Thursday, 29 October 2009

Culture meets the gospel

Well folks I have been back from Glasgow a couple of days now and we had a marvellous time. The event at the SECC with the Gaithers was well worth the journey and the cost of travelling up there.
The final song of the evening was a combination of a great piece of classical music by Sibelius and words by Bill and Gloria Gaither and you can hear it here. Hope you enjoy it - the audience at SECC certainly did!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

No post!

I have just heard the postal strike is on from tomorrow and this blog will be taking a few days off as I am going up to Glasgow for some good Southern Gospel music on Saturday from the Gaither Vocal Band, Ernie Haase and Signature Sound, Janet Paschal, Buddy Greene, Gordon Mote, Kevin Williams and Greg Richie. Will be back on Tuesday next week.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Preacher and Prophet meet!

Well it's happened the Preacher and the Prophet have met and both lived to tell the tale.
I had to go into Birmingham on Saturday to take my wife to Symphony Hall where she was singing in Prom Praise and as Methodist Preacher had very kindly expressed a wish to purchase a copy of my new book (A Bang or a Whimper) I thought I could deliver it rather than post it to him. It only meant a very slight detour on my homeward journey and took me past City Road Methodist Church where I saw the poster about Jesus caring for Rotton Park.
I arrived near the Preacher's house and saw this man walking down the road who I thought was him so stopped the car and got out and said questioningly 'David' to which his response was 'Fat Prophet'followed by a query about what I was doing there and an invitation to come and have a cup of tea. I explained I had come to deliver the book as I was not far away taking my wife.
I spent a very pleasant hour chatting about a range of things and hearing some of the exciting activities that are going on at City Road in an attempt to bring in some new people. I wish them well in their endeavours.
I have left a copy of my book with David and now eagerly await the review on his blog.

Friday, 16 October 2009

More Lego

I posted a little fun thing that my daughter showed me the other day that involved Lego people and a song called 'The Gas Man Cometh' I did a little more searching and here's that great hit by Queen performed in Lego 'Bohemian Rhapsody'Hope you enjoy it - I particularly liked the piano player!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

New Book now available!

Some of my readers may be interested to know that my new book is now available. It is called 'A bang or a Whimper' and is a trip down memory lane (my memory) and will take you back to the sixties in the area of the Black Country where I grew up. My son who has read it five times says he thinks it is a good read and that I should sell a least two copies. The book is available for £6 plus post and packing and if you would like a copy drop me an email at and I will send you full details of how to contact me etc.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

A little light relief

My daughter sent me this via facebook and I thought I would share it with my readers - hope you enjoy it!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Nearly the last post

I know I said I might not be posting much but I have just received the email I have copied below from the Christian Legeal Centre and thought it needed to be shared:
Church may be Forced to Close over Muslim Neighbour Singing Complaint

A LONDON Church was effectively ‘silenced’ by a Court after a decision by Magistrates to uphold a noise abatement notice, not to play excessive sound, after just one Muslim neighbour complained about noise levels of worship in a church which was next door to the house he purchased.

Singing Songs of Praise on a Sunday is normal Church activity. Using amplification is a normal part of Church life and it was argued at the Court hearing that the normal use of a Church building entails worship and cannot constitute noise nuisance.

Immanuel House of Worship Church has been meeting at 89 Vallentin Road in Walthamstow since it bought the premises in 2006. The Church was built in 1894 and was formerly used by the United Reformed Church, when the Church owned all the land on which the current properties are now built.

The property next door to the church, No 87, was formerly the Manse (vicarage) until 1989, when it was then sold by the United Reformed Church. In 2005, No 87 was sold to the current occupants. Mr and Mrs Baha Uddin. From 2005 – 2006, the property was empty and vagrants frequently hung around church. Currently, the IHOW church offers a nursery to serve the whole neighbourhood and has an impressive list of neighbours who welcome the church and who do not regard their worship as a problem.

However, Mr and Mrs Uddin complained about the level of noise of worship coming from the church for just 40 minutes a week and an Abatement Notice was served on the Church Trustees on 6 May 2009 under Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 79(1) (g). The church appealed to the magistrate court and the hearing took place on 5 and 6 October at Waltham Forest Magistrates Court.

Mr Ade Ajike, a Trustee of the church said: “When we moved into Valentinn Road in 2007, we had renovated the property and bricked up the three windows facing house No 87. We also double glazed all the windows, except one stained glass window, and spent £10,000 to carry out sound-reducing. In fact, the Council’s environmental department at the time said it would be enough just to brick up the windows.

“After moving in we invited Environmental Officers to visit the premises and we got the OK. We also visited neighbours and took them potted plants , and had no problem until Mr Uddin made his official complaint in August 2008.

“Gary Vickers, an Environmental health enforcement officer visited Mr Uddin’s house on 10th August (Sunday worship service time) and on 12 August issued a letter to us saying that in his opinion, the volume from the music was of statutory noise nuisance level throughout the neighbours’ property. He suggested to deal with matter through sensible negotiation, informing our Pastor that ‘the church had to keep the noise down so as not to offend the Muslims living in the area’. He told us ‘this is a Muslim borough, you have to tread carefully’.”

During August, IHOW took action. They reduced hours of Sunday worship from 4 hours to 2 hours 30 mins, of which music is played for about 45 minutes. They reduced their weekly services to one service on Sunday, and all mid-week services held are skeletal services without music. Sunday evening services were reduced to once a month. The Trustees also took the decision not to hire out the premises in case noise would aggravate Mr Uddin, a move which has cost the church additional revenue. However, the visiting officer changed and questioning got more hostile.

Mr Ajike said: “Officers questioned the church why they needed amplifiers when 50 years ago the Church would not have used drums and amplified music. On 6 May 2009, an Abatement Notice was issued against the church alleging an unreasonable level of noise nuisance caused by excessive loud amplified music and drums.

“Since then we have stopped using drums and further reduced our worship time to 20 minutes beginning from 11.30am on a Sunday morning. We have also restricted church services to once a week. Despite all our action, Mr Uddin, who actually lives in what was the former Manse (vicarage) to the church, would stand at church’s main entrance door and shout his complaints and demand our Pastor come out to speak to him during his sermon.”

The IHOW has sought the advice of the Christian Legal Centre over their plight and to appeal this week’s decision. CLC has instructed leading Human Right’s expert Paul Diamond to represent the church at the Appeal.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, barrister and director of the CLC said:

“The charge of nuisance in law must involve proving there is a substantial interference with comfort. Surely, any reasonable person would think that singing for 40 minutes or so once or twice a week would not cross this threshold. Worship in a Church is to be expected. The Environmental Health Officers do not seem to have taken this fact into account. This is a vibrant Afro Caribbean community of Christian believers whose worship of God is fundamental to the expression of their faith. The richness and vibrancy of groups like the London Gospel Community Choir is based on the Afro Caribbean expression of faith through music. ’

If you would like to donate to support the Christian Legal Centre in this case we would be very grateful. To do so, please click the button below.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Last Post!

This is the one - I have received my parcel and I have 14 peoples work to mark which equates to almost 100 pieces of work so I might not blog much during the next few weeks as I have to have them marked by 16th November and I am going to Glasgow for 6 days this month - you may want to check just in case I manage something.

Still at still waiting!

The wonders of the Royal Mail never cease to surprise me. My parcel of marking was posted in London on Friday and has still not arrived - it is recorded delivery too so you would have thought it should be here within two working days as per the Royal mail website. When I checked it on their track and trace facility having been given the parcel number by the Local Preachers Office it said this...'Item...' is being
progressed through our network for delivery'.Whatever that is supposed to mean!
Hopefully it will arrive today.
Good news on the book front as it is now ready to go except for a comment on the back cover and my son has said he will write this as I will be far too modest and not 'sell' the book to the reader. I wait with baited breath!!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Still waiting and taken to task (gently)

Well folks no marking arrived yet even though the indication from Methodist Church House was that it was being dispatched last Friday - perhaps the postman is walking all the way from London with it. I did email the Discipleship and Ministries cluster last night to see if they had actually sent me anything - watch this space for more news!!
On another note I have been taken to task (very gently) over on Connexions by Olive Morgan who I suspect is our Senior Methodist Blogger for comments I made about a distinct lack of posts on the blogs I visit regularly.She suggested some more blogs I should check out and I may well visit them regularly as they appear to be quite interesting. Not sure if Olive reads this blog so I have thanked her over at Connexions.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Not quite the last post!

Well I was ever so slightly wrong yesterday when I suggested I may not post for a while, but then was it just a ruse to make sure you check the site out? Of course it wasn't! I really was thinking my marking would arrive yesterday and it would be all hands to the pumps so to speak. I normally have seven peoples work to mark so there are four assignments each, a worship portfolio and two exegeses, and of course I work full time and wear a number of hats in respect of church and have a life which includes trying to write fascinating items for this blog and complete my book 'A Bang or a Whimper' which is now at the final proofreading stage before going off to be printed. It is 155 pages of my reminiscences from when I were a lad in Hill Top, West Bromwich and I am hoping to keep the price down to £5 a copy. My son is currently working on the cover so I am hoping to get this off to the printers this week. I will keep you updated dear reader!!

What does Clarkson know?

I was interested to read in our local paper a couple of days ago that Wednesbury had been looking for a Vicar for Saint Bart's for two years now and there had been very little interest. I have to be honest it is not a church that from a building perspective would attract me, although the picture here looks quite good, but Anita Singh writing in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday relates the thoughts of Jeremy Clarkson on Wednesbury and according to the article has raised the 'wrath' of the good folk of Wednesbury!
I would suggest that he is very careful if he ever travels into or through Wednesbury! Remember what they did to John Wesley when he visited there - stoning and rioting was the order of the day!,And he was bringing Good News!
I have to say I love the comment from a local councillor who says that Clarkson has little or no taste - my sentiments exactly.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Last Post - possibly

Just thought an update may be helpful - my marking didn't arrive yesterday although I had received an email from the Discipleship and Ministry cluster saying they were hoping to post them on Friday with an hope they would arrive yesterday or tomorrow.
I am expecting they may be with me tomorrow so this may be the last post for a day or two but who knows I may still get the odd one in.
I would rather not go off line so to speak at the moment as there seems to be very little going on in the Methodist blogging group with most of the regulars posting very sporadically (one for Kim at connexions - although I am not sure if he reads my blog. I know its the start of the new Methodist year but as far as I am aware most of the regulars have not moved station so I would have hoped they would have posted a little more regularly - still me and Methodist Preacher seem to be keeping the flag flying reasonably and who knows I might manage some blogs during the next couple of weeks in between marking.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

A very nice man........

No I'm not advertising the AA!!
I pooped into the pink elephant in West Bromwich today to the event to mark the International Day of Older People having been loosely invited by Bob the Black Country Brummie.
It was an interesting visit on a number of fronts, firstly it gave me a chance to see what the Public was really like and I have to say I thought it was a very nice building and I can see it has some potential - I found the 'Golden Mile' display interesting and spent some time having a look at that and trying to identify where relevant bits of it were in the stretch from Carters Green to Dartmouth Square.
I then had a look around the various displays which were very interesting but for people a tad older than I am (still the right side of 60 after all).
I was looking round upstairs and paid particular attention to two stands one being a health related stand and the other the University of the Third Age where I thought I might spot one of my readers and commenters. I looked at the bloke on the first stall and there was some resemblance to the picture on the persons blog - his hair was grey, receding slightly and he wore glasses! I then popped across to the U3A stall and saw a man there with a name badge on - he was talking to a lady so I went away and looked at some of the other stuff but kept a watch to see when the man was free. I then went over and asked if the gentleman was the Black Country Brummie' and met with the response 'Fat Prophet'.
I spent an enjoyable half an hour or so talking to him and his wife and it was good to both meet him and her and share a laugh about the mouth wash post on his blog the other day.
Watch out Methodist Preacher - you could be next!!!!