Sunday, 25 April 2010

Something of a change of tack at church this morning.

Earlier in the week we met with Juliet Kilpin of Urban Expression to begin to explore how we might 'walk together.' This was a very early conversation, a long way from anything concrete at this stage. But we seemed to understand each other.

One of the things which Juliet picked up on was how tired Clare and I are. She suggested that instead of "doing full-blown church" every Sunday, we look at alternative patterns of gathering. She also gave us copies of a booklet UE have produced called "Praying Our Values" which explores - over a cycle of 31 days - the values behind UE.

So this morning we looked at the first value:
"We believe that, in Jesus, God is revealed locally, and that we should be committed to our local community or relational network and active members of it."

Using Google Earth, we soared over Openshaw, looking at the changes which have already happened in our community (although Google still have Mersey Street standing!).

We then focussed our discussion on one place in the community in particular which Clare, Joan and I visited on Friday. We are trying hard not to get too excited about it - we've had so many hopes dashed already, but it does look very promising.

Friday, 23 April 2010


Plenty more files uploaded to Dancing Scarecrow again today! Two days running. This must be some kind of record.
It was great to receive an email out of the blue from Mark Woods, Editor of the Baptist Times attaching one of his hymns for publication on Dancing Scarecrow. It's taken me a few weeks to get it uploaded, but I've started a separate "Friends" page. So if any of you are sitting on any worship materials which you think would fit in with the ethos of Dancing Scarecrow, please do get in touch. I should warn you upfront that there is no money involved. Sorry!

Thursday, 22 April 2010


I actually have a day at my desk today and have time to look at Dancing Scarecrow. We still have several hundred more prayers to edit and put up onto the site :(

I have, though, created a new way of indexing the prayers. You will now find a tab at the top for "Genre." If you click on that, you will be able to see which prayers are opening prayers, eucharists, blessings and so on. It is still a work in progress, so please be patient. But you will see that I have put a page of blessings up this morning.

More this afternoon.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


We seem to be getting quite a few Spam comments being posted to the blog. Although at the moment they seem harmless - most of them are in Chinese, and don't appear to lead to adverts or phishing sites - I am trying to delete them as they appear.
If I inadvertently delete a genuine comment, please accept my apologies. If this continues, we may have to restrict commenting a bit more.

Monday, 19 April 2010

I Dream of a Church

Several people asked me during the last Baptist Union Council for the words of a song I chose for the closing worship on the Monday evening. Needless to say I can't remember exactly who I promised to send the link to so I thought I'd post it here instead!

The song was Kate Compston's, "I dream of a church" which I don't want to reproduce without permission but it can be found here . As far as I can work out they have permission to publish the song.

What is Real?

At last year's Baptist Assembly, an exciting new venture was launched, entitled "Real Life Worship." You can find out more details from the list of followed blogs at the side of this page. However, it is now ten months or more since anyone posted anything to that blog and the initiave appears to have stalled.

Which is very sad as it had a huge resonance with what we are trying to do here in Openshaw - and with what others are doing across the country.

In an attempt to breathe some life into this initiative, Clare and I are presenting one of our usual, mad papers at the Baptists Doing Theology in Context consultation at Blackley tomorrow.

If the technology works, you can download the paper by clicking here.

Hopefully, we'll come back to the paper following the discussion tomorrow - but we'd love to hear your comments/ reactions.