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  • Amending the Roll

    Dibley Baptist is a very old-fangled place in many ways.  We have a traditional roll book which each member signs as they are received into membership.  It's a good tradition, which promotes a sense of continuity - at least as far back as the opening of the now closed building!

    This morning, for the second time in a fortnight, I've had to update the book, adding the final date for one of our members, whose name now appears on another roll in another dimension.  Having to leaf back several pages past the angular biro of recent years to the beautiful copperplate of the 1940's I passed over two hundred names to find this name received 'on profession of faith' and add the date of death.  How many have passed through the portals of this place in those intervening years, and where are they all now, I wondered?

    It is a weird sense of privilege to open this book and record the deaths of those who make up this little church in this little corner of God's world.

    Rest well, companion in Christ, your work is done.

  • Friday Night but Sunday's Coming...

    This from ASBO Jesus made me smile...






  • There it was, gone

    My conclusion that it took four days to scaffold the church building was wrong - it took ten.  Having finally completed the process the people arrived to make holes to let out the bats and block holes to keep out the birds (no, I don't get it either).  So, this morning when I looked out of my bedroom window what greeted me was this:

    view from window .jpg

    Delightful!  The bottom layer of tiles has been taken from the roof and what looks like a gigantic green hairnet cast over the building.  Allegedly this will keep the birds out.

    Part of the same process is an exercise to 'tidy up the site.'  This too has impacted on the view from my window.

    For five years I have looked out on this: tree there.jpg


    As of today I look out on this:

    tree gone.jpg








    What seems to have happened is that all the birds that sat in the conifer have decamped into the unspecified overgrown shrub at the bottom of my decidedly unkempt garden where they sit and wait from me to offer them food in return for their choral enterprise.

    I knew the conifer had to go (it will be under a house at some point in the next year) and logic says it had to be before the breeding season got underway, it was just a bit of a surprise to hear it being lopped yesterday - and I only just the picture done before it vanished.

    Btw, finally gave in a bought a digital camera on the premise of recording the unbuilding of the building!

  • Musical Choices

    Last night I met with my Barbadian church member and his nephew (who has the most amazing Lenny Henry laugh) to plan the funeral for their brother/father.  I was interested to see what might be chosen by way of music since whilst David* is very British in his hymnody there will be relatives flying in from Barbados.  They want a British style service (rats! I could have enjoyed a good West Indian funeral) but there are just a few hints of something special.  One of the hymns chosen is 'Shall We Gather at the River' which I know but have never sung which feels really authentic.  The almost kairos moment though was when we were choosing in/out music for the crem.  After opting for 'organ music' on the way in  David and I simultaneously had the same thought for 'out' music - the test match special theme tune which has a wonderful Caribbean feel to it and is really uplifting.  In a bizarre way I'm looking forward to walking out of the 'worstest' crem on my patch to something so bouncy!

    Apologies, it'll be rattling round all your heads all day now - but why should I be alone?  If you want to hear it just type it into Google and lots of versions will appear.


    * Name changed

  • Baptist Blokes A Four Century Study?

    Today my copy of Baptist Theology A Four Century Study arrived.  It is an impressively fat book for the money - and on case anyone is puzzled by the typo in the image on Amazon (where theology is mis-spelled) it is correct on the book itself.  It certainly represents one heck of a lot of work by the author and in due course I will get round to reading it - well after all the other things I haven't read yet...

    For some reason, the book has only one index - an index of persons which is almost exclusively an index of men (a few women, mostly writers of secondary sources, are identified).  Why?  I can buy it up to the mid-twentieth century but not thereafter.  Surely someone like Anna Maffei should be in there somewhere?  Feels like it may turn out to be another book of Baptist blokes afterall.