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  • The Dangers of Numerical Success Criteria

    Last night's Sing Christmas attendance was way down on last year - pouring rain and endless lurgies took their toll.  So we could be downhearted, if numbers were what matter.  But they aren't really, are they?

    Here're my success indicators from last night...


    Two people from church brought along their non-church-going husbands

    One person from church brought along someone I'd never met before

    Two people none of us knew came along

    Six people from our lunch club came along


    So, looked at another way over 50% of the 20 people present weren't regular churchgoers and 15% were people we don't know - which actually looks pretty brilliant from a numerical viewpoint!


    Looked at yet another way, a group of Christians showed themselves as both human and generous - and the relations with the pub are now good enough that the "Baptist vicar" got a drink on the house!!

  • Hopeful Again!

    Blogging today at Hopeful Imagination and endeavouring not to work!

    Btw I'm not actually typing at midnight (though not far off) just using auto-posting to make sure this appears on the correct date!

  • A Psalm 126 Kind of Feeling!

    On December 19 2004, we held our last normal service in our chapel - carols by candelight with a congregation of about 40.  Since then we have sojurned in the school, where on Sunday we will host a tea and community carol service with an anticipated congrgeation of about 150.  In the in between times, we have laboured, prayed, discussed, planned, replanned, prayed, discussed and laboured to dispose of our building.  On December 18 2008, our buyer signed the contract and paid the deposit.


    When the Estate Agent called the minister of Dibley

    She was like those who dreamed!

    Her mouth was filled with laughter

    And she danced for joy around the manse.

    Then she said, 'surely the LORD has done great things for us...'


    This evening as we met in the upper room of the pub - only 20 of us as bad weather and lurgies kept many away - a feat which required the transport of mugs, coffee, tea, computer, projector, sound-system and miscellaneous props, it was a real joy to reflect on how far we have travelled in the last four years and to see the great things God has done with, for and through us in that time.

    And of course carrying things up and down stairs you need a Psalm of Ascents...

  • Compare and Contrast!

    In a few minutes I am off to school to join the reception classes (63 children and about five staff plus a few parents) for an outing to see baby Jesus.  You didn't realise it was feasible to go back 2000 years and across a continent all within the school day did you!  Polesoworth Abbey runa wonderful 'live nativity' event - complete with real baby.  As I recall the first ever nativity play I witnessed (40 years ago tomorrow - it kind of sticks when it coincides with your 6th birthday!) I hope that for at least some of these children it will be as important for them, prompting the life-long, timebound journey of faith, it did for me.

    Then, for a total change, tonight I will in the 'upper room' of our local pub with 40-50 adults singing along to the Radio Leicester 'Sing Christmas' service.  Some of those who come will never enter a church service per se, while others will be my own folk being missional.  There will be few who struggle to climb the stairs (no DDA compliance here) but who will then thank us for putting on this event for them and who, for a moment, will rediscover the inner child who longs for the magic and mystery of Christmas past.  Quavery voices and dewy eyes - always brings a lump to my cynical middle-aged throat!

    For anyone counting (like Nigel!) between yesterday and today we will 'tick off' the first 200 or so of our pre-Christmas contacts!  But more importantly, I will enjoy myself as I help others reconnect with the heart of Christ-mas

  • Fib Forest!

    Just taking a break between Advent prayers at lunch time and hospital visiting this afternoon and attempting - with limited success - some fib poetry...





    Christmas tree -

    Spreading out greenness

    across the blank computer screen.

    The hope of Emmanuel, the God who is with us

    Piercing the darkness of human inhumanity with inextinguishable light





    Shines in

    The darkness

    The darkness cannot –

    Cannot, however dark it be –

    Extinguish, Overcome, Understand, put out the Light.





    To us

    Here on earth

    A baby is born

    New life, new hope, to us given

    Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God: Everlasting!





    You all

    Love, Joy, Peace

    Hope, Freedom, Fulfilment

    These gifts that money cannot buy –

    That cannot be exchanged for a higher spec version

    That come in one size, yet really could fit all, if only all were able to receive…






    Christmas trees

    Made up of my words.

    Fibonacci series poems

    of sorts. A Christmas card from me to you – almost works!