On line networking- in case you thought not much had changed…

I have blogged before about my own mixed relationship to internet, and my feeling that on-line social networking is useful, but limited, as a method of human interaction. ( Here and here for example)

Technology continues to develop though, and who knows what is to come that may yet be more nuanced and more human?

However, I remain convinced that our call as Christians is to display beautiful community– a kind that is open, accepting and dynamic. It requires vulnerability, loyalty, commitment and a willingness to forgive, and to learn how to love, despite our constant tendency to hurt and wound and defend.

It may be possible to experience some aspects of this through on-line networking. Indeed, I think I have experienced this in part- but only in part. Online stuff can easily become a male theological ego-bashing debate, or an opportunity to find ascendancy and significance- I wonder whether the celebrity bloggers have taken over the centre stage from the guitar playing worship leaders in our ‘heros of the emerging church’ hall of fame?

But the internet, and the pace of change it is bringing to our WHOLE LIFE- this is undeniable. In case you need any further convincing, here is a clip that Christine Sine posted on her  blog here-

The church and social economy…

community 1

As part of my job, I am currently leading one of the groups responsible for planning a redesign of mental health services. I am enjoying it so far- I like the creative process of developing new things.

The remit of my group is to look at how we develop mental health services in primary care and also to think about how services might help to prevent mental health problems- and contribute to the mental wellbeing of our society.

It is a huge subject, that requires connections across many parts of society- statutory services, housing providers, voluntary bodies, social networks etc etc. It does not take long to realised that mental wellbeing and mental health are very different issues. It is possible to have a severe mental illness, and yet still have good mental wellbeing, but poor mental wellbeing can easily lead to mental ill health. In fact, good health of any sort is simply not possible without goon mental wellbeing.

It is a subject close to my heart, as it resonates deeply with my faith.

I believe that the followers of Jesus are to be a source of blessing for our communities. Too often, we get into pointless condemnation or narrow defensiveness- the foolish idea that we need to ‘defend the faith’ against rising secularism and Godless sinfulness. But the call of Jesus is to show a better way- a way of love and service that transforms lives and communities, and wherever we see the flowering of these good things in society, then we are to savour them with salt, and illuminate them with light.

Because the alternative is grim.

Here is a quote from one of the documents that I have been re-reading for my group-

Across Scotland, the UK and European Union, stress, anxiety, depression,hopelessness, isolation, fear, insecurity and distrust are increasing. We witness daily the effect of this on the lives of individuals, families and whole communities.

Many people in Scotland find themselves isolated and vulnerable due to their mental health status, poverty, class, ethnicity, age, disability, gender, sexuality, homelessness and many other forms of exclusion. The resulting lowself esteem and feelings of being undervalued have serious effects for them
as individuals, for their families, their colleagues, the wider community andScotland.

The consequences of cycles of social exclusion for how people think and feel are complex:

Some people faced with chronic stress and disadvantage may retreat and stop participating. Their social networks reduce, their vulnerability increases, their incomes and security reduce and many spiral into cycles of anxiety, depression and other more severe mental health problems. This not only impacts on them as individuals but can damage relationships between family members, partners, parents,
children and siblings with a chain of negative results-

  • changes in life situations – having babies, getting old, losing a job, becoming disabled, getting ill or family separation – can result in people becoming isolated, vulnerable and excluded
  • others may get resentful and angry and act on these feelings in their personal and community relationships, through aggressive behaviour, violence, abuse, theft or vandalism
  • hopelessness and low expectations may mean some people do things which might be considered to be ‘risky’

Taken together, such experiences are damaging to wellbeing. People, families, groups and communities of interest do not feel involved, connected,safe, secure, caring, creative or active. These types of experiences also affect how communities function: communities can come to feel more and more
vulnerable and close ranks, displaying exclusive attitudes and behaviour; or become divided and disarmed by fear of ‘the other’; or find it hard to believe that it is possible to break the cycle and create a different future.

From the ‘Small change, big impact’ conference report, 2006.

It is possible to get all doom and gloomy when looking at this picture. The question is what can we do about this? How can we break the negative cycles that are at work on individuals and groups? How do we break down isolation and low confidence and self esteem? How do we do this in a way that supports, encourages and empowers, rather than just further labels people as responsible for their own failures?

The report digs into some community projects that have begun to do this, and identified some of the characteristics that appeared significant-

Even though the projects developed independently they articulated a shared sense of purpose: to bring about connectedness

  • With self – A sense of self and worth internally for the individual,
  • With others – A sense of belonging and worth in relation to family, communities of interest and the community
  • With the bigger picture – Creative engagement between individuals,the family, diverse communities of interest and the community that opens doors for a caring and creative society to flourish
  • Between communities of interest and individuals,
  • Spatially – Knowing it is ‘my place, I belong here’ so that people feel safe, involved and want to invest
  • Institutionally – We delivery agents participate too, it effects us also.

It is OUR agenda, our community, our Scotland. We are community too. We are participants with a specific role to facilitate processes that encourage and enhance social development across services to make it easier to respond effectively and holistically to a community as it develops and grows.

The report goes on to speak of the importance of the arts in this process too…

Does this sound familiar? That list of characteristics of groups that build communality, health and satisfaction- does it not sound like what CHURCH is supposed to be? Is it not possible that this is the role that church USED to fill within society?

No longer however. Perhaps we squandered the opportunity, or perhaps the world left us behind. But the challenge to us all- perhaps particularly those of us in church, is how we might again be a blessing to our communities- not so that they might fill our pews again (at least not as an end in itself,) but rather so that we might be change-agents of the Kingdom of God.

This perhaps requires a different set of skills traditionally valued by church- networking, hospitality, reconciliation, listening, neighbourlyness- providing opportunities for real, deep connections between people.

Perhaps it also demands of us that we become JOINERS with others, rather than just INVITERS to our own safe places.


Last canoe/camping trip of the year?


Just back from a little jaunt out to Lock Eck with the Canoe. Will, and my mate Simon and his son Andrew came with me. I a,most did not go as I have been feeling a bit under the weather this week- all headachy and migrainy. But the restorative power of wild places did me a power of good I think.

The autumn is progressing. Some of the old beech trees and oaks are already turning. And the stags were practicing their rutting calls in the early morning…

We launched at the Coylet Inn and camped on the other side of the loch. Weather was mixed, but we managed a campfire and a scramble up to explore the Paper cave and a couple of others. Always good fun- particularly for people like me who are six feet five inches tall and, shall we say, well fed ready for hibernation.

Also hit on some new campfire food- some basic bread dough mix (some flour and powdered milk with a bit of salt) mixed with a bit of water into sausage shapes, wrapped round a green stick, and toasted over  the fire. sprinkle on a bit of ketchup- and you have a lovely smoky bit of bread-cum-pancake. Lovely.

So- a few pics. (Taken with my new Pentax KM camera.)

BBC iPlayer – Transatlantic Sessions: Series 3: Episode 2

I am just sitting with a glass of wine, flicking between the cricket (we might actually win this one!) and the sublime ‘transatlantic sessions’ on BBC4.

A long weekend beckons, with plans to canoe and camp, and I have just eaten well with my lovely wife.

Life does not get much better, so I thought I would share the love…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Jonathan Miller on life, and psychiatry…

Jonathan Miller said this-

I hold all contemporary psychiatric approaches – all ‘mental health’ methods – as basically flawed because they search for solutions along medical-technical lines. But solutions forwhat? For life! But life is not a problem to be solved. Life is something to be lived, as intelligently, as competently, as well as we can, day in and day out. Life is something we must endure. There is no solution for it.

Miller J [Ed] Ch 15. Objections to Psychiatry: Dialogue with Thomas Szasz States of Mind:
Conversations with Psychological Investigators London: British Broadcasting Corporation 1983, p.290, Quoted in this really good article, ‘The mythical self, we make ourselves up as we speak’- here.

Amen Jonathan. Amen.

Oppression, freedom and homosexuality…

stonewall riots

How far we have travelled…

There was a really interesting programme on Radio 4 this morning- part of the ‘Reunion’ series. This is the blurb from the website-

Sue MacGregor presents the series which reunites a group of people intimately involved in a moment of modern history.

Sue Lawley brings together the men and women who founded the gay rights campaign group, Stonewall. She is joined by Sir Ian McKellen, Matthew Parris, Lisa Power, Michael Cashman and Olivette Cole-Wilson.

In 1989 a small group joined forces in a campaign against a law now known as Section 28. This law banned councils from ‘promoting homosexuality’ or ‘promoting the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship’.

The gay rights scene at the time was radical and activist and there were no campaign groups engaging both gay men and lesbians together. Stonewall aimed to create a professional lobbying group that would fight against the discrimination of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals. Dubbed Stonewall to signal doggedness and to commemorate the New York riots in which gay protestors had fought back against police brutality two decades before, it called for full legal rights, which still seemed a loony-left pipe dream.

Stonewall’s moderate tone attracted criticism from more radical veterans of the gay rights movement, but also lent its advocates greater media respectability and a hearing from government ministers.

Since its inception, Stonewall has led the way with an impressive number of reforms, pressing ministers and taking test cases to court. These reforms include the repeal of Section 28, equalising the age of consent, permitting civil partnerships and overturning the ban on gays in the military. Another legacy has been to allow gay and lesbian politicians into the mainstream – not just demanding equal rights, but as representatives of the wider community.

You can listen again to the discussion- here.

I remember the time in the 80’s when Stonewall were starting to be listened to by the media. I was part of a Christian community who were at best uncomfortable with homosexuality- and at worst rabidly condemning and judgemental towards anyone who ‘came out. Even the most liberal of us who were uncomfortable with the hard doctrine, would have thought that homosexuality was just plain WRONG. Unbiblical. Against the laws of God. Sin.

Listening now to what the protestors were subjected to- I am ashamed.

Why were Christians not standing in the streets alongside these brave campaigners?

Because no matter what your theology, our greatest call is not to condemn people for their private sin, but to stand with the oppressed and the marginalised.

Isn’t it?

Listen to the programme, and I invite you to imagine twenty thirty years into the future, and wonder what people of faith will make of this matter then. Ask how this will compare with other civil rights battles fought in the 20th Century…

Bonhoeffer- was he wrong?


Bonhoeffer is one of our Evangelical heroes.

The good German- an extraordinary man in extraordinary times. Whose incisive faith saw through the evil that had overcome his people like a cancer, and allowed him to stand alone- a candle in darkness, a voice in the wilderness.

I sort of knew this. But I have read very little of his writings.

Michaela is persevering with ‘Life together‘ although it is not an easy read- this is partly because of the style.

The surprise to most of us is that Bonhoeffer was executed not for passive peaceful resistance of Hitler’s regime, but rather for plotting with Canaris and von Stauffenberg to overcome Hitler with a Coup- which included the assassination of Hitler- the famous bomb plot.

The great pacifist theologian, who had visited Ghandi in the 1930s in order to understand non-violent resistance had turned to violence and political power games. He became a double agent.

Did the potential ends justify the means? It is scarcely possible to conceive of a regime that is more evil within our modern experience. What else could a good man do, but seek to overcome by any means possible? Christians fighting against Hitler have long seen this as a ‘just war‘. I think I might have agreed with them had I been a child of Bonhoeffers age.

But history has a way of allowing us time to consider, and weigh the weight of the matter- and for us, the Spirit of the thing, the theology of the thing- this becomes important.

Other Christians resisted. I visited a prison in Berlin years ago where dozens of pastors were hanged much earlier in the war than Bonhoeffer for criticising Hitler. Leaders like Karl Barth and Martin Niemoller formed the Confessing church in protest against the Nazi appropriation of the  Church as part of the State machinery.

What did Bonhoeffer acheive with his part in the plot against Hitler? Probably very little. The plot failed, and by that time the war had been raging for years, and millions of Jews, Gypsy’s, homosexuals and ‘Untermensch‘ had already died and been processed through industrial ovens in Eastern Europe. History records the plot as too little, too late.

Would peaceful protests have achieved more? It seems that death would have come to him either way.

Bonhoeffers feelings about his chosen path appear to have been mixed. He had no doubt that what he was doing was a moral choice that he may well need to answer for before God. He refused to allow prayers for him by the Confessing church whilst he was in prison, as he suggested prayer should be for Christians imprisoned as martyrs, not through acts of direct resistance such as his.

So- what choices are we followers of Jesus to make in the face of war and violence and oppression? His words seem clear enough. But his followers have always found the reality more complex. Jesus seemed to be more than willing to mix with Roman Soldiers, and Peter carried a sword at least once in his company.

For me, violence is something to be resisted in itself- particularly when it is perpetrated by one state on another. Particularly when Christians appear to support this violence and claim that God is on their side. The American/British appetite for war post 911 is a case in point. But Bonhoeffer- his times were very different.

Perhaps circumstances will always demand of us- choices. Extreme circumstances demand the more black and white ones. For the rest of us, we have theory, and theology. Bonhoeffer had enough of theology that was not anchored to practical activity in the service of the oppressed.

But I still wonder if he got it wrong…

There are a few films out about his life- usually American. Bonhoeffer seems to be able to be appropriated as a Saint by the conservatives and the liberals. There are a few clips of You Tube if you are interested-

Deer on the doorstep (and in the veg patch…)


We have a few garden visitors.

A few vegetable munchers.

A few bark strippers.

The odd shy eye that catches the sweep of headlights.


That are so hard to resent,

Because they are lovely.

So this morning, I peeked through a hedge with my camera, and there she was. Shy and still, with eyes that draw you in, and ears alert for a million dangers…

So, it is worth investing in a few well placed gates, but the loss of some shrubs and the odd cabbage, the shredding of my Gunera- these things I will bear to be so close to such creatures…


Scotland, Prophecy and Jean Darnell…

Jean DarnallIn 1967, American evangelist Jean Darnell, whilst passing through the UK had a ‘prophetic vision’ about the future of faith in these Islands- particularly regarding Scotland. It was such a powerful image that she and her husband stayed in this country for the next 25 years.

I was born in 1967, but had heard of Jean Darnell as I grew up- she had connections to an Anglican community of people in the South of England who were greatly influential as to development of charismatic revival throughout the Anglican church. I always thought of her as a kind and wise person, steeped in the Holy Spirit.

I had not heard about the prophecy however until I moved to Scotland. Here, it is still talked about in hushed and awed tones. She has repeated and clarified her account on several occasions, and various versions can be found using a quick google search- for example this one which is on the Cross rhythms website. However, this is a summary of what she said-

Vision Of Revival In Great Britain

The British Isles were covered in mist (a green haze), and Jean Darnell saw lots of pinpoints of light piercing through. As she looked, they turned out to be fires breaking out all over the nation, from Scotland in the North, to Lands End in the South.

As these God-lit fires were joined together they burned brighter. As she continued to pray, she saw lightning and explosions of fire and then rivers of fire flowing from North to South; from Scotland, Ireland, and Wales into England and some of the streams of fires crossed the channel into Europe, whilst others stopped.

These fires were pockets of people who had been made intensely hungry for the word of God and for New Testament Christianity, those who read the book of Acts and wondered ‘where is this church?’

These people would come together to pray and extra meetings would have to be laid on to accommodate all the people. Groups would be formed, prayer groups, Bible study groups – some would meet in churches, others would be in homes: some converted, others unconverted who were searching and seeking.

Two Moves Of God

Jean Darnall asked the Lord about the vision and had the distinct impression that there would be two moves of God.

1. Renewal In The Church.

The first would be the renewal of Christian faith and fullness of the Holy Spirit within the church.

2. National Awakening And World Vision.

This renewal of life in the church would spread outside resulting in a public awakening. The second part of the vision was the lightning striking around the nation. This move of God would be a national spiritual awakening, which would move into every level of the nation’s life; on the campuses, universities, colleges, schools etc., into the media and in the government.

There would be so many conversions that it would actually change the character of the nation of Britain and determine the future move of God in Europe. Jean continued that there would not be a part of the nation’s life that will not feel the impact of the spiritual awakening when God releases it to the country.

Great Preachers

The Lord told Jean Darnall that He would also raise up highly anointed preachers who would move in signs and wonders. These people would be a gift to Britain.

Communicators Reaching Britain And Europe

The word ‘communicators’ was strongly laid upon Jean’s heart and was a word that was not trendy in those days. [The internet was not be birthed until nearly three decades later in 1994 and Christian television first came to Britain via satellite in October 1995].

Jean explained that as the rivers of fire moved, it would produce powerfully gifted communicators who would address the nation through the media, (Through the arts, journalism, the radio and television). Actors, singers, teachers and powerful communicators (who have an anointing to work through the media) will be the new warriors that the Lord is raising up for His army [the younger generation] to reach the heart of the people on the European Continent. People with a special anointing will be sent out from these islands (of Britain) to other nations.

These communicators will be excellent in all that they do and will go into Europe and meet those of like quality (in training and abilities) and together they will work to release God’s word speedily into Europe. This will result in another wave of a spiritual awakening into Europe. Also, there would be communicators in government and within the educational system and wherever people are speaking [up] for others.

Jean Darnell visited the UK again this year- here is her speaking about Scotland again-

So what are we to make of this? Some of you will not even be interested in asking the question. If you do not have a Christian faith, you may think that all this stuff is just a little mad. Many Christians will agree with you. Many others (like me) have a more complicated relationship with the ideas and hopes contained in this prophecy.

As I mentioned above, I grew up in a church greatly affected by the wonders and wackyness of the Anglican Charismatic revival. I have since spent a lot of time around charismatic churches. I have blogged before about this experience- here for example. As a result of my experiences, I remain (in the words of Pete Rollins) a devout, faithful skeptic. I have seen much that repels me, but also much that was beautiful.

So here are a few thoughts/possibilities that occur to me as I look again at this prophecy…

  1. Jean Darnell was just wrong. Nothing of what she suggests would happen has happened. They used to stone false prophets in the OT days. Far from being a conduit of a massive move of God, the church in the UK is in terminal decline…
  2. Jean Darnell was speaking encouragement into an embryonic move of God. The late 60’s and 70’s did indeed see a charismatic revival- fires did spread through the church, and the ripples go on today. There are communicators, and preachers who still connect with wider Europe…
  3. Jean Darnell was speaking out of a particular context and understanding of evangelism- which longed and hoped for REVIVAL- transformative, all encompassing Holy Spirit saturated revival. No other move of God makes sense, and as such, the prophecy comes from a wish-fulfilling impulse. Revivals like this have happened here before (Wales, Outer Hebrides for example) and continue to happen in other parts of the world (Korea, parts of Africa.) However the outcome and aftermath of these outpourings is often very mixed. I no longer think that attempting to conjour and cajole God into reviving us should be our prime focus. But then again…
  4. Scotland. The central role played by Scotland in Jean’s prophecy seems to imply that what ever is to happen, begins here. I have looked in hope, but see no sign of fires in the North. There are enclaves of fervency and fundamentalism, but there is so much sectarian division and hard heartedness too… I do not see the fires starting inside the churches at the moment, let alone outside.
  5. Because of the decline in church, certain embattled remnants hold on to this prophecy with both hands. We NEED it to be true- because the alternative is an end to all that is held dear. However there is such danger in this- we become people desperate for heavenly Holy Spirit intervention, and forget the call to be Agents of the Kingdom here and now, rather than in the future. The shift in thinking that this requires for the people of faith in Scotland might itself bring about the fires in the north envisioned!
  6. How we understand prophecy seems to be crucial. We tend to think of prophecy as a prediction for the future that will be tested by time. In this instance, the jury is out, and perhaps about to rule against Jean’s prophecy. However, there is another way to understand prophetic utterances- as something that speaks truth into NOW- so many of the OT prophets were encouraging and warning their peers and rulers. Perhaps in this context, Jean was inspiring a generation, and we should not worry about carrying forward this vision like some kind of vision for the future.
  7. Let us just leave it to God.

‘Road to recovery’, and ‘spiritual capital’….

BEWARE- this is quite a long post, but please bear with me dear readers, as I think it deals with rather important stuff… but then I would say that, wouldn’t I?


Powerful image from here.

I love it when you come across something unexpected that reeks of the Kingdom of God…

I spent all day yesterday at a development day and Annual General Meeting for the Cowal Council on Alcohol and Drugs. I am one of the volunteer directors of this company, who provide counselling and support for people with addictions in this area. I am proud to be part of the organisation, which like all such voluntary sector small companies has had some challenging times.

At present, I think it is a good healthy place to work, and brings genuine help to people who suffer from addiction to drugs and alcohol in our area. Our area (the west of Scotland) has seen too many lives cut short and families devastated by addiction. But there are many people who we are not able to help- and the purpose of yesterday was to try to consider how we might set our agenda for next year to do better.

I was part of a discussion yesterday about the concept of ‘recovery’.

Recovery is a word that I am very familiar with from the point of view of mental health services- in this context, it is life giving and hope enhancing. Check out the Rethink website, or the Scottish Recovery Network site. I seriously think that any Christians interested in seeing the words of of Isaiah 61 made real in our time should become familiar with what is happening in the area of Recovery- a lot of the sites are full of personal stories that make you weep. Chains are breaking, and we people of faith ought to celebrate and support as much as we can.

Until recently I was not aware of how much the concepts of recovery are starting to cross over into the the field of addiction.

This is an excerpt from a recent Scottish Government document called ‘The road to recovery‘, which specifically addresses addiction to drugs-

81. What do we mean by recovery? We mean a process through which an individual is enabled to move on from their problem drug use, towards a drug-free life as an active and contributing member of society. Furthermore, it incorporates the principle that recovery is most effective when service users’ needs and aspirations are placed at the centre of their care and treatment. In short, an aspirational, person-centred process.

82. In practice, recovery will mean different things at different times to each individual person with problem drug use. Above all, people aspiring to milestones in recovery must have the confidence that they can achieve their personal goals. For an individual, ‘the road to recovery’ might mean developing the skills to prevent relapse into further illegal drug taking, rebuilding broken relationships or forging new ones, actively engaging in meaningful activities and taking steps to build a home and provide for themselves and their families. Milestones could be as simple as gaining weight, re-establishing relationships with friends, or building self-esteem. What is key is that recovery is sustained.

83. Recovery as an achievable goal is a concept pioneered in recent years with great success in the field of mental health. The Scottish Recovery Network has been raising awareness of the fact that people can and do recover from even the most serious and long-term mental ill-health. 32

84. The strength of the recovery principle is that it can bring about a shift in thinking – a change in attitude both by service providers and by the individual with the drug problem. There is no right or wrong way to recover. Recovery is about helping an individual achieve their full potential – with the ultimate goal being what is important to the individual, rather than the means by which it is achieved.

‘Recovery’ is essentially a collection of grass roots movements growing out dissatisfaction by users of services who are sick of being ‘done to‘ by professionals, and are looking to break free- not only from the specific difficulties affecting their lives, but also from the industry and economy generated by medical, social and political attempt to ‘cure’ them. The fact that recovery is now forming a part of government documents is both a triumph and a threat. It is a threat because there is a real danger that the word becomes just a word. It stops to carry any passion, or any hope…

But back to our discussion yesterday.

One of the things evident to anyone seeking to discuss the possibility of recovery with people who have been forced beyond the edges of society by addiction, mental illness or stigma and discrimination, is that there can be no recovery without mental wellbeing, and there can be no mental wellbeing without real opportunities to build friendships, find meaningful activities and participate in our towns and communities as both recipients and a contributors.

I have blogged several times about the idea of Kanyini, and how the loss of identity, purpose and spirituality amongst Aboriginal people has led to a loss of their very selves. Anyone who has spent any time amongst people with addictions (who have may also have lost everything) will resonate with Kanyini. Bob Randall speaks movingly of how his own people have fallen into addiction, isolation and mental illness…

There was a discussion yesterday about how we might be able to encourage these things in our organisation, and more importantly, our community-

  1. Recovery capital– how do we give power and control back to people who use our services, and provide change opportunities, not ‘slots for treatment’?
  2. Social capital– how do people find meaningful social connections, from a position where trust and opportunities have all but disappeared?
  3. Spiritual capital- this gave some pause for thought, so more on this one below!

What is ‘Spiritual capital’? I suppose this rather depends on your definition of spirituality- but lets not get into that just now. In this context, I think Spiritual capital refers to MEANING. The meaning on life, the meaning of love, the meaning of small stuff, and the biggest stuff.

Most of us do not need to dig into this too much- we have no time, and the scaffolding around our lives- jobs, marriages, mortgages, etc- means that we are insulated from the biggest questions. But people who have none of this scaffolding and have reached the end of all their coping, even the bottom of the bottle- these people have a whole different place to look at spirituality from.

Interestingly, the discussion in one of the other groups seemed to get into RELIGION. There are some Christian organisations involved in addictions work. Some of them use high octane charismatic deliverance kind of stuff- which to be honest, I kind of find slightly disturbing. But then again, if it is meaningful and helpful to people involved, great. My fear is that one addiction is replaced by another on, called GOD- and this can indeed be a dangerous addiction for some…

But I wonder if Spiritual capital can be seen more commonly in encouraging people to consider things relating to the heart of who we are, rather than the material stuff that we surround ourselves with…

And in this, I think people who have suffered addiction, or experienced mental health problems, have much to teach the rest of us…

As for me, it started me thinking about a writing project, and I had a great conversation about the possibility of a ‘recovery cafe’ with my mate Ali…