Subscribe now

All articles in category Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Article

February 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Speaking up for God’s name

It’s a dilemma. I’m talking with a non-Christian acquaintance, a neighbour whom I chat with from time to time. We’re not talking about anything in particular – the weather, how the children are doing, whether man-made climate change is a reality, what we make of the election result. He knows that I’m a minister…

Read more

Article

February 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Depression: a wimp of a word

William Styron was an award-winning US novelist, who is most well-known for Sophie’s Choice and The Confessions of Nat Turner. I haven’t read these. To me, he is the man who wrote lucidly about his depressive illness in his short book Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness. Based on an ancient Greek theory of…

Read more

Article

February 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Humble yourselves like little children

In Matthew’s Gospel chapter 18 the disciples come to Jesus and Peter asks, ‘Who is the greatest?’ Ever since they had come to acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, they had been eager to share in the glory of the kingdom. That is not wrong of itself. The…

Read more

Article

February 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Orderly worship as a witness to the world

Walking into an unsupervised toddler nursery is enough to overwhelm most people. It’s chaos. The children might be screaming, fighting, throwing toys, holding their hands over their ears, or doing any number of other things all at once. Children need unstructured play time or ‘free play’ for their development, so it’s not necessarily a…

Read more

Article

February 2020
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Look at the birds, are you not of more value than they?

In his wonderful ‘Sermon on the Mount’ Jesus Christ was encouraging his disciples not to worry or fret about materials things, such as what they would wear or eat. I like to think that these men to whom Jesus was speaking were showing signs of concern at that time about how they were to…

Read more

Article

December 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Truth, lies and Santa Claus: What shall we tell our children about Father Christmas?

It’s not a problem now. Our children are that bit older. But for years we had to threaten them with dire penalties as Christmas approached. They mustn’t say it. They mustn’t even hint at it. Whatever anyone said to them, they mustn’t let it slip. They don’t believe in Santa. I well remember the…

Read more

Article

December 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

‘Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow’

Outside the snow has just fallen. It looks so lovely and white when it first falls to the ground. But I can also see that it is not pure on the street, for it mingles with the dirt and grime and becomes a mushy mess. Many years ago, a young lady saw in her…

Read more

Article

December 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Christmas jumpers

What would Christmas be without Christmas trees, Christmas dinner, Christmas carols, Christmas cards or, more recently, the Christmas jumper? Christmas gives us the opportunity to wear clothes we would never normally be seen dead in. What other time of the year would we wear to work an elf’s outfit or a jumper which lights…

Read more

Article

November 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

A shrink thinks: Is it a sin to be anxious?

Jesus declared ‘Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on’ (Matthew 6:25) and Paul similarly stated ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known…

Read more

Article

November 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Dear church, abortion is child abuse

In the Sahara desert, dunes are constantly blown about and reshaped by the wind. This is also characteristic of 21st century British morals – ever changing and evolving. Sadly, the church has often failed to stand firm against shifting trends, despite following a God who does not change and whose Word stands forever. Not…

Read more

Article

October 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

Darkness and Light: Hallowe’en and Reformation Day

We dread the last week of October. Why? Because we have a nervous dog. The closer we get to the end of October, the more reluctant he is to leave the house, especially after dark. He’ll stiffen his legs and refuse to move. He’ll whine and shake. He’ll search for hiding-places: under the stairs,…

Read more

Article

October 2019
Articles > Ecclesiological & Pastoral

The image of God in dementia: Part 2

Last time we thought about God’s image in us and on the importance of relationships to a proper expression of this. We observed that God himself is a God-in-relationships. We saw that people with dementia continue to live in God’s image and have value in relationships with other people and with God. In the…

Read more