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Showing posts from January, 2010

Stoke-on-Trent unites against racism

I had to re-post this article about Stoke from Ekklesia. Although he's not mentioned in this article, my dad did organise this event at his church (have I mentioned on this blog before that my dad is an Anglican priest?) Leaders from the main religious communities across Stoke-on-Trent are today (23 Jan) making a united stand against an anti-Muslim march which they believe is inciting racism, intolerance and xenophobia in the area. The so-called English Defence League is due to march in Stoke on Saturday 23 January 2010, and the police and local authorities say they are worried about disturbances, with vigorous opposition protests planned. Meanwhile, Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Sikh leaders will light a candle and sign a pledge of unity outside Stoke Minster (the church of St Peter ad Vincula) opposite Stoke Town Hall. The Anglican Bishop of Stafford, Gordon Mursell, is one of those taking part in the united witness against racism He explained: “If Stoke-o

Book Review: Evangelism after Christendom by Bryan Stone

So I've said it before, but I'll say it again: this is a very good book. The vision of evangelism presented in this book is deeply challenging to both conservative, mainline and liberal Christians. The basic premise is that evangelism is not about giving an intellectual message, nor coercively persuading people of that message, and neither is evangelism about church growth. Rather evangelism is about witness: the shape of life that the church presents to the world. He makes a compelling case that that witness is about equality and moving beyond old divisions (in Christ there is no Greek or Jew), enemy-love, the sharing of material goods, care for the poor and forgiveness. It is these practices that show to the world a pattern of life, and invite it to that life. In a large part this is a work of ecclesiology (= the study of the church). He is deeply critical of modernity's concentration on the individual (and this is a characteristic of modern conservatism as much as m

Two interesting maps of Britain

Happy new year. I thought it was worth commenting on two maps I've seen recently. One is just to say "holy shih tzu! Look at all that snow ." The other is this map from the Unitarian Communications blog which shows the location of every Unitarian congregation in Britain: I find it really interesting to look at this distribution, which is so obviously uneven. A few observations: You can see the "Black Spot" from space! (small rural area in west of Wales containing many Unitarian chapels) It's obvious that there are many more congregations in the northwest than in the southeast, even though the population in the southeast is much bigger. It's easy to spot places with no Unitarian churches. What do you do if you're a Unitarian in Carlisle? Or somewhere like Bedford when you're pretty equally far from Cambridge, Northampton, and St Albans? Conclusion: There's a lot of scope for church-planting.