Paddington – please look after this illegal immigrant

The other Tuesday, the 27th June to be precise, the radio told me that Michael Bond had died.  Being the author and creator of my childhood favourite, Paddington Bear, I was sad.  It’s a natural thing to do when someone creative or clever or wise has passed on.

But then hearing he was a hearty 91 when he died, my emotion moved into one of gladness that he’d lived a long and full life and had passed on something very precious to us.  I hadn’t realised quite how precious until I heard the radio programme explain where his inspiration had come for that most polite, yet downright chaotic, bear. Continue reading

ADVENTure: inspiring poetry for Christmas and Advent by Mark Greene

AdventureCoverI came across this gem of a book last year but discovered it too late in December to tell you all about it.  If you haven’t already done your Christmas shopping this is a wonderful present for anyone who has a faith or loves poetry – or both.

The book is a collection of 25 poems and accompanying reflections on the people and events surrounding Jesus’ birth, designed to be read either each day of Advent or over the Christmas period. Each poem is written with deep imagination, literary flair, often with an unexpected twist, and always throwing new light on stories we all think we know too well.   Continue reading

Christmas Ads: the modern seasonal sermon

Still from Sainsbury's ad 'The Greatest Gift'

Sainsbury’s ‘The Greatest Gift’

As some of you know, I have the privilege of writing for the wonderful London Institute of Contemporary Christianity (LICC), specifically for their Connecting with Culture page.  The brief is to write a short reflection on a contemporary British cultural issue with a faith lens – all in 400 words!  My piece last Friday was on this year’s Christmas ads which I thought some of you might be interested to read. Click here if you are!

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Becoming a regular writer for London Institute of Contemporary Christianity

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I’m very pleased to have been asked to become a regular writer for the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, a highly respected Christian think-tank and training centre on all matters to do with making faith relevant to the workplace.  Their weekly feature, Connecting with Culture, is a short commentary piece on a current issue in the news or media with a Christian faith perspective.  The other regular writers are people I have a lot of respect for – Brian Draper, Jennie Pollock, Nick Spencer to name a few.

The subject I chose for my first post for last Friday was about embracing the no-agenda, day-dreaming time that holidays offer – for ourselves but particularly the children.  If you liked this, you might like to read this post I wrote a few years ago which unpacks this issue a little more for what it means for children, and looks at the Greek concepts of time, ‘kairos’ and ‘chronos’.

To my delight, UCB Radio picked up my post on LICC website and contacted me this week asking for a live interview about this on their Current Affairs programme which I gave today on UCB1.  Click here for the interview, available for the next 6 days, fast forward it to 2hrs 40 mins in to hear me.