Prisons … again

Stuart Horner is a lifer serving a minimum sentence of 27 years for murdering his uncle. He recently spent about 60 hours protesting on the roof of HM Prison, Manchester, in a T-shirt bearing the message: “It’s not 1990, tell the government we’ve all had enough, sort the whole system”. He was just 10 at the time of the 1990 Strangeways prison riot – the biggest the UK system had ever seen. Someone must have told him about it. The prison may since have changed its name but, evidently, not all its practices. Continue reading

Community Transformation

It was the evening of the 6th August 2011 when the London riots erupted. Two days before, the death of Mark Duggan had created significant anger which finally exploded into widespread civil unrest, rioting, arson and looting.  Other towns and cities were affected as the unrest spread. There were injuries to both the public and the police. Five people lost their lives. As of 15th August, 3100 people had been arrested and more than 1000 were charged. 3443 crimes in London were linked to the disorder with £200 million worth of damage done to property. In the subsequent analysis of the causes, suggested contributory factors were; poor relationships with the police, social exclusion, family breakdown, government cuts, unemployment,  gang culture, failure of the penal system and criminal opportunism. Continue reading

We are what we do…..or are we?

An understandable response to a loving God is to seek to do things which we think will demonstrate our gratitude for being included in His family. To be able to tick off achievements and successes on a list makes us feel good and comforts us that we are indeed children of God because such “transactions” re-assure us of our position in Christ. Continue reading