By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

- Page 3

  • Ripe strawberries...

    500 off, all dutifully picked, washed and hulled ready for tomorrow's outreach event.  Yet another core competency to be added to the list when it is updated.  Except I can't quite comply yet - I don't know how much sugar one should add to them because I don't usually add any, unlike most folk around here.  I have to confess they do seem a bit tart so maybe the eight desert spoons full I added to 4.5kg of strawberries (less a few I set aside for diabetics) are needed?

    Tomorrow my loyal team of bread spreaders arrive at 10 a.m. to make enough sandwiches for the 5,000 (well 50 anyway) and my fridge will be glad to disgorge the cheese, hardboiled eggs, ham, tinned tuna and tinned salmon that are needed.

    It will be good to see the pleasure that this event brings to those who come along, even if I am really not even remotely looking forward to singing 'Stand up, Stand up for Jesus' - especially with a congregation many of whom couldn't even if they wanted to!

  • To every time there is a season

    Friday evening is Kids' Club - and tonight was, so we discovered, the antepenultimate meeting for this club which will close after at least 15 years.  Tonight we had 13 children, all aged 11, and all with that odd prepubescent mixture of feigned sophistication and childlike need.  As we played various games and I ended up playing a from of badminton with the person no one wanted in their team, I reflected on the 30+ years (since I was a child myself!) that I have been fulfilling that specific role.

    Next week is the school leavers' ball (if they get a ball at 11 what will they want when they are 16 or 18?) so we don't meet and then we have one more normal evening and the last ever last night before the club closes.

    I am sad that there is no one in the church willing or able to take on this work, but the reality is that this season is now over.  We will become an adults only church with a round zero to appear in our annual returns to replace the 16 or so children connected to church we've had for the last decade.

    So, I am now trying to think how I can contribute to a 'good ending' not only for the children but also for the leaders who've run it for a generation and the two deacons who've helped ensure it was able to run for the last six months when it would otherwise have had to close mid year.

    We will mark this ending in a Sunday service, and the children will get a good send off.  It would nice to hope that some new work might arise from the ashes so that this fellowship might reach a new generation...

    To every time there is a season - and now this season is over, and we lay down this work, trusting that through it, God's love has reached many, many lives.

  • A Jolly Good Fellow?

    This made me smile!  Today I received an invitation from a (very large) professional body of which I am a Member (the capital 'M' matters in this context) to apply for transfer to the class of Fellow.  Needless to say I won't be applying - I don't qualify, and probably, if I told them, they'd take away the letters I do have but still charge me the same fee to receive their magazine.

    In a mischievous moment, I ran down the list of requirements to see which I do have, albeit not in an appropriate employment.  I've missed out or altered a few words, and end up with something we could almost use in churches....

    Essential characteristics are:

    • hold a position of senior responsibility and/or significant autonomy
    • promotion of the profession to young practitioners and potential practitioners
    • leadership qualities
    • involvement in policy and strategy making decisions (technical and/or business)
    • structured approach to CPD (evidence of presentations, published papers etc,)


    • highly specialist knowledge in a specific area
    • strong evidence of resource management and/or personnel management and development
    • applies a significant range of fundamental principles and complex techniques across a wide and often unpredictable range of contexts


    • active development and application of new technologies at a senior level
    • budgetary and financial control

    what d'you think?!

  • Get a life - any life!

    At last week's deacons meeting we were discussing our now 18 month old church-plant-emerging-church-cum-fresh-expression-cum-thing-in-a-pub and the fact that there are only two people whoever invite anyone along.  One person said, well the question is 'is what is organised suitable to invite people to?'  General grunts of agreement.  So I turned it round and said 'well, do you think what we offer is suitable to invite people to?'  The same person then said, "well you have to ask whether a person would want to walk into that group all sitting around the room?" - a fair question but not exactly an answer to the first question, and when I turned it round again, (so would they?) the questioner seemed to run out of questions!

    The discussion concluded that the format is good and the venue, if limited, is not the big issue.  The reality is no one invites anyone.  One person said it was about the titles we use - none of their friends is interested in the relationship of faith and ... I did suggest they could simply say 'oh, we've got someone coming to talk to us about acupuncture' or policing or whatever it might be.  In the end they decided to put an advert in the local press (as well as the usual posters and small scale leaflet drop) for the next event to see if that attracted anyone.  I guess that's fairly safe - it's arm's length, we don't actually have to talk to anyone.

    Outside of the meeting, one of them said to me that she actually doesn't know anyone locally (she works in the next town) who doesn't go to a church and so has no one to invite.  This is a fact for many churches I suspect, and why we end up in decline - our lives are so church-centric that there is no one to invite to anything and our invitation services become a farce.  On Sunday I casually asked my congregation who had invited someone to next Sunday's outreach songs of praise service - and received 30 very sheepish looks; the only person who has (and she's invited three) is someone right on the periphery of church life who still has a life outside of it.

    I am beginning to think that next time one of my people says we need another prayer meeting I will reply, no, you need to get a life!  Go and meet people, enjoy their company, have some fun... and then you'l, learn the right to invite people along to things at church; only then the potential for drawing in others will begin.

    I would not claim to be any better at this than my congregation, but for Sunday have professionally invited 70 people along and personally invited the school caretaker... it's a start.

  • Browsers & Bloggers

    Apparently some blogging platforms offer lots of clever widget thingies that render blogs inaccessible to some browsers.  This was demonstrably the case when Sean decided to add what he deemed a 'funky widget' to his blog, which succeeded in making Internet Explorer crash whenever anyone strayed onto his blog (power?!).  Being a kind soul, he has now removed said device but advised his readers to 'GET FIREFOX.'  So, if you happen to be one of the IE users who gave up reading Sean's stuff you can now view it again, and you could take his advice.

    As I already had Safari as well as IE7 (IE8 may not have this wobble when it arrives in August) I decided I might as well download Firefox and play around a little with each.  I'm not overly keen on Safari, but I think that is largely a result of having used IE since time began: it's more about 'feel' than 'function'.  Firefox feels (and looks) a lot like IE, so is quicker to adapt to than Safari, but it does seem to run just a little slower than IE - maybe that's because it's doing lots of clever stuff I can't see?

    Anyway, as this blog remains ultra low tech - nothing more complicated than the odd link - it should continue to run on steam driven machines with creaky old browsers for as long as anyone is daft enough to look at it.