Thursday, June 30, 2011

We are creatures of habit.
Of routine.
We are all in our own groove.
So try new. Try different. Try crazy.
Try unexpected.
Like punk? Try opera.
Wear black? Try white.
Love bubbles? Try still.
Speak Spanish? Learn Chinese.
Love to ride? Try running.
Always grumpy? Try happy.
Like science fiction? Try romance.
Never cook? Bake some bread.
Forever cynical? Try love. Try Trust. Try hope.
Take a different route to work.
Say yes when you mean no.
Wear your watch on the other hand.

Leave the comfort zone.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We have two fantastic opportunities

Youth Bus Project Leader

Very exciting opportunity for a passionate youth worker to expand and lead our Double Decker youth bus outreach. Taking youth work to new areas of Bradford that has none or little provision. Working with, and empowering communities to be effective at meeting young people at their point of need and transforming their community.Salary 19k

Sports and Community Worker

Do you love sport and love working with young people? We have an opportunity for someone to use their passions to impact hundreds of local young people in schools and community settings. Be a part of a fantastic team with loads of exciting opportunities.
£12-18k depending on qualifications and experience

Closing date: 22nd July 2011
e:merge is a Community Interest Company operating in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
We work with young people between the ages of 11-19 through general youth work activities, training & employment programmes, sport development and a youth congregation.
Presently we have the following job available.
If after considering this post and looking at our website you are still interested in working with us, then please do make contact with us.

For full job descriptions, application forms and more information then call or e-mail Bailey Warner on 01274 660244,

Visit our web-site at

Tim Elgar CEO

18 Pawson St

I do not understand the mystery of grace-
-only that it meets us where we are
& does not leave us where it found us.

Anne Lamott

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pip got a new album
don't buy it
you are not a bit like me
but I LURVE it
I see
I hear
I feel
I think
I fumble
I reflect
I spin
I wonder
I expand
I wander
I cringe
I bow
I yearn
I crumble
I reboot
I deepen
I pray
I journey
I learn
I spiritualise
I stumble
I touch
I collide
I scribble
I re-start

I always scribble in Church.

My interior is journeying
alongside the service
alongside the people
alongside the Divine.

I want to welcome all experiences.
To the heart
To the centre
to the soul
of me
and then offer them all up
NOT just the ones coming at me
but also
the ones internal
the ones eternal.

There are power messages everywhere.
Just like new feelings
every mili-second
which we often don't collide with
unless they hurt .....

There is lightening in the air
wireless power
earthed power
and we are in the earthing.

I fail to tune in
most of the time.
Too busy
too reactive
surfing life.

I have not loved you
with my whole heart
I have not presented
my life as
a living sacrifice
yet I want to
I believe in

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Everything depends on the lens you use.
Make your gaze beautiful. "
John O'Donohue

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Christian Aid's Digital Team


Here's Andy Jackson, Christian Aid’s Digital Content Editor (and Café Manager at Greenbelt), to fill us in on the work of the organisation’s digital team… — Today is an appropriate day to be writing this. This morning, The Guardian wrote about David Cameron facing a revolt from Conservative MEPs over the UK coalition's environmental policies. [...]

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Greenbelt Festival / Blog / Ticket Deadline Countdown – 6 days to go

Ticket Deadline Countdown – 6 days to go


Young people might have their own venue onsite, but some stuff is too big to squeeze into the Shed, so at lunchtime each day the Big Top transforms into Shedloads - the Shed's Big Brother, serving up a slice of jaw-dropping, eye popping, foot-tapping goodness.

Saturday: the Shedloads Spoken Word Showcase
With a stellar lineup of some of the globe's finest wordsmiths, hosted by European Slam Poetry champ Harry Baker, and featuring Dizraeli (from Dizraeli and the Small Gods), freestyle from impresario Soweto Kinch, award-winning MC Jack Flash (from Extra Curricular), and performance poets William Stopha (Hope for Robots) and El Gruer

Sunday: The Shedloads Music Showcase
Featuring great British-born hip hop and electro-beat music with Manchester's finest LZ7 and girl band Golddigger

Monday: The Shedloads Dance Showcase
Featuring amazing streetdance from Britain's Got Talent semi-finalists, Flava and the wonderful Caja, all the way from Guatemala

Don't forget, 30th June is your last opportunity to buy tickets for Greenbelt 2011 at a reduced rate. You can buy your tickets from the Greenbelt Box Office. To help convince the undecided we're posting a series of announcements as we approach the ticket deadline, you can read them all here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Greenbelt Festival / Blog / Ticket Deadline Countdown – 7 days to go

Ticket Deadline Countdown – 7 days to go


Ever keen to engage with the stories that dominate our headlines we are pleased to announce two brilliant journalists for this year's festival.

We're very excited that we shall be joined by David Loyn, the BBC Foreign Correspondent who has been reporting from disasters and conflicts for more than thirty years. He will be asking whether social media and other technology have muscled out traditional reporting, in a post-Arab Spring world.

We're also thrilled to announce that Channel 4 News' Economics Editor, Faisal Islam will be speaking at this year's festival and taking part in a panel alongside economists Gillian Tett and Matthew Bishop and Christian Aid's CEO Loretta Minghella, who formerly worked at the FSA. Faisal has been working at Channel 4 News since 2004, and collected numerous awards for his coverage of the Icelandic banking crisis in 2009.

Don't forget, 30th June is your last opportunity to buy tickets for Greenbelt 2011 at a reduced rate. You can buy your tickets from the Greenbelt Box Office. To help convince the undecided we're posting a series of announcements as we approach the ticket deadline, you can read them all here.

.......... U ......... R ........... ☑ ...........

Playworker, YMCA London South West

Active Living Co-ordinator, Reigate & Redhill YMCA

Current vacancies, Sussex Central YMCA

Current vacancies, Guildford YMCA (Plantation)

Chief Executive Officer, Reading YMCA, £49k pa

All current job vacancies

Mental health care for youth offenders 'lacking'

Mental health care for youth offenders 'lacking'

A young offender looking out of a window at an institution

I am really interested in all this stuff. How institutions and all sorts of organisations dealing with young people deal with the BEAVIOUR RATHER THAN ALSO DEALING WITH THE CAUSES OF THE BEHAVIOUR.
I have had some experience of such institutions.
I have done it all wrong in my early years.
But humans can lean.
Staff must be trained.
Young humans will then have the benefits and can grow.
More needs to be done to address the mental health and behavioural problems faced by children in the youth justice system, experts have said.
A study by the Children's Commissioner for England raised concerns about both the quality and variation in standards.
It said the system was too focused on minimising the risk offenders presented rather than helping them.
The report called for greater access to mainstream NHS and council services and better training for staff.
More than 6,000 under-18s pass through the youth justice system each year and at any one time there are about 1,800 in custody - the highest per head in Europe.
'Do better'
The Children's Commissioner's report looked at a variety of services, including youth offending teams, detention centres and secure care homes.
The experts found a system that was too focused on using tactics such as restraining difficult offenders rather than tackling the reasons for their behaviour.
Those in the youth justice system have higher levels of difficulties on virtually every measure of the mental health and wellbeing scale.

“Start Quote

We are currently failing many of these children and young people”
End Quote Dr Chris Hanvey Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
About 85% of those caught up in the system have personality disorders - eight times higher than the general population.
Some 60% also have speech or language problems, while a quarter have learning difficulties - a figure which rises to 50% for youngsters in custody.
Cases of depression, anxiety, psychosis and self-harm are also higher than average.
As well as improving training and access to services, the report recommended health screening for offenders and more support for when they are discharged from the system.
It also said the size of secure units should be limited to no more than 150 - some can house as many as 400 offenders.
Sue Berelowitz, who led the review team, said: "We owe it to future generations to push ourselves to do better, much better."
Dr Chris Hanvey, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, agreed action was needed.
"We are currently failing many of these children and young people."
A Department of Health spokesman said the government would be looking to improve standards.
"We recognise that young people in custody are some of the most vulnerable in society and that good access to health and mental health services is key to breaking the cycle of offending."


There is a Celtic saying that “heaven and earth are only three feet apart, but in the thin places that distance is even smaller.” A “thin place” is where, for a brief time, the separation between heaven and earth dissolves and we are able to glimpse the existence of a world that is beyond what we know through our five senses. A “thin place” is exactly where my late husband and I found ourselves the very first time we experienced the Greenbelt Festival in England … and each the many times we returned. From the outset, we longed (as did others) for a similar festival in the United States. Over the last 20-odd years, many of us tried to make it happen, but for lots of complex reasons, it just didn’t … until now.

I’m positively euphoric about the Wild Goose Festival because …

  1. … I am tired. I am tired of political and theological polarization; of fear and anger and hatred; of “us” and “them;” of having the same conversations over and over but getting nowhere; of people being marginalized (or worse, condemned) simply for being who they truly are or saying what they truly think; of rigidity and dogma and people’s seeming unwillingness to change or sincerely consider another point of view. And I am tired of the impact all this “infighting” has on the weakest among us: the oppressed, exploited, suffering and broken brothers and sisters of our world.
  2. … I am filled with hope. As part of the team that is helping put this festival together, I am walking with people who challenge and inspire me; people who embrace spirited but respectful debate and differences of opinion about all aspects of life; people who work tirelessly on behalf of the subjugated and the poor; people who live and share the gospel of Grace and will be satisfied with nothing short of the Kingdom of God being manifest on earth, as it is in heaven; people who seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God; people who yearn to create a place of belonging – a place where, despite our differences – we are safe, God’s grace is palpable, and the wind of the Wild Goose blows freely among us; people who help me believe that we really can find a way to heal our fractured world.
  3. … I love beauty. The arts are not only beautiful, they communicate the truth of God in ways that nothing else can and they help us find common ground in uncommon places.
  4. … I believe change truly can – and does – happen. I believe crazy, magical, mysterious, miraculous, phenomenal, holy stuff happens in the thin places when, for a few shining moments, the veil between this world and the next parts … and we can sense that heaven on earth might actually be possible.

Getting home after a long day - Zig attached himself to my knee long term. It's really nice.

-- Post From My iPhone

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Ghandi

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Faith Through A Lens


If you have an eye for an image, and a heart for spiritual matters, take a look at the Faith Through A Lens competition… They're looking to find "the amateur photographer that best captures the essence of faith and the community". Prizes include up to £1000 worth of audio-visual or photographic equipment for your chosen [...]

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Gilles Peterson WOW

my sort of music

entering heaven

With An All-Vinyl

Brownswood Basement Special!


Listen now (120 minutes)


It's vinyl all the way as Gilles heads into the basement and digs out some classics, with a Eugene McDaniels showcase, as well as dropping some delights from Anita Ward, Gill Scott Heron and Nina Simone!

Plus, Gilles drops some tropical treats from the Caribbean and some protest songs from the 1970s! Some fantastic rediscovered nuggets so be sure to check it!

Music (only some listed here) played

  1. George Melvin QuartetIntro (From The Album, Live From GT Brooks Ribs & More)

  2. Dollar Brand Trio With Kippie MoketsiBra Joe From Kilanjaro (From The album, Dollar Brand + 3)

  3. Nina Simone Nina Simone Vous Etes Seuls, Mais Je Desire Etre Avec Vous (From the Album, Fodder On My Wings)

  4. Konstantin PetrosyanTrack 1 (From The Album, Concerto For Voice And Orchestra)

  5. Muzik FiendzTrack 1 (From The Album,The Second Adventure of Boomski & Clutch)

    Listen Vision
  6. Marvin Holmes & Justice Kwame (From The Album, Honor Thy Father)

    Konkord Records
  7. Jaco Pastorius Jaco Pastorius Portrait of Tracy (From The Album, Jaco Pastorius)

  8. Kuusumun Profeetta Kovin Lentaen Kotiin Kaipaan (From The Album, Jazzflora)

    DNM – Dealers of Nordic Music
  9. Traore Amadou dit BallakeRenouveau

    Disques CVD
  10. Ahouangnimon Sebastien PynascoMi Hlin Migan

    Voix Africane
  11. Janet Kay Janet Kay Silly Games (From The Album, Capricorn Woman)

  12. Anita Ward Ring My Bell

    TK Disco
  13. Evans Pyramid – Never Gonna Leave You (From The Album, Americana: Rock Your SoulBlue Eyed Soul)

  14. Frankie GeeDate With The Rain

    Claridge Records
  15. Touch of Class I Just Can’t Say Goodbye (From The Album, I’m In Heaven)

    Midland International
  16. Lou Bond Why Must Our Eyes Always Be Turned Be Turned Backwards (From The Album, Lou Bond)

    We Produce
  17. Gil Scott-Heron Gil Scott-Heron H20 Gate Blues (From The Album, Winter In America)


Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Painting the Church

There was a Scottish painter named Smokey Macgregor who was very interested in making a penny where he could, so he often thinned down his paint to make it go a wee bit further.

As it happened, he got away with this for some time, but eventually the Baptist Church decided to do a big restoration job on the outside of one of their biggest buildings..

Smokey put in a bid, and, because his price was so low, he got the job.

So he set about erecting the scaffolding and setting up the planks, and buying the paint and, yes, I am sorry to say, thinning it down with turpentine..

Well, Smokey was up on the scaffolding, painting away, the job nearly completed, when suddenly there was a horrendous clap of thunder, the sky opened, and the rain poured down washing the thinned paint from all over the church and knocking Smokey clear off the scaffold to land on the lawn among the gravestones, surrounded by telltale puddles of the thinned and useless paint.

Smokey was no fool. He knew this was a judgment from the Almighty,
so he got down on his knees and cried:

"Oh, God, Oh God, forgive me; what should I do?"

And from the thunder, a mighty voice spoke..

(you're going to love this)

"Repaint! Repaint!
And thin no more

Monday, June 20, 2011


from a great time with beautiful humans.

Many reflections will stream from this experience PLUS a chapter in my next book -
Indeed maybe two chapters ......

Brian Haw

Haw under arrest before the State Opening of Parliament in 2010
Haw under arrest before the State Opening of Parliament in 2010 Photo: JEFF MOORE

Initially Haw, a former carpenter who began his vigil in June 2001, was protesting about the economic sanctions imposed by the West on Iraq, which, he claimed, were responsible for the deaths of 200 Iraqi children per day. For months he sat on a chair, fasting and praying. Not only were his prayers fruitless, but in the meantime Britain and America invaded first Afghanistan, then Iraq.

Initially Haw was regarded as something between harmless eccentric and damn nuisance, but as public opposition to the war in Iraq grew and as the authorities embarked on attempts to silence him, he acquired the status of a folk hero, symbol of protest and thorn in the side of an unpopular government. In 2006 he was voted the most inspiring political figure at the Channel 4 political awards.

Brian William Haw was born a twin, by 25 minutes, on January 7 1949, the eldest of five children. The family lived for a while in Barking, Essex, and then moved to Whitstable in Kent. They were involved in an evangelical church; Brian found his faith aged 11 at Sunshine Corner on the shingle beach next to the Oyster Company.

His father had been a sniper in the Reconnaissance Corps during the war and was among the first to enter Bergen-Belsen after its liberation. Afterwards, he worked in a betting office. Twenty years after seeing Bergen-Belsen, he gassed himself in the kitchen at the back of the church. Brian was 13.

Apprenticed to a boatbuilder at 16, he joined the Merchant Navy, sending home £4 a week. He worked as a deckhand and eventually received his certificate to steer 27,000-ton ships. He passed through the Suez Canal, climbed the Pyramids and toured the ports of the Middle East and India. He returned from one voyage to do six months at a college of evangelism in Nottingham, after which he decided to embark on a freelance mission to bring peace to the world.

Northern Ireland during the Troubles was his first port of call. At Christmas 1970 he took himself and his guitar to Belfast, singing carols in the streets round the Shanklin and Falls Roads and handing out white peace balloons in Republican pubs.

Having, by some miracle, survived this adventure, he moved to Essex where he started a removals business, also working part-time as a carpenter. He married Kay, the girl across the road and they later settled on an estate in Redditch, Worcestershire.

But family commitments did not dampen Haw’s missionary zeal and in 1989, powerfully affected by the films of John Pilger, he set off for the killing fields of Cambodia. He stayed there for three months, but when he returned he found that people did not want to hear about it: “My church gave me 10 minutes in a midweek prayer meeting to talk about genocide,” he recalled.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Why I'm Excited: Eska


In a continuing series on the blog, we're going to be hearing about parts of the Lineup for 2011 that people are particularly looking forward to. (For all Why I'm Excited posts, click here.) If there's something on the Greenbelt 2011 programme that you're particularly looking forward to, do email us a paragraph or two saying why, and we'll put [...]

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Here's to the babies in a brand new world
Here's to the beauty of the stars
Here's to the travellers on the open road
Here's to the dreamers in the bars

Here's to the teachers in the crowded rooms
Here's to the workers in the fields
Here's to the preachers of the sacred words
Here's to the drivers at the wheel

Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Now let the day begin
Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Now let the day begin, let the day begin

Here's to the winners of the human race
Here's to the losers in the game
Here's to the soldiers of the bitter war
Here's to the wall that bears their names

Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Now let the day begin
Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Let the day begin, let the day begin, let the day start

Here's to the doctors and their healing work
Here's to the loved ones in their care
Here's to the strangers on the streets tonight
Here's to the lonely everywhere

Here's to the wisdom from the mouths of babes
Here's to the lions in the cage
Here's to the struggles of the silent war
Here's to the closing of the age.

Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Now let the day begin
Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Let the day begin

Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Let the day begin
Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Now let the day begin, let the day begin, let the day start

Solas Festival 2011 – Lineup


Solas Festival was launched last year as a sister festival for Greenbelt in Scotland. Supported by us, and with good Greenbelty people involved, we're thrilled that Solas 2011 sounds just as exciting as the first, as they announce this year's lineup. Taking place over the weekend of 25th and 26th June in Wiston, Scotland, the [...]

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This is real.
A story.
A true story.
A story from South Africa
about a mother at the
Truth and Reconciliation Commission
hearing about her son's murder.

The police officer who had ordered the brutal killing was there,
shamefacedly listening to the details of what he and his colleagues had done.
At the end the room was quiet.

The chair of the commission,
Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
asked the woman
if she had anything to say
to the man who had killed her son.

She responded:
"I am very full of sorrow.
So I am asking you now -
come with me to the place where he died,
pick up in your hands some of the dust
of the place where his body lay,
and feel in your soul what it is to have lost so much.

And then I will ask you one thing more.
When you have felt my sadness,
I want you to do this.
I have so much love,
and without my son,
that love has nowhere to go.
So I am asking you -
from now on,
you be my son,
and I will love you in his place."

And the policeman did become as her son.’

I am weeping now
............ most powerful ....

I weep too
for you ........

'I didn't go to the flea market the week of my abortion.

I stayed home, and smoked dope and got drunk, and tried to write a little, and went for slow walks along the salt marsh with Pammy.

On the seventh night, though, very drunk
and just about to taking a sleeping pill,

I discovered that I was bleeding heavily.

It did not stop over the next hour.
I was going through a pad every fifteen minutes,
and I thought I should call a doctor or Pammy,
but I was so disgusted that I had gotten so drunk
one week after an abortion that
I just couldn't wake someone up and ask for help.
I kept changing Kotex,
and got very sober very quickly.

Several hours later, the blood stopped flowing,
and I got in bed, shaky and sad
and too wild to have another drink
or take a sleeping pill.
I had a cigarette and turned off the light.

After a while, as I lay there,
I became aware of someone with me,
hunkered down in the corner,
and I just assumed it was my father,
whose presence I had felt over the years
when I was frightened and alone.

The feeling was so strong that I actually turned on the light for a moment
to make sure no one was there - of course, there wasn't.
But after a while, in the dark again,
I knew beyond a doubt that it was Jesus.
I felt him surely as I feel my dog lying nearby as I write this.

And I was appalled.
I thought about my life and my brilliant hilarious progressive friends,
I thought about what everyone would think of me if I became a Christian,
and it seemed an utterly impossible thing that simply could not be allowed to happen.
I turned to the wall and said out loud,
"I would rather die."

I felt him sitting there on his haunches in the corner of my sleeping loft,
watching me with patience and love,
and I squished my eyes shut,
but that didn't help because
that's not what I was seeing him with.

Finally I fell asleep, and in the morning, he was gone.

This experience spooked me badly,
but I thought it was just an apparition,
born of fear and self-loathing and booze and loss of blood.
But everywhere I went,
I had the feeling that a little cat was following me,
wanting me to reach down and pick it up,
wanting me to open the door and let it in.

But I knew what would happen:
you let a cat in one time,
give it a little milk,
and then it stays forever.
So I tried to keep one step ahead of it,
slamming my houseboat door when I entered or left.

And one week later, when I went back to church,
I was so hungover that I couldn't stand up for the songs,
and this time I stayed for the sermon,
which i just thought was so ridiculous,
like someone trying to convince me of the existence of extraterrestrials,
but the last song was so deep and raw and pure that I could not escape.
It was as if people were singing in between the notes,
weeping and joyful at the same time,
and I felt like their voices or 'something'
was rocking me in its bosom,
holding me like a scared kid,
and I opened up to that feeling -
and it washed over me.

I began to cry and left before the benediction,
and I raced home and felt the little cat running along at my heels,
and I walked down the dock past dozens of potted flowers
under a sky as blue as one of God's own dreams,
and I opened the door to my boathouse,
and I stood there a minute,
and then I hung my head and said,
"OK: I quit."

I took a long deep breath and said out loud,
"All right. You can come in."

So this was my beautiful moment of conversion.'

Anne Lamott:
Travelling Mercies - Some Thoughts On Faith

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kanye West paid his respect to Gil Scott-Heron by performing at the singer and poet’s memorial service on Thursday.

West closed the service with his song

“Lost in the World” which sample’s Scott-Heron’s track “Who Will Survive in America”.

The service was held at the legendary Riverside Church in Harlem, NY with Scott-Heron’s daughter Gia, performing Bette Midler’s “The Rose” and Stevie Wonder listed as an honorary pallbearer in the program, according to The New York Daily News.

Scott-Heron, 62, died last Friday and was most known for his song “The Reveloution Will Not Be Televised” which was sampled by West on his Billboard 200 #1 debut, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Kanye recenty hit the stage with Kid Cudi and Big Sean at the launch of the Heineken Red Star Access tour in New York performing the hit “Power”.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

I am a group worker.
My chosen work - I yearn to do this ....
.... it is group work.
I love it
I struggle with it
struggle in it
but boy oh boy
I see beauty ...............

Few of us are not part of a Team
or Group and
I am counting 'family'
as our primary group.
We often learn most
by soaking information in like a sponge.
Not just head knowledge.

We are
as a member of a group.

We often learn most by soaking information in like a sponge.
Our quality of life depends on the groups and teams which we belong to.
How we relate to these teams depends on our personal skills
and our stated, or un-stated, and lived-out personal mission.
(See my Mission Statement)
We all have a style of how we relate to other humans
and we don't have to retain the one we practice at the moment.

When I conduct training courses I often use an 'experiential style'.

1 We learn best, it seems to me, when we are personally involved.

2 If knowledge is discovered by our own experiences - it then is more able to be applied to living life.

3 Commitment is highest when we set our own objectives/goals/targets.

4 A good course gives reflective time before departure to;
- reflect on the experience, the concepts and ideas raised in the experience and
- concrete naming of the steps which the individual has decided to take.

Change change change
I am in that at the moment
I am always at it
I am noticing it a lot this week.

How do you change?
Are you

In my life I have come to this place
of how humans change::

1. Slow despair, boredom.

2. They hurt sufficiently.

3 The sudden discovery that they can.