I have been involved in conflict mediation for over 35 years. I realised this would be an area of interest and commitment for me when, as a young youth club leader in urban west London, I placed myself in the way of a young man who was being attacked by four others. I placed myself in such a way that I took many of the blows that were aimed at the individual.
This became more formal for me when I began Social Work, working mainly in the Criminal Justice System. This form of mediation would later be called Restorative Justice, and in this I saw the potential for mediating between different parties, bringing healing and reconciliation.
Over the past 25 or more years, I have been focused more on church and community conflict. Since being ordained in 1993 I have worked with others within this diocese for the ministry of reconciliation to be promoted, particularly during times of conflict.
Over the last five years I have been working with others to organise this ministry, in order to promote not only the ministry of reconciliation between us as Christians, but also as part of our mission to this city and beyond. In more recent times, we have partnered with a charity in the Middle East working for reconciliation. We aim for this to be a real partnership where we learn from each other.
I believe this scheme contributes to the ministry of reconciliation the Diocese offers to London, which St Paul refers to in 2 Corinthians 5 when he says: “all this is from God, who reconciled us to himself and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”