“When will it end ………”

One of the privileges I have is in sharing the work of being a Deputy Chair of the Nottingham and Derby District of the Methodist Church. Together with my co-Deputy Paul and the Chair of District, Loraine, we are putting on three evenings in August looking at the subjects on the poster below.

As you can see they each take place at Langans tea rooms in Burton and EVERYONE is welcome. Please try and come along, possibly letting me know in advance if possible (email, FB, Twitter, phone or through our circuit office. If you don't let me know you can still turn up on the night.

However, notice the title I've got, “RADICAL HOSPITALITY”. As I've read through this tonight the news is breaking of the knife attack in Japan, which follows atrocities in Germany, France, Turkey, Israel, Palestine in a seemingly growing list. Is anywhere safe ? Will the world ever get it right ? Frustratingly it seems not.

I'm sitting here, on holiday in Cornwall, thinking and praying about all sorts of things, my so precious family, my Churches, praying for my Chair Loraine and so many others, and into this mix I pray for folk on the other side of the world who I'll never meet.

All I can cling to, all that sustains my prayer life, is the Christian hope that somehow, someday all will be well. I'm wise enough to know that isn't any comfort to those who've lost loved ones but the Christian story is one of a redeemed creation, restored to paradise and we have to hang onto that exercising the all embracing love, that which took our Lord Jesus to the cross for each one if us.

To take us back to the evening with the Chairs gathering, my subject of Radical Hospitality is made all the harder in the light of these atrocities. My natural inclination is to want to bomb ISIS, shoot any captured terrorists, exact revenge on those who wreak havoc, and that's not about fighting religion or extremism or anything: it's simply about a natural human reaction for revenge.
So, how should we respond ? Well, if we truly believe that somehow God will make this creation right again, then we need to accept that “vengeance is mine, says the Lord” and leave it with him. That's not to say we'll just let anything go, nor is it to fail to punish, but it's about holding fast to the notion that Jesus died for ALL people, even murderers and terrorists.
So tonight I find myself practising the radical hospitality of praying for those who commit atrocities, that they may repent and accept Jesus as Lord.
But it's hard !!




In my naivety many years ago I made an enthusiastic but insensitive remark which has stood with me ever since. As a relatively young Minister a young man came across my path in Church one day, asking for help as his parents had thrown him out because of his alcohol addiction. I got him into three different, local hostels around the East Midlands. He lasted no more than three days in each one (one of them only a few hours). After each one he returned to his parents for about a week. After one occasion his Mother accused me of fuelling his addiction by getting him into a hostel where there were others with the same or similar issues, and yet her only solution was to throw him out of the house !
That young man eventually committed suicide and I live with a sense of my failure over it. Whilst I know it wasn’t my fault as such, I still treasure the memory of that young man and consequently wish there was more I could or should have done.
What was the insensitive remark? I told him he needed to become addicted to Jesus instead. Great truth in the remark but not what he needed to hear at that time in his life; a time when he just needed someone to hold him and love him and ultimately through that love introduce him to the greater love of Jesus.
I share this today in the hope that I’m older and wiser: I now find myself befriending the work of Burton Addiction Centre, which seeks to help others at their time of need. Today, I called into their restaurant (Langans) to drop a message off and found myself deep in conversation with people who have become friends.
Hopefully what I’ve learned over the years is not to over-spiritualise every occasion, nor see it as an evangelistic moment to add one more body to the ‘success’ rate: instead I trust that I’ve learnt to simply walk with people whilst remaining open to the urging of the Holy Spirit to guide me.
Why the opening picture to this post ? Because it reminds me that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. As such it is His work we’re engaged in and not our own, so we must be led by Him.
Please pray for the work of BAC and for Langans; please pray for those you know who are struggling at this time with all manner of addiction and seek Gods leading in what you should do.


Trust in the LordMany of us will have seen, wept and despaired over the harrowing pictures of the refugees risking everything for a safer life. Many of us will have grown angry over the apparent lack of concern for the situation; the washing of hands; the medias wholesale depiction of migrants as freeloading spongers and nothing else.

The more recent pictures of the drowned boys seem to have hit home to people the seriousness and the precariousness of the fleeing refugees, and it would seem as though the mood of the nation is beginning to change.

I don`t know the answer to the situation and I give thanks that I don`t have to make the hard decisions, but I do think there are certain things that are incumbent upon all of us to get a grasp of as soon as possible.

  1. the need to distinguish between refugees and migrants. Refugees are fleeing hardship and danger not because they don’t love their own country, but because they are genuinely scared to remain there. Why else would they put their children into an overloaded boat and set out into dangerous waters. Migrants, I believe, are not seeking to flee from harm but are looking for an economic improvement in their situation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now I know that those two points are an oversimplified generalisation but I`m getting genuinely angry at the way the media portray those fleeing for their lives.
  2. The only lasting solution to the whole scenario has to be a European one, but allied with other nations. This could be the time when the European Union makes itself truly worthwhile in seeking to solve this and affording respect and dignity to everyone.
  3. As Christians, compassion, love, support ought to be at the forefront of our thinking. Jesus instructed us to stand on behalf of the poor, needy and the suffering and so we should be engaged in generous giving to the relief agencies  involved in this area.
  4. As Christians we should be praying hard for our political leaders, the European and other national leaders, the refugees themselves, and for the aid workers of whatever nationality.
  5. The controversial bit !!!!  We should be praying for those whose fighting has caused this; for ISIS, and other terrorist organisations that they may see the damage they`re doing and for their hearts to be softened.
I offer nothing else, for I`m not wise enough but I do believe in a God who weeps for his people and so expects us to show the same compassion.

Trinity Methodist Chapel

Tonight, I will have the privilege of being a part of the re-opening of Trinity Methodist Church as The Trinity, a health and beauty venue.

I know that when you look at me I don't exactly exude either of the two above virtues: I know I don't speak of robust health and it's a long time since I was described as beautiful (about 54 years probably), but there is a reason for my invite.

The former Chapel is where I knelt 22 years ago next month to be Ordained into the Methodist Ministry. Sadly it closed about three years ago, but it will re-open tonight and I've been asked to bless the building into its new usage. Combined with my love of Langans tea rooms next door, their work with the Burton Addiction Centre, their generosity in hosting our MSM course it feels as though Gods starting a new work in this corner of Burton. Please pray for my witness tonight that it be gentle, sensitive and that through it Jesus will shine.


Below, is the prayer and short talk I will use…………

Good evening, my name is Revd Mike Redshaw and I'm the Superintendent Methodist Minister for the town and surrounding areas reaching out to Uttoxeter. Superintendent simply means that I'm afforded the privilege of thinking I'm in charge.

This Chapel was built on George Street in 1860 as part of the United Methodist Free Church movement. The hall next door was converted from a malting site using the same architects as for the adjoining Liberal club, now Langans.

Much has happened in the life of this building over the years; good quality youth work, particularly on the Girl Guide movement, excellent choirs and a high standard of music, and in its time this Chapel was considered to be of the highest and most influential of the Methodist Churches in the town. Many have passed through these doors, including town mayors (5 of the first 17) and in 1913 half the Aldermen of the town.

It will always be personal to me for in June 1993 I was ordained into Ministry on that very spot; 22 years ago.

As a Chapel it has always stood for wholesomeness and creativity in life; as a place of peace and relaxation and as somewhere that can benefit others. It's therefore a privilege to be invited to be a part of this opening tonight, and to ask Gods blessing on this new stage in the life of this building.

Not everyone who is here tonight will believe in prayer or blessing, but I ask all of us just to be still and reflect as I offer a few words,

“Almighty God, Father in Heaven, we give you thanks for all that has happened over the years in this place; for its joys and sorrows, for its laughter and tears, for lives in this place. Now we ask your blessing upon this new venture, upon all who will work here, upon the conversations of this place, and upon the lives of all who will visit. May this continue to be a place of peace, of joy and of wholesome activity where lives will be enhanced and enriched.

Heavenly Father, may the blessing of Jesus Christ be upon The Trinity this day and always.


Romania pre-day 1

Packed ready, everything in cases. Soon be off. First prayer request of the week is for myself.

Last night I lost the hearing in my left ear. There is no discharge so I`m pretty sure its either ear wax or a broken hearing aid. I think the former is more likely. Unfortunately at this stage the hospital couldn`t fit me in until Wed when hopefully we should be arriving in Romania, so I`d really appreciate prayers for hearing at this time.


Just a test to see if my new blog hosting platform is working in practise for our trip to Romania which is now just around the corner. The hope is that if I can get this to work there will be a daily update for interest and prayer.
Lovely message from Heather to say that the Holy Spirit was very present in Worship this morning. I pray he will lead us through the coming week and that we will be open to him.
Please pray for us, David, Alison and myself. Please pray for the Chalmers family and for the villagers and children that we will be sharing with. We love them so much.



As you settle for the night please remember in your prayers those for whom this won`t be an easy time…………….



The whole Israel/Gaza conflict

the persecution of Christians in Iraq

a young man in Australia going through a tough time just now

our friends in Poiana, Romania experiencing wonderful Christian growth but finding time for

themselves difficult