Eating for peace

Well, all the rendezvous happened as per plan and we boarded the plane without hitch - well, it was an hour late but in the whole scheme of the Universe that didn't matter too much. 9 hours later, when we got to the airport in Kingston we realised that half the other passengers were also going to the Conference, including the Greek Orthodox priest who had worn his enormous black hat throughout the journey! He also had someone to carry his briefcase, but when I suggested that to Ruth, she wasn't greatly thrilled.

Even at the airport we began meeting people, the Archbishop of Tanzania being our starting point, and then someone from South Africa who knew many of the contacts I had made a couple of years ago we were soon getting to know people, albeit in a bit of a haze as I had not slept at all on the flight, and Ruth had only snatched a couple of hours.


Thoughts : For all the best journeys in life, choose the right companion and an all day breakfast!

I wonder

A certain superiority swept across me as I stood on Matlock station, a station with but one train an hour and looking like a set from the Railway Children, and talked about my Jamaican destination in a rather too loud voice.  But of course, these daily commuters to Belper could be Manager of the World Bank or head of Peak Park planning for all I know. On the London train it is much easier to access some stereotypes - all executives of course reading briefing papers and checking the stockmarket. I wonder!

I am zooming through Kettering, a place for which I have no stereotypes, but through which thousands of people like me whizz at a 160mph with just a cursory glance from the window. I guess nobody wonders in Kettering who gets propelled past their bedroom windows on a daily basis.


We pray for people who are neither here nor there
Don’t know if they are coming or going
Who have lost track of who they are
For people in transition between jobs
Between relationships
Between destinations
For people delayed
In a jam
Or up in the air
Waiting for a signature
A payment
For completion
We pray loving God, for the ebb and flow of this city
That daily journeys will be continually blessed
With humour, patience and shared humanity


Oh, and just in passing God, I pray for the people of Kettering and all those other places with blurry signs I am going too fast to read.


Bodies found in Bradford street

Police today revealed that a badly-burned body found in a Bradford park this week was a man.

But it has not yet been possible to confirm the identity of the male involved.

The body was found in Pit Hill Park, off Holme Lane, near to the Holme Wood estate, early on Thursday.

Two men, aged 39 and 32, who are believed to be cousins, are still in custody. They were arrested on suspicion of murder after police swooped on an address in Eggleston Drive, Holme Wood, on Thursday evening.


Pakistan bomb attacks: Taliban claim responsibility

The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for a twin suicide bombing at a paramilitary police training centre in north-west Pakistan.

More than 80 people died, and dozens more were injured, in the attack in the Shaqbadar area of Charsadda district, about 20 miles (35km) from Peshawar.


A prayer

Merciful God, who longs for life, bring a new peace to the people of Pakistan and Bradford.

Help us to find  ways to express our outrage at terrible killings, help us to find our connections as human beings.

This way of war, this violence, is not the way of Christ or Mohammed, peace be upon them.

Transform our hearts, take us on a new journey, bring us hope out of this nightmare of bloodshed.

In the name of all that is Holy



Ruth and I are getting ready to go to the World Council of Churches Conference in Jamaica ... exciting or what?!

(Dog not at all impressed!)


The Bradford fire memorial service - 26 years since the fire at the football stadium that claimed over 50 lives. One man has spent all this time looking for the people that were standing beside him, wondering if they were still alive ...

The next day 50 people were blown up by a suicide bomber in Pakistan.

Is it wrong to hold these two events side by side? I suppose we do it all the time in Bradford.

What does Resurrection mean for Bradford

The works in Centenary Square seem to be making progress, we can now see some flower beds emerging with rather spindly trees. What does resurrection mean for Bradford?

It has to be more than roadworks, but I guess resurrection does start with shifting stones! But what about new life for the city? There has to be economic vitality breathed into these dry bones ...


Good Friday prayers

Good Friday and we led a Retreat on the Streets

I stood for an hour outside Barkers the newsagent, otherwise known as 'the crossbow shop' because there is a display of weapons in the window, including a crossbow identical to the one used to kill 3 prostitutes in Bradford last year. The weapons include knives and masks and attract quite a lot of attention from passersby. So I stood there and prayed my Good Friday prayers. 

Then I noticed that parking sign beside me was casting a shadow of a cross on the pavement. I couldn't work out how to take a picture with my new phone so I seem to have taken a video instead! 

If I put my feet in the path of Jesus
If I put my eyes to search for Jesus
If I put my heart in the passion of Jesus

If I fall
If I cry
If I ache

Then I am with Christ.

Soul Space

With the Soul Space community at the German Church on Sunday, talking about the raising of Lazarus. The German Church is known for the place that Dietrich Bonhoeffer signed the treaty against the Nazis. The young people present at Soul Space are real peace activists, many of them studying Peace Studies at Bradford Uni.

So peace and overcoming violence seem to have been a bit of a theme for this weekend. And I realise that making peace is a way of life, something I have to engage with every day.

I also wove a piece of cloth that is bigger than me - but I will have to get someone else to take a picture of me holding it!

Lent Course: Overcoming violence

Manchester, a land beyond the hills, but clearly not beyond shopping, I don't know when I have seen a city so crowded on a Saturday afternoon!

I was taking part in a Lent course on overcoming violence. So there was time for prayer and reflection on the stations of the cross after my talk.

Strange to be back in Manchester. 22 years ago we lived in Rusholme but it wasn't the upmarket curry mile it has become now! Cities change and so do people.

Mother's Prayers

First Tuesdays of the month mark the gatherings for 'Mother's Prayers'. Anyone who wants to come an pray for their children is welcome. This week there were 5 of us, and we prayed in three languages and two different faith traditions.

Sometimes it feels that all we can do for our children is pray - especially if we have left them in a dangerous place. One of the mothers has a daughter working with rape victims in Congo. Another had been trafficked and run for her life ...

Loving Jesus
Whose Mother Mary
Felt the sword of crucifixion
Pierce both her side and yours
May we who are mothers
Know that 'just praying'
Makes more of a difference
Than we know

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