“Thank you & God Bless”

I want to say a genuine “thank you” to you for reading this article each month, I really appreciate it. Sometimes the words come easily and at other times I feel less inspired, but I am truly grateful for the opportunity to write each month and for every reader. I find myself saying, “God Bless”…

Compassion

One of the best indicators that someone has truly embraced a value, belief, instruction, faith tradition or lesson, is the practical impact on the person’s life. For example, how has embracing that value, belief, lesson etc. changed the way the person behaves in certain situations or treats others? What does ‘compassion mean’? To feel sorry…

Refugee Response

Below are the census results for this month in the Jungle camp and the list of items we are currently collecting for our next visit. PLEASE bring what you can, but please stick to the list. If possible get a larger quantity of one item rather than one of everything, it’s easier to sort and distribute…

Faith & Reuben’s Jungle Reflections …

July 2016 This last half-term break was like no other for the Brand family; whilst Tammy took Grace & Benjamin ‘up north’ to visit friends and family, I took our two eldest children, Faith (11) and Reuben (10) to Calais to spend time with migrants in the camp in Calais known as ‘the Jungle’. We…

RENEW Holiday Club

July 2016 There is so much I’d like to write about this month especially having just returned from a week in the Jungle, Calais with two of my children; so many stories to tell, some of which you may have heard at the village fete, and there are several really exciting things happening at RENEW,…

Justice … bringing the world back into balance …

June 2016 For the past year I have had a deep sense of compassion for those men, women, boys and girls fleeing from their war torn countries and seeking refuge in Europe. I don’t presume to speak for anyone else, I speak for myself in the light of my faith, experience and interpretation of what…

Hold on to what gives you life … 

May 2016 “During the bombing raids on World War II, thousands of children were orphaned and left to starve. The fortunate ones were rescued and placed in refugee camps where they received food and good care. But many of these children who had lost so much could not sleep at night. They feared waking up…

Be Vigi-lent …

April 2016 Lessons I have learned through Lent this year transcend the observance of a 40 day fast. I spent Ash Wednesday in Manchester city centre on an ‘Urban Retreat’ – taking time to be still and attentive in the extreme business. Stopping; not just to look, but to notice; asking, “Where is God?” and…

Radiators and Drains …

March 2016    Ten years ago, I worked within the Church of England in Sheffield. I remember the then Bishop saying in a sermon, “There are two types of people in the world, Radiators and Drains … are you a Radiator or a Drain?” There are people, who we sit next to, spend time with,…

Relay Baton

February 2016 I’ve just arrived home from a very good leader’s meeting at Lode chapel; the RE:NEW church family is in the middle of a phase of praying, planning and preparing for the year ahead. I had placed on each table a relay baton, I didn’t even refer to it on this occasion, such was…

Every day is a gift …

December 15 At the time of writing there are precisely 42.5 shopping days left ’til Christmas, 15 days ’til my wife’s birthday and 19 days ’til our Wedding Anniversary. We do a lot of ‘counting down the days’ in life. After celebrating our youngest child’s 2nd birthday recently, our 5 year old wanted to know…

What do you most long to hear?

November 15   A few years ago, a cross section of the British public were surveyed to find out, “What phrase do you most long to hear?”  The top three results were: I love you I forgive you Dinner’s ready I hear the words, “I love you” everyday from my wife and children; I have…