I am a 32 year old, London-dwelling actress, singer and Tearfund-employee. It’s an unusual balancing act. I work 3 flexible days a week for Tearfund (super-inspiring Christian relief & development NGO), mainly finding ways to tell the stories of how churches around the world are serving their communities in creative and empowering ways. And then the rest of the time I have a little theatre company called The Ruby Dolls, and in 2012 we launched ourselves at the Edinburgh Festival. Up till then we stuck to the theatres of Soho, Piccadilly, Covent Garden and Hammersmith, but we went international in 2012 (assuming Scotland counts?).
I travel with Tearfund 3 or 4 times a year, usually to countries and communities struggling with different kinds of poverty, and I’m usually there because some inspired Christians are working really hard to empower these communities and facilitate positive change. Sometimes I make films about what’s going on, sometimes I write about it, sometimes I just watch and learn.
We (me and the husband) live on a housing estate in South London which we love, and where we are trying to get to know and love our neighbours. It’s an amazingly (but not untypically) multi-cultural crew we live alongside. Just in the neighbouring flats on our floor are families from Poland, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Ecuador and the West Indies. Our Portuguese and Brazilian friends left in the last year (sadly, as my Portuguese is still terrible).
The thread that draws so much of these things together is my love for stories – from the places I travel, from the theatre I see and create, from the neighbours I’m getting to know…so here is my attempt to pull a bunch of them together, the good ones, to “talk up the good” I see going on around me.
I try to blog once a week. I blog about stories from communities I’ve visited, stuff going on in my neighbourhood, great theatre, literature, films – anything I find that I think is putting something positive in the world and making it better. I’m here to flag it up, to put some positive news into your feed. The recurring topics are around poverty-fighting, community-transformation and creativity…drawing especially on my experience of seeing the church in action and being part of a theatre company.
You can follow this blog by subscribing via email (on the front page) on using the RSS feed. I’m also on twitter – @jennyflannagan – and you might even like to follow @therubydolls and @tearfund.
The views represented her are entirely my own and do not necessarily represent the views of Tearfund or The Ruby Dolls.