How close is poverty?

[This first appeared on the KingsgateChurch.org website in September 2014] When I was thirteen years old I used to bake really large chocolate cakes every Monday evening. Our church hosted a meal for those who were homeless in the area and I got to make dessert for them! I’d head out every week and sit…

That moment when I try not to be a pushy activist.

I’m probably the one staring at you while you sip on bottled water, the one asking with raised eyebrows about the recycling and wondering where your Fair trade coffee is. We all know those people—those activist friends who tell you there are children working for 10p a day in horrendous conditions just to make your…

Legacy or Legend?

I’m a fan of building new things—I love it in fact. I’m not really a maintainer of projects. I think I’d probably die doing that. Or something slightly less dramatic, perhaps. I guess I’ve always seen the achievement of one goal as an excellent stepping stone onto the next one. Once we’ve got there I’m…

Hi, my name’s Sarah and I’m a recovering Martha.

Every time I read the story of Mary and Martha I feel sorry for Martha. Don’t get me wrong, the message of the story isn’t lost on me, I just know that I’m her over and over again. Trying to make a good thing happen, but often missing the point. I picture her sitting in…

Can we rethink poverty?

I’ve worked in the development sector for nearly seven years. People talk to me about “the poor” a lot. You know, that homogenous mass of people who don’t have what we have. The unfortunate ones. We talk about “the poor” and very quickly it becomes us and them. Us, the rich. Them, the poor. I…

Remembering and practicing sacrifice.

Today is a day to be grateful for sacrifice. Remembrance Sunday. Today we remember countless thousands who have given their all to protect and defend others. People who have encountered the horrendous reality of war, who have stepped up time and time again, who have taken up residence on the front lines of battle. They…

Living in a lifeboat.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I catch myself valuing people more for how they make me feel than simply for who they are; I can be guilty of enjoying what I get from them more than what I give. It happens a little too often, if I’m honest. Occasionally I might get it…

Dream bigger little girl.

I think I was about 11 years old when I told my daddy that I really wanted to have a wendy-house in the back-garden. In usual parent/child fashion we went back and forth for a while with our reasons why it was or wasn’t a good idea. I honed my negotiation skills early on and…

Counting the Cost.

I was in a meeting the other day listening to a presentation about some of the ways we’re moving forward at Tearfund. One guy asked a colleague of mine, “so, what’s the dream then? What does this look like in practice?” and her answer kind of stuck with me. She said, “I suppose the dream…

Letter to a 70 year old me…

After a few long, hard months of steep learning curves I told someone that I was tired of only learning stuff in hindsight. It’s exhausting. So they asked me to look 6 months ahead and consider the things I might want to have learnt when I look back. Being me, I thought I’d take it…

Am I insane?

Albert Einstein said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get different results. Well, call me insane. Most years I make myself a list of things I want to do or achieve in the following twelve months. They often include countries I want to visit,…

A break from distractions.

I live a high proportion of my life distracted by stuff. I’m distracted by the glorification of busyness and the thrill of achievements, by the adrenaline of the current challenges I face or the latest drama I’ve entered into, by the allure of what could be, often passing by the reality of what already is….