Monday, June 18, 2007

Celebration Again!

So we were on the radio again yesterday. Click here for the BBC Wales Celebration site, and then click on "Listen Again" - but only upto June 23rd!!! After that, it will be the next church in the rota that you will hear, and not us at all.

Reflections. After the Easter broadcast, I gave a measured response. The broadcast did what I wanted - told the Easter story really well with a huge cast of people involved, and the singing and speaking were all well recorded; but the band was superb 'live', and that just hadn't been as well recorded as I would have hoped, or indeed as well recorded as the BBC did last time they came.

This one was very different - much more reflective in tone, basically it is three poetic mediations on worship, with songs and short prayers. Again, the singing and speaking is well recorded. But this time, the band (though it's not perfect, but I guess that's 'live' work and limited time for you) comes over much, much better.

There are also fewer speaking voices involved, but they are all fantastic. Kevin Ellis, Gill Tuck and Stewart Franklin read the meditations, whilst Naomi and I lead the service. Kev, Gill and Stewart are phenomenal. Charlotte Ellis sings "Here I am to worship" as a solo - really great.

I am absolutely delighted. Really moved. Welling up with worship. Regular readers (and there a handful of you!) please click the link and listen before the end of this week. And let me know what you think.

I had an amazing time writing these services; I have just had an amazing time listening, and worshipping.

So though at the time it was a lot of hard work, this makes it worth while. I'm glad you rang up and asked us to do it Karen: thank you.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Live on Five at Six Fifteen

At six fifteen-ish this evening, Peter Allen on the evening news on Radio Five Live said -

"We've had an email from Marcus in Pontypridd. He writes:

'I received a letter in the post this morning:

Dear Sir or Madam - The Greater London Low Emission Zone - how could it effect you?

Here's my address: The Vicarage, Gelliwastad Grove, Pontypridd, Wales CF37 2BS.

There's a nice leaflet and a website. I checked on the "Area of Operation" link, and Pontypridd isn't inside it. I wondered if any other listeners from even further afield have been treated to this leaflet, or if I am special?'

So has anyone else had this leaflet about the Low Emission Zone - whatever that is? Let us know!"

"Especially if you are outside London" added Jane, his co-presenter.

And within minutes, from Barnsley, Worksop and Glasgow people were emailing in. So the Mayor of London seems to be less green than he thinks, given that this mailing went out to thousands of people who had absolutely no need for it. Oops.

Actually, Peter didn't read the Gelliwastad Grove bit. Clearly he felt that detail was (a) beyond his North London ability, or (b) just too much detail. Though he did read the post code. So I'm thinking (a).

Hooray anyway! A successful email on Drive! My first!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Who will buy?

Just another plug.

Except this time, you don't have to go anywhere to do something about it. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page and you can listen to snippets and also (importantly!) purchase tracks from Every Breath from the Music Store here on the blog!

See how thoughtful I am? How kind, giving, and ready to resource your every need?

If I could work out how to make Salvation's Song an e-book, I'd do that too!

Friday, June 01, 2007


So I never got round to blogging about my trip to Florida after Easter. Time I put that right.

Here's my sister, Gill, outside her pad in Zephyrhills. It's evening, so it's cool, mid to high seventies, and she's pottering around in the garden. Funny, when we were kids, she hated the garden. Maybe when I'm as old as she is, I'll have green fingers too.

This is Ben, my nephew, and Lucy the dog, lounging by the pool out the back of the house.
Ben is now nearly eleven, and bright as anything. About to change up to middle school, he is struggling with choices. Should he do band? Or chorus? Or elective wheel? (Whatever that is.) Band, says my sister, is where the nerdy kids go. But it's what he wants to do - go for it Ben! Look at me, it did me no harm. I'd make the same choice.

Though there are those who might claim I was one of the nerdy kids. But heck, if getting top grades all through school and claiming a place at the top university in the country and still knowing enough trivia to win Tim Hughes' music quiz means I'm a nerd, I can live with it.

Here's Gill walking the dog. Both of them enjoying the exercise. Not a lot of walking going on. Ben is on his scooter behind them. I'm looking at the red car...

Actually it was a great trip. Gill's job now means I see a lot more of her when I go over - her hours work out much better, or they did this time. I used to just chill by the pool and see her briefly in the evening, but this time we had whole days together! And that was a lot of fun.

As was meeting up with Chris Berryman, an old friend from Maryland who now lives not far away. He's here with Kurt, his friend who works at Disney and very generously took me round for a day. We had a great time - though by the end, my feet were bearing the marks of too much sun!

I hadn't seen Chris for far too many years, but it really was like only yesterday, the way we instantly began to joke and enjoy the time together. And then chat theology and work through really deep issues. Friendships mean the world to me; it was a great joy to renew this one.

One last picture. Me in "France" at Epcot. Just to prove I was there. This has become (for a while anyway) my main photo on MySpace. It has been years since I could fit into this Man Utd shirt! So I'm just showing off. And being thankful - it was a great holiday, a great time with Gill and Ben, and then with Chris and also with Kurt, and I look forwards to going back soon.