The picture used for my logo is from the painting of The Prodigal Son ((left) by Charlie Mackesy.
I found it online following a search for his images having seen the one below in the prison chapel at HMP Ashfield Young Offenders Institution.
This image affected me deeply during a conference held at Ashfield.
The image of a loving father (God) who waits for his child to return to him, despite the things that child has done wrong, and then greets him with a hug and a kiss and an assurance of his acceptance and acceptability.
This is both the heart of the Christian gospel to which I have committed my life, and the centre of my belief about working with young people.
There is none so terrible that the love of God is not there for them, and the love of God is able to reach them and transform them. The story is in Luke's gospel, chapter 15:11-32;
Then Jesus said, "There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.'
So he divided his property between them.
A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and travelled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything.
But when he came to himself he said, 'How many of my father's hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands."' So he set off and went to his father.
But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly, bring out a robe--the best one--and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!' And they began to celebrate.
Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.'
Then he became angry and refused to go in.
His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, 'Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!'
Then the father said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.'"
If you have not experienced this explosion of joy, of acceptance and of love from God then please consider how you might make your return journey to God - he is there, he is real and he is waiting to welcome you home.
I would be delighted to talk to you more - get in touch - or better still, go and see a minister or church leader near your home who can put you in touch with people who can support you.
About the Logo in the header...