Paul was at Bishopthorpe Palace, the home of the Archbishop of York, for a day looking at Spring Harvest in Harrogate. The day was hosted by the Archbishop and was attended by key church leaders from across the North of England. We looked at how Spring Harvest can celebrate and resource the church in the North. For more details on the event in 2020 see here.
Paul was interviewed on Premier Christian Radio News Hour (and repeated in news bulletins) around a survey on kindness - he chatted #Do1NiceThing, the work of volunteers, the role that Christians can play in volunteering and the need for prayer and action to go hand in hand - listen here at 50 minutes
The final Festival Angels of 2019 was Mint at Church Fenton in Leeds. A one day festival of 15,000 people and a small team of Festival Angels who offered support and help across the site. Planning is already underway for 2020's festivals...
Paul was on BBC Radio Leeds reviewing the Sunday papers (22nd September 2019) - before the paper review Paul chatted about Street and Festival Angels over the summer - click here to listen
Wrote this on a friends page the other day and thought I would share:
Sadly I see too often that church exists for the sake of those who attend and with a purpose to get more attending! We should exist to demonstrate that the Kingdom of God is a reality for our communities, to show that people are created by God and are amazing with a plan and purpose in life. The church (people not buildings or denominations) should be the life giving heart beat of any place bringing change and reconciliation - working with all to bring about reduction in need and crime and poverty... Seeking to see justice and fairness for all. Responding with positivity and can-do and creativity (as we serve the creator!) - attempting things so big that unless God is involved it is bound to fail!
Thinking about the prophetic calling of the church (people not a building or service or denomination). The church should shape culture not culture shape the church (The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church... Ephesians 1:23).
When we set up Street Angels it became a vehicle to change the binge-drink, violence, sexual assault culture of a town centre at night - a vehicle to demonstrate the Kingdom of God as a reality and bring about radical and lasting change. Prophecy in action!
The church needs to speak its prophetic voice - a voice that speaks out fairness and justice - a voice that leads to action that changes culture for the better. A grassroots up voice not vice-versa. A voice that recognises every person is a person of value and worth and is important within the here and now. A voice with action that changes communities.
I found this on the USPG website:
The prophetic voice arises in the heart of God and flows out into all of Creation, urging us to become all we can be.
The prophetic voice calls us to change for the better – to change our attitudes, our lifestyle, even our beliefs – and this can feel scary because change brings with it uncertainty and the unknown.
The Old Testament prophets were often unpopular because they challenged people to step outside their comfort zones.
They challenged the people to remember justice and mercy and walk humbly with God.
Sometimes the prophets were ‘foretelling’ in the sense of predicting the future. However, at other times they were ‘telling forth’, which means challenging injustice and standing up for the poor, the widow, the orphan and the alien (eg Amos 5:21-24).
The ultimate expression of this prophetic voice is found in Jesus, who reveals to us the heart of God. And it is the Holy Spirit who enables us to tune into the prophetic heart of God.
Today, many prophets can be found throughout the world church. These voices are challenging because they alert us to issues we might want to ignore. But these voices cannot be silenced – they call us to be like Jesus, who stood on the margins, comforting the oppressed and challenging those who are comfortable.