Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Over the last term the scouts have been making their own mosaic pictures from little squares of coloured glass. not all were into it not all enjoyed it but tonight those who wanted to were able to put the finishing touches to theirs.

I helped one young scout who was making his name. to see his picture come alive was great to be part of.

mosaics little tiles making up a bigger picture when your close up all you see are the small squares or whatever shape they have been cut into to fit. but step back step away and look and it opens up a whole new view.

thats why we need others around us on our journey through life sometimes we can all get caught up in such a narrow view we fail to see the beauty of whats opening up before us. as the old saying goes " can't see the wood for the trees''

how we lead others to see the beauty in themselves or maybe how we are led to see it in ourselves need to be done with wisdom and gentleness. coming alongside spending investing time in someone or even a place.

again i'm back to what if what if the body of christ saw past the car the clothes the smell the hurt the money and saw the precious creation that dwells within and see with the eyes of the master what would that do to my patch - your patch vauxhall, lambeth the towns and villages where you live.. for the people you walk past picking up the pace as you do..


Sunday, June 26, 2011


That's the ratio of people per vacancies in Lambeth My current patch falls in to the borough of lambeth (read here)

Region       Unfilled Vacancies    Total Jobseeker's              Ratio
                                                         allowance Claimants  
Lambeth              932                       11.799                           12.7

it put's us in the top 40 of the table for the worst place to find a job in the country London as a whole tops the list at almost double the national average

Region       Unfilled Vacancies     Total Jobseeker's               Ratio
                                                         allowance Claimants    
London              22,401                     226,182                        10.1

it's hard reading and with the population of lambeth being one of the highest in density in the country  and the council looking at selling more land for housing things set to look to continuing to be as hard. Much of the housing many of those in the community i work with would only dream of owning.

I joked today with a friend who had to find a home in the area when her husband relocated here just after I did they have two small children and that the price for my new house to rent in leicester was really expensive we both laughed as she knew I was on a wind up. My two bed house with a garden frount and back two big bedrooms is cheaper per month than the council rented flats in my block..  And is for many of the places to rent a short walk away the same as you will pay a week.

I do wonder what will be the outcome for this patch over the next few years and for those who I have come to know. Some of whom I know work two jobs to make ends meet.....


I like walking round village fetes and visiting them... well yesterday I was on the other side and was one of a team of helpers to run the north lambeth parish fete... Theres not many parishes that would get such a fantastic place to put up the tea tent than we do here.. the gardens of lambeth palace....

it did start with a bit of er well a possible problem as the team rector and two or the vicars were pulled over as they had ran out of room in the car and two other helpers had jumped in the very large trailer for the short trip between the church hall and the parish..  not long after leaving they were pulled over by a police van and 8 officers got out... and had a bit of a surprise to find it was vicars they had just stopped..

we found out this little tail during the sermon today from one of the guilty party :).......

it was a good day and the rain held off lots of visitors and conversations were had...

and the guides smoothys went down a real treat and used guide made electric to power the blender

and the scouts did well on there hoopla game

and the spot the real wine

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I love smoothies and a favourite place of mine is a little kiosk on the south bank just past lambeth bridge. I didn't know that tonight the Guides were going to be making them either was very funny watching and yeah the leader got to join in and make them too :)....

But why do I write about smoothies.. well I was out today with a friend and walk past a bookshop and book really caught my eye.  

So I picked up a copy. The recipes look really good and easy to make one or too will be nice on a could winter night I'm sure... 

What I would really like to do is to do what I've come to call prophetic eating a term I picked up with a church planting team in manchester when I did a placement with them. It's not just about eating heathy much more than that.... There is that in there too...  This isn't something new in my thinking I did my BA dissertation on the use of table fellowship in church planting.  

This isn't new thinking in the Old Testament food plays a important part in the life of Israel and in the life of the people of that time to share a meal and then back stab the person was not taken lightly.  

There is one story that really stands out though that is the story of daniel who taken in captivity refuses to eat the fine food of the King and asks the official in charge of them instead that he and his friends eat vegetables and water the the official is scared that if these four are not in the same health as the others in his charge then the King would be angry at him.. after a discussion they were given water and vegetables and after a short time they were fitter than those who ate the Kings rations..( Read here) God blessed them.

What if we,not necessarily eat a vegetarian diet but ate in a way that is prophetically healthy both in the way of budget and balanced eating in fellowship.

It's something that I would like to do with a group of young people children or those who come to be part of a meal. 

at a kids club/youth club to give not fizzy drinks or cordial but a fresh healthy drink that they help to make.. may be even grow some of the ingredients in a edible garden... maybe only the size of a window box but something they can aim to grow and be introduced to.

what message would this give to those around us around me... It's not a easy thing to do I know how bad  I am for not wanting to cook when I live alone... But it's not the point to put it into place when know one is here for supper is the challenge that this isn't just what is done for others but is a way of life.

 I began thinking again about this way of eating when on sunday we had a feast with the children at junior church there at the international congregation in Turku (godlyplay) the parents sent a very different set of foods than I would have expected here in the UK. They sent fresh fruits, peas in the pod, bread sticks there wasn't a sticky cake or crisps  or chocolate in sight. and not a single complaint from the children in fact they loved it.. (see a photo and more here)

It's not about dieting or watching watch we eat but about choosing to bring balance. It's about healthy choices ( I'm a chocoholic and so I'm talking to myself here too) and giving time to meals and not using them just as fuel-stops almost in the style of formula 1 pitstop. 

A week away

I got back from a week in Turku last night and had a really wonderful time though the weather didn't want to co-operate with our plans at times we just changed things slightly.. It was great to be back in the city that  is the former capital of Finland and as a joke I heard in December said " Turku was the capital of Finland while Helsinki was still just six mud huts " theres no love lost between the two cities.

On one day when the weather did behave we walked along the river aura and past the tall ships mored there..

I love tall ships and it was great to see two in a few yards. I really wanted to be in Turku this august as the tall ships race is coming again as part of the european capital of culture events..  

a bit further along the river is the sigyn which is the last wooden bargue in the world and she's a beauty though in this you can't quite see that 

We didn't get to sail on one of these but did go on the isabella overnight with viking line through the Finish archipelago to Sweden and had a wonderful breakfast as well left sweden and out to sea. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Today the service was lead by the young people...

For me it was both joy and sadness... I've called the small group who come and share fellowship at the film and food night my boys... I've seen the grow so much over the last 18 months and they are a real privilege to have journeyed with.

There was the sense of fledging as one of my boys gave the message. His friends called him "pastor " as a joke, yet this young man brought a message that so many of us "older" members of the body of christ miss.. He spoke about unity... the unity of the Spirit... that the Holy Spirit did not come to divided but unit the believers though they were from many backgrounds just like us meeting today are not divided because of the differences but united by the Spirit.

today he fledged the nest and its wonderful to see him wondering and questioning in his faith and sharing those gifts with the church.  my prayer is that he will continue to walk in the light listening to the Spirit and sharing that with the church.

The rest of the youth yet again to did wonderfully today they were themselves no masks when they were up front just themselves and that was great too... they didn't pretend it was real and from the heart.. I loved the end of the service as one of the younger youth said the closing prayer with me just three lines but very special.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

127 hours

I'd heard a lot about this film and last night I ordered it pay per view as there was nothing on tv.. The film is a true story of Aron Lee Ralston. In May 2003  while canyoneering in Utah, he was in a freak accident after 127hours trapped he choose to amputate his right arm with a dull knife in order to free himself from a boulder in order to save his life. He writes about his experience in between a rock and a hard place

Ralston did most of his adventures alone and on the day he left had told no one where he would be going and left no note.. 

The question that ran through the film for me after the boulder fell trapping him was how far are you willing to save life.. 

How far are we willing to go to save life... to go out into our patches to bring the message of life. 

What am I willing to give up how far am I willing to go for the gospel message. It interesting that Jesus himself 

 RalstonComments on his experience during one of his speaking engagements 

“I didn’t lose something that day. I am here to show you that, yes, I left my hand behind in that canyon, but I gained my life back. I regained the beauty, the joy, the vibrancy and the euphoria of being alive.”

What do we find when were loose our lives into Christ... Life life in all its fulness..

How far are we willing to go to save life to introduce those in our patches the ONE who is able to bring life life that is real that is true that as ralston suggests who is the one who gives us the ability to regain "the beauty, the joy, the vibrancy and the euphoria of being alive.”

Friday, June 10, 2011

the weeks gone by

I haven't blogged much this week.. thats because yet again I've been away seems to be that my patch is travelling again more. And not just a physical thing but that's another story..... This time it wasn't a trip to my new home or off on a camp... my patch was in my patch but at another patch... bit confusing I was still in London still in lambeth but spent most of the week at the Salvation Army's territorial HQ based near  the elephant and castle.. 

The course was about Godly Play (GP).. my friend over at easterkindofway says a lot about Godly Play and has been doing it for a while and Seethroughfaith helps.

I have to admit to start out I was sceptical about a lot of it and told the leaders of the course that.. it was a good way to start maybe not but it was a very honest and open way to start. And the first day found it hard to really engage with what was being taught at times especially having the space in the response time ... I think in part as there was just too much quiet and silence for me. 

I'm used to doing things very creative and very interactive when I get the chance. At first found that the sacred stories those stories like noah, exodus really hard to get into it felt like I was just watching what was taking place. But day two changed things when we were introduced to and started telling the parables. 

It wasn't until I got to play that I really got what GP is... during the course which was training for storytellers I did the parable of the sower I really enjoyed playing with the birds as they flew down to eat the seed on the path giving them each characters of their own 

This is from the finish Godly play site my little birds were painted bright colours and while preparing spent a long time playing with the birds given them names 

A wonderful part is the wonder time after or as part of the story I wonder if the birds had names I wonder which you like best I wonder if the famer was sad to see the birds eat the seed I wonder if the birds where happy to see the farmer I wonder who the farmer is our wonder what the harvest is 

its space where no answer is right non is wrong... its a safe space to wonder to wander through bible 

One of my favourite parts of the week was a line from the Holy family story 

The word became a wordless child 

that phrase I loved and it just summed up what took place when Jesus came to earth so simply but so profoundly...

By wednesday evening it was sad to have to finish the course 
It was a fun few days very tiering but fun and there are bits that I just aren't me  or I don't get that were challenging  thats ok too... there was a great encouragement also as I saw some of the principle and ideas I try to work by were modelled here.

I found too some of the confidence that had been stollen from me over the past few months while sitting there in a small group just two others practicing and they read the script words and actions and I played it out..  and then in the larger group the story was mine 

I get to help at a GP next week at a friends church I'm really looking forward to that  and see for the first time how children engage and respond through GP and how they have so much to teach us through wondering 

Monday, June 06, 2011

new home

I'm not much for silence and stillness.. But spending the time in my new home with no internet no tv in fact it was very like being on camp. When I got there late Thursday night all I had was what was in my rucksack and my camp bed. I did have my ipod and had some music but forgot the attachment for the speakers so only had my headphones...
 I actually enjoyed it much more than I thought I think it was in part as I was cleaning and preparing my new home... the house had been empty for a while and so had too gather all my strength and courage to clean as there was a spider convention taking place welcome in the garden but not in my home. so this is my little house 

relocating is never a easy thing but moving from a furnished to unfurnished place in a different part of the country is even more fun... but it's gradually coming together and friends and family are lending a hand... Thanks to one friend I have a convection oven come microwave ( if you know how to work one please leave a comment on how as I have know idea) Bedside tables arrive soon as does a cabinet for the living room and I have a dinning table and chairs... and my new fridge-freezer arrived on friday morning... things are slowly coming together...
spider free livingroom :)

Thursday, June 02, 2011

repotting underway

I'm getting to know St. Pancras station and Leicester station really well now. Though I'm not so sure right now about the statement they make on the how to get to St P  part of the website 
St Pancras International is one of the easiest stations to get to in central London with direct links to 6 underground lines, mainline trains, cycle parking facilities and an on-site multi storey car park. Please refer to the links on the right hand side for more detailed information on how to reach us by your chosen method of transport.
Hmmm only if they work together sometimes it feels like the many parts of transport for London (tfl) are working like magnets and repel each other.........

Each time I've gone recently something has gone wrong almost missing the train 3 times and missing it once  due to problems with the tube. The last time when I did miss the train I'd left early very early with the plan of going for coffee. My train was at 9:15am and at 8:35 was still in vauxhall as the victoria line was down.. Hopefully nothing will go wrong tonight though I'm not 100% sure how to get to the bus stop I need to get to my new home :S oh well theres always a taxi :)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

No room for books

I picked up a copy of the evening standard last night but it is only today at breakfast that I gave it more than a quick glance and the story as I read was shocking about how many children in London don't have books at home... the standard opened the article that will run for the next four days of a teacher who asked the class to bring in a book from home they like on child brought in a catalogue for a major retailer it was the only book in the house. A house without a book is really hard to imagine. And really sad to read that there are so many children growing up not reading not owning a book 
New research, obtained exclusively by the Standard, reveals that one in three children does not have a book of their own at home. By contrast, a separate survey shows 85 per cent of London children own a computer games console (full article here)
I wonder how many in my patch here in vauxhall this effects how many in my new patch that this will effect in Leicester

A  question is forming it's rough not there yet fully how do we respond as a church to this situation. In our call to be a light in the community around us. How can we respond to situation like this... Books are expensive to buy new. But there are many places where they can be picked up at a reasonable price. I recently went into a charity shop and picked up 3 of books in good condition of a well known series for £6. When libraries are closing or like the family in the article never get to go it's always "another time"

Aurella is a captivating young girl, but no amount of charm has been able to persuade her mother to take her to the library. "We pass the library on the bus," she says, "and I always ask, 'Mum, can we go?' but mum says, "Maybe tomorrow, Aurella."
What is our response have a lending library as part of the church... how about a children's book-crossing group or have a shelf in the corner of the church where books can be put and swopped or book-crossed. Have a reading club as part of the church activities get involved with the local schools to go in and read with children.