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  • Just for Fun

    Evidently I am a Severus Snape... you always wondered!

    (from imgur.com)

    potter istj.jpg

  • You know it is autumn when...

    ... you are already one week into the 2013 porridge season, yum!

    ... you have taken your red duffle coat to the dry cleaners ready for its fourth winter (fourth! I could never have dreamed of that when I bought it!)

    ... you pick the last few green tomatoes and fry them up for lunch (the triffids will be disposed of over the weekend)

    ... the cat looks at you pleadingly until you relent and switch on the central heating because, actually you have a very cold nose yourself!

    ... 'Strictly' is back on TV!

    ... you are finally knuckling down to writing about your sabbatical visits!!

  • Rebranding

    This week BUGB launched their new-look website.  Gone is the intense green and instead we have gentle shades of blue.  And a new logo, about which I have to confess I am not sure.  I 'get' it, and it does, as claimed, have all the elements of the old logo, but I'm not sure I like it.  Undoubtedly it is 'cleaner' and more 'contemporary' but I can't help feeling the attempts to keep the 'old' symbols of cross, water and fish have resulted in something a bit contrived.  See what you think:


    new bugb logo.gif


    The site is easy to navigate and I was quite taken with the use of an external resource for the 'what is a christian' section, which is not dogmatic or narrow and does not exalt any one understanding over any other on 'hot topics'.  Of course there is also a section that explains more about what Baptists (Anglo-Cymraeg variety) are like.

    I like the new site a lot more than like the new logo!  As rebrands go, this one seems positive - a softer, less clinical feel, easy navigation and not too defensive.  Having recently done some user testing for another website that was being relaunched, I have the teeniest inkling of just how complicated it is to design something that works on diverse platforms with varied browsers.  I think there is some tiny glitchette with Windows 7 and Firefox as each time the page loads I get a black rectangle top left for a few seconds, but overall it seems to working very well.  Huge thanks to all who worked so hard to design, test and launch the site, which I look forward to using for a long time to come.

    You can have a look at the website here

  • September Stirrings...

    Well, I have not made as much headway on my writing up as I would have liked, but today I have finally written and submitted a 200 word abstract for the paper I might be giving in New Zealand next February.  We'll just have to wait and see.

    I have also begun to pick up a few threads of church-related stuff, which is rather nice, though makes me keenly aware of how much catching up there will be to do when I return in a couple of weeks time.  Something I was working on today required me to check addresses in my church directory... which I had put away so carefully it took ages to find it!

    Lots of exciting stuff in the offing - just need to stir my stumps a bit more and get the writing up done and the thinking cap back on.

  • Retiring Principal

    jim farewell.jpgYesterday evening I had the privilege of attending the 'farewell dinner' for Rev. Dr Jim Gordon as he steps down as principal of the the Scottish Baptist College (SBC).  The photo, left, unashamedly stolen from Graeme Clarke's Facebook upload, shows Jim giving a witty and thoughtful after dinner speech.

    Jim's links with The Gathering Place are long and varied... he was a student at SNC when it was on our patch and the Principal was one REO White, a member of our little church, and whose widow remains much loved among us.  Jim studied for his PhD at New College (Edinburgh) under the supervision of Rev Prof David Fergusson, who grew up in our Sunday School.  And so the links continue and interweave with other connections, such as his first pastorate being at one of our daughter churches, and he having been the minister in Aberdeen of the student who lived next door to me in Manchester...  In 2009 when I first met the Gatherers, Jim was the interim moderator, bringing his wisdom and humour to the task of finding a suitable minister to be entrusted with this special church.  I already knew Jim a little, having first met him at a Baptist theology conference some years earlier.  Since I settled here, he has continued to be a good friend to the church, and to me, and I like to think our links with the SBC will continue on into the future.

    Knowing Jim is a privilege - and I could wax lyrical in some sort of eulogistic tribute.  Suffice to say, a skinny fairtrade latte and cupcake with Jim is a fine example of living wittily - and, if he happens to read this, long overdue.

    I also stole this photo from the SBC Facebook page, not sure who took it, but it is the amazing cake made for Jim...

    jims cake.jpgMay God bless you, Jim, with some much deserved space for rest and recreation, and whatever shape you portfolio ministry may take, may it delight you and bless others.