Monday, June 30, 2008

Rowan Williams on GAFCon

His statement is here. I'm sure that even the Daily Telegraph can understand this!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Let's have a redesign

Fewer links seem to be what's happened, but the attention span hasn't increased!

Meet the FoCAs

here, as the man says, it makes a lot of sense now - GAFCON indeed!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mugabe and Rome

Looks like the influence of Mugabe's recent visit to Rome has rubbed off. We protest - rightly about the demonisation of particular segments of the Zimbabwe population, we cannot remain silent in the face of this fascism rather closer to home. Here's Pliable on the same theme. Found via Jessica Duchen's web log who has more on the matter here as well as a wonderful youtube film of Roby Lakatos playing the violin - go and watch!
I've just finished reading Duchen's Hungarian Dances and it was an interesting experience reading that novel against snapshots of history that, alas, seem to be in danger of being replayed and having blogged links to articles on the aftermath of the Italian election at the same time it seemed very depressing.
I loved Bartók's Cantata Profana (which figures large in the Duchen book) when I was in my 20's and seem not to have listened to it recently - something I must rectify - I can still hear the terror of that hunt and the high,high tenor solo.

Litter pickers

Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
We've been litter picking in Macclesfield for Hope08. Festival, service and funday tomorrow...
More pictures from the morning here. I had an unfortunate accident with a can of lager I thought was empty and wasn't (fortunately it was lager - I need to go and fumigate myself!

Background of one GAFCON bishop

Read this article from metacatholic.
Emmanuel Chukwuma... would have made two short planks look like Einstein

Chukwuma has recently called for Rowan Williams resignation - ok you don't need a towering intellect to judge whether a bishop should resign but some of the other points in the article make him look a few points short of a message.

(2014) Metacatholic appears to have gone, here's a copy of that article in the internet archive.

Friday, June 27, 2008

More on Scargill

Dave Walker has posted more on the Church Times blog with a letter from David Baker.
Here's his original post which caused many to find their way here.
I think my further two comments would be

  • Lee Abbey has more points of support than Scargill which has (from my guess) cushioned it to some extent from the harsh measures that have been necessary up North, they have a number of bases with supporters, Scargill has only the one and certainly way back when I was on community we felt ourselves even then (maybe unjustly) to be Lee Abbey's poor relation - ironically in some ways as it felt that we had a better set of buildings (and chapel!! - the inspiration that George Pace building was to us both in the quiet(?) community morning prayer and as a resource to lead guests on in their spiritual walks).

  • Again guessing that the strong support I've seen from people from people who have supported the community for many years, leads me to guess that the Scargill support is aging - in order to give it a long term future they needed to reach out to a younger base and the remodelled programme was (IMHO) an exciting attempt to do that.

  • I believe that there may be some form of closure service, for those outside the community, being prepared.

I should also mention Messiaen's flickr photostream which have many photos of Scargill and the surrounding area, Yockenthwaite, Hubberholme...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

That's my line!

Obama accused of twisting the bible to confuse US voters | World news | The Guardian
Barack Obama today came under fire from James Dobson, founder of the conservative Focus on the Family organisation, who accused the likely Democratic nominee of twisting the Bible to confuse people.
A technique that Dobson's pretty familiar with...

Chaudes Aigues

Rural gite
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
PIcture from a holiday we had quite a few years ago in the Massif Central. Chaudes Aigues has hot running water in the streets - and none in the houses - or at least not in the gite we stayed in!

A slide scan - this one is a lot better than some I've done maybe the device is better with pictures that don't have lots of sky!

Lambeth and Rowan Williams

Mark Russell's reflections: Countdown to Lambeth
Whatever your views on Christianity and sexuality, violence against gay people is wrong, and homophobia is wrong. Jesus died for all people whether straight or gay, and he loves everyone equally.
Finally, please pray for Rowan Williams at this time. I get to spend time with him from time to time and he is a godly holy man, with an impossible job. Rowan is lovely, and has such a warm open gentle spirit. He is a gift to our Church. Pray for him in the middle of all this that God would use him to lead the Lambeth Conference in such a way that our church can emerge with more unity, and more committed to mission and evangelism, which is our real job!
I still believe in a God of miracles....pray for one for Lambeth!

Amen to that! Another harkback to Scargill too - as I knew Michael Turnbull when he was in the same position when he was on Scargill Council before he went to Durham

Monday, June 23, 2008

What else do you need?

From the new Linux Format a Keith Packard interview:
I switched to KDE .. and recently switched to Gnome. They don't seem dramatically different to me; they're both 2D desktops. They let me start Emacs - what else do you need.
Well quite - though I'm sure you don't need anything quite as memory heavy if Emacs is all that's needed (blackbox, fluxbox,...).
exec emacs
should be quite enough.
(How come this is the first blog post I've made with an emacs label???!!!)

An orphan

Democracy is an orphan in Zimbabwe, Since the infamous universal declaration of independence in 1965 made by the white government of Ian Smith in what was then Rhodesia - in an effort to block the extension of suffrage to the country's black majority - the cry of democracy has been ignored. Mugabe's 28-year rule has similarly undermined the development of institutional democracy.
Tsvangirai writing in April 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I'm sure it's no reference to Big Pete

From Alex Foster comes this Album cover meme

  1. Use Wikipedia’s Random page selector; the article title is the name of your band.
  2. Use the Quotations’s random quote generator; the last four words of the very last quotation is the title of your album.
  3. Use Flickr’s most “interestingness” explorer”; the third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
  4. Use your graphics program of choice (Gimp!!!!) to throw them together, and post.

Yorkshire Post notice

of the Scargill closure:
When full, Scargill House could accommodate 80 people and was run by a team of 30. One of its mainstays was weekend courses for visiting church choirs. Other groups or individuals came to engage in activities like walking, painting and embroidery, although some of the annual programme was dictated by the Christian calendar, offering Easter and Advent retreats. The house was also extensively used by school groups on field trips.
One of the most attractive features in the 100-acre grounds is the large broadleaved woodland which is Forestry Stewardship Council accredited and used by local schools and students for nature study.
Back inside the house, New Year had become a special time to welcome asylum seekers. In fact, Scargill House had deliberately changed its emphasis in recent years from appealing mainly to white, English middle-class Anglicans to drawing in people of many different backgrounds, especially those of diverse nationalities and faiths.
Central to this has been its "MythBusters" programme for breaking down barriers between faiths and social classes. It takes groups of children from widely different backgrounds and involves them in activities like circus skills while encouraging them to discuss how they're really not very different from each other.
This work is set to continue, and David Baker's sorrow at selling up is at least tempered by some optimism for the future. The money that will be raised from the sale – possibly as much as £5m, although the final valuation has not been made – will be used to set up a Christian foundation.
"I see it as turning ourselves inside-out," he says. "Instead of people coming to Scargill House for help, the new Foundation will go out into communities and fund projects, perhaps even pay for groups to stay at residential centres. So our work will definitely continue, it just won't be here at Scargill.

More scans of old slides

A leaving
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Scanned a few more of my Scargill slides, the set is here - bit variable in quality but as a record of the turn of the 70's at Scargill they're probably worth sharing.


A trip bowling followed - in my case - by the first course at an Indian restaurant.

Have you seen the train schedule between East Didsbury and Wilmslow in the evening!?

Leg 1 of 3 Rail replacement busEast Didsbury (EDY) to Manchester Airport (MIA)
Departs Arrives Duration
00:02 00:20 0:18
Leg 2 of 3 Rail replacement bus Manchester Airport (MIA) to Manchester Piccadilly (MAN)
Departs Arrives Duration
01:00 01:25 0:25
Leg 3 of 3Manchester Piccadilly (MAN) to Wilmslow (WML)
Departs Arrives Duration
05:20 05:37 0:17

I suppose that's late evening....but two replacement bus services taking you round in circles. Fortunately the train was running last week and I caught one before this!

On its way...

Just hope it's a better finale than last season.

Friday, June 20, 2008

More Scargill pictures

The Scargill House flickr pool. Though mostly pretty recent pictures.

United voices

Went to hear the united voices gospel choir from Bradford on Wednesday

only one third of them were here - and some were glad in view of the volume. They got a very churchy audience and could have benefited from a wider invite - though they did draw in a couple off the street. I'd have welcomed more variety with more solo work - especially in view of the rapt lead in of the first song from one singer.
Some what of a culture shock though very enjoyable!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Local news

Two main stories on the fron page of this weeks Macclesfield Express
Is Macc now the cannabis-growing capital of Britain?
yes, the police have found yet another local house stacked full of cannabis plants.
Prince Edward arrives in Macclesfield on Friday (June 20) in the highest profile Royal visit since the Queen’s jubilee celebrations in 2002

I'm sure the two stories are entirely unrelated!

12 hours left

To download firefox 3 on the download day! I've already got RC2 so will probably be boring and download when synaptic tells me (assuming there's a difference between rc2 and the release!)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm probably too old

to enjoy this properly!

but it carries something of Summer at Scargill. Now Winter was a different matter.
Ohhhh the Racehorses!
Looks like they were summer helpers -surely you can't do all that in a week?!
What do she mean 'holiday', in my time it was ***** hard work, haruumph! ;-)

The Sun Lounge and the estate

A couple more pictures of Scargill from our last visit.
But it's the people and the environment that will form the enduring memory.

Complain to the head of pantry
School group
I still can't hear the sound of a cattle grid without being taken back - both a sign of arriving and one of departure down that narrow country road into whatever was to come.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ever onwards...

A tricky few days - last week we were told that we are unlikely to get 0.6 of a clergy person for the part of the team ministry where I worship. So we thinking about redeployment of existing resources! However if you're reading this and you are 0.6 of a clergy person (or even more!) and want a part time post the job pack is still around!
Then this evening I heard that Scargill House (the site index page is broken for GNU/Linux users..) - where I spent 4 years working as a community member is to close and the site sold - now that's another big wrench with the past.
Remembering the folk I worked with the places and the experience of those years.

But always onwards... a pilgrim people...and they're moving on too:
Located on a 100 acre estate in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Scargill community has provided a place to explore contemporary spirituality, celebrate human diversity and act responsibly with regard to creation and the environment. It has just announced the decision to sell the site and to create a grant giving Foundation run by a ‘virtual’ community of members.
Now Scargill has taken the radical step to set up a Foundation with the proceeds of the sale of the Centre. Through this it will be enabled to support those who, in numerous and diverse ways, continue to live out its vision.

My album of slide scans from those years is here. I must get around to getting a few more on line, and am tempted to see the place once more before the closure.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Firefox blogging addins

It would appear that Scribefire works nicely with firefox whereas I'm getting strange messages with Deepest Sender about missing content.
Thanks to Storyteller's World for the pointer

We won't be Berlusconi's scapegoats

We won't be Berlusconi's scapegoats, say Gypsies From the Observer:
In a desolate field just beyond the Rome ring road, a single line of caravans is a stark sign of the times in the new and increasingly anti-immigrant Italy. The vehicles are the modest homes of 25 Gypsy families, who have become the first victims of a campaign waged by the city's new right-wing mayor to crack down on foreign criminals and illegal Gypsy camps.

Oblivious to their parents' distress, children laugh and duck behind cars, squirting water pistols at each other as the adults contemplate an uncertain future. But the white sheets waving on clothes lines seem to symbolise a mood of surrender and gloom. Police, accompanied by dogs, have just chased this community from the city centre site it had occupied for 20 years.

'We work for a living, but in a couple of hours, everything we had created, the relationship we had built with locals over decades, was wiped out,' said Alessandro, 36.

Difficult to say more, I'm in the midst of reading Jessica Duchen's Hungarian Dances which also treads on this ground exposing the hypocrisy.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
As reported by Dave Walker the SPCK bookshops have closed. This was the Chester one this afternoon. We had a drink in the cafe opposite and there was no activity inside. Back in the 1970's we used to call it the Society for the Prevention of Christian Knowledge - sadly prescient.

To Chester

Andy Bull
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall

To Chester this afternoon to see Andy Bull's ordination. The third ordination we've been to in the past twelve months!

Then a much anticipated visit to Chez Jules for dinner

We feel the starter and dessert menu calling us back!
More pictures from the day on my flickr pages.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


via Chester LUG
This text has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000

Give me a paw!

- there's a bird up this tree, don't just sit there! Taken a few years ago now - that's Perdita - now long gone, with a local tabby, the clematis and the tree are also no more.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

No other way!

to perform music! 'Unison, fourth and fifth - all other intervals are shit!' Hat tip to The Rambler
On digging around, here's the wikipedia article on the M6 series Kaamelott

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Probably not a surprise

Your Score: The True Neurotic

You scored 63 anxiety, 81 awkwardness, and 80 neuroticism!

Congratulations, you are The True Neurotic, you nail-biting, conflict-avoiding worrier, you. You're plagued by self-doubt and anxiety, which makes social activity hard--even though you may be well-liked, you feel under a storm of silent criticism. It doesn't help that people give you funny looks for organizing all your pens by color or sharpening your gnawed pencils to a delicate point.

Your high anxiety score implies that you are unable to relax, worry about the future often, and probably are plagued by irrational fears and self-doubt.
Your high awkwardness score implies that you are socially inept, probably stick out from the crowd, and feel uncomfortable in large groups of people, such as at parties.
Your high neuroticism score implies that you exhibit neurotic behaviors--probably organization, fanatic obsessions (can you recite the entire first LOTR movie?), repetitive mantras, constant checking, or orderly rituals.
See the other results!
The Neat Freak
The Dork
The Geek
The Subtle Neurotic

The True Neurotic

Link: The Neurotic Test written by littlelostsnail on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test
View My Profile(littlelostsnail)

(me again)
I'm sure my reformatting of the html provided by the quiz result tells its own story! Thanks to Janis for the pointer (I think!)

Friday, June 06, 2008


Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
Another Thursday another of the evening walks. This time around the grounds of Peover Hall

Pictures of the '07 walks including some others of this walk are here (I hope - my newish router will no longer allow me to loop back to check this URL and I've not yet worked out how to fix it!)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Its sucure

Thanks to the onionring for this wonderful garble! At first glance I thought it was something to do with sugar.