A few weeks ago you kindly helped me with ideas for an ‘excuses for absenteeism’ cartoon. Well, here is the cartoon. It appeared in the Church Times on the 11th of January. Thanks again for all your help.
Sorry to not bring you more today. I have a heavy cold and am trying to do my paperwork. I really must not look at the computer again until this evening.
I was distracted this morning by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s recent speech about Religious Offence and who should be allowed to cause it. I haven’t decided what I think yet. He says some good things, but I’m not sure I agree with all his conclusions. All I can say is that it needs more thought than has been given by some prominent bloggers, who don’t bother to look up the original speech and just hurl abuse. This seems to be a more well thought out critique. I’d be interested to read comments by those who agree with the Archbishop.
Posted by Dave at 11:41 am on January 30, 2008 and filed under Cartooning, Current events, Religion.
Whilst I’m on a ‘Fresh Expressions’ sort of theme here’s something else that has popped up in the comments. The Baptists in Welwyn Garden City have started to ‘cross frontiers and break new ground’ by having church meetings in their local Costa coffee shop (see image: right) and have chatted with Costa who have said that can other churches can hold their meetings in Costa coffee shops too. There is news about this on the Fresh Expressions site.
As an aside, it pleased me that the minister’s name is ‘Cid Latty’. Latty… Latte… Never mind.
An organisation has been formed to administer this network of Cafe Churches and the associated website. This weekend there is a training day. Once you have set up an organisation it is always important to have a training day. If I ever set up an organisation running a training day will be one of my priorities. You can sign up now if you like, though I must warn you that I haven’t decided what the organisation will be yet.
Of course a lot of other people have been running Cafe Churches over the last few years. The Australians in particular do a lot of this sort of thing – see this group and this group for example. Andrew the Tall Skinny Kiwi was running Cafe Churches back in 1989 when you and I were still in short trousers. There are many examples of Cafe Churches in Britain that can be discovered by using a search engine on the internet.
Posted by Dave at 4:24 pm on January 29, 2008 and filed under Church, Ecumenical matters, Emerging church, Religion.
The Messy Church people have a website. It has a video you can watch if your computer is up to such things.
Messy Church is a ‘Fresh Expression’ – like the ones we were talking about the other week. It is, if I understand it correctly, a sort of a church service for all ages, but involving lots of arty crafty goings-on. In one sense it is no different to the holiday clubs that I went to as a child, or the kids and youth clubs I ran as a youthworker, but perhaps with more emphasis on the fact that the event is ‘church’ rather than ‘something you do in addition to church’. Also they’ve done a good job of branding it and making a ‘package’ that can be used elsewhere. Good stuff – I wish them all the best.
Found via David Keen. David has an interesting blog – worth adding to your feed reader.
Posted by Dave at 8:57 am on January 29, 2008 and filed under Church, Emerging church, Religion.
This is the method I use. I have found it to fail without fail.
This has nothing to do with the fact that it is National ‘Do your tax form’ Week.
[You may repost this image on your blog if you put a link back here - thank you!]
Posted by Dave at 3:07 pm on January 28, 2008 and filed under Cartoons, Household hints, Slacking, Starting a Business.
This is a rather belated mention for Nicola David’s Grove booklet ‘Publicity and the Local Church‘, which uses my ‘The problem with the church‘ cartoon on its cover. I haven’t seen the book yet – I’ll take a look next time I’m in Church House Bookshop, who do, it must be said, have a very good selection of Grove booklets. Anyway, well done to Nicola, who reads this site and would comment more if it were not for the fact that my site mysteriously eats her comments.
The thing I like about Grove booklets is that they are short and to the point and cost about three pounds. It means that you can afford to investigate a subject without a huge amount of investment and getting approval from the PCC. Interestingly I note that one of the other new titles is about Online church, based on experiences gained through the St Pixels project.
On a semi-unrelated subject I was really very surprised to see at the weekend that the big Waterstones in Piccadilly still has ample copies of the Dave Walker Guide to the Church on prominent display in both the ‘Waterstones Recommends’ section and the Humour section. Quite remarkable.
Please note: I wasn’t especially looking for it – I just happened to glance my head to the left slightly when passing the shelf where it had previously been. It must be emphasised that I really do not spend my weekends travelling the country attempting to spot copies of my book in various bookshops.
[Disclosure*: Church House Bookshop is part of Hymns Ancient and Modern Limited, who pay me to do drawings.]
*I’m going to try to write one of these when I recommend something that might, directly or indirectly bring me financial benefit. I’ve read elsewhere that it’s something I should perhaps do.
Posted by Dave at 11:59 pm on January 27, 2008 and filed under Books, Religion.
The UCCF are encouraging Christian students to help illustrate the gospel of Mark using doodles. The scheme is called ‘oodles of doodles’ and is explained here. 400 000 copies of the doodled-upon gospels will then be given out to students this September.
An example of a good evangelistic doodle is shown above. One assumes that the three lightening bolts represent the wrath of God, the heart represents the human condition, and the five stars represent astrology. I don’t know about the seaweed – I haven’t worked that out yet.
The doodles must not use words or letters as explained in the downloadable instructions, reproduced below. It would appear that numbers are OK. Punctuation is a grey area, and therefore discouraged. Non-literal gospel drawings are encouraged, but not outside the box.
I for one am in favour of encouraging people to doodle so I think this scheme has my hearty backing. It is my opinion that pens and paper should be given out on the way into all church services. If everyone did more drawing the problems in this world would be cut by about 10-12%.
Monks have been illustrating gospels since early times. This is also relevant, but I forget why.
Background information: The UCCF is a conservative evangelical university Christian Unions organisation. See here to see the posts I’ve written about them in the past.
Posted by Dave at 5:28 pm on January 25, 2008 and filed under Art, Cartooning, Ecumenical matters, Religion.
The new Church of England ‘Olympic Tsar’ was licenced yesterday at St Paul’s Cathedral. He is shown here with a three handed bishop: one hand adjusting the microphone, one hand engaged in a service sheet tug of war and one hand holding the great big book.
I wanted some information on tsars and what they do, so I looked it up. ‘A male monarch or emperor, especially one of the emperors who ruled Russia until the revolution of 1917′ apparently, but it can also be ‘a person having great power; an autocrat’ or ‘an appointed official having special powers to regulate or supervise an activity’.
Looking at Google News it appears that there are drug tsars, flood tsars, food tsars, design tsars, trash tsars, tourism tsars, canal tsars and dementia tsars. These are either in existence or being called for by someone or other somewhere or other.
If any tsars are reading please write in and tell us what you are a tsar of and how being a tsar is different to being a non-tsar.
The C of E Olympic tsar, by the way, will do the following:
Duncan’s role is to work on behalf of the Church of England with the ‘More than Gold’ structure and with LOCOG and the LDA. The aim is to help mobilise the churches of London and the nation to serve and witness to the Olympic movement in producing the best possible games and ensuring a positive legacy for East London.
If anyone would like to explain what this means then feel free to write in as well.
You might remember, by the way, that I posted about this post in December 2006, along with this cartoon which I plan to repost each and every time the Olympics is mentioned anywhere by anyone:
Tsar-tsar for now.
Posted by Dave at 5:56 pm on January 24, 2008 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Religion.
You might remember the story of Tom Ambrose, the Cambridge Vicar who has been appearing before a tribunal to see whether there has been pastoral breakdown in his parish (here are some Church Times reports from last year to remind you: 1, 2).
Today’s reports in the Times and Cambridge News are saying that Tom Ambrose is to be sacked – ‘‘Bully’ vicar Tom Ambrose to be sacked‘ was the headline in Ruth Gledhill’s first piece, though later on after she had heard from Tom on the phone (blog link worth reading) the story was softened to ‘Vicar branded a liar and a bully should be sacked, tribunal rules‘. The Cambridge News also has an article.
I have little inside information, but it really does appear from the outside as if justice has not been done. John Pettigrew, an ex-blogger whose opinion I trust who was at the Tribunal, and he says this in Ruth’s comments:
Yes, Tom has lost. Personally, I have little idea why. He’s not always a sensible man, but he is not the monster he’s being painted as. And it is certainly the case that there is no breakdown between “the parish” and the priest. There is a breakdown between certain members of the PCC and the priest, and quite a bit of collateral damage scattered around. At the Tribunal itself, I had the distinct impression that the prosecuting lawyer was simply trying to score points and to unsettle witnesses, rather than the proceedings being a tribunal seeking facts.
The view of most of the “ordinary” parishioners at Trumpington (i.e. those outside the circles of politics that bedevil the parish) seems to be that this has been a power play from the moment Tom arrived in the parish. Neither side is guilt-free, but I am perfectly clear in my own mind where the causes lie, and they’re not with Tom. To dismiss him would be a manifest injustice.
I recommend reading the whole post if you’re interested in more background.
This is the Trumpington church website. I suspect John has something to do with it as he is good with that sort of thing.
Those who pray might like to remember Tom and his wife Gill at this present time.
Update: Reports like this one from HR zone really irritate me:
- They’ve lost the quotes around the word ‘bully’ (as used by the Times) from the headline, thereby telling the reader that the vicar in question is guilty
- The other side of the story isn’t reported, and there is no link to enable the reader to hear the other side of the story.
Posted by Dave at 11:16 pm on January 23, 2008 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Current events, Religion.
YouTube – Archbishop launches Lambeth Conference 2008 programme
YouTube – Lambeth 2008 question & answer session part 1
YouTube – Lambeth 2008 question & answer session part 2
All of these can be found on the band new website for the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop of York also has a brand new site, so he needn’t feel left out. The announcement about these new websites is here.
Sorry to not post more today. I’ve been having a bit of an ‘ideas not being there when I need them’ nightmare day.
Posted by Dave at 5:51 pm on January 22, 2008 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Lambeth 08, Religion.
Today I went to the launch of the Lambeth Conference at Lambeth Palace.
I arrived wearing a suit and sensible shoes. I was ushered into the presence of the gatekeeper (we’ll call him ‘Saint Peter’) where a book was opened and an A4 sheet was perused, but alas, my name was not found on the list. I was sent into a purgatorial waiting room where I chatted to one or two others whose names were found not to be on the scroll.
Eventually we were summoned forth and escorted to the press conference where there was coffee and mingling time. I sat near the back as I am not a journalist, which is fair enough really. My pictures are therefore not brilliant, but not bad considering they were taken on my mobile phone.
There were various speeches introducing the forthcoming Lambeth Conference. I’ll provide links at the end. This photo is Archbishop Rowan Williams (and a man in the way).
This is Jane Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s wife, and Margaret Sentamu, wife of the Archbishop of York. They are introducing the spouses conference. Unfortunately this is the best shot I have as it was very dark.
There were then questions, before the bishops went outside to assemble for photographs. There were a lot of bishops, as the delegates from a ‘So, you’re a new bishop‘ course for new bishops were present.
The press taking pictures of the bishops. A few of them were talking at the back.
A closer-up shot showing the various styles of dress.
Afterwards there was a bit of time for mingling to resume. It was good to meet Ruth Gledhill and Joanna Sugden from the Times and also Simon of Thinking Anglicans. And then, as if that wasn’t enough I had the privilege of being taken to briefly meet the Archbishop of Canterbury himself in another bit of the palace. My role at the Lambeth Conference wasn’t mentioned in the press conference of course as I am but a tiny cog in the workings, so it was really good to be introduced.
I really must do some drawing practice.
OK, some links. This is the official page with the text of the presentations by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Mrs Jane Williams:
Some news reports:
Today has been a long day, and I’m aware that I haven’t said anything about the content of the press conference and the questions that followed. I hope to do more of that sort of thing over the coming days and weeks, but in the meantime I’ll continue to post links to other people’s reports in this post.
Posted by Dave at 9:57 pm on January 21, 2008 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Lambeth 08, Religion.
This is my drawing for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, a special 8 day week which is currently taking place. The Churches Together in Britain and Ireland site has links to pamphlets and the BBC has a picture showing how doves are involved. Notably the week is 100 years old this time around, meaning that there will have been a total of 808 days of prayer for Christian unity, assuming that they started it on the 8 day basis and have continued ever since (I must confess to having done limited research).
Talking of unity, I have come to the conclusion that the current Anglican difficulties to do with sexuality are as of nought compared with the most pressing contentious issue of the day we face, that of Family Services. Thank you for your comments here and elsewhere by the way – really thought provoking and sincerely appreciated.
It seems to me that your response to the thorny family service issue depends upon a number of factors including but not limited to:
- Whether you have / have had small children or not
- Whether you have the responsibility for running services
- The kind of church you go to
- Your theology
- Whether you have, over the course of your lifetime, spent many long bitter hours in family services wishing that you were anywhere on the earth but here
In a way I am pleased that you all think so differently. It shows that this site has a diverse readership, and for that I am grateful.
[By the way, please feel free to reuse this cartoon on your blog with a link. If anyone would like to reuse it anywhere else let me know and I'll post the high res version on the main site.]
Posted by Dave at 6:07 pm on January 20, 2008 and filed under Cartoons, Church, Ecumenical matters, Religion.
Todays idea appeal subject is ‘family services’, or ‘all age services’. Questions:
- What are the essential elements of a family service?
- Do you love them or hate them? Feel free to tell us why.
Anything you can tell me would be a help. Thanks again in advance.
Posted by Dave at 12:12 pm on January 19, 2008 and filed under Church, Ideas appeal, Religion.