Hello, I’m Gethin Russell-Jones, and I’m delighted to be the host of our Plain Talking podcasts.

Each month, I’ll be interviewing key figures on subjects that concern us all – and from a Christian perspective. Health (physical and spiritual), happiness, the environment – and of course the Bible – are just some of the topics we’ve lined up for our new monthly podcasts.

I look forward to presenting our Plain Talking podcasts and hope you find them informative, interesting and inspiring. And if you do like them, please share them with others using the ‘Share’ button.


Plain Talking – Episode 7

Plain Talking
Plain Talking
Plain Talking - Episode 7
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In this episode Gethin chats with Marie van der Zyl, President of The Board of Deputies of British Jews, on the work of her organisation, and also gets her perspective on the crisis taking place in Ukraine at this time.

Then we highlight the harrowing story of Christian Pastor Raymond Koh who was abducted in Malaysia more than five years ago while driving to a friend’s house. We hear from his wife Susanna, who received an International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award in 2020 for her work on behalf of members of other religious minorities who had disappeared in Malaysia.

Finally, Gethin reflects on Lent and its significance for us, referring to the Bible account of Jesus in the wilderness and – as we witness the plight of Ukraine – the reality of pain, suffering and despair.

Plain Talking – Episode 6

Plain Talking
Plain Talking
Plain Talking – Episode 6
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In this latest Plain Talking podcast, we listen to Henrietta Blyth, CEO of Open Doors UK & Ireland, who tells us about the Open Doors World Watch List 2022 – their annual ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution for following Jesus, and how the situation is getting worse.

As tens of millions of people around the world tune in to watch the Beijing Winter Olympics, we hear from Andrew Boyd, a spokesman for Release International which serves persecuted Christians around the world. Andrew talks about how China stands accused of ‘sportswashing’ its human rights abuses to try to gain legitimacy.

Finally, retired Baptist Minister Graham Watts concludes our podcast by considering how we all experience bad times – and uses a football analogy to help us gain perspective.

Plain Talking – Episode 5

Plain Talking
Plain Talking
Plain Talking - Episode 5
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The recent COP26 meeting in Glasgow is the subject which opens our latest podcast. Gethin chats with Paul Bodenham a Trustee of Green Christian, a leading Christian environmental group, for his assessment of COP26 and the importance of keeping the 1.5 centigrade aspiration within reach.

We then hear from Mary Hammond, Editor of The Plain Truth magazine which sponsors our Plain Talking podcasts. Mary recently met with Joe and Anna Beswick, a couple who are running a Christian enterprise project based in Hexham, Northeast of England, which reaches out to some of society’s most vulnerable citizens.

Finally, retired Methodist minister and former President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, Jim Rea MBE, offers a post-Advent reflection on the limits of language to express awe and wonder.

(This Plain Talking episode was recorded at the end of 2021.)

Plain Talking – Episode 4

Plain Talking
Plain Talking
Plain Talking - Episode 4
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This month, we present the second part of an interview with Timothy Cho of Open Doors. Timothy escaped from North Korea 17 years ago as a convert to Christianity, and in this follow-up talk he tells us about his life today.

Gethin also hears from Richard Gamble founder of Eternal Wall of Prayer, who shares the interesting results of a recent survey he conducted about prayer and church attendance.

Then, David Hart, of Trypraying, encourages us to do exactly that – try praying!

And finally, popular author Michael Penny of Open Bible Trust gives some thoughts on what it means to cast our cares on God.

Plain Talking – Episode 3

Plain Talking
Plain Talking
Plain Talking – Episode 3
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In this latest episode of Plain Talking, our first interview concerns the rise to power by the Taliban in Afghanistan and the plight of underground Christians. Gethin speaks to Andrew Boyd of Release International about how the ‘invisible church’ is managing to survive.

Then we discuss North Korea, the country where Christians face the most extreme persecution for their faith and holds the top position on Open Doors’ World Watch List. Escapee and convert Timothy Cho (of Open Doors) describes the conditions under which an estimated 3-400,000 Christians live in this oppressive country.

Finally, Br David Jardine helps us deal with anxiety by sharing his experience – and advice – learned from serving in tough areas: Northern Ireland’s notorious Crumlin Road Gaol, and Brooklyn, New York, where 3,000 murders are recorded every year.

Plain Talking – Episode 1

Plain Talking
Plain Talking
Plain Talking – Episode 1
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In this very first episode of Plain Talking, we have an interview with Paul Estabrooks, from Open Doors, who will have listeners on the edge of their seats with the exciting story of Project Pearl, the night when 1 million Bibles were smuggled into China and how God blessed and protected those involved.

You’ll also hear from Br David Jardine, a Clergyman in the Church of Ireland and a member of the order of the Society of St Francis who has become a regular and much-loved author in The Plain Truth over the last couple of years. David will provide a message each month, and this time it’s about forgiveness.

Plus, there’s a short message from Plain Truth Editor, Mary Hammond, who thanks the many Plain Truth subscribers that have given support over the years, enabling The Plain Truth magazine to be given FREE of charge and mailed – would you believe – to 81 countries across the globe!

Plain Talking – Episode 2

Plain Talking
Plain Talking
Plain Talking – Episode 2
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This month Gethin talks to Lynn Murray about a court case highlighting discrimination against people with Down’s Syndrome. We also hear from Sue Davies, whose son Michael has Down’s Syndrome.

Gloria Leccese, Advocacy Officer at Open Doors International, then discusses a disturbing new report which exposes appalling human rights abuses against Christians and Muslims in India.

And finally we chat with The Plain Truth regular contributor Br David Jardine. Enjoy!