Culture

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A day of reflection

by Andy Robinson

One year on. It is a year to the day since the Prime Minister told us that we must stay at home. We still live under the same command. In the meantime the equivalent of the non-student population of Oxford has died of coronavirus in the UK. At noon the nation will fall silent to […]

Lockdown Lessons- “This is not good”

by Andy Robinson

Most of the blogs I’ve written this year have tried to be positive. Many in the last few weeks have been about how to cultivate an inner life of thanksgiving in the midst of the hardest times. But I fear I have been a touch unbalanced- there are times you have to acknowledge that this […]

Lessons from the war

by Andy Robinson

Over the weekend I was reading Iain Murray’s biography of the great 20th century preacher Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Now that wasn’t just because there wasn’t a great deal else to do! Rather I wanted to focus on this question- how did his church, Westminster Chapel in London, cope with the war? After all, there may be […]

The death of George Floyd

by Andy Robinson

It is now over three weeks since the appalling killing of George Floyd. The subsequent period has brought protests, questions about historical monuments and deep soul searching for many of us about our own complicity with the evils of racism. I had intended to write on this a while back- but my brain is slowing […]

Reflections on the weekend

by Andy Robinson

It has been quite a weekend. I’ve spent far too much of it watching press conferences, seeing friends fall out on social media and writing (and quickly deleting) my own tweets. I am not sure anybody emerges from it with much credit. The Government has had a dreadful weekend. At one level, if the account […]

Solitude and Isolation

by Andy Robinson

I happened to be speaking on the subject of singleness exactly a month before lockdown was introduced. With hindsight I might have included some material on singleness in a pandemic but I wasn’t a sufficiently good prophet to foresee what would take place. However, the experience of being on my own in a flat for […]

Lamenting a Pandemic 2

by Andy Robinson

Robust Christianity in the face of a pandemic requires an ability to multi-think. You need to hold two things in your mind at once. The depressing news and speculation about the length of time that social distancing will be required can be all consuming such that we lose any sense of God. But, on the […]

Lamenting a pandemic 1

by Andy Robinson

“How deserted lies the city, once so full of people!” Such was my thought whilst recently taking my exercise in Oxford city centre looking at the historic sites, normally packed with tourists and students now lying empty. And such is the first verse of the Old Testament book of Lamentations. This reflection prompted me to […]

It is a call to change

by Andy Robinson

The question is beginning to be asked: what should we learn from the coronavirus pandemic? There are wise answers around- we need to be better prepared for such eventualities. More profoundly we need to reflect on how we value certain groups. The vital individuals over the last few weeks have been cleaners, hospital porters, carers […]

The week that was

by Andy Robinson

It is the odd mixture that strikes me at the moment. Deep tragedy mixed with the strange amusement of a novel situation. Yesterday I conducted a funeral for a lady (that I didn’t know) who had died in her 80s. There were two others present and the service ended up taking around 10-15 minutes. I […]