Clash, the movie

Rev. Bill Crews’ Big Picture Film Festival is holding a special screening of the acclaimed movie, Clash. Event Cinemas | 525 George Street | Sydney, NSW 2000 | Australia Wednesday, 14 November from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm (AEDT) $24.00 pp (includes a small popcorn) Click here to get your tickets. Set entirely within the confines of a police van, Clash dramatises the ongoing political unrest in Egypt two years after the Arab Spring. It’s 2013 and mass protests have led to the ouster of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood by the army. A series of arrests finds rival demonstrators trapped in a paddy wagon together under the threat of impossibly stifling heat. From this simple setup, a white-knuckled tale of resistance and shared humanity is woven that artfully evokes the political fault lines in the Arab world’s most populous nation. Get your tickets...

Rev. Crews speaks out on new surrogacy scandal

Recent news stories from Thailand have highlighted the dangers for children in surrogacy. This is particularly so where little or no legal framework exists to control surrogacy. The Bill Crews Charitable Trust has been working on the issue with Childline Thailand for many years and has uncovered examples of children whose surrogate parents have previous convictions for child abuse in the West. Speaking on the ABC’s 730 program Rev. Crews said: “Exploitation of the poorest of the poor like this is wrong. Let’s put some legislation around it to make sure that it’s minimised and at least regulated so that, you know, people who need a child can find a child, providing the situation is right, and – but the rights of that child and the rights of the surrogate mother and the rights of everybody are protected and it’s all done in the full glare of public awareness so that there’s nothing hidden and no dark deeds can go on.” Watch the report...

My response to the Budget

For the past week or so I have been in London getting my Big Picture Social Justice  Film Festival off the ground. As you know, following its success in Sydney, Odeon Cinemas here have expressed interest in hosting it in London. That has meant I have been outside of the country while all this pre Budget speculation has been going on  but the gloom coming out of Australia has been palpable! It could not be ignored, even from thousands of miles away. As you know, I have always been a strong advocate of freedom of the individual and societies doing all they can to maximise the inherent, God given potential of it’s citizens. I also believe that the way we measure a society is how we treat and look after and provide maximum opportunities for our most disadvantaged citizens, young and old. Forty years ago I began on the streets of Sydney’s Kings Cross and was shocked to my core by what I encountered there. I learned that Dickens lived, not hundreds of years ago but then on the streets of Sydney, 1970. That experience stays with me to this very day and, to this very day , I try in my own fragile, human way to “do something about it”. You all know my  story, it includes working with the homeless and the poorest of the poor and the kids. Always tying to give a break to those poor buggers who, without help will never achieve any of the  potential they were born with. Jesus said “ The poor will always be with us”.  But for so many...

Governments failing to care

A few years ago, when my children were young, we bought them some pet mice from a pet shop.  In our home we had a large fish tank and we put the mice with the little mouse house and treadmill in that.  We thought we would be teaching our young children how to look after pets. What we did not count on was the mice’s breeding rate.  Every time I looked into that tank there seemed to be many more mice running around.  The numbers began to grow and grow rapidly!  A few days later it was as if a dark cloud of evil spread over and enveloped that fish tank.  It was just as if that fish tank was giving me the heebee geebees.  Then, when I looked closer I found a half eaten body of a baby mouse.  The mice in the madness of living in the fish tank began to turn on and eat each other. Quickly, I took the fish tank and emptied it in a laneway behind where we lived. I get the same feeling every time I drive past or see pictures of our immigration detention centres. In 1970 I began my pastoral life working at the Wayside Chapel in Kings Cross.  In those days Kings Cross was a mecca for homeless and runaway children. Child after child told me horrific stories of life in the children’s homes and orphanages they had run away from.  Stories of beatings, abuse, sexual abuse and even death were recounted to me – often, in graphic detail.  These stories involved institutions run by almost every church or...

My Exodus Foundation Christmas message

Another year has passed us by and Christmas is just around the corner. It’s a special time, but this year I’m worried. While a lot has been achieved, there is still so much to do. Like those fighting bushfires, the staff at my Exodus Foundation are at the front line – only our crisis is poverty and it never goes away. If anything, it seems worse than ever. Thanks to donors like you we are there every day, teaching the most vulnerable illiterate kids to read, handing out food parcels to needy families and giving hungry people a meal. Sadly, the number of people coming to us in need continues to grow. In fact, we are preparing for unprecedented numbers as the poor get poorer and we see the impact of a new phenomenon in Australia: the rise of the working poor. That is, people with jobs that simply don’t pay enough. We work hard at Exodus, all of us, to give hope to people who feel life has abandoned them. For instance, our chefs are always looking for new sources of donated food so we can provide not just comfort food but really nutritious meals. We do this because I believe people in this great, rich country shouldn’t suffer the way many do. Sometimes miracles happen. Steve, our Head Chef, got a call from the cold storage section of a large supermarket chain. They had 14 pallets of meat they wanted to donate. That’s a lot of meat – enough for 187 days! Of course we gladly took it. When it arrived Steve found the meat was in whole pieces – he’d have to cut, dice and mince it all by...

Rev. Bill’s Christmas Appeal

Today Rev. Crews launched the Christmas Appeal for his Exodus Foundation. Every day The Exodus Foundation serves up to 1,000 free meals to the poor and homeless, and on Christmas Day 3,000 needy Sydney-siders will enjoy a free lunch with all the trimmings. “At Christmas our minds turn to giving”, said Rev. Crews. “So this year make your gift your donation.” The Exodus Foundation relies on donations from the public to continue its work with the poor and homeless so Rev. Bill urges you to dig...