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We are searching for the new normal.

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We are searching for the new normal.
We have been in our new home for 4 weeks and are beginning to settle into a new rhythm of life. Today our shipping boxes arrived, all safe and sound, and we spent a few hours unpacking things we had forgotten we had packed! The house is beginning to feel like home, and we are very comfortable.
It is coming in to Winter here, and we have had some very cold mornings and evenings, although the days are very pleasant with sun and temperatures in the mid twenties. It is quite funny seeing the local people all wrapped up and complaining of the cold, when really, the days are the same as our English summer!
The Mercy Air family has made us feel welcome and at home. It is an exciting feeling getting to know a group of people, who we will share our lives with, all over again. Our roles here have a number of facets to them and we are slowly working out how we take our place on the farm. One of the attractions when we first came to Africa was the question 'I…

Naff Tat! Do you mind!

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Naff Tat! Do you mind!As you know we are moving to South Africa in few days time, and we have a lot of stuff. We are finding we have built up a lot of stuff over 33 years of marriage. We don’t have piles of old newspapers or tins of spam from the 70s, but we have stuff. And lots of it!Our daughter Ruth has formed a Wattsapp group which reads..Hi Guys!As most of you know, my parents are moving to SA to serve as missionaries with Mercy Air therefore they are currently in the process of emptying a big vicarage by May 11th.So, there’s a load of stuff they’re getting rid of which will generate funds to purchase a car in SA.  If you’re interested, the price is up to you and will be paid through ‘Stewardship’.  If you know someone else who might be interested, pass on the pictures.Absolutely no offence taken if you leave the group because you think it’s all naff tat!So people have been coming and taking our stuff in exchange for a donation to our stewardship account. There is lots of laughte…
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About a million years ago, when I was an apprentice mechanic, a change in life happened. At the company I worked we took delivery of a new Bedford TK truck, heater and rubber floor mats optional! We climbed into and searched all over the new shiny toy, like children in a playground. Then someone asked “what’s that”? Behind the steering wheel where the speedo lived there was a large black, roundish clock. The foreman informs us in a overly smug way “it’s a tachograph”. It records everything the lorry and the driver does on a small piece of paper which is handed to the manager at the end of the working shift. At that point a driver steps into the crowd of inquisitive mechanics and apprentices and proclaims “Oh $%£* now they will know everything we do”. 
On reflection the tachograph was a clunky piece of kit that began a new way of tracking; where we are, what we are doing and what we are not doing. The tachograph was renamed the spy in the cab.It was seen very much as threat to the worki…

Boxes

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We are committed! In the past we agreed, but now we are committed. Tickets to Johannesburg have been acquired, and seats booked (same seats as last time). We are now sorting our possessions. I am grateful to Brother Nigel (Schibald), who, many years ago first planted the seed of a simple life, living with less. Pictured are the possessions we are shipping to South Africa. Fourteen boxes that will help us live a simpler life at Mercy Air, in White River. What we are discovering is that we have so much stuff! Jesus once said something about our possessions and our treasures. We have already made many trips to the re-cyclers, and the council tip, and there will be many more to come. In this part of the journey we are asking; ‘What do we want to come back to?’ We are moving from a 5 bedroom house vicarage with a large garden, to a small 2 bedroom cabin with a combined kitchen, living and dining room, with a massive garden (The Lowveld). We discovered we had three sets of crockery, (don…

Two thoughts

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My two thoughts for the morning. As the BBC moves to replace the CofE as the national church of no belief, as parts of the BBC becomes more irrelevant in the new world is it possible The BBC will consume itself with its left wing cynical view? When the issue of faith is shown the back door and told not to come back who will the new priests and priestess pour their cynicism on? Perhaps themselves? For we all need the other voice who we don’t agree with to gain a greater understanding of who and what we are.  History tells us every regime needs someone to bullySecondly, will The Church not be better without these platforms of privilege? When we are no longer welcome on the platform of privilege as will happen at some point, will we not need to shape up to redefine what we believe, what we have to share, what we don’t need? Privilege tends to make you slow on your feet, breed chummy inward looking relationships, privilege steals from people the ability to move under the defining culture …

Response To Bishop North

A while back Bishop Phillip North spoke to New Wine and caused a bit of a reaction one of it was a Tweet to my millions of followers. In response I had a phone call from The Church Times asking for a quote because I serve in a poor parish, I declined and said I would put a more considered response on my blog, so here it is with a link to The Bishops full talk.


https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2017/4-august/news/uk/there-s-a-future-for-the-church-if-evangelicals-put-the-poor-first-bishop-north-tells-new-wine



1.One of the issues the church does not recognise is the exportation of people, talents and money from parishes like mine to middle class parishes which is draining and demanding on leadership. For 10 years I thought I was building a community, then it dawned on me I was building people up to go to other places.
2.Bishop Phillip talks of abandonment of the poor: I think it’s more complicated than that. When I came back to my Deanery in 2000 to my present post, we had 10 full ti…

The Big M

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I have in my diary three dates for musical encounters. These dates are even more interesting than usual, as at the same time I explore and write about Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds for my MA. One of the issues that is rising our of my reading is the musical event as a pilgrimage and a deep desire for a sacred place, space and encounter. This essay is drawing me down a path where I am asking the question "has my hobby or pattern of going to concerts over the years (many in my younger day's) been a deep desire for a spiritual sacred encounter?" Tonight I will be listening to Mahler from the BBC Proms I have no idea why I started listening to Mahler but this piece of music The resurrection Symphony No2 crushes me and lifts me in unequal measure. Next time I'm allowed out to a concert is latter in the month and then NC&BS after that. I suppose the danger is I might over analyse the event and miss the Jig the dance the beat of life. Do you think your music is sacred?