The legacy of Mother Teresa, born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in 1910 in present-day Macedonia, still lives throughout the world and her image is a source of encouragement and inspiration for many, but also of skepticism and criticism for some. There is a simplicity of service towards the poor that can be learned from her example, without having to idolize her.
There was a sober tone to Boris Johnson's and Michael Gove's response to David Cameron's announcement that he would step down after the EU Referendum, as well there should be, after the painful campaign we have had. What became apparent over the past few months, was that this referendum was a proxy, not for or against austerity or Cameron's government, but instead it was about what sort of country we wanted to be.
What is clear is that the referendum debate is not a narrow discussion of whether we want to remain in the EU or not. Underneath the presented issues of In and Out, the civil war in the Conservative party, the loss of the working class by the Labour party and the near silence of the Lib Dems, is a more fundamental question - what sort of country do we want to be? Neither Remain nor Leave has won the moral high ground, as neither of them has tried to take it.
Ramadan is a special season; for a Muslim charity the usual focus is on fundraising, where a charity can receive between a third and a half of its annual income. But for many working in the charity sector, it is a time where they reconcile their relationship between those in poverty, and their relationship with God.
It's one of those amusing quirks of history that we have a national patron saint who never visited England, would not have spoken the language of these isles at that time and probably could not even name this little island - which was not to be known as England until another 500 years after his death.
My Granddad's final words to me came after I had prayed with him, - I thought he wasn't really conscious but then my mum and I heard him say 'Thank you' - it was the same gruff thanks I remember whenever I gave him presents at Christmas time as a child. I have to confess it was a moment to shed and happy sad tear. He had been aware, had appreciated my small action, and was resting again.
"Faith reaches people when nothing else can," he said. I agree. As he developed his theme of faith's reach and endurance he focused not only on those suffering with ill-health but also on their carers - so often drawn from and supported by faith communities, even if the support is simply listening over a cup of tea.
In the end we all know that if we are truly generous, we will be taken advantage of. Our fingers will be burnt. But some of the people I have been most impressed with are those who have given and done what they think to be right, even when their generous posture has been abused. Their position is not based on passing emotion, but on conviction.
You see, homelessness isn't just for Christmas. That man outside your railway station with a cardboard sign, that you are suspicious about, will still be there in the New Year. But then so will the faith groups, silently, below the surface. Homelessness isn't just for Christmas, neither is caring about it.