham Nicholls of Affinity was involved… Continue reading On grief, anger and agendas

Trauma, grief and response to abuse

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Over the past few years, I’ve written and spoken quite a bit about the problem of abusive cultures particularly in the context of church life. First of all, my concern is to see us doing better in letting what we believe affect how we live so that doctrines of grace lead to cultures of grace.… Continue reading Trauma, grief and response to abuse