Time For #HugsNotHate in Manchester after the bomb

I blogged the morning of the bombings about how as I discovered the news about the brutal attack at the Manchester Arena I realized I was walking around with my fists clenched, and how it’s hard to pray with your hands like that. Later after we opened the church for prayer to the community and as I looked at the cross, nail pierced hands opened mine to grace. But as more details emerged, my heart began to clench. Ivy is a church with many medics, some very senior. I kept in touch as well as I could with our guys. They have worked 16 and 12 hour shifts “saving lives and limbs” as first priority but nothing but a warzone could prepare many of the staff, though used to appalling injuries. Extracting the nuts and bolts of evil, trying to convince wounded parents to receive treatment themselves when they only wanted to be patched up and be with their injured children. The calculated manner and premeditated maliciousness of deadly intent to maim the most defenceless young families. I hate it. […]


I spent a little time this evening looking through a little piece of the history of our church, as I read extracts from the Minute Book of “Ivy Cottage” Mission Hall. It started as a record of the ‘Womens’ Bible Class,’ then was unused from 1913 to the 50s. There are some fascinating insights into how Ivy saw itself as a MISSION from its inception, church planting, evangelism, and then that movement became a church as it formalized and hired Pastors to lead it (I’m in danger of doing myself out of a job here) and then started looking at various rules and regulations; and when that happened the pioneering and evangelistic work of women was also truncated. The record speaks for itself and there are some funny things to note along the way. Many of you will know Ivy started as a men’s Bible study group meeting in a house in 1893. I’ll have to look at their records some time too! Oct 5th 1908 – Women’s Bible Class held monthly business meetings and had 218 registered members who […]