Wednesday, September 29, 2010

critters !!!!!

As most know, just down the street from my flat are the Spring gardens... I had to smile today, walking through the park. Two workmen were trying to cut down a Horse Chestnut. ... and not finding it a easy job. They did have a large group watching from a distance!

I loved Horse Chestnuts as a kid and would go conkering.

There were lots laying around beneath the tree

As a kid these wouldn't have stayed very long on the trees or the ground. Today though they were coming down faster than normal.... why? Two very noisy critters were not happy about the destruction of their patch... these two little squirrels had weapons of mass destruction in their paws, and were happily hitting passersby with conkers!

All creatures great and small :) Today, though they may have lost a tree, the squirrels for me defiantly came out on top...


One of the redeeming things of coming back from finland on monday evening was a beautiful sunset over Helsink.i I was on the wrong side of the plane to watch it finally set but watching the colours dance over the city was special!

Take off, still climbing ....

Up over Helsinki. 2hrs 35mins to London

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

which ways Home ???

I arrived back from Finland late last Night....

it was great to go visit... though how much it is possible to do in four days? Seems that time went a bit fuzzy.. :)

updates to follow but right now it's back to work and the grey skys of london rather than the wonderful crisp autumn of Turku

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Come fly with me

In my patch we are sat underneath the flight path for Heathrow.... I love watching the planes come over....

Right now I'm sat in terminal 3 at Heathrow.. waiting impatiently for the gate number to come up on the board for the 10:20 Finnair flight to Helsinki :)

and a weekend off :)

at 5pm Fin time (3pm bst) I'll be on my way to Hesse with a friend....

Will be strange though as this will be the first time that I land in Finland when the author of see-through-faith wont be picking me up..

haven't got a clue what we will do this weekend :)

more to follow on this trip later

Saturday, September 18, 2010

my Patch out and about pt2

Two days in Epsom was a very different time... Just 30 minutes by train from Vauxhall , but it could be a million miles away....

I was meeting the minister I was to shadow at mid-day but arrived a hour early which gave me time to walk around find the meeting place- to get my own first impressions.... One thing I loved was the town centre, Theres were different stalls the three mornings I walked through it. A open air cafe and bread stall selling rye bread which though tempted with buying a loaf a resisted that... ( but if my house elf is reading this maybe next weekend :) ) a great place to be out and meeting the community being available in the "third spaces' what a third place in the book exiles frost puts it like this
Third spaces are the most significant places for Christian mission to occur because in a third place people are more relaxed, less guarded, more open to meaningful conversation and interaction...................It's in the third place that we let our guards down, it's here that we allow people to know us more fully. it's here that people are more willing to discuss the core issues of life, death, faith, meaning and purpose. (p.58)

Think about it how many times did Jesus end up in the market place talking with people healing restoring challenging ....this was very much the case over a lunchtime meeting....
Walking out from the station one of the first things to strike me was the freshness... though it had been a lovely morning leaving My Patch, arriving in Epsom a very different feel was to the place one of being able to breath..

What do I mean by that......

Here in My Patch life I find is fast... much faster than I have been used to... London is busy, high building, the tube feels feels like large sardine tins ( though I think sardines get more room) it's the same which the buses and paths... people every where...

Coming into Epsom the buildings where lower opening to the sky.... less shadows cast by them... the high street though bustling there was space to sit and be ( yes there are places along the south back to do this ).. Life here was slightly slower... a pace that I'm a bit more used to..

This view was held to by someone that we met for lunch who had explained they had done the commuter thing had lived in Clapham for a short time but found life here in Epsom less frantic.

That for me was a intresting conection as we were a similar age, and with their job would be possible expected to live more centrally based...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

MY Patch out and about

For the next few days My Patch is off to visit another patch and found out how they work their patch. The patch they have I think will be very different it's in Epsom not far by train from My Patch but different images come to mind.

so more on my trip soon

Monday, September 13, 2010

brownies & pizza

Together yes but not of chocolate sorts

monday night is brownies......

tonights activity was making pizza.....

fun... not in a way you would normally think of making it...

nice big cobs, tomato paste, cheese, ham, pineapple, baby tomatoes.....

put in oven....

it was great to see in their sixes the way they put their pizza together, so many different ways of putting those few ingredients.  and for some most of it never reached the bread as they happily munched away on the baby tomatoes..... others had cheese first, some had the cheese last...

and then you get the one, there's always one.......

Who turns theirs into a face :)

they did taste great.... Tonight was also the circuit meeting here and the brownies snuck me one in :)

the brownies have a lot to teach us through the promise they make and the law they are to try to live by.... recently I've done a lot about the means of grace and rules of life what though covers all encompasses all more than the brownie promise 

The Brownie Promise is:I promise that I will do my best:

To love my God,To serve the Queen and my country,

To help other people


To keep the Brownie Guide Law.
The Brownie Guide Law is: A Brownie Guide thinks of others before herself and does a good turn every day.
what if each of us promise to do OUR best at work at home at play 
what if we truly set out to love God 
To serve others  not just in our own country but all countries. thinking about what we buy, how we live, 

to be like these little brownies tonight, joining in, helping each other, laughing, being part of something that is bigger than ourselves yet being very different, 

as I watched and talked with them during the night it was hard not to think of the bible passage that speaks of a body having many parts each being valuable each being needed each unique yet all working for the same purpose.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Get Connected......

Yesterday was spent at Westminster central Hall for the London District youth event  Get Connected... This was the first event.....

What was great about this was that it fell the same day as the Synod (a meeting for all the methodist ministers and a member of the congregation). So we were able to talk to a larger group of people as they came out of there meetings ( and on occasion grab some willing "volunteers")

To have a mix  of 80+ youth across the district coming together to learn new skills meet others. Was a great sight... working with old and new colleagues.... sharing in the setting up to  praying with people, working as team in the very best sense of the words no job was more important non so menial as not to under someone was a real blessing to be in.

there were times of high jinx as well.... even for those who were meant to be as a couple of comments say 
" and I thought you were both so busy stewarding ;-)"
"You just can't get reliable staff these days!"

But It just had to be done 

Four workshops took place, gospel choir, dance, praise and worship, and Jesus in the quiet in space set out for quiet to just be.

During the worship in the evening the dance workshop showcased what they had  done in JUST 2 hours and it was fantastic.... 

The "sermon" was part dvd/talk challenge from the Hillsongs  "I care Revolution"  team. 

the dvd used fear/love (10mins) filmed against the back drop of inner city london follows the lives and struggles of three young people are they find out who they are becoming 

The challenge 

  • One in ten children between the ages of one and 15 has a mental health disorder 
- The Office for National Statistics Mental health in children
and young people in Great Britain (2005)

  • Estimates vary, but research suggests that 20% of children have a mental health problem in any given year, and about 10% at any one time.
- Lifetime Impacts: Childhood and Adolescent Mental Health, Understanding The Lifetime Impacts, Mental Health
Foundation (2005)

  • Rates of mental health problems among children increase as they reach adolescence. Disorders affect 10.4% of boys aged 5-10, rising to 12.8% of boys aged 11-15, and 5.9% of girls aged 5-10, rising to 9.65% of girls aged 11-15
- Mental Disorder More Common In Boys, National Statistics
 Online (2004)

Those are a ouch... 

Are we going to care do we care.... will you be the friend... will you be the one when no one else will... but it has to come from the inside out... from a revolution of the heart... from a relationship with God..

That wasn't just a challenge to the young people there last night but to all of us there....  The challenge for those who are already in leadership in any form in the church is to help those both here last night and in the schools and clubs who stand and take this challenge to Heart to disciple equip and encourage. 

For those who missed this, keep a eye out for further events from the district... You missed a great night........

Friday, September 10, 2010


I will make justice the measuring line 

       and righteousness the plumb line; 

       hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, 

       and water will overflow your hiding place.

Isaiah 28:17

That's the passage that I used over on my photo blog (here). 

Today has been my day off. So I jumped on the train down to Putney, my favourite place to get away. I do the same thing every time I go more or less. charity shops, coffee at sally's, watch the river, up to the exchange, then back on the train home.

What's with the passage and how does that fit in with a day off ?

walking home from the station I walked through the train arch and into the local park.  Passing by other residents other neighbours. neighbours that to most people are the bottom of the pecking order as they pass by. 

Today was a good day, it's warm and dry, yesterday it rained heavy, soon the long cold nights will draw in and the days are often not much better.

but for today at least there was time to rest and sleep. 

I don't know the story of the two guys asleep on the bank. Last winter I did sit and listen to those who ate with us at robes, story's of heart ache, life, of bad choices, of redundancy, of false promise. 

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Furry friends

Today was the first day back on the vauxhall city farm, unfortunately there was a problem with the hot water on the farm so it was closed to the public which meant no riding lessons. For me this was an unexpected bonus. I was able to wander round the farm and found some new residents four little ferrets who were very funny to watch. 

It was also a chance to learn how to groom and turn out the horses jobs that I never normally get to do. 

I still prefer animals that are a bit smaller and less stubborn than me, but it's hard not to love danny who's very naughty, I almost lost another hoodie as he tried to nibble it and Dolly the old lady who is cheeky.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Tracking =>

Tonight was the first night of the new term for the cubs. For those who don't know cubs are 8-11 year old scouts.. And very funny little critters. For most I haven't seen them since camp. Some I bumped into when shopping it's funny to see them being silly then stop as you walk round the corner or trying to figure out if it's Hathi ( my jungle book cub name ).... as one conversation went yesterday... I shouted over your mums right its me :)

Tonight they were learning about tracking... following signs.... making a path for others to follow after them....

each week on a Wednesday I attend the weekly Saints alive communion where we look at the lives of saints and martyrs and the directions the message of their lives that they left us....

sometimes like the cubs the directions we are following seem to get muddled or lost... it's then that we need to step back see where we came from where we are and then look forward to where we need to be walking.... some times as with the track that was set out tonight to stop and take a carful look for the next marker is needed ( the cubs made some very small arrows to follow) trust that the way where following is right.... even when the signs are only small... that they are further apart. or to step back onto the right track again....

Theres much to learn from these little critters.... 

Over at See-through-faith they came to a similar thinking in todays blog post (here)

Monday, September 06, 2010

Ouch!!!! update


So today is two weeks since I managed to fall off my bike... and this is still the colour of my foot...  it's not as sore as it was thankfully but still doesn't like to be twisted or turned. :( but am out on the bike again. 

Sunday, September 05, 2010

around My Patch, Allotments

I got the idea for the name of this blog while on at a lay conference at the beginning of the year... Where we looked at the place we had been called as a allotment patch and the different ways we approach things and people we will meet. From the parable of the sower

A few minuets from the flat where I live is a small allotment patch broken up into private patches. 


What I love is the variety of things that grow in this small area, that each persons own thoughts ideas and expression comes through. So many different plants edible and decrotive grow together... 

it's a wonderful picture of what community is what church community could and should be like

walkin round the small area was a real surprise finding that there were grapes growing along the wire fence I'd not realised that this was what the plant was.

Jesus in john's gospels speaks that He is the vine his people are the branches here in the heart of my little patch is a reminder... of what I am called to do what we as a community of believers are called to be and do. To reach out take His love and goodness out. 

The vine had broken out in places from behind the fence the grapes growing the branches spreading connected to the main vine. but on the outside of the fence... and they were different from those on the inside.. not formed quite right a bit grubby from being knocked about and the mud and grim off the road. 

It's a picture a message that in the church we need to recognise  where God is moving and be there along side. 

there is a reality check to this as well as each of the little plots has a compost heap where the waste the unproductive where that which is pruned cut back is put... 

I don't want to end up in God's compost heap being recycled.....

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Time Flies having fun....fruit flies like bananas

September already doesn't seem all that long ago it was christmas or easter.Nor does it seem all that long ago that the new minister came for a preliminary visit and realised that we had met briefly at cliff during a missiology (study of mission) seminar and question time. And time for more preparations in a few hours time we welcome the new minister at Lambeth Mission St Mary's.