Reflections and Stories

Keeping My Faith Alive at University: Gemma’s Uni Story

12 Sep 2016

My time at university has been the period where my faith has developed the most. At university I have encountered people from a far more diverse range of denominations and backgrounds than I ever had at school. Studying theology has made me aware of a broader range of different theological...

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Three Hours Sleep – A Personal Diary from World Youth Day

22 Aug 2016

After three hours of sleep, two bags of luggage, two bags of airplane starbursts, one screaming baby, and 1,230 miles travelling from my parents’ front door to John Paul II Krakow international airport, my World Youth Day pilgrimage had officially begun!

We had arrived a week early for ‘...

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Saints and Politics: What Could Theresa May Learn from St Teresa of Avila?

17 Aug 2016

For only the second time in our political history, the UK has a female Prime Minister, Theresa May. Many have been quick to compare her to the first female Prime Minister and fellow Conservative leader, Margaret Thatcher. I would like to posit a different – and, dare I say, more interesting –...

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Longing, Desire, and the Pursuit of God

15 Aug 2016

Today, as I write on 11 August 2016, marks 28 years of faith for me. In some Christian cultures, one might say that today is my “spiritual birthday,” marking my new birth, being “born again.” I have never quite felt comfortable with that terminology. One reason is the fact that birthdays are...

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Finding my faith

8 Aug 2016

Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.” (Mark...

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A Blogger’s Life: Speaking Up for Those on the Margins

12 Jul 2016

Having blogged sporadically over the last 10 years, I decided during my degree to start up a semi-regular blog about the things I was learning: from my studies, my experiences, and my job. Writing helps me piece different information together, to clarify my view, and to express ideas as I'm...

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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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