Where mercy and justice meet
The rise and fall of Tim Farron
Tim Farron’s resignation as Liberal Democrat leader shortly after the recent election was sensational and sudden...
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July
12
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The new measure of the church’s influence
In many ways we can say that the influence of the Church is in decline. However, there is another side to the story...
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January
19
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Social care – the growing crisis
There is a time-bomb of a social care crisis growing across the nation...
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January
12
Author
Martin Charlesworth
A film to challenge our churches
I have just watched the recently released and acclaimed film I, Daniel Blake. It has received seven Bafta nominations and surprised film critics by winning the Palme D’Or at Cannes this year. As a result, it is being widely watched […]
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November
10
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Brexit Britain: what now for the nation?
From where I stand, here are the four most important and obvious issues that the UK faces in post-Brexit Britain...
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July
26
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Brexit Britain: what now for the Church?
So where do we go from here in the strange surreal world of Brexit Britain? The decision has been made, but the divorce with the EU has not really begun. No one quite knows what is going to happen or how it is all going to work out […]
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July
22
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Brexit Britain: tensions in the Church?
I’m writing this piece two weeks after the EU Referendum. It was a referendum with multiplied unintended consequences. Here’s one of them: it has exposed tensions and differences within the Church that are going to need addressing […]
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July
12
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Brexit: the nation decides
I remember as a teenager experiencing the great sense of significance that surrounded the referendum on Britain’s membership of the Common Market in 1975. At that time the arguments were almost all economic ones. Also, at that time […]
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June
27
Author
Martin Charlesworth
History Repeating Itself
In 1938 Britain undertook a remarkable mercy mission towards the children of central European Jews. As Hitler’s anti-semitism took hold in Germany and as the Nazis annexed Austria, Czechoslovakia and other territories, so the threat […]
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May
31
Author
Martin Charlesworth
An open heart and an open door
For most of our national history, since the Norman Conquest, Britain has not experienced a large influx of refugees. There were two exceptions: the Huguenots in the seventeenth century and the Jews in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries […]
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May
24
Author
Martin Charlesworth
A shock resignation
It’s rare for a political resignation to come as a shock, but that’s exactly what happened when Iain Duncan Smith stood down as Work and Pensions Secretary on Friday night. By Natalie Williams and Martin Charlesworth
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March
23
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Climate change agreement in Paris - why does it matter to Christians?
Most politicians and commentators have hailed the recent UN-sponsored climate change agreement in Paris as a great success. It is certainly a stark contrast to the indecision and wrangling that characterised the last attempt to reach […]
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December
22
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Refugee crisis - red alert
I have a friend called John. He is from what we now call the Czech Republic. In 1938 he and his brother were put on a train by their parents, along with many other children, to be sent to the UK. John never saw his parents again. They […]
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September
02
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Justice matters
On 2 July, Traidcraft will be holding 'Justice Matters' – a service to reflect, pray and act for justice in international trade and business – in central London. The preacher will be Jubilee+'s Martin Charlesworth. In this blog […]
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June
22
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Election drama - what next?
For most of us interested in public life in the UK, the general election and the preceding campaign was a real roller-coaster ride! The polls and pundits mostly got their key predictions wrong – especially the widespread expectation […]
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May
11
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Foodbanks - it's not just about statistics
Jeremy Paxman’s opening question to David Cameron in the first TV election leaders programme was a scorcher. He started with foodbanks – specifically asking about the number of foodbanks in the UK today. No, the Prime Minister […]
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April
23
Author
Martin Charlesworth
2014 - a year in the life of Jubilee+
Now is the time for looking back and looking forward. Individuals do it, families do it – and Jubilee+ does it as well! Those of you who regularly follow this blog and our website will be aware that it has been a busy and productive […]
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December
31
Author
Martin Charlesworth
So why write a book on poverty?
It was not really in the plan to write books when we started Jubilee+ a few years ago. We had plenty of other things to occupy our energies in the early days: we were setting up conferences, developing our website, building relationships […]
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September
22
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Jubilee+ blog - a new phase
I started writing this blog shortly after the launch of Jubilee+. It seems a long time ago and much has happened in that time. My aim has been to provide some commentary on social issues relating to the work of Jubilee+ and to offer […]
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April
07
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Networking in the North-East
Sometimes we get the impression that all the action in the Church is based in the south-east and London. It’s certainly true that there are a lot of large churches in that particular part of the country. Also, as far as social action […]
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April
01
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Refugees, immigration and the Church
Immigration is a hot subject politically at the best of times. It divides communities and politicians alike. It’s emotive. It tends to bring out the defensive instincts of human nature. It’s not the best of times to talk about […]
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March
19
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Fostering and adoption - crisis and opportunity
A few months ago I was talking to a social worker who told me that in her area there were virtually no placements available for children needing fostering. In that particular local authority, all children needing to be fostered were […]
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March
11
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The paradox of poverty in Europe
There has been an intense focus in the media on the economic state of Europe for a long time now. For a while, the news was dominated by the recklessness and weakness of the banks. Then there was a focus on the desperate economic weakness […]
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March
04
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Climate change - a burning issue that won't go away
Some people ask me why I keep on talking about climate change in the context of the work of Jubilee+. Well, the answer is simple: climate change is a vital issue of social justice and long-term human welfare. All people of faith should […]
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February
25
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The politics of water
I opened my newspaper the other day to read yet more distressing news of the impact of severe flooding in the UK. There were further dramatic pictures of flooded homes, besieged communities and swollen rivers. Then there were the interviews […]
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February
19
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Jim Wallis - a man for our times
If you haven’t read anything by Jim Wallis, you need to. He was in the UK towards the end of last year, on a visit from the USA to promote his latest book, On God’s Side. It’s a really stimulating book and great reading for anyone […]
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February
11
Author
Martin Charlesworth
'Holistic Mission' - a ground-breaking report
One of the research highlights of last year was the launch of a ground-breaking report by think-tank ResPublica on the place and significance of social action in the Church of England. Entitled 'Holistic Mission: Social action and […]
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February
06
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The Jubilee Centre - a tribute
An important anniversary took place last year – the Jubilee Centre, based in Cambridge, celebrated its 30th anniversary. This one may have passed you by, but I want to write a post giving a very personal tribute to this unique and […]
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January
28
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The Good Samaritan - for grown-ups
When Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan it was all a big shock for the original listeners – especially for the expert on the religious law who first asked that crucial question: “And who is my neighbour?” Here’s the […]
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January
21
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The Good Samaritan - more than just a good story
Jesus had the knack of telling really revealing and memorable stories. We call them parables. They tend to have powerful punch-line and they always make us feel a little uncomfortable or provoked. Stories are a wonderful means of communicating […]
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January
16
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Jubilee+ - revisiting the vision
Last year, I wrote a fair amount about both major social issues and things that were happening in public policy and the political world. These matters are very important, but sometimes I like to take a pause from that type of discussion […]
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January
07
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Nelson Mandela - the passing of a giant
What else is there left to say about Nelson Mandela? The news was full of assessments and reflections and accolades for many days after his sad death earlier this month. Hardly a bad word was said about him – and understandably so […]
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December
17
Author
Martin Charlesworth
'Global crisis' for religious freedom
The outspoken Baroness Warsi has been at it again – advocating faith in her role as the first Minister of State for Faith and Communities. She has hit the headlines after a hard-hitting speech in the USA on the theme of religious […]
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December
10
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The Philippines catastrophe - signs of hope admidst the agony
I’m sure you were as moved as I was when news reached us of the sheer extent of the disaster that struck the Philippines during the recent freak storm. The city of Tacloban looked like a war zone, such was the devastation. The death […]
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November
19
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The 'Taken' campaign
Last month, on Friday 18th October, the UK marked Anti-Slavery Day. This annual event was established recently by Act of Parliament. It was both a day to remember the anti-slavery campaign of the early nineteenth century and a day […]
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November
12
Author
Martin Charlesworth
A prophetic Kingdom
This is the concluding post in this four part series where I have been looking at the intriguing biblical concept of the Kingdom of God. So far we’ve looked at the Kingdom message, the Kingdom community and Kingdom compassion. Now […]
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October
07
Author
Martin Charlesworth
A compassionate Kingdom
In the last two posts we’ve been looking at the concept of the Kingdom of God as interpreted by the early Church. We discovered that Jesus’ proclamation of the arrival of God’s Kingdom was somewhat paradoxical but that, nevertheless […]
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September
30
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Kingdom community - what is it?
At the time that the Church started, society was very fragmented and divided across the Roman Empire. For a start, there were hundreds of thousands of slaves – most of whom served as domestic servants in richer households – but […]
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September
23
Author
Martin Charlesworth
A new Kingdom has arrived!
From time to time on the Jubilee+ blog I take a break from the important job of reflecting on contemporary social or political issues and the activities of the church related to them. Sometimes it’s good just to go back to the biblical […]
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September
16
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The Tour de France - a story to be told, lessons to be learnt
OK, I need to admit it: I’m a cycling fanatic. I grew up riding a bike and have never stopped! Wherever I am, I think of a bike as the first possible means of transport to consider in order to get from A to B. So it won’t surprise […]
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September
09
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Payday loans or Credit Unions?
Payday loans have long been the target of animated criticism from politicians and church social activists. We’ve all been bombarded with the subtly attractive adverts of the loan companies who want to exploit the extreme vulnerability […]
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September
03
Author
Martin Charlesworth
We want to see you soon - at our October conference!
As far as I’m concerned, the national Jubilee+ social action conference is always a real highlight of the year. This year will be no exception – I’m sure! We always try to pack in a whole host of dimensions to the day as some […]
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August
19
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Social action or preaching for salvation - do we have to choose?
Sometimes we retweet interesting observations made by others on the twittersphere. This one caught my eye recently: “Churches are motivated to support communities by faith, but are souls saved through social action?” Good question […]
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August
12
Author
Martin Charlesworth
One in five local councils have contracts with churches
About 200 Church leaders gathered in central London and heard inspiring stories of how churches across the country are engaging with local authorities ever more strongly to meet social need. Here’s an interesting statistic which […]
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August
05
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Jubilee+ Team Retreat 2013
Right in the middle of the recent July heatwave, the Jubilee+ team came together for our annual 'retreat' at the Wycliffe Centre in the Chiltern Hills. We all live very busy lives in different towns and cities, so it is a rare privilege […]
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July
22
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The Church and family support
I have written recently on the vital role of the family in the battle against poverty. Research has conclusively shown that family breakdown is a central factor in bringing about poverty in the UK – and we all know that family breakdown […]
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July
08
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The central role of families in fighting poverty
Almost any school teacher will tell you that schools are only a secondary influence on the destiny of the children who study there. Teachers know from experience that it’s the family circumstances of the child that have by far the […]
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July
01
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Abortion in the UK - Part 4: what should the Church be doing about it?
The Church needs to be involved in addressing abortion on many fronts. It’s not all about the political process. One of the most important aspects of the situation is the constant reality that many women face serious challenges when […]
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June
24
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Abortion in the UK - Part 3: what rights for the unborn child?
The ethical argument for the rights of the unborn child is generally made by those with a religious worldview in which God is the Creator and Sustainer of life and in which He has sovereignty over the beginning and end of each human […]
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June
17
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Abortion in the UK - Part 2: the main arguments
Abortion has not been an easy issue to discuss over the years. Emotions run high on all sides. It appears that a lot is at stake. Some years ago I attended rally at Manchester Free Trade Hall in support of the ‘pro-life’ position […]
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June
03
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Abortion in the UK - Part 1: where we stand now
As readers of this blog will be aware, I sometimes write short series of posts on particularly important issues that are important even if they are not often in the news headlines. The recent series on human trafficking was an attempt […]
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May
27
Author
Martin Charlesworth
40 million victims
Now we are going to try to put some numbers into the story to reinforce the sheer scale of the issue. The numbers are hard to grasp. It is estimated that there are about 40 million victims of human trafficking in the world today: By […]
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April
29
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The scale of modern slavery
One of the hardest things to grasp about modern slavery (also known as human trafficking) is the sheer scale of what is going in around the world. Let’s take a hard look at a few of the key facts. One of the first things to work […]
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April
22
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Comparing slavery then and now
In this post I am going to compare modern trafficking with the enslavement of black Africans during the time of European imperialism in the Americas. The reason for making this comparison is that it will help us to understand the significance […]
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April
15
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Modern slavery
This is the start of a short series on human trafficking. No thinking person and especially no socially aware Christian will have any doubt that human trafficking is a serious modern problem. It is also one of the most barbaric forms […]
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April
08
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Religious freedoms and the European Court of Human Rights
Four UK Christians experienced problems in the workplace due to their religious views or practices, and ultimately took their legal cases to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) after failure to gain redress from UK courts. These […]
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April
01
Author
Martin Charlesworth
What's the real situation with religious freedoms in the UK?
There have been a number of high profile legal cases in recent years in which Christians have ended up in court due to an apparent clash between their personal beliefs and the law of the land. By Martin Charlesworth
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March
26
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The ongoing challenge of religious rights and freedoms
We live in an age of rights. It is a dominant theme in politics and public thinking. A great deal of good work has been done in the past decades to advance the cause By Martin Charlesworth
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March
19
Author
Martin Charlesworth
A conference for you... yes, you
Some people say that faith and politics don’t mix – it’s this sort of sentiment that has often influenced large sections of the modern Church, leading to a serious disconnect between the Church and public policy. By Martin Charlesworth
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March
12
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Global hunger - time for action
The problem of food shortages, hunger and starvation around the world constantly troubles the conscience of the church in the West. The focus is usually a particular crisis caused by warfare, drought or other natural disaster. Appeals […]
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March
05
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Climate change
There is a big difference between weather and climate. The weather is constantly changing from day to day – especially in temperate countries such as the UK with its seasonal variations. It’s a major topic of conversation. It can […]
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February
26
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Census results: Christianity in the UK in decline?
I wonder if you noticed the recent publication of the 2011 Government Census results. It makes interesting reading. The Government carries out a Census every 10 years. ome results are fairly obvious: the population is rising significantly […]
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January
22
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Fascinating trends in social action
A few weeks ago I was listening to Any Questions on Radio 4 and noticed with interest that one of the three main topics chosen was food-banks as a response to poverty in the UK. A lively discussion followed and food-banks were commended […]
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January
15
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Stop press! First Jubilee+ Faith + Justice Conference
Those who read last week’s post will know that I mentioned an exciting new development for Jubilee+ – our first conference aimed specifically to equip Christians to engage with the world of politics and social justice! It is amazing […]
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January
10
Author
Martin Charlesworth
How about a Jubilee+ New Year's resolution?
Happy New Year to all readers of this blog! I really hope you enjoyed your Christmas. Here’s a question: have you made a New Year’s resolution? This is the time when people tend to think again about such things as fitness, eating […]
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January
01
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Who's Christmas for?
I wonder what this Christmas means to you. Inevitably Christmas evokes a whole range of emotions that can be disguised underneath the upbeat sentimentality, intense busyness, party culture and consumerist binge that all seem to overtake […]
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December
18
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Abortion hits the headlines
Twice in recent weeks the ever-controversial issue of abortion has hit the headlines in rather unexpected ways. Just in case you don’t remember how this happened, let me briefly remind you. By Martin Charlesworth
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December
13
Author
Martin Charlesworth
What Tutu can teach us?
Careful readers of my recent posts on Desmond Tutu will notice that I have not said much about many aspects of his fascinating and varied life – nor his theology. His theology is certainly not strictly evangelical and there areas […]
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December
04
Author
Martin Charlesworth
No future without forgiveness
It was a momentous day when Desmond Tutu agreed to take on the leadership of the proposed South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Tutu’s commitment to the path of forgiveness was well known. He had always unashamedly […]
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November
27
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The extraordinary story of Desmond Tutu
Desmond Tutu – part 1 I still have vivid memories of living and working in apartheid South Africa in the late 1970s. Racial segregation was universal and discrimination and injustice prevailed. While in South Africa, I was introduced […]
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November
21
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The Church and social change
I have been thinking for some time about how societies are transformed – and what role the Church can take in such a process. It’s a controversial area to discuss. Evangelical Christianity in the West was, in general, fairly passive […]
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November
13
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Campaigning for tax justice
There are so many campaigns out there, aren’t there? These days you can have a campaign for almost anything! My experience is that you can only keep up with very few at any one time. Church people, in particular, can be bombarded […]
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November
06
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Fresh ideas and vision in Turkey
I have just returned from the recent international conference for the various ‘spheres’ of the worldwide Newfrontiers church family. The conference took place near Izmir in Turkey and was attended by more than 400 leaders from […]
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October
30
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Energy, unity + passion - Jubilee+ National Conference 2012
There is always a lot of work involved in preparing for a big conference – this year’s Jubilee+ national conference Churches that Change Communities, held in Bedford on Saturday, was no exception. However, I can say without hesitation […]
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October
08
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Great support for Jubilee+ at Newfrontiers North 2012 camp
Jubilee+ is sponsored and supported by Newfrontiers churches in the UK. In particular, we now work under the leadership of the Newfrontiers ‘North’ team led by Jeremy Simpkins. Interestingly, the ‘North’ group of churches has […]
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October
03
Author
Martin Charlesworth
What can the Church learn from the Olympics?
London 2012 Olympics – part 3 This is my concluding post on the Olympics. Now I’m going to reflect a little on the ideas and encouragements the Church can take from the recent Olympic experience, in terms of our social agenda. Above […]
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September
24
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Learning from the Olympics
London 2012 Olympics – part 2 Many of us have our Olympic stories – of what we got to see or what we didn’t… as the case may be. I told you my story in the last post. But once all the euphoria and excitement has died down […]
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September
17
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Joining in the Olympic party
London 2012 Olympics – part 1 So what did you make of the London Olympics? Even if you are not a sports fan, I am sure you were excited and interested in what went on. For sports enthusiasts it was a bonanza that seemed to go on […]
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September
10
Author
Martin Charlesworth
A team on the move - the Jubilee+ vision is growing!
Picture a peaceful conference centre set in the woods of the Chiltern Hills north of London. Then add the six members of the core team of Jubilee+ and two other advisors. Now put these eight people in a conference room equipped with […]
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August
20
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The year of the Co-operatives
Did you know that this is the official UN International Year of the Co-operative? It hasn’t exactly hit the headlines, but it’s really worth thinking about. How much do you know about the co-operative movement? Here are a few interesting […]
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August
18
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Jubilee+ - an exciting future
Jubilee+ - An Exciting Future So where exactly did Jubilee+ come from? Whose idea was it in the first place? Well, I can trace it back to a conversation I had with the UK leader of Newfrontiers churches at the time, David Stroud […]
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August
13
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Social justice starts in the local church
Salvation, Justice and the Church Community – part 2 This is the second post in a mini-series. I am looking at some significant teachings of the apostle Paul from the New Testament, which help us understand the nature of the church […]
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July
30
Author
Martin Charlesworth
A radical community
Salvation, Justice and the Church Community – part 1 Most of the readers of this blog will be aware that it is written from an explicitly Christian point of view. If you are reading this and don’t share that outlook, I am really […]
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July
24
Author
Martin Charlesworth
A heart for the poor
I am often asked a question such as this:“How do I get a heart for the poor?” What a good question. I wish I knew a simple answer – I don’t. But I do have a few insights that may help. Let’s start with the assumption that […]
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July
16
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Taking stock - update on this blog
I suddenly began to think about the passing of time the other day. I was shocked to realise that this blog has been up and running for nearly 18 months. As you will have noticed, I tend to post about once a week. As with most blogs […]
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July
09
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Strong curry + 'hot potatoes'
I have visited Oxford three times in the past year. This is a pleasure for me because I used to live there when studying at the university. I know the city well and love to go back there. I’ve been there at the invitation of EmmanuelChurch […]
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July
02
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Where the rubber hits the road
Environment part 6 It is about time that I began to get a bit more specific about the key facts. For me, environmentalism is rooted in two fundamental realities. Firstly, Christians are called to be good stewards of the environment […]
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June
25
Author
Martin Charlesworth
So what's your take on the environment?
Environment part 5 The embracing of environmentalism in the West during the past few decades has been one of the biggest cultural changes we have experienced. I am old enough to remember the days before we were ‘green’ or ‘ecological’ […]
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June
18
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Everything redeemed!
Environment part 4 Those of you who read my last post will probably be thinking that I packed rather a lot of big ideas into a very small space – and you are right! So I thought it would be good to slow down a bit and try to unpack […]
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June
11
Author
Martin Charlesworth
An unexpected opportunity
Have you ever had a sudden and unexpected invitation – an invitation that potentially opens up new doors and opportunities? It’s quite exciting, isn’t it? Well, a few months ago an email popped up on my screen inviting me to […]
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June
07
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Stewarding the earth
Environment part 3 There are all sorts of different reasons for people to be concerned about the environment today. Some are conservationists, some are focused on the issue of natural resources, some are motivated by climate change […]
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June
04
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Taking the plunge
Environment part 2 In my last post I gave you a brief introduction to my early interest in environmentalism and how it came about. However, interest is different from action. I am always bothered about the danger of having a huge gap […]
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May
28
Author
Martin Charlesworth
My journey towards environmentalism
Environment part 1 It was a bright summer’s day in 2004. I took the train from my home in Shrewsbury on the Mid-Wales line. It’s a great journey filled with outstanding views of the beautiful Welsh countryside and, later, the […]
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May
21
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Something exciting brewing in London
Every so often I have a great opportunity to plug into something exciting that I just stumble over by accident, as it were. This happened to me recently when I was invited to join The Cinnamon Network, based in London. What a strange […]
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May
15
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The brave new world of the 'Big Society'
“Hello Sir, who are you representing today?” “Barnabas Community Church,” I said as I scanned the pages of labels that were being dispensed at the conference registration desk. I didn’t spot another church name. Interesting […]
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April
23
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Mobilised for social action
I’ve just come back from a wonderful day in Prestatyn. No, I wasn’t on holiday or lying on the beach. I was a guest at Mobilise the Newfrontiers four-day conference for students and 20s, held at Pontins holiday camp and led with […]
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April
16
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Doing Business, Doing Good
I have just returned from London where I have been helping to host our first ever conference dedicated to the issue of social enterprises. This conference – Doing Business, Doing Good – really was an experiment. It arose out of […]
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April
02
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Capitalism - the beginnings of a Christian critique
Part 2 Last week I wrote about how Christians can make a constructive critique of capitalism. I am trying to get beyond the slogans and finger-pointing gestures of many church leaders when they attack disgraced bankers and others […]
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March
20
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Capitalism - the beginnings of a Christian critique
Part 1 No one really disputes that capitalism is a very energetic economic system. The freedom of economic activity and the incentive of gain are such that many are strongly motivated to get involved in creating wealth, investing […]
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March
13
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Capitalism today - a closer look
In recent posts I mentioned the Occupy protestors who have been encamped outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London for several months. Well, recently I decided to visit them while I was in London. I had good conversations with articulate […]
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March
06
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Capitalism today - communism is no match for it!
In this post we are discussing communist economic systems. I first heard about communist economics from history and economics textbooks. I was studying the Russian revolution at the time and was amazed at the sensational expectations […]
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February
28
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Capitalism today - everyone wants it!
It is always hard to get a healthy perspective on a system that you live in. We are all part of the capitalist system and we actively participate in it. It’s just that sometimes we don’t think about it very much. Some Christians […]
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February
21
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Doing business for social benefit - an invitation
I am sure many of you will remember two posts I wrote a few months ago about social enterprise. Well, this post is an update and an invitation! First, the update: Business is in the news all the time recently due to the difficult […]
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January
31
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Foundations for Farming
Poverty in Europe part 4 If you have been following the last three posts you will see that I have been reflecting on my long-term involvement in eastern Europe and helping churches there to provide real support for disadvantaged groups […]
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January
24
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Moving out of dependence
Poverty in Europe part 3 I have been visiting eastern European countries for many years, as you will have read in the last two posts. As a church, we have been seeking to help those trapped in poverty. Much of this help has come through […]
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January
17
Author
Martin Charlesworth
A journey to Ukraine
Poverty in Europe part 2 In my last post I began to explain how I became involved in eastern Europe. I visited Romania many times during the mid-1990s and my church was involved in helping churches there to reach out to the poor in […]
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January
10
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Looking into the eyes of orphans
Poverty in Europe part 1 I am writing this post on an aeroplane as I travel back from a visit to Ukraine in November. Ukraine is pretty cold right now as the winter is setting in. Temperatures sank to -12C at times as my friends and […]
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January
03
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Time to declare the Jubilee
When this blog was launched at the start of the year, we looked at the incredible ‘manifesto’ that Jesus outlined for his ministry. Much has been achieved over the year and I have had many opportunities to share the biblical mandate […]
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December
23
Author
Martin Charlesworth
What would Wilberforce do?
Wilberforce Part 4 It was 30th July 2009. My birthday. I was with my family on holiday in Yorkshire. We were in a beautiful location by the sea. My family asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, thinking I might have in mind […]
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December
20
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Remarkable persistence
William Wilberforce laboured hard for many causes throughout his life. He was as concerned for education, housing, and working conditions in factories as he was about slavery. This fact is easily forgotten. It should also be remembered […]
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December
13
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Not popular, but principled
So just why did Wilberforce focus on slavery as the defining issue of his political career? It’s an important question that deserves consideration. It wasn’t so obvious to his generation that slavery was such a big issue. At the […]
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December
06
Author
Martin Charlesworth
A political hero
Wilberforce Part 1 William Wilberforce is a national hero. Not many politicians have ever achieved this iconic status! However, everyone seems to agree that Wilberforce’s lifelong campaign against the institution of slavery was an […]
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November
29
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Social enterprise in the Bible
Social Enterprise Part 2 The Bible is big on business. Does that surprise you? Many church people seem to think that business is a necessity, not a calling – but they are wrong. Everywhere you look in the Bible you notice that business […]
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November
22
Author
Martin Charlesworth
An idea whose time has come
Social Enterprise Part 1 There has been a lot of debate recently in the UK about the balance between government responsibilities and the work of volunteer organisations in social provision for the needy within our society. This is […]
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November
15
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Disaster relief - some deeper questions
Despite everything I said in my last post, the fact remains that many people remain curiously detached from the huge human catastrophes caused by natural disasters. This may be because we are selfish or lazy. Or perhaps it is because […]
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November
08
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Disaster relief - a modern blessing
I heard on the news last week that the UN emergency food programme in Pakistan has only received 20% of the funds it requires. A spokesman said that it will close down in a few weeks unless individual nations start making generous […]
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November
03
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Fired up, inspired + ready!
I’ve asked a few people to share their reflections on the Jubilee+ Conference. Here Simon Davey from Shrewsbury tells us what he took away from the event… On what was a phenomenally hot day for the time of year, God’s values […]
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October
31
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The passing of John Stott
I am sure most of you will remember the death in July of the well known evangelical leader John Stott. His death was reported widely in the national media and obituaries showed how much respect he had within and beyond the church. Stott […]
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October
24
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Days of opportunity
I’ve asked a few people to share their reflections on the Jubilee+ Conference. Here Jennie Pollock from London tells us how she found the event… Domestic violence, family breakdown, debt, educational failure… the list of social […]
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October
17
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Now is the moment
I’ve asked a few people to share their reflections on the Jubilee+ Conference. Here Hope into Action’s Ed Walker shares his impressions of the event… Hope into Action was delighted to be invited to the Newfrontiers Jubilee+ conference […]
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October
12
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Welcome to our website!
It has been great to see that readership of this blog is steadily rising as we get the word out that Jubilee+ is in business. Thanks also to those readers who have been in touch with me with comments and encouragements. It’s good […]
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October
10
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Encountering Jesus; empowering the poor
I’ve asked a few people to share their reflections on the Jubilee+ Conference. Here we read what Social Action Team member Natalie Williams thought of the event… If I had to sum up last Saturday’s Jubilee+ conference in one […]
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October
07
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Jubilee+ conference
I have just returned from our first Jubilee+ national conference, held at The Ridgeway Centre in Milton Keynes on Saturday (1st October). It was a thrill to see about 400 people gathering from all over the country to share together […]
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October
05
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Discipling out of debt
As well as exploring why and how we should bring justice and mercy to our nation, this blog will from time to time highlight specific examples of where the church is effectively doing so. Here we look at Community Money Advice: In […]
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October
03
Author
Martin Charlesworth
A visit to Tearfund
I’m writing this post as I sit on a train returning from a valuable day in London. I had recently received a surprise invitation to meet the Chief Executive of Tearfund, Matthew Frost. I was joining in on a regular annual meeting […]
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September
26
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The riots - what can we learn from the past?
Rioting in England Part 4 London in Victorian times was filled with extreme social problems – arguably worse than anything we face today. Occasionally the city experienced rioting and looting. The gap between rich and poor was enormous […]
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September
19
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Why did the riots happen?
Rioting in England Part 3 The media has been awash with politicians and commentators trying to explain the sudden onset of rioting in August. Maybe you are tired of the debates and arguments. Some people seem to think the riots were […]
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September
12
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Rioting at close quarters
Rioting in England Part 2 Two close friends of mine live within a stone’s throw of Tottenham High Street. I have often visited them in their little terraced house on a quiet street. They know most of the shopkeepers in their area […]
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September
05
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Rioting in England
Part 1 The relaxation of the August holiday season has been rudely interrupted this year by the extraordinary scenes of rioting that broke out in London a few weeks ago and then spread rapidly to several other large cities. A huge […]
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August
30
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Feast for a thousand
As well as exploring why and how we should bring justice and mercy to our nation, this blog will from time to time highlight specific examples of where the church is effectively doing so. Here we look at social action projects run […]
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August
22
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Ecological sustainability - justice for today + tomorrow
Lifestyle Issues Part 5 In this final post in our short series on material possessions, there is one more perspective I want to discuss. We all know that people in the West are generally much better off than people in the developing […]
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August
15
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Servanthood - setting our possessions free
Lifestyle Issues Part 4 We all like to be free – free to do what we want in the most important areas of our lives. But the Bible indicates that we are not as free as we think we are. Until we become Christians, we are subtly enslaved […]
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August
08
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Simplicity - the first step
Lifestyle Issues Part 3 If you were to ask me how Jesus encouraged us to live our lives from a material point of view, I would sum it up in three significant words: Simplicity. Servanthood. Sustainability. In the next three posts I […]
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August
03
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The paradox of money, wealth and materialism
Lifestyle Issues Part 2 There is a strange paradox in the Bible when it comes to material possessions. There seem to be two sides to the same coin. God made the world ‘good’ and gave mankind the wonderful responsibility of […]
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July
25
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Does it matter how rich we are?
Lifestyle Issues Part 1 No one doubts that we live in a very materialistic age – but no one quite knows what, if anything, we should do about it. British people are, on average, still very rich by any global standards. Is this a […]
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July
18
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Taking action to plug the gap
As well as exploring why and how we should bring justice and mercy to our nation, this blog will from time to time highlight specific examples of where the church is effectively doing so. Here we look at Action Foundation in Tyneside […]
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July
04
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The debt crisis part five
A Biblical Perspective A short series on money and debt Debt is a big deal in the Bible. It seems that God is against it. He doesn’t like what it does to people. This is especially clear in the Old Testament. The Law of Moses […]
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June
27
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The debt crisis part four
Rays of Hope on a Dark Horizon A short series on money and debt When I started to lead a church in 1988, I conducted a little experiment. I went into the main shops on the central shopping street in my town and asked what credit facilities […]
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June
19
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The debt crisis part three
The Burden of Personal Debt A short series on money and debt I sat down with Phil in his tiny flat. He had recently become connected with our church and I was finding out about his life. As he began to tell me his story, one thing […]
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June
12
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The debt crisis part two
The Age of the ‘Flexible Friend’ A short series on money and debt In my first post on this series about personal debt as a social issue, I reflected on the previous generation’s attitude to money. Everything suddenly changed […]
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June
05
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The debt crisis part one
Modern Consumer Credit A short series on money and debt I can just about remember the days when it was hard to borrow money! I know that many people reading this post may not be old enough to have such memories, but in my childhood […]
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May
30
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Talking to government
As far as I know it was a first – a meeting between specifically ‘New Church’ leaders and a UK government minister, initiated by the minister. Up until recently, ‘New Churches’ have been largely ignored by governments. However […]
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May
24
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The royal wedding
Everyone seemed to be watching the wedding – even those who decided against it on the day could generally be found watching replays and highlights in the days that followed! The flags were out, patriotism stirred and everyone had […]
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May
17
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Churches that Change Communities
Jubilee+ Conference Jubilee+ is more than a blog. It’s also the tagline for a conference to be hosted by the Newfrontiers family of churches here in the UK. I know that readers of this blog come from a variety of different perspectives […]
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May
16
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Oaks of righteousness
As well as exploring why and how we should bring justice and mercy to our nation, this blog will from time to time highlight specific examples of where the church is effectively doing so. Here we start with the King’s Arms in Bedford: Seeing […]
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May
09
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Journey to Jubilee+ part 3
Where Was The Church? A year in South Africa deeply influenced my view of the church, its mission and the importance of justice and mercy as part of its agenda, but there was another formative experience that also shaped my convictions […]
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May
01
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Journey to Jubilee+ part 2
Part 2: A Giant Step When I arrived in January 1978, South Africa was a troubled country. Apartheid was both repressive and under real pressure. Racial tension was tangible. The security forces exercised a firm control. Freedom of […]
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April
29
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The Church and the cuts
The political environment has changed dramatically in Britain in the past year. The new Coalition Government has embarked on a policy of huge financial cutbacks in order to achieve a major reduction in the deficit. What are we, as […]
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April
17
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Journey to Jubilee+ part 1
Part 1: Motivation You may wonder what motivated me to start this blog about justice and mercy. No one asked me to write it and initially I was nervous about the idea, but I am driven by a passion for the power of the Christian gospel […]
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April
15
Author
Martin Charlesworth
So what about the Big Society?
Earlier this year I travelled to London to meet the Government’s advisor on the Big Society, Nat Wei. He had recently been ennobled so we sat in the tea room at the House of Lords, overlooking the Thames River, as Nat tried to explain […]
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March
13
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Hope of the world
Every generation of Christians has those among it who are passionate about issues of justice and who want to get strongly involved in social action projects. Such enthusiasm is usually based on genuine biblical convictions and a sincere […]
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March
13
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Jesus' manifesto part four
Part 4: Jubilee Plus Jesus launched his public ministry by proclaiming a new version of the Year of Jubilee. So what does this mean in practice? To start with, it means that the “good news” of Jesus is more than just an inner […]
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March
13
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Jesus' manifesto part three
Part 3: A New Jubilee The start of Jesus’ ministry ushered in an era of divine favour, as we began to explore last week. But what are the full implications of this? A key phrase from the passage in Isaiah 61 that Jesus read aloud […]
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March
02
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Jesus' manifesto part two
Part 2: An Era of Divine Favour Last week we started to look at the incredible ‘manifesto’ that Jesus outlined for his ministry. The passage he read from Isaiah 61 at his home synagogue in Nazareth was: “The Spirit of the Lord […]
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February
22
Author
Martin Charlesworth
Jesus' manifesto part one
Part 1: What Did His Ministry Entail? The gospels tell us that when Jesus started his ministry, he proclaimed the approach of the Kingdom, performed miracles and taught the crowds. But Luke adds a highly significant event – Jesus […]
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February
22
Author
Martin Charlesworth
What makes charismatic-evangelical churches tick?
With many denominations in Britain in decline, I believe that ‘charismatic-evangelical’ churches will have a central role in defining the future of the church in our country in the next generation. As this blog progresses, I will […]
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February
16
Author
Martin Charlesworth
The state of the church
Why and how should the modern church be fully engaged with issues of justice and mercy? As I start this blog, I am inviting you to join me on a journey to answer this question. It’ll take us through theological questions, historical […]
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February
14
Author
Martin Charlesworth

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