Good afternoon from Notting Hill, a very upmarket area of London opposite in almost every way to my previous neighbourhood of Lewisham!!

Notting hill is the type of area where I might expect to bump into Hyacinth Bucket and be invited to a candlelit supper with the major!

(this will be my most used photo)!

David Beckham owns a pub just a minute away, we went there last night for a drink, nothing special to be honest!

So as I have a coffee I think of something I said at the table the other night!

After 12 years of almost constant travelling I thank God for 2 things that ground me!

1. The church. The world over churches and masses are pretty much the same and it is very comforting to find familiarity no matter where you go!

2. Starbucks and McDonald’s. Nobody was expecting me to say that but it’s true! How I love these 2 places because of the familiarity and the sense of normality no matter where I go!!

And whether in Notting Hill or in the slums these places remain the same! They are a great reminder that God’s love is for every area, rich or poor, and just like the McDonald’s menu is the same everywhere, so too is God’s love, blessings, graces and mercy!!

In Australia there are many ‘café churches’ where people come to coffee and pray and seeing all the young people in the coffee shops who contrast sharply with the white heads in church, I wonder if there isn’t something to it!

Anyway, enough of that! May today be a day of blessings and may our church be a bit like McDonald’s and Starbucks; a vibrant busy place welcoming and open to all people all over the world!

Have a blessed day!

Mike

(my new porche!)