Tag: UK

#EstatesChurch on The One Show


For anyone who missed the One Show last night, they did a big feature on the Church of England, focusing on two estates projects in Blackburn Diocese.  It is a really good and positive piece starting at 13 minutes.

Life on the Estates

As part of the Renewal and Reform agenda, the Archbishops’ Estates Evangelism Task Group have been hard at work for the last two years*.  In the coming weeks I will post more about how things are progressing with the “commitment to action“.

Our estates projects are working toward a thriving, growing, loving church on every significant social housing estate in the country – through new patterns of ministry, sharing good practice and encouraging leaders.

I wanted to highlight the recent video that was released.  Unfortunately, most of the publicity came out whist I was on holiday so I am a bit late to the party.  But as they say, better late than never.

*well you would say that Robb, you’re part of it.

Dear Nick Clegg – #elections2014

Dear Nick Clegg,

Today is voting day and I wanted to let you know what happened on May 6th 2010. You may remember the day as there was a real buzz around the country. People were generally disaffected with politics and longing for change. We had moved into a modern era of politics where image was the puppet king and Alastair Campbell had been pulling the strings. We yearned for a political arena that actually stood for something. We yearned for a politics that stood for people. This was our Bastille and we were storming it with our democratic right to vote. This was our opportunity to get the politics we deserved.

We awoke to the news that there was no result. Well there was a result but it was that no one was in charge. Suddenly you as the leader of the Liberal Democrats were a big player. You had the power to pick one of three options:

  • To keep the current regime in place by forming a coalition with the centre right New Labour Party. You could have joined with Gordon Brown and helped a party who had lost the heart of what they stand for limp on for another term.
  • You could have stuck to your principles as the Liberal Democrats and been the voice of those of us who long for a fairer society. You may have found yourselves in a place where you could have had real power in British politics. You could have had power in your own right and chosen which party to support on any given issue.  It may have resulted in another election but you know what, maybe more people would have voted for the Liberal Democrats the second time around because they had…. principles.
  • Or there was of course another option: random option three. You could have jumped in bed with the Conservatives. You could have handed power to the party who people like me, your core support, would least like to see in charge. You could have elevated to power the party who stand for the polar opposite of what I voted for on that day. But then how likely would that be?!

Well Nick, in one fell swoop, you handed away my vote for “the politics we deserve” to someone else. If it was closer to Christmas this paragraph would probably be filled with WHAM lyrics. In one fell swoop you managed to turn my political engagement on its head. I used to know what I stood for, now I merely know what I stand against. I still stand for those things. I just don’t think there is a political party who share those views any more.

I voted tonight. In fact I voted twice in both of the elections in our area. I voted tonight because ten years ago a man with a number tattooed on his arm told me how he ended up in a concentration camp. Not the guards taking him away but the rise of the far right in a time of financial difficulty and the vote that eventually led to the death of his family. But I stare at a ballot paper not knowing where to put my X. My faith in politics has gone. I have been consigned to voting against the far right instead of voting for what is right.

You did that Nick. Just thought you should know.

Yours sincerely


Revd Robb Sutherland

Vicar of Mixenden and Illingworth

Vicarious Footy

I was speaking with my dad the other day about the football…

“Well dad, I know I don’t go to watch the Boro every week like I used to but I still believe in them. It’s just not the same since the crowd only fills a quarter of the ground. I know I used to go every week but it’s not the same like it was when Bernie Slaven was up front. And I don’t know any of these new chants. What’s wrong with singing ‘Brucie Rioch’s red and white army’ like we did in ’86? Besides, you go every week on Saturday…. And I come to the big family occasions and we all go out to the pub afterwards. And I still watch the World Cup final on the telly…”