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Sunday, 29 September 2013

Patronal Festival and Confirmation Service

Just like buses coming together, we have two visits by Bishops at the beginning of October.

Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford, will make his first visit to St John’s Seven Kings for our Patronal Festival Service at 10.00am on Sunday 6th October. Bishop Stephen has said that he has been “so moved” as he has “travelled round the diocese and worshipped in so many different churches in so many different places and in so many different ways.” We hope he has same experience in visiting us here at St John’s.

He has also described his biggest fear for our Church of England: “It is that people see our faith in Christ as a leisure activity. You know, some people do watercolours, and some people do car mechanics for beginners, and some people do conversational French, and we do Church. We love it. It is our hobby. We are very committed to it. But it doesn’t seem to have any impact on the lives we lead Monday to Saturday. Yes, we go to church a lot; and, yes, some of us seem interested in persuading others to come along as well. But when it comes to observing whether being a Christian and attending church makes any discernible difference to life, the answer seems to be ‘not much’. It is this that has to change. Of course it will mean a greater waiting upon God … It will certainly overflow into greater witness and a more effective and fruitful evangelisation. It might also mean that we will worry less about these things and lose some of our gruesome earnestness. But most of all it will be apparent in the lives we lead each day. It will start shaping the decisions we make and the choices we make, so that, slowly, our lives will reflect more evidently, the life of Christ.”

On Sunday 13th October, 6.30pm, at St Peter’s Aldborough Hatch, the Bishop of Barking will lead the Confirmation Service for our cluster of churches. Our candidates have been prepared by Santou Beurklian-Carter and want to make the commitment to Christ about which Bishop Stephen has spoken. Let us pray for them as they prepare for this special moment in their journey of faith and support on the night as they are confirmed.

In his Confirmation Service sermons, Bishop David has given us many memorable visual images for the journey of faith – bricklaying, to emphasise Christian foundations; cake making, to illustrate our faith spreading and rising; washing & ironing, speaking of cleansing; leaf blower, the wind of the Spirit.

Our Bishops have great wisdom, inspiration and challenge to share with us, so do make a point of coming to these services and coming with real expectancy regarding all that they will share of God with us.


The Saint Johns - Your Head and Your Heart.

Windows on the world (262)

Sly and the Family Stone - (You Caught Me) Smilin.

Deanery Taizé Service


Taizé - Nada Te Turbe.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Bee connected

ASNet's free Internet cafe opened yesterday at Kenneth More TheatreIt's an opportunity to connect with the Internet as well as others with arthritis. Drop in and any time between 11 and 4 pm for refreshments and one of their volunteers will help you on a one to one basis with your computer needs. The cafe will be there every Wednesday except during the four Wednesdays in December.
Paramore - Ain't It Fun.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Taize Service @ St John's

This Sunday St John's Seven Kings is hosting a Taize Service for the Redbridge Deanery. The service begins at 6.30pm and a singing rehearsal will be held earlier at 5.45pm. All are welcome.

The service will include an introduction and short film about Taize plus music and prayers. Information will be available about the Deanery Youth Pilgrimage to Taize in 2014 from 2nd to 11th August. This  is being organised by the Redbridge Deanery Youth Link Group as one of the events celebrating the Centenary of the Diocese of Chelmsford.

Taize is an ecumenical community in France where youth and young adults are welcomed in great numbers from all over the world throughout the year to pray, to worship, to study and above all to share their experience of the Christian faith with one another in community.


Taize - Adoramus te, o Christe.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Windows on the world (261)

London, 2013
Lifehouse - From Where You Are.

Clare and Tennyson: A scenario for a novel

This afternoon at OPEN I heard a fascinating account of the links between the Suntrap and the Asylum at High Beach, Epping Forest which included the probable meeting of the poets John Clare and Alfred Tennyson at the asylum.

John Clare was admitted, in 1837, to Dr. Matthew Allen's asylum after years of struggling with alcoholism, neglect and depression. He stayed at the Leopard’s Hill Lodge and was free to work the fields and walk the Forest.

Alfred Tennyson lived at Beech Hill House, High Beach, from 1837 until 1840, where he wrote parts of In Memoriam (1850), on the death of Arthur Hallam, including 'Ring out, wild bells' inspired by hearing the bells of Waltham Abbey.

Suffering from depression, Tennyson stayed for two weeks as a guest of Allen’s asylum and would have encountered Clare at Leopard’s Hill (Lippitts Hill) Lodge or perhaps walking in the Forest. He reported that the mad people were ‘the most agreeable and most reasonable persons’ he had met.

I thought to myself as I heard this story what a great scenario it would provide for a novel and later, after googling John Clare and Tennyson, I found that the novel has already written - The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds, "where Tennyson’s transformation of private grief into public success is nicely contrasted with Clare’s public displays of delusional behaviour."


Jonathan Dove - Ring Out, Wild Bells.

About Time to Love Life

Last night I went to see About Time which is a flawed, funny, fabulous film. Mark Kermode's review (see above) of the film seems entirely accurate, both about its flaws and its moving impact.

About Time and Love Actually are films which narrativise love for life - ordinary life - and the seeing of heaven in the ordinary and in a diversity of relationships. To dramatise such love for life is, according to some cynical reviewers such as Anthony Quinn, to be inane yet, despite the sense of "middle-class ease" (which, in these films, ignores totally the suffering that Richard Curtis addresses outside of drama through Comic Relief), the breaking of his own rules of time travel, and the enacting of a fantasy in which death itself is briefly cheated, it seemed to me that Curtis' dramatization of a learning to see and celebrate the wonder of existence (particularly in relationships) was ultimately emotionally convincing and renewing.


Paul Buchanan - Mid Air.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Struggles to contend with the Australian landscape

Australia is "the first major survey of Australian art in the UK for 50 years, this exhibition spans more than 200 years from 1800 to the present day and seeks to uncover the fascinating social and cultural evolution of a nation through its art. Two hundred works including painting, drawing, photography, watercolours and multimedia will shed light on a period of rapid and intense change; from the impact of colonisation on an indigenous people, to the pioneering nation building of the 19th century through to the enterprising urbanisation of the last 100 years."

Anthony Gormley comments: "When I think of Sidney Nolan, Fred Williams or Arthur Boyd, I think of harsh earth and fierce sunlight. Through its new occupiers, somehow Australia produced modernist vigour ... There is a directness in the Indigenous traditions, whether the dots of the Western Desert or the colour field paintings of the Great Sandy Desert, where pigment is used to carry mineral truth as well as lived feeling."

Leading Australian contemporary landscape painter Idris Murphy has said:

"I’m not interested in negotiating my way around Indigenous painting. I think it is going to be a problem – can the Western tradition sustain a view of the world? I mean, Peter Fuller used to talk about this when he came to Australia very briefly; he saw in Fred Williams and Sidney Nolan the potential for the ‘last great hurrah’ of the Northern Romantic tradition and I think there’s a lot of truth in what he said. I think it’s going to be a problem – it’s not a problem for me – I’m just lapping it up! Of course I’m not Indigenous but I love the idea of this great wonderful European tradition, which I belong to, fusing with Indigenous art – happening right under my nose, in my lifetime! And I can see that as a whole new sort of language base for contemporary painting."

It will be interesting to see if this show gives any sense of this new sort of language base that Murphy sees in contemporary Australian art. By contrast Adrian Searle has suggested that the show is strong on Aboriginal art and full of classics – but loses its way in modern times:

"The show peters out in a parade of examples, a checklist of single works hung cheek by jowl with no real coherence. There is too much that feels secondary, or like retreads of flavour-of-the-month international fashions.
I am certainly no expert on Australian art, but even I can tell that, however enlightening parts of the earlier sections are, the show fails to give a sense of any of the more recent art except in a tokenistic way."
The Guardian does have a helpful timeline of Australian art, however: A history of Australian art – interactive timeline.
Back at the RA, author Tim Winton will explore his belief that ‘Australia the place is constantly overshadowed by Australia the national idea. Undoubtedly the nation and its projects have shaped my education and my prospects, but the degree to which geography, distance and weather have moulded my sensory palate, my imagination and expectations is substantial. Landscape has exerted a kind of force upon me that is every bit as geological as family.’

In today's Guardian, Winton selects Fred Williams's Yellow Landscape, 1968-9 as his favourite artwork from his homeland:

"he renders the scale and mystery of the physical world by tiny marks. The forms and figures are like scars in the hide of a beast too big to properly conceive of, let alone see entire. All these wens and divots are without pattern and yet they bring to mind calligraphy. These are the marks, the messy, chaotic texture that even the practised eye struggles to contend with in the Australian landscape. Whether you're seeing it from the air or at ground level, this is what your senses struggle with in the open country, such flat planes worked over with hieroglyphics born of fire, erosion, meteor showers, drought and epochal passages of time. Here humans might seem incidental."


Midnight Oil - Dreamworld.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Polyphony and the Bible

Reviewing Vladimir Krasnov's Solzhenitsyn and Dostoevsky: A Study in the Polyphonic Novel, Vasa D. Mihailovich writes:

'Solzhenitsyn's works, mostly The First Circle and, to a lesser degree, Cancer Ward and August 1914, as a testing ground for the
theory of a polyphonic novel propounded by the Soviet literary theoretician Mikhail
Bakhtin (1895-1975) some fifty years ago while writing about Dostoevsky. This theory states, to put it in a simplified form, that characters in a polyphonic novel are no longer manipulated by the author but rather lead their own lives and follow their own consciousnesses, moving in a world independent from that created by the author. Bakhtin found this notion best exemplified in the novels of Dostoevsky. Krasnov, in turn, found in Solzhenitsyn's novelistic technique great similarities with that of Dostoevsky and proceeded with the examination of the three novels of Solzhenitsyn from that point of view.'
Solzhenitsyn’s 'self-described “polyphonic” novel [The First Circle] is above all dialogical: As in a Platonic dialogue or a ­Dostoevskian novel, there is no absolutely controlling or simply authoritative authorial voice. It is characterized by a complex narrative structure that combines the third-person point of view with the subjectivity that belongs to a first-person narrative. Different characters take turns as the focus of a chapter or series of chapters in the book. Solzhenitsyn’s novelistic polyphony respects the variety of perspectives and voices while inviting readers to join in the search for truth.' (Daniel J. Mahoney)

Similarly, the biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann suggests that the Bible has both “a central direction and a rich diversity” which means “that not all parts will cohere or agree” although it has a “central agenda.”  The Bible is, therefore, structured like a good conversation with a central thread but many topics and diversions. On this basis, Brueggemann emphasises that “the Bible is not an “object” for us to study but a partner with whom we may dialogue.” In the image of God, he says, “we are meant for the kind of dialogue in which we are each time nurtured and called into question by the dialogue partner.” It is the task of Christian maturing, he argues, “to become more fully dialogical, to be more fully available to and responsive to the dialogue partner”:

“… the Bible is not a closed object but a dialogue partner whom we must address but who also takes us seriously. We may analyze, but we must also listen and expect to be addressed. We listen to have our identity given to us, our present way called into question, and our future promised to us.”

Recently, the Guardian's ShortCutsBlog has highlighted the polyphonic form of the Gospels as a reason why contemporary novelists retell the story of Jesus: 

"Perhaps the story of Jesus's life bears novelistic reiteration partly because it has always been told by multiple voices – not only Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but many more whose versions were not included in the Bible.

That duplication and overlapping of narratives must create holes and folds in which novelists can work, to narrativise the contradictions and build new worlds in the gaps."

Gabriel Josipovici has made a similar point. In The Book of God, quotes James Barr’s comment "about the Bible needing to be thought of not so much as a book but as a cave or cupboard in which a miscellany of scrolls has been crammed." He notes that "many modernist works might well be described as more like cupboards or caves crammed with scrolls than like carefully plotted nineteenth-century novels or even fairy stories and romances." As a result, a "generation which has experienced Ulysses and The Waste Land (to say nothing of Butor’s Mobile and Perec’s La vie mode d’emploi)" should be to view this image of the Bible positively more easily than would a generation "whose idea of a book and a unity was a novel by Balzac or George Eliot."

For more on this theme see Bahktin, the Bible and Dialogic Truth.


Lou Reed - Dime Store Mystery.

Jesus is having a moment in literary fiction

The Guardian's ShortCutsBlog finds Jesus as a trending topic in literary fiction:

"Jesus is having a moment in literary fiction. Novelists can't get enough of him. In September 2012, Naomi Alderman's The Liars' Gospel was published – a month before Tóibín's book. The year before that came Richard Beard's Lazarus is Dead, and before that Philip Pullman's The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. More allegorically, JM Coetzee's Childhood of Jesus appeared earlier this year.

"There have definitely been more novels about Jesus recently," says Stuart Kelly, who is on the judging panel for this year's Booker. He thinks they might be a reaction to the current situation in the Middle East, or "the gauche and strident atheism of the likes of [Richard] Dawkins. People can argue what they like about the new atheism, but what it doesn't do is explain why this story has had such a hold over the human imagination for 2,000 years."

The conclusion of the piece makes a strikingly valid point based on the polyphony found in the Gospels and beyond:

"Perhaps the story of Jesus's life bears novelistic reiteration partly because it has always been told by multiple voices – not only Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but many more whose versions were not included in the Bible.

That duplication and overlapping of narratives must create holes and folds in which novelists can work, to narrativise the contradictions and build new worlds in the gaps."


Bruce Cockburn - Cry Of A Tiny Babe.

St John's in The Month


St John's Seven Kings features twice in the latest edition of 'The Month', the newspaper for the Diocese of Chelmsford. There is coverage of the Bronze Green Business Redbridge award we have gained, as well as of the community opera workshop and performance of 'Pirates of Penzance' which we hosted over the summer:
"Performing Arts adviser for the Barking Episcopal Area, Revd Kathryn Robinson, and local opera company Meridian Opera led by Katherine Fellowes brought the third annual community workshop to St John's church at Seven Kings to stage the Gilbert and Sullivan
favourite The Pirates of Penzance.
Kathryn said: “We were delighted to bring the community opera workshop to a new venue and to a new community this year, St John's Seven Kings. The opera workshop was a really wonderful occasion.

“Thirty people attended the workshop and had a great afternoon learning the chorus parts of the opera.

“In the evening, together with soloists from Meridian, they performed to a capacity audience a highly successful reduced version

of The Pirates of Penzance, one of Gilbert and
Sullivan's best-loved comic operas.

“Community opera workshops seem to bring such joy to so many people and seem to give
an opportunity for people of all abilities to work together to create something really special.

“For many people this is their first experience of opera and for some their first experience of singing in public.”

Pirates of Penzance - Poor Wandering One.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Sophia Hubs pilot

The Sophia Hub pilot at St John's Seven Kings has got off  to an excellent start with the group on the first Sophia Course developing an interesting set of project/enterprise ideas. Tomorrow we are publicising the service at the Jobs and Training Fair to be held at Ilford Town Hall, while on Monday we will be running an Induction session with our Business Mentors.

Lauryn Hill - Piece Of Mind.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Sophia Hub pilot update

Over the summer we were preparing for the opening of the Sophia Hub pilot at St John's Seven Kings with our office space being redecorated and refitted as well as new office equipment arriving in order to create incubation space plus training and drop-in areas.

The Sophia Hub pilot is open and is beginning to deliver the following:

This would be through free or subsidised coaching offered from business schools and local business people as well as entrepreneur training courses.


There is a real need for businesses and social enterprises to find investment capital to support growth and be sustainable. One core function of Sophia Hubs is to connect investors with new enterprises. This can be by setting up Dragons Den type "pitch sessions" where several new enterprises pitch their needs to several prospective investors, or by arranging one-to-one meetings between enterprises and investors.


This reflective and applied developmental course will help young people in particular develop the wisdom perspectives and frameworks which help form the conditions for developing new projects. Topics might include leadership and mentoring, healthy living, compassion, collaboration, self-discipline, personal responsibility, humility, listening, creativity, personal transformation and sustainability.


We want to work with existing local businesses to help improve the environment and communication with other parts of the community for local enterprise.


We see the importance of non-monetary value exchange both to build community and to encourage people to develop their business offer. This has already been seen to work well through Timebanking and we are part of Timebanking UK.


Ideas exchange may happen through an online community, and through organising seminars and workshops exploring the connections between wisdom and work: Invited speakers will come from various belief systems to dig deeper into the resource of faith and with a range of entrepreneurial approaches.

For more information:  
020 8590 2568 for the Seven Kings pilot


Inner City - Pennies From Heaven.

UN International Day of Peace

The UN International Day of Peace, which falls next weekend is an excellent opportunity to celebrate positive relationships between different religious communities in London. Local Islamic centres, synagogues and churches are inviting visitors in to exchange messages of peace on (respectively) Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Flyers - one for Islamic centres, one for synagogues and one for churches - can be downloaded at
The idea is very simple – just invite neighbours or visitors in and exchange messages of peace (messages from nine religious traditions are on the back of the flyer). These can be people from different traditions whom are already known, or new contacts. 
This initiative coincides with the local Art Trail, of which St John's Seven Kings, is part, so we will have copies of these messages available to exchange with any visitors from other faith communities who visit on 21st or 22nd September.     
World Wide Message Tribe - Peace.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

New Cosmopolitanism and Just Love

The global expansion in migration means large cities like London are becoming home to new waves of migrants. This change has instigated new ideas about social interaction, religion and cultural identity. In October, the Contextual Theology Centre will be partnering with the Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies to host an interdisciplinary conference sponsored by the Contending Modernities project.

The New Cosmopolitanism is a conference considering global migration and the building of a common life which will be held on 14/15 October.  The conference, which grows out of CTC's work in East London, offers:

… a fresh look at a question that is dominating the headlines – how the diverse groups that globalisation brings together can discern and promote a truly “common good”;
… an opportunity to respond to the increasing focus on these issues from Pope Francis, which is catching the imagination of those far outside the Church; and
… a unique blend of academic rigour and on-the-ground engagement, funded by one of the world’s premier Catholic Universities.

CTC are also preparing a new resource for Lent 2014. Angus Ritchie and Paul Hackwood (Chair of the Church Urban Fund) are currently writing Just Love: Personal and Social Transformation in Christ which will use the Gospel readings for each Sunday Lent to explore how Jesus loved, and why this love led him to the cross.

It will draw out the implications of his transforming love – both for our individual lives and for our social and economic order.  Drawing on decades of inner-city ministry, the authors aim to show that “Christ-like love” is more than a compelling idea.  It is a powerful reality, enabling people to live out God’s just love in the most challenging of neighbourhoods.

Just Love will be written accessible language, with testimony from lay and ordained Christians already involved in social action.  Written for both individual devotion and study groups, it will include specific, realistic suggestions for prayer, reflection and action.  It will be written for use by individuals and study groups.


Aretha Franklin - (To Be) Young, Gifted And Black.

Windows on the world (260)

London, 2013
Elton John - Back Home. 

The dishonest manager

Often working people (usually rightly) say that work barely gets a mention in Church yet when you look at the stories Jesus told large numbers of them are to do with work.

Luke 16. 1 - 13 is one of those stories and it may well be the one that it is most difficult to understand. The story and the teaching based on it seem contradictory and it doesn’t seem to fit with other things that Jesus said and taught.

A manager is wasting his employer’s money. He is found out and fired. The beginning of the story makes sense to us. It’s what happens next that causes a problem. The manager then reduces the debts that various people owe to his employer in order to get on good terms with them before he leaves his master’s employment. Although he is again wasting his master’s money, this time the master praises what he has done.

Jesus goes on to say that we should use our money to make friends and that this will help us to be welcomed into eternity. That seems almost the reverse of his saying store up treasures in heaven rather than treasures on earth. Then to compound all the complications he commends faithfulness after having told a story in which the dishonest manager is praised for his dishonesty.

How can we find a way in to a set of teaching that seems contradictory and confused? It may be that the key is Jesus’ statement that we should make friends for ourselves. Although the dishonest manager remains dishonest there is a change that occurs in the story. And we can see that change most clearly if we think about the manager’s work-life balance.

At the beginning of the story, friendships and responsibility seem low on his list of priorities. He is managing his employer’s property but wasting his employer’s money. It is likely then that his life is focused around work and money. However, when his job comes under threat, he suddenly realises that relationships – friendships – are actually more important than work and money and figures out a quick way of building friendships. At the end of the story, if we return to his work-life balance, work will have decreased in importance to him while friendship and responsibility for his own future will have increased.

The teaching that follows the story makes it clear that Jesus does not condone dishonesty; if this manager is dishonest in small matters then he will also be dishonest in large ones. The manager’s fundamental dishonesty does not change but the priority he places on relationships does. In other teaching Jesus sometimes uses the formula; if someone who is bad can do X then how much more should you or how much more will God do X. He uses it, for example, when he talks about God giving the Holy Spirit: if fathers who are bad, he says, know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more will God give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.

What Jesus does in this story is similar. He is saying that if shrewd, worldly people, like the dishonest manager, can come to see the importance of relationships, then how much more should we do the same. Not following the example of the manager in using dishonesty to build relationships but following his example of learning to prioritise relationships in life and in work.

The Relationships Foundation sounds like it is likely to be a dating agency but is actually an organisation founded and run by Christians that believes that a good society is built on good relationships, from family and community to public service and business. They study the effect that culture, business and government have on relationships, create new ideas for strengthening social connections, campaign on issues where relationships are being undermined and train and equip people to think relationally for themselves. They are one example of an organisation that is seeking to prioritise relationships in life and in work as Jesus encouraged us to do. There are, of course, others, with the Mothers’ Union being among them, but the work that the Relationships Foundation attempts to do aims to encourage good relationships throughout society, not just within family life.

Why is this so important? Jesus throws out a hint when he says “make friends for yourself … so that … you will be welcomed in the eternal home.” Jesus seems to be hinting that the relationships we form now in some way continue into eternity. Paul says something similar in 1 Corinthians 13 when he writes that faith, hope and love remain using a word for ‘remain’ which suggests that acts of faith, hope and love continue into eternity. Building relationships Jesus and Paul suggest may not just be good for the here and now but may also have eternal implications. All the more reason then for us to learn from this story and, whether we are at home, at work, or in our community, to prioritise the building of good relationships with those around us.


The Clash - Card Cheat.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Practising Jesus

Chris Beales, in his 170 page book 'Practising Jesus', draws on his long experience to address many topical and pressing issues facing the world today. Youth unemployment, inter-faith relations, working in Afghanistan, engaging with Governments and politicians, businesses and community groups all come under scrutiny as Chris brings his faith and values to bear on what is happening in Britain and the world. The challenge, as he sees it, is not just to practice faithfully but to bring about real, positive, lasting change. This requires clear analysis and energetic efforts to make things happen. It requires working in collaboration with all sorts of other people and organisations. It requires stickability in the face of apathy and opposition.

As a social entrepreneur working locally and internationally, Chris is also a parish priest in a small community 50 miles north of London, England. Practising Jesus gives a valuable insight into how he sees his work, nurturing the faith of his congregation while also challenging people to step out of their comfort zones and play their part in changing the world. The proceeds of the book go towards funding a new community development programme in his parish of Woburn Sands - the initiative also involves developing a social enterprise to help sustain the work and provide local jobs.

Creating employment – especially employment for young people - has been an important aspect of Chris' work and he describes a range of initiatives, some of which have succeeded, others failed. His interest in worker co-operatives dates back to the early 1980s and a failed co-operative enterprise centre he set up with others in the northern town of Hartlepool. But much was learned and, over the next 30 years, he has worked with governments, companies, charities and social enterprises at the cutting edge of economic empowerment in the UK, West Africa and Central Asia. He describes his current work developing a new kind of school in East London, a University Technical College, and how he expects this to improve radically the employment prospects for young people.

Since 2005, Chris has worked with Afghan Action, a charity providing education and training for young people in Kabul, Afghanistan. He describes the vision, opportunities, struggles and disappointments of working in one of the world's most corrupt and difficult situations - and the inspiration he derives from the young men and women who are so keen to learn and acquire skills.

In the final chapter, Chris looks in some detail at St Paul as an entrepreneur and identifies ways in which our reading of the Bible, especially the letters of St Paul, has for too long been hijacked into a sanitised spirituality which has little to offer those who seek inspiration for radical, Christ-like change.

The Clash - Capital Radio Two.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Art Trail: 21st - 22nd September

Over London Open House weekend, All Saints Goodmayes, St John's Seven Kings, St Paul's Goodmayes and St Peter's Aldborough Hatch will all be open (21st & 22nd Sept, 10.00am - 4.00pm) for those wishing to view the artworks included on our local art trail.
Open House London celebrates all that is best about the capital’s buildings, places and neighbourhoods with over 700 buildings of all kinds opening their doors – all for free – including St. Peter’s Church in Aldborough Hatch and the Chapel at Aldborough Hatch Farm.


Monday, 9 September 2013

Windows on the world (259)

Capel Manor, 2013


The Who - I Can See For Miles.

Bronze Green Business Redbridge Award

St John's Seven Kings has been given a Bronze Award as part of the Green Business Redbridge scheme. We were presented with the award last week at an event where Redbridge Institute received a Gold Award and two other businesses received Bronze Awards.
The Bronze criteria are:
1. Observe
Record how much energy you use over at least 3 months. This will also calculate your carbon footprint.
2. Plan
Tell us how you will reduce your energy use over the next year.
3. Commit
Write an environmental policy.

4. Designate
Give one member of staff responsibility for environmental issues.

R.E.M. - Stand.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Windows on the world (258)

Chichester, 2013
Violent Femmes - Sweet Worlds of Angels.

Elmore Leonard RIP

Elmore Leonard wrote dialogue so well "you’d think it’s transcribed from real conversations, and he knows more about how to craft a living, breathing character out of thin air than God."

Leonard wrote that: "I grew up Catholic, went to Mass every day in grade school and high school; was taught by the Jesuits; spent two and a half years in the Navy during the war; returned, and was graduated from another Jesuit school, the University of Detroit. I even taught catechism in the ’60s, although I just told stories for the most part. "

He said in one interview: "I haven’t been to mass in probably 20 years. But I was in AA, you see. I’m still part of that because it worked. I haven’t had a drink since ’77 ... Higher power. That’s what keeps you straight. The higher power isn’t defined necessarily as God, but because I was brought up Catholic, it’s easy for me to do it that way."

Bandits and Pagan Babies both have a focus on issues of Catholicism and organized religion with more invested in their questions of doctrine and faith. Touch provides a wry take on fame and the miraculous when Juvenal, a former brother of a Catholic order in Brazil who now helps alcoholics in a Detroit rehabilitation centre, performs a miracle cure on a woman who has been beaten by her husband. The story contrasts the love Juvenal finds with the business and church zealots who seek to exploit his gift.


Dave Grohl - Touch.