Ok, so a whistle-stop visit to London and my little girl’s third birthday meant the Refill got stuck in the draft folder a bit longer than anticipated!

1) How Gypsies have moved from fortune-telling to fervent Christianity – Fascinating news-piece from the BBC, and credit to the BBC for giving it prominence on their site.

2) Growing churches are conservative churches – Tim Chester reflects on a new report from Canada suggesting those churches which are not in decline are more likely to hold to a more orthodox theology. Bishop Rod Thomas also adds his commentary. Interestingly, some recently-released date from reformed Anglican churches points to a similar conclusion.

3) The Shift from Authority to Preference—And Its Consequences for the Church – Interesting piece from Os Guinness observing a subtle change in how we operate.

4) What story does your church service tell? 7 elements to consider – If you’re responsible for leading & planning church services, this will give you something to mull on.

5) Why Preach in a post-truth world? – After the announcement this week that ‘post-truth’ is Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year, Jennie Pollock offers some thoughts on ministry in a post-truth culture.

6) Evangelicals Across the Spectrum Are Clarifying Marriage as a Core Belief – Ed Stetzer, who recently spoke at the FIEC national Leaders’ Conference, observes that, despite what some parts of the media would have us believe, there is growing trend across evangelicalism to clarify marriage as a core belief, rather than as a secondary issue. Although Stetzer is mainly writing from an American perspective, this trend seems to be mirrored in the Church of England, as seen from the theological breadth of those signing this Open Letter to the College of Bishops.

7) Tig to Tag? Ok, so this blew my mind and simultaneously made so much sense. And to think that Mrs H thought that my custom of calling it ‘tick’ was simply the result of mishearing my school-friends on the Wirral all those years ago!?

On the blog last week:

God’s Calling Card: Weakness Is The Way – Why we must never forget that ministry will seem weak…