Friday, 30 April 2010

Good Policing

Having thrown some brickbats at the police I thought I had better praise them when due!  Last night I attended the local NAG (Neighbourhood Action Group) having been invited by their guest speaker, who I knew.  The police were represented at the meeting by PCSOs and there was a short presentation on Anti Social Behaviour in which a number of quotes were provided including this one:
The world is passing through troublous times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress.
No, it isn't very current - it is attributed to Peter the Hermit in A.D. 1274, albeit on shaky grounds.

However, what impressed me was the way in which the police listened to the members and discussed the issues raised, explaining what they could and couldn't achieve.  There was also an emphasis on prevention from the use of temporary speed guns (not always ticketing those stopped), to cutting back the undergrowth so that pavements were wide enough for pedestrians when cars parked on them, to the desire to stop disaffected youth growing into criminals. 

In particular we were told about one PCSO who had been out to South America with a local charity to see the street kids there, and who had spoken with the local Chief of Police about community policing.  He was  going to return with some local youth to help build a house to take some of the street kids off the street.

If only some of the police in the other posts had behaved like this!

Thursday, 29 April 2010


Sabbath is the day on which all your work is done - even if it isn't.  So said Rob Bell at Greenbelt last year (free download here - about 45 mins into the talk).

It is part of a question and answer session that I didn't hear at the time, but which having listened to it in the car has made a big impression on me.  He was asked what he did, but rather than answer the question he challenged us all to think what it was that we "had" to do - that was what we should stop doing on our Sabbath.  As an example he switches his mobile off and doesn't answer email on his Sabbath - now there's a thought!  He said that his wife has her life run by lists - so for her the Sabbath includes no lists.

So what is it for me?  I think the computer definitely stays switched off, and the mobile would if it were an issue, but it is so often a blessing for meeting up with people.  One of the implications of this is that there will be a blogless day (Saturday), perhaps more as a symbol than anything else, but I believe a good one nonetheless.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Proofs of the existence of God!

I have two problems with "proofs" of God's existence.  The first is that if such a proof existed then it would severely dent my faith and the second that they don't prove it - at least not for me and so almost certainly not for anyone who doesn't already believe in God!

The reason that any such proof would dent my faith is twofold.  The simplest is that for me God is so incomprehensible (apophatic in the trade) and we could only prove the existence of something comprehensible - therefore we have proven the existence of something less than God!

The second reason is that for me free will is required in faith.  If there were incontrovertible proof of God then we would have no choice (who am I kidding?) but to believe in Him - although of course believing in Him and choosing to love and follow Him are perhaps two different things.  Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales, said this in his Easter Sermon:
For many people believing in God, having a faith, is impossibly difficult. They want proof or tangible signs of his existence. Yet when you think about it most things we do in life have an element of trust, of faith. Crossing the road, catching a plane, being in love, assume faith and trust. Love cannot be proved but we each know what it is, how it makes us feel.
My faith is based instead on a relationship with God in Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  I cannot prove this, I can barely explain it, but I have experienced it and having done so have been changed by it.

These thoughts were in part stimulated by the discussion going on mainly on this blog post, which also included a link to this mathematical proof for the existence of God (which I see as a probabilistic argument - see below).

Proofs for the existence of God and my problem with them (!) below the fold.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

We are not called to co-dependence

Why are people who sacrifice everything thought to be following Jesus?  Do they really have no desires of their own?  Or am I missing the point?  What is the difference between co-dependence and service?  We are asked to love our neighbour as ourself - not better than.  Is working all hours (even in the service of God) loving ourselves?

Jesus went away to pray - time to himself - albeit with God.  He did not always do what everyone asked him to!  He had a sense of his own needs as well as those of others.  However, he was not selfish, and he worked for the good of others.

How do we learn to walk the tightrope between bending over backwards to help others and concentrating so much on our own needs that others get lost from view?

Monday, 26 April 2010

Evangelism by Fear

Roadside sign:
Heaven and Hell are real and Jesus is the only way into Heaven
Driving along the other day I happened to pass this sign and took an instant dislike to it!  When I analysed what it was that I objected to I discovered that it was the use of fear as a tool of evangelism.  What is it that we are trying to persuade people to believe in?  Is it a god who is angry and threatening, who will burn us forever if we don't do what he wants?  Or is it a God who loves us, who wants the best for us, who, when we turn away, will not reject us - again and again and again?

And which God (for evangelism is God's work) is more likely to persuade people to follow Him?

EDIT:  Found this:
Benedict is saying that the function of spiritual leadership is not to intimidate people into submission by fear or guilt. The function of spiritual leadership is to show in our own lives the beauty that oozes out of those who live the spiritual life to its fullness. The function of spiritual leadership is to enshrine what a good life can be.
On this site - won't be there tomorrow!

Sunday, 25 April 2010

How much Diversity is Good?

How much diversity is good?  That was the challenge from Steve Hollinghurst, which given that the title of the conference was Celebrating Difference, working with and learning from ... started us off with some hard thinking!

I have recently returned from the Diocesan Curates Conference (about which others have already blogged here and here).  As chair of the organising committee I don't want to write about the conference but about some of the ideas which struck me.

In particular Steve's challenge kept returning to me.  For example is paedophilia (I have blogged on paedophilia before when I saw some statistics on the number of sex offenders in church) or murder "good" diversity?  And yet while summarising the various talks for the Bishop (when he came on the Sunday to preach and preside) he reminded me of the "Circles of Support" that are active in the Diocese and this took me away from my knee jerk reaction that he was right.

Vera Hunt (profoundly deaf) quoted John Hull (blind) that she is not an 8 cylinder engine running on 6 cylinders, but a 6 cylinder engine running on 6 cylinders and I remember John Hull saying that the risen Christ had wounds.  This set me wondering whether there are examples of difference which are 8 cylinder engines running on 6 cylinders.  Perhaps a simple example is someone with a broken leg - this is something which is temporarily not working as intended.  I wondered whether there are things which are God given (equating to the number of cylinders) and things which are "sin" (equating to firing on fewer cylinders than you have been given).  I am not sure that this works perfectly - but it gave me something to chew on.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Global South Meeting

Can these people read?  In the report at the end of the conference they say that:
we believe that all those who adopt the Covenant must be in compliance with Lambeth 1.10
Now, I can believe that they want people to follow b and e
in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage;
cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions;
but have they read c & d?
recognises that there are among us persons who experience themselves as having a homosexual orientation. Many of these are members of the Church and are seeking the pastoral care, moral direction of the Church, and God's transforming power for the living of their lives and the ordering of relationships. We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ;
while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture, calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialisation and commercialisation of sex; 
 Somehow I don't think that the global south are doing that:
Same sex marriage, apart from being ungodly, is unscriptural, unnatural, unprofitable, unhealthy, un-cultural, un-African and un-Nigerian. It is a perversion, a deviation and an aberration that is capable of engendering moral and social holocaust in this country. It is also capable of existincting [sic] mankind and as such should never be allowed to take root in Nigeria. Outlawing it is to ensure the continued existence of this nation. The need for doing this is urgent, compelling, and imperative.  Archbishop Akinola quoted in the Guardian
 Now, I don't want Lambeth 1.10 applied - but for people who claim to want to make it a touchstone to not apply it themselves...

Saturday, 17 April 2010

And now for something completely different!

With any luck I shall not be seen for the next week.  I am at the annual curates' conference following which I am going to have my post Easter break.  This time I am not going to write posts ahead of time, so for the next week or so this will be a silent space.  Enjoy!

Friday, 16 April 2010

What Nonsense!

Should judges in cases about knitting know their knit from their purl, or those in cases about collapsed rugby scrums have been front rowers?

Lord Carey is asking for special pleading and we don't need it.  Ruth Gledhill writes and speaks about how she is concerned that she will be seen as a fundamentalist for wearing a cross.

There have been a number of cases recently where the usual suspects (Bishops of Winchester, Chester, Hereford, Blackburn, Litchfield and the former Bishop of Rochester) have fought against equality legislation and presented petitions as though all "right thinking" Christians will agree with them.

I want to stand up and say that they are not presenting the Christian faith as I know it and what they are doing is not being done in my name.  As Ruth Gledhill says it gives the rest of us Christians a bad name - and I am fed up with it.  I do not want special protection or special pleading - if my convictions clash with the law of the land then I am prepared to suffer for my convictions - not ask for special protection.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

How long does it take to write a sermon?

22 hours a week on sermon writing?  That is how long "effective" leaders spend in this survey (h/t Paul Walker) compared to 4 hours for the comparison leaders.  A commenter on Paul's blog has already questioned the definition of "effective", however I want to look at this a bit more.

One of the questions that I want to know the answer to is how often they preach, and for how long.  For example how long would Rob Bell put down for sermon prep?  I wonder how  long he spends making each of his videos?

4 hours for the others is also interesting.  When I was on a placement I was told by the vicar that their training incumbent taught them to spend an hour of writing for every minute of the sermon - so an 8 minute sermon would take 8 hours.  Somewhere on the web I found a vicar who blogged that he felt that he should spend at least one session, about 4 hours, on sermon prep.  I don't preach every week - so my average would be lower still.

It also struck me that in a bigger church there would be more people to do the other things - so if there weren't other things that I had to do would I spend 22 hours writing a sermon?  Well, perhaps it depends on what "writing" entails.  Reading more widely, watching more films for illustrations, talking to people more about it - perhaps I would do these things, but then I do them now and don't call them sermon preparation!

Oh - and if the effective leaders are so good at making time how come they sleep 14 hours a week less?

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Am I responsible for your faith?

In a counselling situation a counsellor would deny responsibility for the clients feelings.  I recently started wondering whether as a person with a public role I have a different responsibility?  This perhaps also touches on the expectations of clergy.  The Naked Pastor has recently resigned from ministry and has faced many assumptions about why he has done this.  He has suggested that he left because the church where he ministered was being adversely affected by his association with it.

Perhaps the equivalent situation is for a counsellor to stop seeing someone because although they are not responsible for the others feelings they recognise that they are having an adverse impact on them.  Perhaps if one has a prophetic ministry then one needs to exercise it where it does not harm others.

However, I can't accept that I always have to fit in with what is "acceptable" in my church.  In the CofE it isn't possible to agree with everyone, but perhaps a priest who is a long way away from their congregation is not in a position to minister to them, particularly in a place where there are several other churches within easy commuting distance.  And yet I want it not to be so - and think that I have ministered to those far away from me!  Is the corollary of this then that it is possible to minister better without pinning your own colours to the mast?  I don't like that answer either.  I suspect that this is one that I am going to return to.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Is the Pope Catholic?

"Williams finds Pullman novel unpersuasive"
Is this one of the most ridiculous headlines going?  It would surely have made a much bigger headline if Rowan had found it persuasive!

The actual article is about the book "The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ" and Rowan's review of it. The full review can be found here, with others by Bishop Alan Wilson here, and the Church Times here.

The question that I want to explore is whether this might become one of those cultural events that Christians "have" to partake in so that we have a view!  So far this has happened to me with The Passion Of The Christ and The Da Vinci Code.  Neither were films that I particularly wanted to see, but in both cases I felt that I "ought" to see them.  I was nearly tempted by the same logic into getting a copy of this book, but the reviews that I read led me to believe that I would learn little more of use and so I have decided not to.

Would I do the same again with the films?  I actually found The Passion of the Christ particularly moving, and with hindsight would see it for my own sake - but the Da Vinci code?  No chance!

Monday, 12 April 2010


Yesterday's reading included Doubting Thomas.  So what are you like on trust?  Simon P Walker has been publishing his new book online and in Chapter 4 writes about trust and how we learn to trust (or not) others and ourselves in our early life, and how this affects us as we get older.  It also reminded me of this post I read a little while ago on how different attitudes to trust can affect us.

I know that I find it easier to trust myself than I do others.  And that is now I am so much better at trusting others!  In my previous job it took me a long time before I could escape from the trap of thinking that no one else could do it as well as I could (well, they couldn't could they ;)) so I had to do it myself.  It took a long time to learn that lesson, and it was one that I thought that I had learnt.  However, when push comes to shove I find that I do not trust others L  What I had learnt to do was to let them do things that didn't matter.  Building a trust in others that is not there is hard work, and the only way I know of doing it is by continuing to do a little more of it all the time.  The problem is that I know I am going to get let down at some point.  It isn't trusting because it always works, it is trusting knowing that sometimes it doesn't, but doing it anyway.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Where are all the Characters?

What has happened to the characters in politics - and for that matter in other spheres of life?  When I were a lad (strains of the New World Symphony please) there were characters in politics - people who disagreed with the party leader, but were still elected election after election.  Similarly in business, when I started there there were eccentrics and if you wanted cast iron eccentrics what better place to look than the church!
Nowadays eccentricity seems to have gone out of fashion.  Politicians have no hinterland, as Denis Healey called it, and appear to be scared to offend the hierarchy for fear of rejection.  In business putting the hours in and avoiding making a mistake appears to count for more than having good ideas and in the church there are still some eccentrics around - but we seem to be trying to catch up.  Common Tenure appears to be making the church more like business and will I suspect lead to less eccentricity.

Before I get carried away, all was not well in the old day.  The selection criteria in all of my examples appeared to be who you knew rather than anything objective and prejudice and "unfair" behaviour abounded. But we do seem to have thrown the baby out with the bathwater in our search for the "safe" option.  I wonder whether today Churchill, John Harvey Jones or David Jenkins would have been put into post.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Does E-campaigning work?

I have been campaigning by email for a good few years now - but does it work?

It was the Principal of my course who encouraged us to join various campaigns and I got the taste for it and joined some more!  I am not even sure these days how many groups I am joined up with, but at least these:

And I have recently started freelancing and have just got a response from the Home Office on these matters.

But does it work?  I think that on the margins it does.  For example although my MP wrote to me explaining why she did not support the change in the law on Vulture Funds yesterday I got an email from George Osbourne (not just me you understand) explaining how the Tories had insisted that this bill be passed before the election - that must have upset my Tory MP!

It is very easy - particularly after the first time - I receive an email with a summary of the issue, click through to the appropriate web page where I enter my email address (some also require postal address) and if I don't want to alter the standard message that is it.

There are times when I don't agree with the campaign - or am not sure enough to want to campaign for it, for example - and that is fine - I just ignore the email.

Why don't you give it a go?

Friday, 9 April 2010

Without a Vision the people perish?

The Naked Pastor has written about vision, and how he sees no need for one.  And I have argued with him!  A couple of days ago he resigned from his post and among the posts he made he included this:
One of the most deadly influences on a community is agenda. In my opinion, it should be enough to gather together to study the bible, pray, worship and fellowship.
and suddenly I got it.  Now, I might argue that what he describes is a vision, but I can see his point about agenda - as soon as someone decides what it is that the church is going to "do" there is risk of division.  Perhaps I am misreading his intention, but if someone is deciding these things, rather than releasing individuals to follow their passions, then at that point we are in trouble.

My Bishop has recently written about dismounting a dead horse - and so often in Churches we see activities continuing because no one is prepared to stop them.  I remember some essay writing advice:
you have to be prepared to murder your babies
and I think that the same applies to everything that a church is doing.

That said I still think that there is a place for vision in church - just not that autocratic kind.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

The Invention of Lying

I watched this the other day and it set me thinking about the value of lying.  The small white lies which grease the wheels of social intercourse.  Where do they fit in the overall scheme of things?  I found myself uncomfortable watching the film - was this level of honesty really good?  It worked in the film as everyone had grown up that way, but would it work in today's world where we expect a degree of "diplomacy"?

Of course the approach that we take in this world leaves us open to doubt - what does this person mean?  Do they really like me?  - but could we really live in a world where there was certainty - they hate me, they don't like my dress sense.  There is a small hint of this in the film when his secretary says to him "I loathed almost every minute that I worked for you" - suggesting that perhaps she hadn't been wholly truthful all that time.

However, what we can learn from the film is the ability not to worry about what others think and to deal with them politely, but as we want.  Brian Thorne spoke at our church recently and started by thanking people for their warm welcome, and saying that he hoped it would be as warm at the end, but if it wasn't it wasn't his responsibility - a little counselling joke - but one which is worth remembering.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Am I adequate?

One of the problems with being a priest is that I (and I suspect many others) keep thinking that others are being a priest so much better than I am.  There are said to be many workaholic priests (why can I never find the references when I want them?) - and in any gathering the chances are that they are there - after all, if they weren't workaholic they would be taking time off wouldn't they?

The Vernacular Curate wrote about this in another way and soon after I read his blog the following quote appeared in my in box:
We tend to manage life more than just live it. We are all over-stimulated and drowning in options. We are trained to be managers, to organize life, to make things happen. This is what is built into our culture, and probably into human nature. It is not all bad, but if you transfer that to the spiritual life, it is always heresy. It doesn’t work. It is not gospel. We might be productive and popular, but we will not be spiritually fertile or free.  Richard Rohr
My spiritual director quoted Monica Furlong to me:
I am clear about what I want from the clergy. I want them to be people who dare because they are secure enough in the value of what they are doing, to have time to read, to sit and think, and who face the emptiness and possible depression which often attack people when they do not keep the surface of their mind occupied ... I want them to be people who can sit still without feeling guilty, and from whom I can learn some kind of tranquility in a society which has almost lost the art.  Quoted by Gloucester Diocese
 This resonates with me - but it is so hard to achieve - even more so when colleagues are rushing around "achieving" so much.

And yet one of the things that I have valued about my curacy has been precisely the time to read and to sit and think and to face up to who and what I really am.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Empathy and Bullying

What is it that allows Social Media to be used for bullying?  I have argued that Social Media is not a bad thing, and I stick to that.  However, I have been thinking more about the stories that I posted on Good Friday.  One factor which I believe has to be there is a lack of empathy.  If the persecutors and those who supported them had empathy they surely would not be able to do this unless there were some other factor.  That other factor might be peer pressure - but why does this only ever seem to be present in unpleasant cases?  Where is the peer pressure to do something good?

Is there something about our current society which is decreasing the amount of empathy about?  Whilst I have not been one for censorship I do wonder whether violent video games numb the senses - but we also spend an increasing amount of time alone - how are we going to learn empathy if we do not spend time with other people finding out how they actually feel?

Similarly I hadn't realised that I was anti advertising, but this is the second post (first one here) in which I question the impact that the advertising driven consumerism has on us.  It is all about ME!  And who cares about anyone else.

I am starting to sound like Mary Whitehouse, someone I thought was a terrible advert for Christianity when I was younger.  What might perhaps will stop me falling too far in that direction is that I don't think censorship is the answer.  If Jesus came to bring life in all its fullness then perhaps the best way to deal with this is to model something better - after all, I am not convinced that the people doing these things are happy.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Diary of a City Priest

I bought this book off the back of reading about it in John D Caputo's  What Would Jesus Deconstruct? (story here) and it has been a delight.  It is the diary of a Catholic Priest who works in the dodgy end of Philadelphia and is a record of his reflections as he ministers in a parish with very few Catholics, but significant social need.  He questions how he spends his time, what the hierarchy of the church are about, why he has such a bad temper, why some of his fellow priests have left the priesthood and he hasn't.  I felt that it was a warts and all view of what being a Catholic priest in that place was like, but it also gave an insight about the internal ponderings and worries of priest any time any place anywhere.

Whilst not every priest will have the issues to deal with that he does, I believe that the internal dialogues that he has are worth reading for those training for the priesthood, and for those who don't want to maintain the fiction that priests are perfect christians!  And at the time I posted it can be got very cheaply!

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Happy Easter!

Two stories that would have made it into a sermon if I were preaching today!

The first came in an assembly I attended at the local secondary school to see how it was done.  Duncan Dyason of Streetkidsdirect was speaking and spoke of the power of the resurrection to change the perspective from which things were seen, quoting from his personal life, but using as an example the time he was upgraded to business class, and how while in economy he had wanted to go and see what was in business class, but once there resented the person from economy who came in to do just that!

The other was Richard Rohr via my Bishop talking about how blessings follow suffering.  He talked about how in primitive cultures boys become men by going through some form of initiation which involves some form of suffering, and which means that they recognise that they are not in control, and not the centre of the universe (how many narcissists does it take to change a light bulb - one, they hold it and the universe revolves around them).  In western society men can remain teenagers forever - or at least until their business fails, or they are made redundant, or their marriage fails - believing that they are in control and there is no need for suffering.

Happy Easter.

Count Your Blessings - 4 April

Three mornings a week Anna Akerlund stands at the main checkpoint between Bethlehem and East Jerusalem, where around 2,000 workers pass each day. She is there to monitor human rights abuses. ‘It’s important just to witness what is happening,’ she says. Thank God for his most costly gift. Reflect upon the freedom it bought you. Give an additional gift of your choice, if you wish.
Looking back over Lent that is 52.79 in total -  + an amount that I am not going to share with you!

Thanks for those who have been following this posts during Lent.  I hope you have found them helpful and challenging.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Social Media Manipulation

Tomorrow we will know if it has worked!  What do you make of the attempt to get Delirious? or the Wurzels to top the charts following on from Rage Against the Machine at Christmas?

This is not a rant against social media - I believe that social media have a valuable place in society - it is a question about what people choose to do with them.

However, I can see nothing wrong with this use - after all, what have the record industry been doing for years?  In this case all that has happened, as has happened with blogs, is that something previously restricted to the few is now open to everybody - and is more transparent.  The danger is that big business will jump on the bandwagon - as they have with viral ads - and there are signs that this is already happening (I read a report about children as young as 11 being rewarded for recommending products on a Facebook like web site, but I can't find it - anyone else know where it is?).

Personally I deplore the manipulation - what is the point of a "fixed" chart - but did we ever have an unfixed one?

Friday, 2 April 2010

The Power of the Crowd

I recently came across this horrendous story (h/t Mad Priest) about the victim of a convicted rapist having to move because the town supported the rapist - who then raped again.  Just after reading this I then read this article in the Guardian about a girl who killed herself after being bullied.  For me the shocking thing about both these cases was that people knew about them, but did nothing - or did worse than nothing and colluded.

Count Your Blessings - 2 April

Children in nearly a third of all families in Gaza experience anxiety, phobia or depression – as do many children in the Israeli town of Sderot who live in fear of rockets fired from Gaza. Pray for all who battle mental illness.
Absolutely - this is a tough one and there is more of it about than is obvious.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

So what might happen?

So what will the Pope and Archbishop do with their job swap?  (H/T Bosco Peters for the story).

Lets assume that Rowan realises that he has to act fast.  Under the imprimatur of Papal infallibility he could approve married, women and gay priests and women bishops and popes.  He could then authorise the sharing of the sacraments with other denominations.  This of course would leave a number of quite conservative Roman Catholics feeling a bit disgruntled.

Pope Benedict on the other hand would find that he wasn't able to do anything - everyone would just stick two fingers up at him (one if you are reading this in America).  However, after he realised that he didn't want to go back (and nor would Rowan) he could settle in - approve the Anglican Covenant and offer a special welcome to those in the RC Church who were disgruntled with the direction that had been taken - forgetting that obedience means when you don't like the outcome as well as when you do.

Many of the more liberal CofE would of course now convert, and lo and behold problem solved...  Well not quite - I doubt that Anglican Mainstream would be too happy, but of course they could separate off and join an evangelical grouping.  At least if we are going to have separate denominations it would help if everyone shared more of their beliefs than at present!

Even the Lutherans might be happy - a spokesman, Loof Lirpa, welcomed the  suggestion and expressed a desire to be in Communion with a Rowan led RC Church.

Well, I can dream - but I am not even sure that this is my dream!  After all, the next pope could be Peter Akinola!

Count Your Blessings - 1 April

‘YMCA is the spirit to my body. They gave me olive trees and helped me plant.’ Palestinian farmer Abed Rabin, Bethlehem. YMCA replants olive trees where they have been uprooted. Give 5p for every tree outside your window.
I can see 30 another  1.50


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