Warning: This is only semi-interesting.
I have installed a new whathaveyou in the right hand column of this blog that list the ‘recent comments’ in more of a bulletin board fashion, with the comment threads that have been commented on recently at the top and the names of the last six commenters. It is clever and puts the most recent commenters in a dark grey and commenters from a while ago in a lighter grey. In fact there might even be three shades of grey – I’ll get me specs.
Another clever feature is revealed when you hover your mouse over any of the names. Lo and behold, you get to see how long ago they commented. Brilliant! Unfortunately when you hover over the post name (ie ‘Love Basildon’ etc) you get an odd and surprising result, which I will let you discover for yourself. I do not know how to fix it, but it is a quirky oddity that I am prepared to live with. The problem with the world today is that there are not enough quirky oddities.
I have retained the old ‘recent comments’ at the bottom of the right hand sidebar for those who like things the way they have always been done. I will phase out this old ‘recent comments’ feature quietly at a time when no-one is expecting it, thus avoiding a media backlash.
Um. That’s it. I did warn you that it wasn’t much of a post.
Technical info: The new ‘recent comments’ feature uses a WordPress plugin called ‘Brian’s latest comments’ and also one called ‘Dunstan’s Time Since’. I now use a total of 13 WordPress plugins on this blog.
Posted by Dave at 11:59 pm on August 13, 2007 and filed under Religion.
The Christians of Southend held an event in 2005 they called ‘Love Southend‘. The Christians of Basildon have been inspired by this so are holding an event called ‘Love Basildon’.
Unfortunately it is quite difficult to find any authoritative information about ‘Love Basildon’ online, because there does not seem to be any. There is one newspaper report which tells me that 27 churches (almost 30) are involved, and that there will be an evening at the theatre with a kung fu star. I have also heard by other means that some balloons are to be given out in the shopping centre, but as far as I can find there is no other information available online anywhere, and I have done at least 2 or 3 searches. For an event that ‘wants to take the town by storm with a series of events this summer‘ I for one am mildly dissatisfied.
Until two days ago all of the ‘lovebasildon’ domains were still untaken, but I have just checked and lovebasildon.org.uk has finally been registered. Perhaps a website is on its way.
In the meantime I will have to show my love for Basildon in other ways. Perhaps I will make a t-shirt saying ‘I Love Basildon’ and wear it around Greenbelt. As a witness, sort of thing. I probably wouldn’t wear it around Basildon as I might get beaten up.
Update: The ‘Love Basildon‘ website is now online.
Posted by Dave at 4:13 pm on August 12, 2007 and filed under Church, Ecumenical matters, Religion.
These days you do not need to be an internet ‘whizz’ kid to make a website. In order to demonstrate how easy it is to make a website for a church (or any other purpose) I have made one for an imaginary church in about half an hour (perhaps an hour – but I dilly-dallied along the way) and it is here: http://churchwebsite.wordpress.com/
Here is how to make such a website in fairly easy steps:
- Sign up for an account at WordPress.com
- Set up a blog for your church – perhaps using yourchuchname.wordpress.com
- Choose a theme such as the one I chose (‘Cutline’) that has the ‘pages’ horizontally across the top.
- If you’re using the ‘Cutline’ theme you can upload your own photo for the header via the ‘presentation’ tab and then ‘custom image header’. I’ve just quickly added one here using an image I had on my computer – you can do a better job I’m sure. It allows you to crop it to size so any large photo can be used.
- My advice would be to use ‘Pages’ for content that will not change – ie contact details, service times, whatever. These will then appear in the list across the top.
- My advice would also be to use ‘Posts’ for content that you will be updating – ie news items, sermons, whatever. You can add these to different categories if you choose. If you don’t plan to keep on updating the site my advice would be not to add anything that will go out of date in the first place – there is nothing worse than a website listing last year’s Christmas services or somesuch.
- You can customise the sidebar using ‘presentation’ and then ‘widgets’. I’ve shown how you could add things like feeds (perhaps to the Vicar’s blog?) and an introductory paragraph using the ‘text’ widget. You could add photos using the ‘Flickr’ widget if you chose.
- If you like you can add a domain – yourchurchname.org.uk – via ‘options’ and then ‘domains’. For a UK domain this will cost you a tenner a year or less. But don’t worry about this – it isn’t really the important thing.
You can of course make many improvements to this by spending a little more time. There are I’m sure lots of other good ways to make a website, but for someone starting from scratch I think wordpress.com is a great option.
Hopefully this will help someone out there.
Other useful Church website resources:
- The single most useful site I’ve found for making church websites with WordPress is Tim’s LivingOS site. I’m using one of his great themes for our church site – about which more shortly as it is still under wraps (sshhhh). He also has a master list of other WordPress-driven church sites.
The Churchblogger blog has a lot on using WordPress for church sites, though David hasn’t updated recently. That’s OK though – rummage through the archives.
- The Christian Blog Awards has a section for Church websites. You only have 2 days left to enter. I notice that the Bishop of London will be there.
- Church Communications Pro seems to be aimed at the larger US church scene, but has some useful bits (and bobs).
- Heal Your Church Website is the original church website blog (started in the 1920s I think). A bit technical for me if I’m to be honest, but Dean certainly knows his stuff.
Posted by Dave at 11:59 pm on August 10, 2007 and filed under Blogging, Church, Religion, Technical.
As hinted at the other day the The Dave Walker Guide to the Church 2008 Calendar is now available.
It is published by Canterbury Press, costs £5.99 and is subtitled ‘Things to do in your church’. Each month contains a page of different drawings of events that one might (perhaps) choose to celebrate in one’s church during that month. All the material is brand new and hasn’t been published anywhere else, except for December which is a Christmas cartoon I did as a half page Church Times one that I was quite pleased with. The calendar artwork pages look a bit like the one to the right, but bigger. The calendar ‘dates’ pages have plenty of space to write things in and contain important ecclesiastical events. Each copy of the calendar comes with a strong envelope to put it in.
The calendar is available from the following places:
- Direct from SCM-Canterbury Press
- From the Church House Bookshop – the actual shop or online. They are doing a special offer – book and calendar for £8.99 until 1st October
- From the Church Times tent at Greenbelt*
SPCK (Currently unavailable from SPCK)
- Through Anglicanshop.com (Already in their ‘Top 10′ apparently)
- If you quote the ISBN number 978-1-85311-815-9 I think you should be able to order it through other bookshops*
*I’m fairly sure about these options, but will confirm them as soon as I can. If you know of other places stocking it please let me know.
Posted by Dave at 11:00 pm on August 9, 2007 and filed under Books, CartoonChurch progress, CartoonChurch.com newsletter, Religion.
In this day and age it is right that those who are able should travel to the supermarket by bicycle when they can. I find though that when I do so I often encounter problems transporting groceries, especially if they are delicate or malleable. My bread, as the jottings above indicate, often ends up rucksack shaped at the end of the trip which means that the bread burns in the toaster as it is misshapen into untoasterly forms.
I think that I need some better means to carry delicate groceries by bicycle. Perhaps some panniers, though most panniers that I have seen look a bit small and still liable to crush bread. I could attach a large plastic box onto the rear rack, but that would look a bit unstylish and clash with the sleek lines of my bicycle.
In the old days bicycles had baskets, but these are now frowned upon in areas such as South East Essex. I think some more innovative solutions are called for, hence the drawing of the bread-carrying hat above.
How do you get your bread home?
Posted by Dave at 6:01 pm on August 9, 2007 and filed under Cartoons, Cycling, In-depth analysis, Religion.
‘Cash in Christ‘ is a show performing at the Edinburgh Fringe doing a satirical take on charismatic and prosperity doctrine Christianity. There is a song video available on Youtube entitled ‘Christian Rock is cool‘ which is quite good fun.
I haven’t seen the show, so I can’t comment on it, but the website looks a bit as if the people are trying to satirise the movement without having been part of it. I can’t blame them for that of course, but it means that in my opinion it misses the mark ever so slightly. Not that I hold up my own attempts (a few years ago now) as a particularly shining example of the genre, though we had fun doing it.
The Independent had this to say about the show. There will be some Christians who find it offensive I’m sure. The thing that makes me a bit uncomfortable is the use of ‘Christ’ in the title, but I’m not about to wave a placard about it.
Incidentally I heard about this on Bishop Alan’s blog. Bishop Alan is the Bishop of Buckingham and one of very few Church of England bishops to be blogging. It looks to me as if his is going to be a great blog – take this post as an example of good common sense thinking about current Anglican goings-on: Nigerian flying bishop for England?
Posted by Dave at 3:45 pm on August 8, 2007 and filed under Church, Religion.
I will post the details tomorrow.
Posted by Dave at 11:28 pm on August 7, 2007 and filed under CartoonChurch progress.
Premier, the popular online internet Christian radio station and website posted this story today entitled ‘Virtual pastors sweep across America’, an interesting story about computerised preachers.
Unfortunately the source for the story is the US satirical Christian website ‘Lark News‘ – the original story is here. Oh dear! Someone at Premier will have egg on their tie when the error is noticed.
It could of course be that I have been duped by a false duping. If that is the case please write in.
I realise that by posting this I am wiping out my chances in the forthcoming Christian Blog Awards which are organised by Premier, but I decided that my commitment to blogging the pressing issues of the day must come first.
By the way, we are back from the holiday that we might or might not have been on. More about that later.
Posted by Dave at 5:03 pm on August 6, 2007 and filed under Blogging, Church, Religion.