i'm keeping well entertained on the tyne at the mo... wedding activity... trips to london... fair trade fortnight... community gatherings... and tonight faithless... zo and i went to see faithless last year and it was incredible. hoping for a repeat performance tonight.
in other news... this blog is shortly to be laid to rest. the organisation which, to date, supports this blog (headway) is no longer called headway and I no longer do any of its youthwork, so headwayyouth couldn't be less descriptive. think i'm going to keep blogging though.... just need to find a decent title...
London this week was much fun. Busy, but fun! I can imagine hating London if I lived there but while I'm just a visitor I love it. For obvious reasons I'm a public transport fan and once you've mastered the tube it is so unbelievably efficient and also quite fun. But the best thing about London is definitely Soho: all those quirky little shops, Black Market Records (pictured) and ridiculously cheap food (also pictured). If heaven is like anything Soho (minus the sex shops and prostitutes) I'll be a happy man!
Just about to leave Traidcraft HQ to board the familiar train to london, for the launch of Fairtrade Fortnight tonight. Generally speaking Fair Trade isn't the trendiest thing around: it normally features a lot of coffee mornings and [middle-aged] fashion shows, so I'm quite looking forward to tonights knees-up. Just got a new phone with a decent camera, so I'll hopefully have some photos for blogging later this week.
Last night a few of us gathered in the north-east to eat and reflect on all things Lenten. Having spoken with lots of people, it became apparent that to develop a sense of community amongst those of us who aren't in churches, eating is pretty important. Amazing how a bottle of vino and some 'pucka tucka' can prove to be a real leveller.
We were keen to meet in the context that we were all on a spiritual journey, so I pulled together a few liturgical bits and bobs from the internet (including this from down under, this from Jonny and this from Bruce Stanley).
Last night was the Sanctuary. The theme this month was fittingly 'Love is...' The church we meet in is a proper old-school parish church. With a distinctly unseeker-friendly drive and a lovely crew of resident bell ringers. Every month Tracy (resident worship-curator) makes the most of the architecture by doing an installation around the [large] font and various bits and bobs around the aisle. Last night the walk up the [lengthy] aisle was staggered as participants were encouraged to read a liturgy line-by-line before taking communion. It worked really well!
It was nice to see friends, walk around the city, hear a spanish man preaching at Leicester Square (see left) and visit the enormous Apple Store on Regent Street, but for the first time I'm starting to think that living in London would not be as good as it is in my head!
A great Christmas thus far: soaking turkey's (Nigella's eccentric but not so effiective recipe) and baking [wedding] cakes, which apparently needs to be done months in advance to allow time for the cake to mature and alcohol to be 'injected' :-)
As ever, lots of great Christmas presents especially a Howies jumper from Zo and a Stevie G DVD from the in-laws.
Following Jonny's recent post about his visit to the north-east I figure it's just about time to post about what is happening up here. I moved up here just over twelve months ago, Zo had already been up here just over a year. Although she told me there was nothing emerging and little culturally relevant about church up here, I was confident that with the aid of my trusty car Zo and I would find something; this is newcastle, surely there is something on the emerging scale going on? A year on it's clear that although there are plenty of church plants up here, none of them break from the evangelical tradition and the rich north-east tradition of Celtic Christianity seems to be lost under a sea of charismatic worship. After complaining about this for too long, recently Zo and I have started to converse with a few other disenfranchised (read fed up) believers. We're not quite sure where it's going to go, but we're going to keep talking (and probably eating!) and we'll see what happens. Prayers and wisdom appreciated.