Steve's reflections on life

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Changing Church
If the statistics are true and 25% of the UK population are engaging, in some way with ‘online church’ then as Christians we must act decisively. By simply going back after this lockdown ends, to the same ways of ‘doing church’ then we will return to an engagement of 6%. If we have the ear of a quarter of the nation then the Gospel must be front and centre to everything we do.

The church is not a social club where people’s monthly tithe is their membership fee and their ticket to the weekly show. The church is the diverse community of people who have willingly committed their lives to being joined with others in the cause of reaching as many as possible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Everything is secondary to that one great endeavour. I’m reminded of a story about the Duke of Wellington and a letter he penned to government officials who were seeking clarity from him whilst he was commanding an allied force against Napoleon.

Whilst marching from Portugal towards the approach to Madrid to engage the French forces in battle, my officers have been diligently complying with your requests that have continually been arriving at our headquarters. I have provided comprehensive reports on the character, wit and spleen of every officer and kept a record of all equipment and all manner of sundry items for which His Majesty’s Government holds me accountable. Each item and every farthing has been accounted for, with two regrettable exceptions for which I beg your indulgence.

Unfortunately, the sum of one shilling and ninepence remains unaccounted for in one infantry battalion’s petty cash and there has been a hideous confusion as to the number of jars of raspberry jam issued to one cavalry regiment during a sandstorm in western Spain. This reprehensible carelessness may be related to the pressure of circumstance, since we are war with France, a fact which may come as a bit of a surprise to you gentlemen in Whitehall.

This brings me to the purpose of this letter, which is to request clarity regarding my instructions from His Majesty’s Government so that I may better understand why I am dragging an army over these barren God forsaken plains. I assume it must be one of the following two duties:

To spend my time in petty administration for the benefit of the copy-boys in London or to defeat the forces of Napoleon. I shall pursue either one to the best of my ability but I cannot do both.

Your most obedient servant,


“The church has nothing to do but save souls, therefore spend and be spent in this work” (John Wesley)

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