Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Gambian Tales

Nothing changes! I was met at Banjul airport by the tackiest taxi available! Not only did this one have no floor, but was short of a window or two! However, I'm consoled that the seatbelt works! This is a new law in The Gambia. You can drive the biggest wreck in the world as long as you have your seatbelt on, your triangle, and your fire extinguisher!

My regulat taxi driver, Babba, has lost his taxi, meantime. It is a complicated story, but most stories are here, and nothing cannot be solved with a little money. We'll see how things go. I have a jeep now, although the rear view mirror seems to be portable....  hold it up if you want to see what's behind you! As ever the tank is empty but it gobbles up the deisel.

This is Gambia, and dreadfully Third World. I am in a compound that is basic but good. The dog is a strange gray co;our. Gambian dogs are usually sand coloured, but this one is different, if a bit skelly-eyed! He looks after me. As I read my book at night on my 'balcony', I'm heartened to see the night watchman do his rounds. He has a magnificent machette! Woe betide anyone who wants to screw with Fr Kenny! I sleep well!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Gambia Matters

I'm off to London this afternoon, the first step on my way to The Gambia on Tuesday. My case is full of clothes for the kids, as ever, and a few odds and ends for other folk.

My love affair with The Gambia began eight years ago, when, because it was the only sunny holiday available, I found myself in West Africa in November to "soak up some rays". I had read of, and preached on, Third World poverty, but when it hits you on the face like a wet kipper, and you actually see and feel what it actually means, life can never quite be the same again.

One day I found myself outside a school in Serrekunda, the largest town in The Gambia, in a street which was constructed of hardwood, cardboard and corrugated iron, dust flying everywhere, with ten pupils and forty to fifty children trying to peer in to see what was being taught. London Corner, in Serrekunda, is the poorest area in one of the poorest towns in the world. The children outside couldn't pay for their education, and were therefore excluded. I started by paying the fees of two or three of them to attend. The rest is history.

It was like Topsy, it growed and growed, and within a year I had a fairly large number of people who wanted to buy into the concept of free education and a feeding programme for London Corner.

Today we have a beautiful school, attended by 90 of the poorest children in London Corner, and we provide free education, a free feeding programme and free health care for our children when they are sick. We employ eight or nine people from teachers to cooks to watchmen, and feed eight extended families as a result. I'm proud of the way that the people of Dumbarton and beyond have responded and have made this happen. We send out close to £1,200 every month to continue this work and the cash is closely monitored.

However, we have a problem. The landlord wants his building back and our agreement with him is due to end in January. He seems intransigent and I need face to face meetings with him to see if there is any compromise. We have spent thousands of pounds on his property and can't afford to begin again.

Is this the end of Dumbarton/London Corner Nursery School? Possibly. I need my blogging pals to pray hard that this week we can find a solution, and continue to provide free education to this area. I will do my best, but we don't have a lot to bargain with.

Today, Internet Cafes are more common than eight years ago! So maybe I can update you as the days go on!

Thank you for your prayers!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Sounds Good!

Row over noisy church neighbours

Hope United Church

Residents living near a church in North Lanarkshire have complained to the local council about the congregation worshipping too loudly.

The Hope United Church in Motherwell, located in a warehouse in a small industrial estate, is attended by about 100 people, many of them teenagers.

Neighbours claimed the noise made by its Christian rock band, and worshippers singing, was unacceptable. The pastor admitted services were noisy but said the church had improved lives. The church was set
up in January and works with many disadvantaged young people from across Lanarkshire.

As well as a Sunday service it runs youth groups and a football programme.
The services are noisy but they last just an hour and a half each week, and only 30 minutes of that is the music
Mark Ralston
But some residents living in the residential area opposite the industrial estate have criticised the noise levels coming from the church.

One local, who did not want to be named, said: "It is pretty noisy on a Sunday. You can hear loud music and there is always a lot of people coming and going.

"I have not been particularly bothered but I know other people in the street are unhappy."
Pastor Mark Ralston told the BBC Scotland news website: "I would rather focus on the positive work the church is doing.

"The services are noisy but they last just an hour and a half each week, and only 30 minutes of that is the music."

Noise complaints

He added: "I have heard one of the residents complained about people queuing outside waiting for the church to open on a Sunday, but I think that it a wonderful thing.
"I love the fact kids are queuing up outside a church, rather than queuing up outside an off-licence, or waiting on drugs.

"We are 21st Century church focused on helping turn people's lives around."
North Lanarkshire Council confirmed it had received complaints from residents.
Charles Penman, pollution control manager who investigates noise complaints for the local authority, said: "We are working with the church and with local residents to find a solution that will work for everyone."

From Ekklesia

Writing about the recent row over the decision by a Scottish court to allow the terminally ill Lockerbie bomber, Ali al-Megrahi, to die at home rather than in prison, Quaker writer Jill Segger ( cuts to the heart of the matter for those of us who would dare call ourselves Christians. “Mercy reflects God to us in a unique manner,” she says. “It invites us to share in the wholeness for which we were created. If we permit ourselves to become caught up in the power games between Holyrood, Westminster, Washington and Tripoli, we will miss the truth.”

The Seer stares long and hard at reality with all its agonising contradictions, but without losing sight of the deeper reality we call love. That is incredibly hard to do. Sinking to fashionable cynicism and resorting to realpolitik are much more acceptable paths, though we often pretend to decry them when it is convenient to us.

Scottish justice minister Kenny MacAskill is, in the eyes of many who see the world primarily through the lens of vengeance (either because of their suffering, or less creditably because of their worldview), a scoundrel or a fool. But there is surely genuine courage and insight in his way of trying to weigh the true odds: “Our justice system demands that judgement be imposed but compassion be available. Our beliefs dictate that justice be served but mercy be shown.”

Of course when we seek to act in the light of the Gospel’s way of seeing, we will not always know whether what we are doing is right. Sometimes we will mess things up. The facts and fallibilities of any given situation will always be questionable, ‘open to judgement’. What is most important is that we too are open to judgement, and that we are clear about the character of right-dealing tempered by mercy that lies at the heart of flesh which is God’s, made available to us in Christ and in the quality of community that bears his name.

Closing the Gap

Just voted to Close the Gap between rich and poor in the UK, and you can too.

The gap between rich and poor in the UK is wider than at any time in the past 40 years. Recent research shows that inequality is not only unfair for those at the bottom - it is also linked to all kinds of social problems that affect rich and poor alike. The gap hurts us all.

Campaigners have already lobbied over 230 MPs, persuading many of them to sign a 'Poverty Pledge'. It's vital that we keep up the pressure on our politicians as the General Election approaches.

I've joined in an online action calling for policies that will close the gap and help us build a fairer society. My message will be delivered to Gordon Brown in October. Please add your message too!

Please take part - it only takes a couple of minutes. We need as many people as possible to join in before the end of September. Visit the website now:

With a General Election looming, we must make all our politicians understand that the yawning gap between rich and poor is unacceptable.

Thursday, 17 September 2009


Picture the scene.

It's the final question in a pub quiz in Glasgow the other night.

There is tension in the air, as several teams are running neck and neck to claim first prize.

So the last question, on which the £100 cash prize rests, is

"The title of the boy band Take That's first album consisted of four words, the first two of which were "Take That", so what were the second two"?

There was a 30 second pause, then a wee Glasgow man pipes up

"Ya B******!"

Dan Brown on Freemasons

The Lost Symbol, the new novel by Dan Brown, is about the pursuit of "ancient mysteries" hidden in Washington DC by the Freemasons. So does the book give an accurate portrayal of the fraternal group?

From New Zealand

Inglewood's "Knicker Vicar" isn't sure where his new congregation get their underwear but he does know his nickname won't work in Piopio.
After 6 1/2 years at St Andrew's Anglican Church, the Reverend Gary Husband and his wife, Beryl, are moving on and Mr Husband will leave his vicar tag behind when he begins at Piopio's co-operating parish.
"It's a parish of about eight denominations and they all call their vicar something different," he said, "so I'll be a minister, not a vicar."
In 2006, Mr Husband hit international headlines when he helped establish a regular "knicker run" into New Plymouth after Inglewood's sole underwear supplier stopped stocking smalls.
While he had enjoyed the chance the knicker run gave him to talk about Jesus to people around the world, Mr Husband said he had no immediate plans to set up a similar service from Piopio.
"I haven't thought much about it but there is no lingerie store, I know that. Maybe they go to Hamilton or Te Kuiti," he said. "I'm sure God will give me plenty of ideas for Piopio very soon."

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

New Hall

It feels like one step forward and two steps back, most of the time.

We are now proclaiming that the "Opening Party" will be on October 3rd. This will be our third attempt at choosing a date, and we ARE having the party! The inside work is really complete and has been for two weeks or so now, we just can't get access, although some little things need to be done. It would be nice to have the gas urn fitted, to give us hot tea, and if this could be done, plus the connection of the new cooker, I would overlook the niceties, like having white boards and notice boards etc mounted. Or even the hall cupboards being built!

Our chairs, due to be delivered last Monday have still to arrive, (I'm told today that they want the money first), and tables should be on their way. Aye! Maybe.

The fact that I'm in The Gambia from 21st-30th September doesn't bode well for the run up to October 3rd, but I have faith that when I return on the 30th the exterior will have been transmogrified!

And the phone line might still be working!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Hold the Cheering..

From the Vestry Secretary:

"Rang BT to request a number change - went through all the options only to be told ' we are having technical problems, please call later!' You couldn't make it up! 

I'll try again in the morning."

Halleluiah BT!

We have a line in the new hall! It's not our number, but we have a line! It's not internet enabled, but we have a line! The main box isn't in the right room, but we have a line!

Halleluiah! One of the problems has been the engineer going to the Church of Scotland across the road. Simple mistake. Our Notice Board says "St Augustine's". and their's says something similar... "Riverside Parish". Anyone could make this mistake!

Monday, 14 September 2009

See these Greenock People????

A tall ship used in the Pirates of the Caribbean film trilogy has been raided while docked in Scotland.
Thieves targeted HMS Bounty while she was berthed at Custom House Quay in Greenock, Inverclyde, at about 0410 BST on Saturday.
A sum of cash between £50 and £100 was taken, along with several items of clothing with the Bounty's insignia.
A survival suit, book, life ring and an American flag were also stolen. These were later recovered nearby.
Police have appealed for anyone with information about the theft to come forward.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

My Answer?

Broadband promised to unite the world with super-fast data delivery - but in South Africa it seems the web is still no faster than a humble pigeon.

A Durban IT company pitted an 11-month-old bird armed with a 4GB memory stick against the ADSL service from the country's biggest web firm, Telkom.

Winston the pigeon took two hours to carry the data 60 miles - in the same time the ADSL had sent 4% of the data.

Telkom said it was not responsible for the firm's slow internet speeds.

The idea for the race came when a member of staff at Unlimited IT complained about the speed of data transmission on ADSL.

He said it would be faster by carrier pigeon.

"We renown ourselves on being innovative, so we decided to test that statement," Unlimited's Kevin Rolfe told the Beeld newspaper.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

BT - The Modern Day Version

During a break in full-time ministry, I actually worked for BT. I was part-time in a Call Centre in Glasgow where we prided ourselves on excellent customer service. It was the time where choices had become available and we had to work hard to keep our existing customer base. I hung up on nobody until they were fully satisfied. That's how it was.

Today's equivalent is a total pantomime, involving Indian Call Centres, invisible people, multichoice phone options when you call them that make you lose the will to live, and staff that seem to be absolutely and totally incompetent.

Request: We have a telephone line, broadband enabled in the church building. We want it transferred to the new hall we have built.

Response: They disconnected the church line.

Request: Can we have a line please in the hall? You forgot to connect us to the new premises, 6 feet away from our church building.

Response: Oops! And we've given your phone number back to OFTEL so you can't have that back, unless you request it after we've given you your line in your hall with a completely new number.

What happens next is unbelievable. They RECONNECT the phone to the church with this new number and without it being internet enabled. We still have to see an actual person although for two days now we have had to have someone down in church before 8am. We were told 3 times today that an engineer would come to look at our "fault" by 1pm. Nobody had arrived before 1.15pm.

Meanwhile BTCARE are following me on Twitter! Fat lot of good that's doing!

Nobody has come near the new hall. (See original request).

We have spoken to managers and supervisors, Indians, English folk, and BT Enniskillen are now on our trail, (we think), but nobody has looked at our hall yet!

We've lost our number, lost our internet connection, lost our faith in getting anything done, and lost the will to live.

This has been a 4 week saga and has cost us literally days on the phone, or waiting for someone to come.

Talk Talk sent me a mail shot today. They couldn't be any worse than what we have - could they?

Friday, 11 September 2009

More Screws Loose

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, has drawn criticism for making comments supportive of the arms industry. Speaking on BBC television, he suggested that Britain should be proud of being “particularly good at manufacturing tanks”.

Great words from a Christian leader who certainly knows all about turning the other cheek! Germany were once good at manufacturing tanks too, and look where it got them!

Screws Loose

The architect has just decided which type of screw that's needed to fix the outer cladding to the new hall. They have to be ordered, of course!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

New Hall Headaches

Well, we were supposed to take possession of our new hall on August 28th, St Augustine's Day, and half way through September, we'll still be waiting for a couple of weeks! Party rescheduled for October 3rd, and I'm even beginning to wonder if it will be all done by then!

Trying to move our BT line back into the hall has been a nightmare, and, I'm sorry, but call centres in India should be banned if they can't understand a simple instruction! Not only do we have no phone/internet connection now, but BT have given away the Church number to OFTEL, and we have to request it back, but only after they've given us another number!! You couldn't make this up!

The cost of our tables and chairs almost doubled from the original quote, and we had to go back to the beginning and start again. God bless Viking who gave us a brilliant quote for banqueting chairs!

The cooker we bought was delivered with a damaged door. They sent a new cooker, but meanwhile a gas-fitter had connected the damaged one up, so the delivery man couldn't have taken the damaged one away, even if he'd wanted to. He didn't want to, anyway, because it wasn't palleted up and in it's original packaging. I explained we had to take the original packaging off to discover that it was damaged, but he was having none of that! We now have three cookers, believe it or not! (Old one still in storage)

One of the seals on the extra big windows is damaged and needs replaced.

Door closers have still to arrive.

We can't get the cladding on the outside because it rains nearly every day.

The fitting of the new boilers are causing problems, so at least another week with no heating in church.

But, apart from that, everything is hunky-dory!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Scotland Nearly, The Netherlands Won.

Far too sick and disappointed to write a word tonight. Brilliant first half. Glorious failure.... again!

Busy Day

Apart from the usual Wednesday morning Eucharist, I'm aiming to be in Falkirk for a funeral this afternoon, then a rush back to be at Hampden tonight for the (No Hope?) crunch game against Holland.

Ruby's funeral will be special, since she was such a special person. Just one of God's little saints who walked through the world touching people's hearts with the transforming love and gentleness which is so seldom found. She once asked me to be her Spiritual Director, but after two sessions, I realised I was out of my depth. I needed to go to her for spiritual direction!

Rest in Peace, Ruby! I just hope there's eyeliner in heaven!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Someone's Got Talent

(From the Ukraine - Nae Susan Boyles here!) Thanks to RR for this!

At Last!

Finally got the Church Website to work for me, and photos of the Confirmation/Baptism/Hall Blessing, as well as the September Magazine are now to be seen in the Multimedia Section!

Monday, 7 September 2009

John McFall MP

John McFall, our local MP held an important meeting on World Poverty in St Aug's on Friday Evening, and brought with him a rather sharp cookie in Douglas Alexander. Film of the meeting should soon appear on his website.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

More Mad Priest

According to Rome, I'm a layman. We have to talk about that first. (Before meeting John Paul II)
(Saint Robert Runcie)

Sermon From Mad Priest - Talking some sense!

My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ?

For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?

Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?

But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?

You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you?

If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?

So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
(James 2: 1-10, 14-17)

The average annual income of each adult working person in the United Kingdom is £27000. I think that those of us who earn less than that, some of us, considerably less, should ask for a rise. Though I doubt that we’d get it. Those of you who earn over £27000 per year,well, I’m sorry, you’re going to be first against the wall come the revolution.

But, to be honest, people earning £20000 arguing with people earning £30000 about their relative earnings are squabbling over pennies. When you look more closely at the statistics you discover the real inequalities, the obscenity of how wealth is distributed in our country. For example, just 1% of our population owns 34% of the wealth. That cannot be fair, surely. But the statistic that really knocks me sideways is the fact that 50% of our population own 99% of our national wealth. That means half of us are trying to get by on just one hundredth of what the other half have to live on.

So, even within developed countries, like the United Kingdom and the United States the wealth gap between the rich and the poor is immense. We live in a country where a top surgeon in one of our public hospitals will earn ten times as much each year as the cleaner who washes the surgery floor after the surgeon goes home at night. And this gap in wealth is growing year on year. But these differentials pale into insignificance when you look at the world as a whole and include the developing countries and those countries which are stuck in complete poverty.

There are 800 million people (that’s fifteen times the entire population of Great Britain) who live in absolute poverty. In other words, 800 million human beings do not have enough money to survive on and go to bed hungry every night. Half of those people are children. In fact, 25000 children die because of their poverty every day of the year. The terrible obscenity of this is that most of the total wealth of the planet is owned by a ridiculously small number of people. For example, just the 500 people who are billionaires own 7% of the wealth on the planet. 7% of our wealth is owned by 0.000008% of our people. And although their are 6.5 billion people alive at this moment in time on our planet, 76% of the wealth of the world is owned by just one billion of them.

The injustice of all this is mind-boggling. But, the injustice actually becomes worse when you look at how we spend our money.

As a race we obviously have no idea how to prioritise our spending.

The number of people suffering in real poverty today is greater than it has ever been. The gap between the rich and the poor is greater than it has ever been. But, of course, there has been a disparity in the distribution of wealth for thousands of years. It is most likely that it all began when most of the human race stopped hunting and gathering to feed themselves and their families and became agriculturalists. It was only a matter of time before some people came to own more land than others and before some people ended up having to work for very little money in order to make these landowners even richer. Certainly, there was a huge gap between the rich and the poor when Jesus was walking around Palestine with his disciples and despite the world becoming dominated by his followers over the last two thousand years things, as we have seen, have only got worse.

Let’s face it, when it comes to rescuing the poor from their suffering we have completely let our Lord and Saviour down. We have failed big time. Especially those of us who live comfortable lives in the richer countries of the world.

The big question is, “Why?”

One thing that I’ve never understood is why the 90% don’t just make the 10% give us their money? In this country we wouldn’t even need an armed revolution. We could just vote for it. Perhaps the poor are frightened of the military clout of the rich. Maybe it is because we have seen that when the poor do overthrow the rich and powerful it is only a matter of time before just a few of the former poor become rich and powerful themselves and everybody is back to square one. Perhaps we are just kept inactive by the sheer size of the problem.

I expect there are elements of all of these things involved. But, I fear, that in the richer countries, at least, it is mostly down to greed, self-interest and idolatry.

I am told by my American friends that one of the reasons the poor people of their country keep voting Republican and are demonstrating against a national healthcare system at the moment is because they would rather live in poverty than lose the possibility of one day become stinking rich themselves. It seems to be human nature to believe that we will one day obtain that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, even though we all know, that the nature of rainbows is such that nobody can ever physically stand at the end of a one to pick up that illusive pot of gold.

Also, and this is very sad, the relatively well off, the comfortably well off, are almost as greedy as the very rich. Just as the very rich don’t want to give up any of their great wealth, the reasonably well off don’t want to give up any of their wealth either. We may give to charity but, with the exception of a very few Godly people, we never give till it hurts, so to speak.

But there’s something else, Something even more sick in us than our inherent greed. It is obvious to me that too many of us actually venerate the rich. We look up to them, we copy them and model ourselves on them, we follow them, we aspire to be them, we worship them as if they are gods. I mean, look at our obsession with the rich in our newspapers and magazines and how we will watch television programmes about the minutia of their mundane but “richer than thou” lives.

This is what James is on about in our first reading this morning.

“My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor.”

More than any other writer of scripture, James understood what Jesus was on about. Unlike Paul, who was heavily influenced by gnosticism and Greek, philosophical thought, James stayed on message. And the message of Jesus Christ that James is referring to here is the one that we hear on Christ’s lips over and over again in the synoptic gospels - it doesn’t matter how holy you are, how spiritual your life is, if you don’t actually do something to physically free the poor from their poverty, you are spitting in the wind. You are a hypocrite.

And you are stupid, says James. You are sucking up to and emulating those whose lifestyles God abhors whilst pushing aside those whom God loves so much that they will inherit his kingdom. You are grabbing hold of the coattails of the rich who will drag you to hell, when you should be holding on to the coattails of the poor who will pull you with them into heaven itself.

Why do we come to church?

If it is only because we want to enjoy the spirituality of worship, if it is only because we want a spiritual top-up to get us through the week. If it is only to worship God with our lips, then, quite honestly we should stay at home. Our presence here makes us into hypocrites and, therefore, more evil in God’s sight than those who deliberately ignore him.

However, if it is because we want all our assumptions about life, all that we hold dear in life and our very lives themselves completely overturned, thrown out and replaced with that which is of God, then, because it has been promised, we will one day be rich, very, very rich in deed. And we won’t have to wait till the kingdom comes for our pay rise. If we honour those whom God honours in this world, the poor, the outcast, the prisoner, the oppressed, our lives will be wealthy here on earth. We will enjoy, here and now, those treasures “that neither moth nor rust consumes and (which) thieves do not break in and steal.”

Our reading from the letter of James, this morning, finished with a question and a statement, and I will finish this sermon with the same question and statement.

“If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?

So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”

Shine on Me!

Has Shine Jesus Shine today. Oh! How my soul abhoreth this ditty. The music group always sing it when I'm on holiday, but it crept up on me today, unawares. Next we'll be singing about Jesus wanting me to be a sun beam or something just as ridiculous!

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Joy of Joys!!!

A great second half from Scotland had us rejoicing! And the Faddy goal was incredible! Bring on the Dutch on Wednesday! We'll be coming down the road!!

Thanks For the Memory!

The Jeez-Its Sticky Notes will give you a moment to reflect on the virtue of your thoughts as you set them to paper. This package includes a WWJD notepad; perfect for writing a dieter’s shopping list (would Jesus really buy that box of doughnuts?), and a to-do list that includes boxes to check off according to the action’s level of righteousness, just to keep you in line.

Notepads measure 3" x 4" and 2" x 2.5" respectively.

Includes 5 colored 0.5” x 2” notepads for marking Bible passages or “Sign here!” lines.

A Real Pain

If I come back in a later life, I'll be a reporter in a local newspaper. It's easy-peasy! All you do is look at local blogs and regurgitate them, "word for word" in your paper. No need to phone the guy or gal to ask permission. No foot work involved. Just do it man! And it's amazing the trouble you can cause as a result!

The Lennox is exempt from this criticism!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Looking for a Partner?

If you are looking for serious Scottish love, then HERE is your answer!

Upcoming Marriage

One of my little flock, Laura Dyer, is to be married soon in St Aug's. I post this as a warning to her and future brides everywhere! Don't do the cooking sherry before the ceremony!

Scotland Forever

Not only do we have Macedonia to overcome tomorrow at Hampden in a World Cup Qualifier, but we also have the wrath of the American people to deal with after the release of THAT prisoner. We're not very popular in some parts of the world, just now, but 55,000 kilted Scots will be roaring on our national team tomorrow, me included!

I've been left with the menagerie this weekend as the RW takes off for Welsh Wales for her son's engagement party. Well, that's her excuse! She knows what I'm like when Scotland fail spectacularly!

It's been a busy week, and I could do with an easy weekend, but father has run out of whisky and I need to visit the Care Home with fresh supplies in the morning before hitting the South Side of Glasgow. Sermon needs written, and the animals need looked after. At least the magazine is done and dusted thanks to M & E this afternoon!

I've had many problems with the Church Site of late and getting files uploaded, including photos, has been impossible. Today, I hope, that has been sorted and I think I'll be able to point you to some photos come the beginning of the week.

The completion of the New Hall is a blog unto itself, but we are still not quite there yet! Certainly if the rain stayed off for a day or two, we might actually get somewhere!

A wee win for Scotland tomorrow will cheer us all up! But where will all these Americans find a Macedonia flag?

Thursday, 3 September 2009


A friend writes about August flying in, but here in Scotland it just sort of "washed" past me! The rain, since July, has been unremitting and the New Church Hall has been delayed as a result. We can count "sunny" days on the finger of one hand.

However, the September Church Mag is late, again, so heads down! Much work still needs done!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Deluxe Jesus Action Figure

This is in the "Hold Me Back" section.

Ruby Foster RIP

Dear Ruby died today, a great friend and an inspiration to so many. She will be long and fondly remembered in Cursillo Scotland for her faith, her love and that wicked smile. Rest in peace, old yin!

More Delights

Other delights are to be found here

Library ‘takes the mickey out of Christianity’ by selling Messiah Mints

BRIGHTON’S Jubilee Library has a policy of not allowing displays of religious posters – but its shop does sell tins of Messiah Mints.mint_messiah_mints
The product claims to “save your breath”, and an accompanying blurb says:
He can’t feed the 5,000 with this cute little tin of peppermints, but you’ll feel a whole lot better after your hearty banquet of fish and loaves!
This got right up youth leader Jacalyn Ogden’s nose. Ogden, according to as report in the Brighton Argus, went along to the library to put up a poster advertising a multi-faith event.
She was told she could not so as it promoted religion. Said Ogden:
It’s political correctness gone mad and I do think it’s a little hypocritical. They said they couldn’t put up my poster because it was not in their guidelines.
Jacalyn Oghan
How is it that they are allowed to sell mints which clearly contain a religious figure? It is so sad they can do that, yet a leaflet inclusive to all faiths and cultures is still deemed non-PC.
They clearly take the mickey out of Christianity.
A spokeswoman for the council said:
We’re sorry that this person was upset with the incident in the library.
In the interests of fairness, we have very clear and strict guidelines for displaying information in the library and we do not accept any material promoting a particular religious view point.

With regards to the mints, these are one of a series of tinned mints sold in the shop. The labelling is not meant to offend and this is the first time we have received negative comments about them.
When the story appeared yesterday in the Argus, the paper asked:
Do you think the Jubilee Library policy is hypocritical?
And it invited readers to give their views online.  Curious as what sort of reaction this report had prompted, we visited the Argus site this evening, and were galled to find NO comments – just a note that said:
Comments are closed on this article.

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