Law and Spirit: A COVID Parable

Imagine this: it’s summer 2021.  After extensive trials and tests, the COVID-19 vaccine is available.  It has been internationally confirmed to be reliable, safe and effective. Here in the UK it is available to you for free. What would you say to someone who is choosing to refuse the vaccine and instead is insisting onContinue reading “Law and Spirit: A COVID Parable”

Please – let’s not repeat the same mistakes

I’m COVID-centric. This means I’m not one of those people who believes lockdown was a waste of time, that the disease is a bit of a conspiracy and that warnings of mass deaths were alarmist. Nor, do I think that we have experienced an absolute disaster or that we need to go back into lockdownContinue reading “Please – let’s not repeat the same mistakes”

The end of community? – The risk with The Rule of Six

The UK Government has introduced new rules this week in the fight against coronavirus COVID-19.  For the foreseeable future, it will be illegal to socialise in groups larger than six or to “mingle” outside of such a group.  Several people have observed that this seems to go beyond the concept of social distancing and isContinue reading “The end of community? – The risk with The Rule of Six”

COVID-19 update: What is the present reality and should Christians break unreasonable laws?

COVID-19 cases are on the increase again around the world and here in the UK. At the end of last week, new restrictions were introduced for the whole of England limiting the number of people who could socialised together to 6. Similar rules with some variations were introduced in Scotland.  Meanwhile, from tomorrow we willContinue reading “COVID-19 update: What is the present reality and should Christians break unreasonable laws?”

Didn’t we expect Coronavirus cases to rise?

Concern has been raised at the recent rise of Coronavirus cases. However, why are we surprised that it is happening? It is worth remembering two important things. First of all, that the original purpose of social distancing and lockdown measures was not in the belief that this would end the pandemic but rather with theContinue reading “Didn’t we expect Coronavirus cases to rise?”

Why we will be cutting back on our online output

When the COVID-19 restrictions began to kick in, like many others we began to ramp up our online content.  My personal involvement included restarting Faithroots, uploading short videos to Youtube and opening a Facebook account so that I could broadcast regularly. At the height of the pandemic, I was running  twice daily prayer services andContinue reading “Why we will be cutting back on our online output”

What a church can learn from a public heath director

Yesterday I had the privilege of interviewing Lisa McNally, Sandwell’s Director of Public Health. We were talking about avoiding local lockdowns and the part the community can play. Reflecting back on the conversation I was struck about some important lessons for churches in the discussion that go beyond questions about pandemics. So, here’s a summaryContinue reading “What a church can learn from a public heath director”

What if people don’t come back to church?

This article from Thom Rainer is a sobering read. Although written from a US perspective, I think it is likely to be very true of the UK situation too. Certainly, there are things I recognise as I read the article. I want to add a qualification and then consider how we respond.  The qualification isContinue reading “What if people don’t come back to church?”

Church is about more than a quick in and out visit

When people have come to join us at Bearwood from a more Roman Catholic or High Church background, there are often some tell-tale signs. One is the tendency to arrive as close to the start time as possible and leave quickly at the end avoiding much social interaction with others. So, when I first sawContinue reading “Church is about more than a quick in and out visit”

We won’t beat COVID-19 if we don’t understand the problem

This is a fascinating report from the BBC on Coronavirus on my home city, Bradford.  I had already seen some reports of smaller towns and villages which are included within the metropolitan district complaining that they had been included in measures because the local authority did not want to make distinctions within its boundaries. MeanwhileContinue reading “We won’t beat COVID-19 if we don’t understand the problem”