Reflections and Stories

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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Whisper It: Tackling Hate and Abuse on Social Media

25 Apr 2016

Facebook doesn’t always make a great read. If it was an actual book, subtitled ‘An edited collection of young micro-essayists’, the reviews would be awful: poorly developed opinions with a lack of evidence, extreme polarisation of views without any nuance and an overload of irrelevant food...

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What Can We Do For International Students?

18 Apr 2016

Universities in the UK attract a large number of students from all over the world. Consequently, people have been talking a lot about diversity, the benefits and opportunities it might bring. These include the joys of trying out international cuisine and having the chance to learn languages from...

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What Holy Communion Means to a Methodist

11 Apr 2016

John Wesley said that his followers should celebrate Holy Communion as often as possible – ideally daily. The only time this was possible for me was when I was training for the Methodist ministry at the Queen’s Foundation in Birmingham, where there was a Communion service every day. Sorry, Mr...

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What the Eucharist Means to a Quaker

5 Apr 2016

As far as I know, there are only two Christian traditions who officiallly don’t celebrate the Eucharist: the Salvation Army and the Society of Friends (Quakers). A fellow student at Queen’s Theological Foundation, where I study Theology, who is a ‘Salvationist’, told me that there are many...

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A New Evangelism?

4 Apr 2016

Recently Exeter MethAng held a session on the thorny topic of evangelism, and guess who had the horror privilege of leading it?  That’s right, yours truly. To say I was apprehensive would be to misrepresent the facts; I didn’t want to do it at all, but I think that’s why we need to talk...

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‘Singing is a lover’s thing’: why I love Choral Evensong

13 Mar 2016

In 2012, the Church of England published a report which revealed that, despite a widespread decline in parish attendance, the number of people participating in cathedral services had...

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