Rich Powney

Richard Powney

Rich currently works part time in the unity for mission team at the Evangelical Alliance. He recently began a PhD in theology at the London School of Theology. To relax, you’ll often find Rich and his wife, Kit, enjoying the outdoors – preferably up a mountain.

Why hospitality is so much more than just hosting a good meal

18 February 2022 I hope we can all remember a time when we experienced a particularly warm welcome. I imagine we’ve also experienced that sense of “you’re not from round here” when walking into some pubs or sadly, churches. As an Englishman married to a Scotswoman, we’ve spoken about the different habits of hospitality in Scottish and English culture. Hospitality comes in many different forms, but a consistent theme is the idea of making someone feel welcome.

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Expect the unexpected this Christmas

20 December 2021 Despite my gloominess, I’ve been challenged this week to remember that Christmas is about the unexpected. The Christmas adverts might make us think that Christmas always goes to plan, but most of us have a story of when our best Christmas plans were interrupted. I remember one Christmas when I was growing up, we’d opened our presents, been dragged to church and were now sitting down to a lovely looking Christmas dinner. Up to this point, a normal Christmas day for our family. We were tucking…

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Being Human: Vulnerability and our need for connection

12 October 2021 Before I know it I’m stood there holding two tiny, precious babies. My wife had already held both babies, and I’d marvelled at watching her with these two new humans. But now I’m stood holding one in each arm, looking down into these new faces I’d never seen before. It was a moment so full of significance, I’m only just starting to process it. I found the early days of new parenthood brutal. Combine being thrown into a new situation with no real idea what you’re meant to do, add in very little…

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Do we really want everyone to become like Jesus?

11 June 2021 Many years ago, I worked as a teaching assistant in a primary school. To try and gain experience I was running an after-school club that gave pupils a chance to explore the Christian faith. During one session we were discussing what it means to become more like Jesus. I thought I’d done quite a good job of explaining what this meant and why it was important. Yet one question from a 10-year-old girl (I can’t remember her name, but let’s call her Sophie) demonstrated how wrong I was, and how…

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Lessons from a town called Westview

31 March 2021 The last year has been permeated with challenges for us all. We’ve all faced pressures as we’ve lived through the uncertainty of three lockdowns brought on by the global pandemic. The daily death rate has been a constant reminder of our own mortality. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost loved ones. Grief has been a thread through so many of our stories. Recently we’ve watched the Marvel series WandaVision. Let me first say, spoiler alert, so don’t read on if you don’t want to know…

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Listening well to the story of others

24 June 2020 At first glance this may seem counterintuitive. The word evangelism derives from the idea of announcing or proclaiming good news. How might listening relate to an activity that has strong links to the act of speaking or proclaiming? The key is the context in which we find ourselves in the UK.

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Sharing your faith – getting started is one of the hardest steps

15 May 2020 I struggle with imposter syndrome. My job title at the Evangelical Alliance is ‘evangelism and theology officer’. Now besides the fact that my job title makes me sound like a law enforcement officer, the title might lead people to think I find it easy to tell people about Jesus. However, that is not the case. Evangelism is something that I think is important but in practice I find it very hard to do. There are a whole host of reasons why this is the case. Here are a few to get us started. I’m…

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Lent 2020: Jesus, fully sharing in our humanity

27 February 2020 In the past, I’ve given up various things for Lent. I think one of the most insightful times I’ve had was when my wife and I gave up TV. All of a sudden, we had so much free time. However, this year, as I’ve pondered what I might do to mark Lent, I’ve realised that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I might do, but little time reflecting on why we observe Lent in the first place. In many ways I think I’ve kind of missed the point of Lent; it’s become more about what I give up than…

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A light on our paths

14 November 2019 For me, running is a great stress reliever; it keeps me healthy both physically and mentally. As I’ve written about before, running has taught me a lot of about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Yet recently running in the dark has given new meaning to the famous words of Psalm 119, particularly verse 105: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” As the days get shorter, early morning runs often start in the dark. I live in London and I’m able to run along a beautiful…

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Magnificently mundane

19 September 2019 The post-holiday blues have led me to reflect more on the value of the everyday, ordinary activities of life, however. They’ve even caused me to try and embrace the mundane. Social media can make it seem like life is one big, ‘instagrammable’ adventure. Yet, at least in my experience, the majority of life is made up of normal, ordinary experiences. In an interesting way, a cursory reading of Acts of the Apostles could leave you thinking that every day involves a miraculous adventure. Yet, in my…

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Why would I want to speak with a stranger?

4 July 2019 It’s been a full-on few weeks learning to live with a very friendly but also very untrained animal. However, amidst all the toilet trips, chewing and play biting, we’ve both noticed an interesting phenomenon. As we’ve taken our puppy outside to get him used to traffic, other people, cyclists, other dogs, etc, we’ve spoken to more strangers in our local area in the last three weeks than in the previous two years. There’s something about Peanut, that’s the puppy, that breaks the normal reality…

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