Why it might be good to ‘let children play’
Learning from the Streets
by James
6M ago
What was the happiest memory for you as a child?  Or, if you’re a parent; What was something you loved to do, really loved to do, that you don’t let your own children do? Was it out playing with your friends? Some of mine were kicking a ball around, scoring a goal, bmx’ing, wide games around the village until it was dark – but what about you? Did you go on adventures?, play make believe, create stories, hide and seek? I know when I stopped playing, it was when free play was sacrificed for ‘paid’ playing, and academic work at school took more focus, and even ‘fun’ stuff was in the supervision o ..read more
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The Problem of Proving Psychological abuse.
Learning from the Streets
by James
10M ago
Two years ago I wrote a piece about why it’s likely there’s a Psychopath in a Church. This was on the back of, two high profile cases. As Thomas Eriksen writes; of the top 10 professions in the UK that a psychopath might be in, Spiritual Leader was one. In fact, Spiritual leader was 8th on the list. CEO and Media/Journalist was in there too -both places of power, with the power to criticise without question. So, let me ask a question, if the top professions are CEO (of any organisation) and Media/Journalist (of any media) – What are two of the predominant roles in the larger cultures of church ..read more
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Funky Frecks: A book to help children become more aware of emotional health and manipulation.
Learning from the Streets
by James
1y ago
Jess is excited to start her new school and she soon makes friends. But it’s not long before one friendship makes her feel uncomfortable. Feeling trapped and alone, Jess isn’t happy. Can she figure out a way to ask for the help she needs? Funky Frecks, Jennifer Gilmour Fully crowdfunded, Funky Frecks is a children’s book for KS2 children and it follows the same ethos as Jennifers debut novel, educating through a form of entertainment. The aim is that they will carry what they learn forward in not only friendships but into their future romantic relationships, equipping them with the ability t ..read more
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The (Church) Body keeps the Score.
Learning from the Streets
by James
1y ago
I was 18. It was 1996. A new summer festival was happening that was in its 2nd year. It was billed as a young person version of Spring Harvest.. and I had done Spring Harvest for 4 of the previous 8 years. I was enthusiastically evangelical. I had converted friends in high school. I had been one of the ‘few’ who kept going to local youth clubs and christian unions. I bought Christian music.. yes this was a thing in the 1990’s… I helped out at church worship events. I played the guitar. I had just signed up for Oasis’ Frontline teams. Inspired by a book about chocolate that killed brain cells ..read more
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5 tips for Detached Youthwork, from Street Photography.
Learning from the Streets
by James
1y ago
Over the last few months ive been intentionally out and back on the streets again. But not as a detached youth worker, instead going out with a camera and learning, slowly the art of street photography. And I love it. I love the interaction with people. I love the sense of the in between space. The context. I love what it brings out in me. I love observing. I love also how its given me a new way of seeing the world – or should I say, its given me an avenue to develop what I loved so much about doing detached youthwork. I want to share with you a few themes that are beginning to emerge for me ..read more
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Change starts with ourselves.
Learning from the Streets
by James
1y ago
I make no apology for not writing as much on here recently, as what I have written about a lot of has been about my inner experiences, self discovery and learning, and whilst in the past I have written about some more personal things on this blog in the past, ive put all of this on my other blog which is linked here. The latest over there is about the futility of trying to be good..in order to be liked. This applies to youth/community work practice, as much as it does just being human. It made me realise that there is such a crossover between what Ive learned for ‘myself’ and how it applies in ..read more
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Safe Spaces..are Safe for whom?
Learning from the Streets
by James
1y ago
Can I be honest with you about something please? Actually really honest, honest about something that I think we need to think about a bit. That’s ‘We’ in the youth and community work ‘world’ and also ‘we’ in the what seems to be ‘post’ pandemic narrative about churches and community spaces. I want to have a conversation about ‘Safe Spaces’. Not warm spaces, warmer hubs or prayer spaces. Safe Spaces. Can we have a chat about this please? Its a space. Yes. Its a hall, a room, a church, an area. It could be a ‘zoom’ room, or teams gathering too. So, that’s ok then. Space is fine. It’s the ‘Safe ..read more
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I’ve changed my mind about empowerment, here’s why
Learning from the Streets
by James
1y ago
Can we have a conversation about empowerment please? Because, well I thought I knew what empowerment was. And I did, I knew what empowerment was. In Theory. But what I didnt know was what empowerment actually was. Until I felt it. Until I experienced it. Cutting aside the conversation of the theory of empowerment and the word itself for a moment. Yes its all about power. Can I get to the gist of it? Can I be completely honest with you for a moment – please bear with me. Ive got to admit a few things. One of them Is that even if I thought or said otherwise there’s a part of me that wanted to ha ..read more
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Listening is Loving
Learning from the Streets
by James
1y ago
Back in the Mid Nineties, and it might even still be kicking around somewhere in the annals of basic youth ministry training mythology, there was a phrase that went like this: Q:How do you spell Love? A: T-I-M-E The thought being at the time that ‘giving young people’ – giving anyone time was a way to ‘love’ them. What this seemed to say was that ‘by putting on’ a youth group, an activity for young people, and giving them time in your day, making time for them in the church schedules, creating time for them to be part of Sunday services – was a way to indicate that the young person, and as a ..read more
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Will Robots really save the church?
Learning from the Streets
by James
1y ago
After a successful trial in the Diocese of Northampton, the church of England , with SDSF funding, have procured a fleet of Automated Robots for Spiritual Exercises for its churches across England. The Northampton trial was initially treated with suspicion in churches as parishioners felt that having a robot to perform the essential spiritual exercises would lack the human touch, but Diane from St Anne’s church in Corby is now a fan, and the parish have taken Richard their robot to their hearts saying ;’ If God can use all things for mission, why can’t he use robots?‘ Although his manufacturin ..read more
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