Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2017

Don't Give Up

James 4:13-5:11 I work for part of my time as the manager of a community organisation in Sheffield called Darnall Forum. It provides adult community learning, especially for people who didn’t grow up speaking English, gives employment advice and runs the local post office. But ‘austerity’ has hit us hard. Older readers will remember a song about a Wild West settler called George whose wagon - loaded with all his possessions and carrying his wife and children  too - is being pursued by Cherokee Indians. ‘Three wheels on my wagon,’ he sings, ‘But I’m still rolling along!’ That’s how it often feels at Darnall Forum. The wheels are coming off the wagon, one by one, but we’re still just about rolling along. My wife sometimes asks me, ‘How long is Darnall Forum going to keep going?’ and I never know the answer. James tells his readers, ‘You should know better than to say, “We’ll do business in the City for a year and make a lot of money.” What do you know,’ he goes on, ‘About tomorrow?’ Well …

London Bridge and the commandments of Jesus

Exodus 20.1-17, Matthew 22:36-40 Do you have any school rules at  your school, or did you have school rules when you used to be a pupil? One of the rules when I started secondary school was that boys must wear a cap, so my parent dutifully bought one for 7/6, which was a fair bit of money in those days. On my first day I turned up wearing the new cap but one of the older boys said, ‘Put that away right now or someone will snatch it off your head and you’ll spend the rest of the day chasing round trying to get it back.’ So I stuffed it in my pocket and never wore it again. My parents were not pleased. But that was nothing compared to the money we wasted on two knee length pleated woollen skirts which the school rules said my daughter Jenny must wear when she went to secondary school. On her first day I dropped her off just as an older girl walked in front of the car wearing nothing - well, I mean she did have shoes and tights on - but otherwise nothing more than a little tie, a blouse, a…