Gay spiritual health

A leading gay activist in the Church of England,  Jayne Ozanne, who says she endured “spiritual abuse” because of her sexuality is urging the church to ensure the safety of LGBTI Christians.

 

Read her essay here.

Grenfell Tower

THE GUARDIAN Letters Friday 16 June 2017

In 2014, I received my Kensington and Chelsea council tax bill and a letter from the leader of the council, Nicholas Paget-Brown, explaining that all residents who pay council tax in full would “receive a one-off payment of £100”, to be deducted from the bill. This bonus, the letter continued, was due to the council’s careful management of its finances over the years, “consistently delivering greater efficiencies while improving services”. Austerity, K&C style: you give to the rich while taking from the poor (nobody with discounted bills or claiming council tax support was eligible to share in the bounty of the town hall blue-chips).

On a Conservative website, Paget-Brown further explained that “thanks to an overachieving efficiency drive”, the council was “well ahead of [its] savings targets for the year”. Triple AAA credit status, how nice. In deciding what to do with this surplus, he continued, “we have taken the view that it is simply wrong to discount from our calculations whose money this was in the first place. In short, we think the right place for it is back with our

In May 2014, the local election returned a huge majority of Conservative councillors. Business as usual. For years, the Royal Borough has got away with bribing the electorate with its own money. For years, the Royal Borough has been running huge underspends in its revenue budgets which it then transfers into capital reserves. The underspend in the 2016-17 adult services budget alone is £1.9m. Apparently, adult services in the area are doing so well they don’t need the money. And every other social service must be performing brilliantly, as the council’s projected reserves of £167m by the end of 2016-17 has climbed to a staggering £209m – that’s £42m surplus to requirements. How many sprinkler systems is that?

As the toxic ash of Grenfell Tower’s vanity cladding falls over the neighbouring streets, we are left with the acrid truth in our throats: regeneration in the Royal Borough is in fact a crime of greed and selfishness. I took the refund. At the time, I felt uncomfortable with this decision and the ways in which I justified it to myself. And then I forgot about it, until the smoke drifting into my flat in the early hours of Wednesday woke me up. Today, I gave it back. It wasn’t ever mine to keep. I handed it over in cash to a vicar running a refuge for the victims of the fire in a local church. I explained that it was not a donation, not a charitable act, that it was guilt money and he was doing me a kindness by taking it off my hands.

If you live in Kensington and Chelsea, please, give your rebate back. But not to the council, which seems to have trouble in identifying those – “our residents” – who might actually need it.                                                                   Name and address supplied

LOOSE CANON

Read Giles Fraser’s comment here.

 

 

In silence

Loving God,
when terror came to our doorstep,
and stalked our streets
you were there with us
in the fear and agony.
Remain with us
and with all those caught up
in the horror of these events,
the injured and distressed
those who died
and all who seek your peace
which passes understanding.
Amen.

Love is central to our personal relationships. Why can’t it also guide our political exchange? Read an essay by Philip McKibbin here.

LOVE by Robert Indiana (1970)

 

General Election Hustings

l to r: Patricia Ward (UKIP), Lotta Quizeen (Independent), Neeraj Patil (Labour), Juliet Childs (Chair), Ryan Mercer (LibDem), Justine Greening (Conservative), Ben Fletcher (Green).

Under the calm and firm chair(wo)manship of Juliet Childs from St Paul’s Church, facilitating a fair, open and honest debate,  the six Parliamentary Candidates for the Putney Constituency answered probing questions from some 80 members of the local electorate, covering issues as far reaching as the NHS, Brexit , Education, Housing and the Environment.

St Paul’s would like to thank all who contributed to cover the cost for a simultaneous translator to create a level playing field for all candiates.

We made it to the Hindustani Times

Charlemagne Prize 2017

On Ascension Day, Timothy Garton Ash was awarded the Charlemagne Prize ”in recognition of his outstanding scientific and journalistic work as a convincing and influential English European and European Englishman who sees the United Kingdom as belonging to the European community of values”.

You can read his acceptance speech here.

In Silence

 

 

 

 

 

‘In the midst of life we are in death.’
Lord, in a place of pleasure, terror struck,
in a place of life, death came.
Hold us in our shock and grief,
comfort the distressed,
heal the injured,
calm the anxious,
reunite the separated,
console the bereaved,
and give rest and everlasting peace
to those who have died,
for your love never fails
and through the darkness
your light always shines.
Amen.

 

General Election Hustings

St Paul’s is hosting General ElectionHustings with the Prospective Parliamentary Candidates  for the Putney Constituency on  the evening of June 1st, 2017 at 8pm in the Church.

Green Ben Fletcher

Conservative Justine Greening

Liberal Democrat Ryan Mercer

Labour Neeraj Patil

Independent Lotta Quizeen

UKIP Patricia Ward

All welcome.