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Preparing to encounter God at New Wine

This year it’s going to be different. Tomorrow Jacqui and I travel the 200 miles or so to Shepton Mallet in Somerset, to the Royal Bath and Wells showground for seven days of New Wine. To quote from their website: “In each of our unique venues, the largest seating up to 7,000, we offer a full programme of passionate worship, top-quality Bible teaching, prayer ministry, and the opportunity to get spiritually recharged.” We’ve been going to New Wine, I think without a break, for some 24 years. And before that, over eight years or so, we attended similar weeks with the Good News Crusade and then Kingdom Faith. Investing a week each year in these Christian summer conferences has been

Tackling knife crime in Verona

We are in the midst of a public health emergency, according to Labour MP Sarah Jones This follows the publication yesterday for police-recorded offences involving knives or sharp instruments. These rose by no less than 16% in a single year. Ms Jones, the founder and chair of the all-party parliamentary group on knife crime, commented “It’s official, knife crime is at the highest level on record. The proportion of murders involving a knife has jumped from 30 to 40%, and across the country young people are living with fear and trauma. Today’s figures confirm that this is a public health emergency.” Tragically some 39 children and young people in England and Wales were killed by k

We know how it ends - Jesus wins.

Had we made the Final, I’m not sure I would have coped with the tension. It was bad enough in 1966. Such was the stress I remember only too clearly retreating into the kitchen as Lothar Emmerich prepared to take the free kick in the 89th minute. If they scored, West Germany would level the score. The tension was unbearable. They scored. At the time I thought that it was all over – for the West Germans. I don’t think I could go through all this again. Maybe Croatia did us a favour. But watching England (or Everton) is usually an ordeal, even/especially when we are a goal in front - as on Wednesday. In a prescient piece for the BBC website, Tom Fordyce commented: “It is why bei

When praying for those with disabilities.

“Archbishop: I don't pray for my daughter's disability.” This is the headline for an excellent piece on this morning’s BBC’s news site in which Archbishop of Canterbury – just call me “Justin” – along with two of his daughters, Katharine and Ellie, share their experiences of living with mental health issues and disabilities. I found their openness very moving, not least in their experiences of prayer, praying for others as well as being prayed for. So where does such prayer fit in with all this? Not as simply as you might expect. Christians mean well, of course, when they offer to pray for someone in need. But sadly this offer can be less of a commitment and more as a cop-out.

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