Away from the obvious tourist attractions - the remarkably imposing Christ the Redeemer, the picture-perfect Copacabana beach and the enormity and elegance of Parque Ibirapuera in São Paulo, to name but three - it is this admirable attitude, one of determination to enjoy life and of encouraging others to do the same which will stay with me.
Religion is an idea of life, the universe and everything stating how we should live. What will happen to us after death. A God - or at least a cosmic force - has set these things in motion and may or may not keep the wheels turning by active involvement.
More than 200 million widows live in poverty worldwide, many of them falling victim to abuse - rape, prostitution and eviction all common problems. Others are simply abandoned to a life of social isolation because of their lowly status within society. Yet their plight is often invisible, with many people unaware of the injustices taking place.
We cannot afford to allow another tragedy to take place in Africa and we cannot afford to be complacent in our response. The regional ramifications and the human cost are too great for this to be another forgotten crisis.
We cannot forget that this region in the foothills of the Himalayas is fragile and young in comparison to other mountainous regions around the world, and the probability of future catastrophic events is high. And for this reason it's also vital the region's inhabitants are prepared for the worst.
Perhaps it is time for Ofsted to start assessing schools once again on the extent to which their daily assemblies are 'broadly Christian', and also on the amount of RE which is dedicated to teaching our national Christian history, culture, traditions and values...
Pastoral support is an important part of school life. Those providing it shouldn't have an agenda to evangelise. "Holy loitering" shouldn't be acceptable behaviour in schools, and the Church of England's missionary work certainly shouldn't be coming out of school budgets.
You say 'Shabbat', I say 'Sabbath'? Do Jews and Christians share a belief in the goodness of Sabbath rest? What better way to find out than invite over 40 clergy to immerse themselves in the Jewish Shabbat for a weekend.
Honest to God (ahem) the two most inspirational feminists I have met to date have both been nuns. And their opinions on sex gave me a lot to think about as well.
May 15th will be marked this year by a simple ceremony in Tavistock Square. People will gather to remember those who for reasons of Conscientious Objection refused conscription into the armed services in the First World War.
When Rowan Williams uses the word "special" you take note. But when he mentions it three times in one sentence and prefaces it each time with the word "very" we're clearly being called to attention.
As a Christian I am always pleased when someone comes out of the closet and admits that they are a Christian, but it was with very mixed feelings that I read David Cameron's admission of faith. He seems rather muddled about what Christianity means and there are reasons to think that his declaration has a rather different motive.
Some very persuasive religious group hustlers banged on my door, aggressively, and were even more fierce with their finger and tongue wagging telling me, 'Jesus is coming'. Now, I have no qualms about anyone's beliefs and I give anyone their right to their beliefs but I don't go knocking on their doors telling them, 'No he f***ing isn't."
Compare and contrast. In a few years' time several hundred professional footballers from all over the world will arrive in the Gulf state of Qatar to take part in the 2022 World Cup... Meanwhile, during the same period in mid-2022, it's very likely that several hundred other overseas workers will arrive at the always-overcrowded Doha International Airport.
The Prime Minister and other members of the government have not said anything very controversial. It is a historical fact (perhaps unwelcome to some, but true) that our main systems of ethics, the way we do law and justice, the values of society, how we decide what is fair, the protection of the poor, and most of the way we look at society... All have been shaped by and founded on Christianity.
Religion is a topic which is a constant in the national discourse. Using vitriolic terminology to describe atheists is not conducive to respectable debate and will only serve to sow animosity between religious and non-religious people. Due to the passionate nature of the topic a rational, respectable debate is difficult to nurture, but if it is to be nurtured then such fatuous labeling needs to be rid of.