Category Archives: Christianity

Debate on the role of churches in society


Recently, my colleague Fiona Bruce MP held a backbench debate on the contribution of faith organisations to the voluntary sector. Fiona opened as follows: Christians possess a rich heritage of social reform and charitable care which is alive today. In the 19th century, William Wilberforce and Lord Shaftesbury led campaigns for the abolition of slavery and child labour. Others, such as Barnardo and William and Catherine Booth, were involved in founding charitable organisations, covering every conceivable form of human need, as […]

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Tomorrow, an IEA afternoon conference on Christianity, politics, the poor and the planet


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Tomorrow, I am speaking at an IEA conference on Christianity, politics, the poor and the planet, addressing Christianity and inequality: Christianity and inequality Churches have always been concerned about the problem of poverty even if there are differences in views about how it should be tackled. However, in recent years, despite inequality in the world falling, there have been an increasing number of critics of the “rich” and of the level of inequality. This panel will discuss the approaches Christians should take […]

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Thought for the day: Do everything without grumbling or arguing


This morning’s sermon was apposite. It was on Philippians 2. Here are verses 1-4: Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to […]

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Discover the place of Christmas in the drama of God’s plan to set the world right


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This morning at Speen Church, we focussed on Tearfund’s Silent Night Carols. It was a moving reminder of the astonishing peace which broke out during the Great War at Christmas a century ago. We also had time to remember the appalling suffering in Syria today, to pray for people there and to give in support of Tearfund’s work. Great political, economic and social forces are at work in the world. Humanity suffers violence, pestilence and poverty. The Economist summarises the year’s news here. Ukraine, Crimea and Russia’s […]

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Remembrance Day prayers 2014


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Traditionally, the MP for Wycombe leads prayers in All Saints High Wycombe on Remembrance Day. Here are mine for 2014: O LORD our heavenly Father, high and mighty, King of kings, Lord of lords, the only Ruler of princes, who from your throne beholds all the dwellers upon earth, heartily we rejoice in your Lordship over all creation, as we remember in humility and penitence those failures of humanity which cause war. We give thanks and praise for the men […]

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In Defence of Capitali$m | a Christian perspective for BMS World Mission


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[BMS World Mission asked me to write a defence of capitalism from a Christian perspective for their magazine Mission Catalyst. It appears in Issue 4 2014, alongside a defence of socialism.  The article is online here and reproduced below. The entire issue is available to read as published here. I may reply to the defence of socialism if time allows.] I want an end to poverty. I want a social system which operates justly in the general interest without boom and […]

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Interview at Love Wycombe 2014: debt, help with debt and credit unions


Amid the conflict, drama and, too often, scandal of politics, it is easy to forget that politicians hope to make a positive difference to the lives of other people. We may disagree about methods but every decent politician wants to lift people out of poverty. One of the five pathways to poverty identified by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) is serious personal debt. The others are family breakdown, educational failure, worklessness and addictions. These are often experienced together. Helping people with […]

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Smoking kills


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Today, the Commons will vote on whether to disagree with the Lords in their amendment to ban smoking in private vehicles in the presence of children. Anyone who can read knows that smoking kills. And I know, for it killed my stepfather and an uncle. Why anyone does it despite the clear warnings and often lurid images on the packets is a mystery not explained by appeal to the addictive qualities of nicotine. People who wish to live long and […]

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Rage against the machine: homelessness, hunger and the message of Christmas


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Yesterday in Parliament, I spoke in two debates: one on homelessness and one on food banks. In the first debate, I began It is a thorough and utter disgrace that anyone should be homeless in the 21st century in our country. It makes me wonder whether the welfare state safety net has any meaning whatever when people are out there, dying on our streets—and I do mean dying on our streets, because on Christmas day in 2006, Josie Razzell died […]

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Remembrance Day 2013


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Today, Wycombe saw another huge turnout for the Remembrance Service in All Saints High Wycombe. The church was packed and the sermon deeply moving, based as it was on the Chaplain’s direct experience in Afghanistan. Traditionally, the MP leads prayers. This year, I modified those I inherited from Paul Goodman to those below. I also added prayer for the typhoon victims. The penultimate prayer was derived from those used daily in Parliament. Let us give thanks for those who, in […]

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