News and articles from Spike Corbridge

'Once again we must cry out for the poor'

“The shouts of outrage at the desperate situation of the world’s poorest appear to have quietened to a whisper. Calls to “make poverty history” seem to have faded as quickly as the credit crunch has arrived. But while we tighten our belts at home, the chilling facts of international poverty remain brutal. Once again voices must be raised into a pressing chorus for people living in poverty in our global village.”

Archbishop John Sentamu has written a brilliant piece in The Times today. It’s a good reminder of some of the reasons that we, in CMS Ireland, do what we do. Click to read the whole thing.

Posted on Thu, 24 Jul 2008

Wisdom (Teeth) and Troubles...

So, we’ve been off for the past few days and instead of some much needed rest and relaxation I spent the time lying on the sofa – dosed up on antibiotics and painkillers because of an abscess in my wisdom tooth…not fun…

However a few days of being pretty much housebound did give me the chance to catch up on a bit of reading and to work my way through most of season seven of The West Wing.

I read Uwem Akpan’s “Say You’re One of Them” on Saturday and it’s a staggering piece of work.

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Posted on Wed, 16 Jul 2008

Not There (Mostly...)

So for about the first time 10 years I won’t be taking part in CMS Ireland’s venue at Summer Madness...

It was a bit weird not to be involved last week – when Julie and the Regional Mission Partners were beginning their preparation for the festival…but I have to be honest…it was also pretty liberating…

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Posted on Tue, 24 Jun 2008

Disconnected from the pain of the world

I was reading an interview with Rob Bell in Relevant magazine that made me think…

He’s pretty dismissive of blogging and says, “You have to be so totally disconnected from the pain of the world to think that blogging is somehow a redemptive use of your time.”

It raises a whole host of really interesting and important questions: is he right?; why do we have blogs on the CMS Ireland site?; does blogging waste time that could helpfully be used doing other, more constructive, more redemptive things?; how much of what we do in life…in any field…is about redemption, restoration and transformation?

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Posted on Mon, 02 Jun 2008

Challenging Questions...

HIV is a huge issue – no kidding.

For many of our partners the reality of working with HIV/AIDS is one of the biggest challenges they face. I read this in the Times over the weekend and thought it was worth flagging. Not sure I agree with all of it but it made me think.

The basic gist of the article, by Elizabeth Pisani, is that political correctness over criticising sexual practices such as multiple partners in Africa has prevented us finding an effective strategy to fight HIV. It also raises some big issues about how charities, agencies and NGOs have responded over the years.

Here’s a quick extract from the article or you can link to the whole thing here.

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Posted on Mon, 05 May 2008

The Upside Down Kingdom. The Back-to-front Empire.

I have spent a fait bit of my time writing recently. Whilst researching some stuff I stumbled across this quote from Tom Sine – and loved it.

“When Jesus began teaching he made it clear that his new empire would be unlike any empire the world had ever seen. It came on a donkey’s back. It’s imperial council was comprised of a handful of unemployed fishermen, a couple of IRS agents, a prostitute and some hangers on.

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Posted on Fri, 25 Apr 2008 | 1 comments


When I started in CMS Ireland the first thing I worked on was a project for Sunday Schools called ‘Counting the Cost’. The project was based in DR Congo and tried to raise awareness of some of the issues facing the local church as it tried to help communities put their lives back together after decades of misrule, civil war and instability.

In the eight years that have passed DR Congo has continued to face many of the same problems – and some new ones, earthquakes and volcanoes amongst them.

I came across these pictures on the guardian website and it reminded me that some things haven’t changed – almost a decade down the line…

Posted on Fri, 18 Apr 2008


I realise that church law and structure are unlikely to be the most interesting subjects for most people but I’ve been encouraged to see a significant moment for mission in the Church of England last week with legal provision put in place to accommodate new forms of church that don’t fit within traditional parish boundaries.

The new legislation works through ‘bishop’s mission orders’ and a code of practice seems to give some useful ideas for groups, churches and dioceses looking to make the most of this new opportunity.

It seems, to me, to be a recognition of the need to acknowledge, accept and perhaps even celebrate pioneering expressions of mission and ministry that would perhaps previously have been been left with little support. I wonder how easily any of these ideas would translate in Ireland and what the consequences would be for the training and support of missional leaders..

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Posted on Mon, 07 Apr 2008

Holy Week and the Media Scrum

Perhaps unsurprisingly the fact that it’s Holy Week has seen faith pushed further up the media agenda.

The events of this week lie at the centre of the story we have to tell as Christians and it’s been interesting to see some of the media reaction this year. A few things have caught my eye…

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Posted on Tue, 18 Mar 2008

Challenged by Gandhi...

I have been reminded this week of something that I read on Jonny Baker’s blog ages ago. I lifted the quote back then and every once in a while it comes back to challenge me a little.

It’s from ‘The Christ of the Indian Road’ by E. Stanley Jones and the chunk that stood out for me was part of a conversation between Jones and his friend Gandhi. I reckoned it was worth sharing…

“Mahatma Gandhi I am very anxious to see Christianity naturalized in India so that it shall no longer be a foreign thing identified with a foreign people and a foreign government, but a part of the national life of India and contributing its power to India’s uplift and redemption. What would you suggest we do to make that possible?”

He very gravely and thoughtfully replied: “I would suggest first of all that all of you Christians, missionaries and all begin to live more like Jesus Christ”.

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Posted on Fri, 07 Mar 2008