Reflections and Stories

Dear Preachers and Storytellers: Your Anecdotes Matter

28 Jun 2016

A recent Telegraph article urged “vicars to reign in the jokes and rambling anecdotes” in their sermons. Now I dislike pathetic attempts at humour and anecdotes that seem to...

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Success and Failure in the Eyes of God

27 Jun 2016

Maybe it’s the dour Scot in me, but personally I find ‘failure’ easier to discuss than ‘success’. I’m not a complete killjoy, but somehow I am often more at ease with commiserations rather than celebrations. I sometimes feel I have been so often reminded to look upon failures as blessings in...

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Love Conquers All

15 Jun 2016

In the ancient Jewish book of wisdom Ecclesiastes, the teacher says that ‘there is a time for silence and there is a time to speak’. Somehow in situations like this, both feel very wrong. I know that the deeply flawed words of this blog may not bring the healing or justice so needed, but to...

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Inside the Student Experience: A Year in the Life of a Student Worker

13 Jun 2016

Students: ignorant, lazy kids who are only after your free food?

My experience since leaving the cosy student bubble where I spent the last three years is that people on the outside have a hard time understanding students, even if they once enjoyed campus life for themselves. Various...

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Leadership is Offering Something, Big or Small

7 Jun 2016

'Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?' Jesus said, 'Make the people sit down.' There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there) Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and...

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What I learn from my students

6 Jun 2016

Sixteen years on from my own graduation I now have to admit that the students I minister to and teach at the LSE belong to a different generation. That was brought home to me when I started as chaplain here and I asked the president of the Islamic Society how it felt to be a Muslim in post-9/11...

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Rediscovering The Divine: Embracing an Open, Just and Honest Faith

18 May 2016

I grew up in the south-eastern United States, which is often described as the ‘Bible belt’ – a small, conservative town where I tried doing the whole ‘on fire for God’ thing. I was taught to ask friends if they were going to heaven or hell after they died. I attended youth group events and...

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Some things never change…?

16 May 2016

This October it will have been twenty years since I began my own Undergraduate career, at the University of Birmingham. Twenty years since my Dad left me in my study bedroom, with two large suitcases and a box of crockery, in a flat with a bunch of strangers. It turns out I was twenty four hours...

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All the Bells and Smells: What the Eucharist Means to a Catholic

9 May 2016

I write this post on the Eucharist from Poland, where I have just attended Mass in the majestic chapel of the Divine Mercy, by the tomb of Sister Faustina Kowalska. In the 1930s Saint Faustina received visions of Christ pouring the mercy of God from his blessed heart, showing the wounds of...

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God of the Stranger and the Lost

4 May 2016

When I arrived for my study abroad semester in Bangalore early in January 2016, I would never have predicted that the bizarre new world I found myself in could become in any way like home. It was, I think, my first true experience of culture shock. Rarely have I embarked upon an endeavour and...

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