Thursday, July 31, 2008

A quote to remember

This remark needs disseminating:
Thank goodness that we have this one, last bastion of free speech – the Internet. The internet, in particular, is the only truly free “press” we still have.
from Mark Brewer who also appears to be on a gagging letter roll with SPCK bloggers at the moment. ASBO Jesus is still producing relevant cartoons on the case.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mustard seeds

Mustard Seed Shavings
The only theological secrets worth knowing were revealed to uneducated shepherds, fishermen and women. I have read volumes and volumes of stuff with subtle spiritual nuances recently on women's headship, homosexuality and the anglican communion.Three things Jesus says nothing about in the Gospels.
Well of course he's right - but I'm as guilty as anyone of making it complicated!
And we were reminded this morning of the subversive nature of the mustard plant!

..and two funerals

Thursday was David McKillop's funeral - so I worked at home and walked into town for the service at St Michael's. It started with a poem he wrote some years ago - it was read - as written in a strong Scottish accent - and the weaker amongst us struggled to cope! Then memories of student life and beyond, Pharmacology at Edinburgh from another North of the border national. The service leader said that 'some will be relieved that the rest of the service is in English'! We heard of his skills in reciting Burns (from memory) at Asta Zeneca Burns night, the football field, family and friends, his work skills where he ended up knowing maybe more than his consultant of his medical prognosis. I found it a very helpful way to say farewell to a (sometimes) argumentative but always considerate listener!

Friday came with a trip up to Kettlewell and a visit to Scargill to collect the item I'd bid for in the memorabilia sale - better held by someone who'd value it, rather than the house being sold with contents and some things being carted off for the tip (IMHO)!
Kilnsey Crag
Some observations from that day:
  • Whilst driving up I took the opportunity to re-listen to Ann Morisy's talks from earlier in the year, valued her Bootle accent, her tales of the conversation between now and what was possible. What stories have I and others been given by Scargill? What will replace that?
  • Standing on the stairs on the way up the the Chapel and hearing Mozart's Requiem (I think) blasting forth!
  • Lunch at the Racehorses in Kettlewell - gentle reflections on the past over a soup and beer (I wanted to stop at a lot of Wharfedale pubs - especially the Tenants Arms but called it a day at one).
  • Turned on the radio on the way back to immediately be confronted by Schubert's 'Die Liebe Farbe' with its ironic paen to green and its endless F#'s. Having come from that lush green of Scargill the irony became new and sharp

Other pictures from the day at the end of my Scargill Visits set on flickr

Spot the bishop

they are - honest, thanks to pseudopiskie for this. When I take a service with one of these folk in September (no other clergy present!) I'll need to inspect his vestments carefully so that I recognise him

Mosaic meme

From Niles comes this meme to encourage a little flickr browsing!

If you want to play too, type your answer to each of the questions below into a Flickr search. Using only the first page, choose your favorite image, then copy and paste each of the URL’s into the mosaic maker (3 columns, 4 rows). Leave a comment if you play, so I can have a peek.

The questions:
  1. What is your first name? (Robert)
  2. What is your favorite food? (Fish)
  3. What high school did you attend? (Kings School Macclesfield)
  4. What is your favorite color? (Green)
  5. Who is your celebrity crush? (Valerie Singleton - and the picture could cover some others ;-))
  6. Favorite drink? (Red Wine)
  7. Dream vacation? (Nepal - got this picture twice so including it once)
  8. Favorite dessert? (Cheese - is that cheating?)
  9. What do you want to be when you grow up? (young)
  10. What do you love most in life? (Mountains)
  11. One word to describe you. (Unfocussed)
  12. Your Flickr name. (rajmarshall - had to cheat here to get anything)

(in the end I saw quite a few duplicates on the first pages...)
Here are the individual photo urls (why does no-one but me(!?) believe in letting html and <ol> do things for you)
1. Mt. Roberts, 2. Gone Fishin', 3. King's School, Macclesfield, 4. Meeting the pregnant princess of the forest, 5. Cuisine de Pierre Bleu, 6. What do you need to be happy?, 7. Beautiful old lady from Darap(Sikkim) village, 8. my cheese shop, 9. Taller in many other ways, 10. Lago Pehoe Panorama, 11. La Pyramide du Louvre, 12. IMG_9849

Saturday, July 26, 2008

You desist, Mark!

ASBO Jesus has a cartoon to the point

Especially for geeks

..with blackberries - today's UserFriendly

A Wedding..

The Bride and Groom
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
To Holy Trinity Platt for Russell Bryans and Kate Vickers wedding. The official pictures will appear on that website - but we'd better give them a few weeks! My pictures are in this flickr tag set.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Yep, I'm Dave Walker too

The above was Dave's notice about a Texan lawyer's bullyboy tactics (and now the notice is mine!) but even that has now been removed. Matt Wardman has more on this. He has this list:

Who's Posted about Mark Brewer's Cease and Desist Notice to Dave Walker

  1. St Aidan to Abbey Manor - David Keen - Vicar (Yeovil)

  2. The Wardman Wire - Matt Wardman (audio of BBC interview from 12/2007)

  3. Gentle Wisdom - Peter Kirk

  4. Bishop Alan's Blog - Alan Wilson, Area Bishop of Buckingham

  5. Blogula-Rasa - Ginny (detailed - worth a read)

  6. Metacatholic - Doug Chaplin - Vicar (West Midlands)

  7. Of course, I could be wrong - Madpriest - Priest (somewhere in England)

  8. Seven whole days - Scott Gunn - Parish Priest (Rhode Island) and Lambeth Conference.

  9. Thinking Anglicans - Simon Kershaw - Cambridge, England (likely to follow further press coverage)

  10. The Jewish Blog Network - How to recover deleted pages. Firefox Resurrect Pages add-on.

  11. Lingamish - Blogger Bludgeoned by Bozos - David Ker - Mozambique. Kudos for the cartoon above.

  12. [Update: 23/07/2008] SPCK Watch - Gagging attempts by Mark Brewer - SPCK Watch. (Somewhere in Europe). Whole blog devoted to SPCK saga.

  13. [Update: 23/07/2008] Elizaphanian - We are all Dave Walkers now - Sam Norton, Rector of West Mersea, Essex.
    Suggests that we reposts Dave's ex-posts from Google cache.

  14. [Update: 23/07/2008]Mad Hare - Solidarity post - SPCK/SSG and Dave Walker (New Mexico : United States).

Any more for any more?

No doubt the list will grow!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Nothing like having an informed debate

Dave Walker has removed all the SPCK closure related stuff from his blog - obviously some people (not Dave!) believe that silence is the best cover for their actions and have taken legal steps to try to ensure this.
Fortunately the RSS feed lasted longer than the announcement post!

1 John 1 is a good antidote to such cloaking. The SPCK blog still appears to be up.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

scargill community 80

community 80
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
I've uploaded a few more Scargill community pictures from 1978-82 to my flickr pages. In time I hope to label this photo with names!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Wednesday's service

Shan writes movingly of the final public service at Scargill (at least for a time - as it is consecrated and a listed building - who knows what God may have in mind for this building) on her a year at Scargill weblog - also pictures of some who were there.
Julie has also left her description of the same event - and the trip North as a whole - as a comment on my original blog post.

Leaving home

Péter Laki writes on the Cantata Profana
I had always interpreted this story [the story of the Cantata profana] as an allegory of Bartók's life, but as I conducted the Cantata that day I realized that I, too, was the stag. I was born and trained to communicate music, just as the sons were born and trained to hunt, and I was lucky to have grown up in Hungary, a country that lives and breathes music - that has a passionate belief in the power of music as a celebration of life. But one day, when I was still young, I was parted from my family and left my native country. I hunted and searched for music, and destiny turned me into the object of my hunt. The circumstances of life became my "antlers" and prevented me from returning home.

applies also to other losses but Bartók conveys the anguish of leaving and losing - particularly with respect to his own country most movingly.
Program notes on Cantata Profana are here

And notes on the history of Hungary are available on Wikipedia which gives some insight into where Bartók was coming from (especially for those who heard me this morning!)

Evening out

Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
To the Hanaan in Rusholme last night for dinner - don't order too much rice!
Picture of Paul, Steve, Jennifer, Stephen and Gordon's elbow.
Interesting trip back on the train with some effusively drunk Brummies (by adoption) - no I don't want any of your KFC (repeat ad libitum)

TV Dinner

Another Simon's cat cartoon!

Thanks to Juanuhcis' Way for spotting this!

Employment and clergy

From Jane Williams article in today's Guardian
The church can be a thankless employer, with poor boundaries between private and public space, vague practices about holidays and days off, laughable job descriptions and few opportunities to congratulate oneself on a job well done and completed.

Jane Williams is the daughter of Geoffrey Paul - who was Bishop of Bradford and before that Warden of Lee Abbey (as well as being in charge of Scargill council back in the 1980's) so she has good reason to know! She also writes:
The pressures on Rowan are huge. It is easy to underestimate how much support we get. All around the country people are praying [for him] and that matters enormously, we couldn't do without it.
may that continue!

Save Scargill

The website for discussion of Scargill's future is here. Maybe that ought to be 'a' website but until the official custodians of the official site give an indication of what they have in mind this would appear to be the channel!

Scargill closing service

The orer of service is now posted at the Scargill Keepsake auction blog - the auction pages have been removed (as it's over) - but I do wish they'd keep this page otherwise people (like me) who link to specific pages in their blogs look silly when the linked content is rather different!
Link to the actual service pdf.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

BBC takes education seriously

The wonderful moment from Journey's End
You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Thanks to the Web of Fear for the link to this clip!
Well Journey's End is a play about the trenches - isn't it?


Maybe Russell T Davies is putting in a Lambeth appearance?. Look carefully at that first picture.
Must read cartoon church at work - I spotted it but I see there's lots of similar comments already!

For Today

The Chapel
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
I came across this last night:
And here and there a cross on a barren hill;
In the red forest a herd is disappearing.
The cloud meanders over the pond's mirror;
The calm gesture of the peasant is at rest.
Very softly evening's blue wing touches.
A roof of parched straw, the black earth.

Soon stars will nest in the brows of the tired;

Georg Trakl Autumn of the Lonely One

and in that Germanic mood I was led back to 1978 and the Christmas drama:
Night and silence.
Only the steps and cries of the guards.
Do you hear how in the silent house
It quakes, cracks, roars
When hundreds kindle the stirred-up flame of their hearts?

Their choir is silent,
But my ear is open wide:
‘We the old, the young,
The sons of all tongues,
We the strong, the weak,
The sleepers, the wakeful,
We the poor, the rich,
Alike in misfortune,
The good, the bad,
Whatever we have been,
We men of many scars,
We the witnesses of those who died,
We the defiant, we the despondent,
The innocent, and the much accused,
Deeply tormented by long isolation,
Brother, we are searching, we are calling you!
Brother, do you hear me?’

Whether one day turns into another,
One that could have nothing new, nothing better
Than to end quickly like this one?
I want to see the turning of the times,

When luminous signs stand in the night sky,
And over the peoples new bells
Ring and ring.
I am waiting for that midnight
In whose fearfully streaming brilliance
The evil perish for anguish
And the good overcome with joy.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Night Voices in Tegel” (1944)
Thank you Tim

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

With regrets..

I don't think I'll be heading to Kettlewell for tomorrow's farewell.
It would be nice to be there and also see folk that I've not seen for many years but my current thinking is to stay here for the following reasons:
  • I said farewell last week, I'm not sure that doing it twice is a good idea.
  • Some hotheads have - on the Church Times blog - talked of protesting at the service, I'd need it to be quiet reflection and thanks to God for what has been.
  • Taking an empty car (apart from myself) feels too much of a luxury with thoughts about 'green' responsibilities.
  • I've only just taken a weeks holiday from work.
So unless I change my mind I'll be at work!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Scargill History

The Holdsworth family site - who owned Scargill before it became a community/conference centre has a page on the house with the original 1957 estate agent's write up:
Ownership of the Estate carries the right to Pew Sittings in the Parish Church of Kettlewell and share in the Lordship.
Another page has a picture of the house in its Holdsworth days - about 3/4s of the way down that page!

And here's a blog link from a current community member - Shan - thanks to Dave Walker for this!

Berlusconi and the Roma (again)

There was an article by Seumas Milne in last week's Guardian on the new fascism of Berlusconi:
At the heart of Europe, police have begun fingerprinting children on the basis of their race - with barely a murmur of protest from European governments. Last week, Silvio Berlusconi's new rightwing Italian administration announced plans to carry out a national registration of all the country's estimated 150,000 Gypsies - Roma and Sinti people - whether Italian-born or migrants. Interior minister and leading light of the xenophobic Northern League, Roberto Maroni, insisted that taking fingerprints of all Roma, including children, was needed to "prevent begging" and, if necessary, remove the children from their parents.
It has been left to others to speak out against this eruption of naked, officially sanctioned racism. Catholic human rights organisations have damned the fingerprinting of Gypsies as "evoking painful memories". The chief rabbi of Rome insisted it "must be stopped now". Roma groups have demonstrated, wearing the black triangles Gypsies were forced to wear in the Nazi concentration camps, and anti-racist campaigners in Rome this week began to bombard the interior ministry with their own fingerprints in protest against the treatment of the Gypsies. But, given that the European establishment has long turned a blind eye to anti-Roma discrimination and violence in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, along with the celebration of SS units that took part in the Holocaust in the Baltic states, perhaps it's no surprise that they ignore the outrages now taking place in Italy.

The rest of us cannot. ...

But the same phenomena can be seen to varying degrees all over Europe, where racist and Islamophobic parties are on the march: take the far right Swiss People's party, which on Tuesday succeeded in collecting enough signatures to force a referendum on banning minarets throughout the country. In Britain, as Peter Oborne's Channel 4 film on Islamophobia this week underlined, a mendacious media and political campaign has fed anti-Muslim hostility and violence since the 2005 London bombings - just as hostility to asylum seekers was whipped up in the 1990s. The social and democratic degeneration now reached by Italy can happen anywhere in the current climate.
food for thought and - hopefully mettle that it will not be allowed to progress further - in Italy or the UK.

More from the Craven Herald

Letter from Dave Nelson is here:
Scargill, since its beginnings in the late fifties, emerged into the sixties and seventies when society radically changed, went through the miners' strike and the four-day working week, went through times when interest rates and income tax were high and also through times of high unemployment. I seem to remember also that there was a big slump in the construction industry, affecting thousands of workers. It was a survivor.

That is not to say that Scargill has not [recently] done good works and I am sure the trustees were well intentioned. The Mythbusters is just one that you referred to in your editorial.

So the place where people came for rest, refreshment and, in some cases, went away with a life-changing experience, will be no more. All for the sake of a changed philosophy.

my clarification (I hope!) in square brackets.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Get back from holiday to discover that the power tripped 24 hours after we left and the freezer and fridge were both in an interesting state! Further investigation reveals that the freezer caused the problem and is now dead. Unfortunately due to the nature of the house we need a slim (< 50cm) upright freezer (sounds like a dating request!) and are currently failing to find one. Any pointers welcomed! Alternatively a quick kitchen redesign might be called for!?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wordsworth St

Wordsworth St
Originally uploaded by rajmarshall
.. I guess the local inhabitants liked the rename too!
Spotted in Hawkshead
Surrealy next day we had lunch the next day at The Royal Hotel in Dockray near Ullswater - with hens looking through the window and Italian pop music piped into the bar (there may have been a veer into Spanish at some point)

It was 30 years ago this week

.. that I joined the Scargill community. Having been on holiday in the Lakes this week we nipped over to Kettlewell. Traumatic, as Scargill is closing this month. Mixed emotions of joy at the imagination of the direction over the last few years and regrets over the loss of the old. Pictures from this visit are on flickr in a new collection, trying to separate out the photos taken on community with those taken since.

[Sue - if you're reading this - note that not all the Sue's are you! I've resisted adding surnames in view of the lack of privacy on the internet! My guess is that you wondered about the picture in the snow - but the Sue there is on skis.]
I hope to scan more of the 1980 era Scargill slides soon when we recover from the break.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Alicia's Gift

Just finished another Jessica Duchen: Alicia's gift, with it being the tale of a young pianist based in the Macclesfield area (not to mention Headingley) - this had for me a lot going for it - and I don't think it disappointed! Some acute observation of motives and description of wrapping oneself up in pianism (to protect oneself?). Mam Tor is a feature of the book and part of my experience that I've not visited for too long - harder to make the effort now that the road to Sheffield no longer runs underneath it.
Some of the twists were a little predictable - especially with local knowledge - but I'd recommend it - made me pick up some piano works I'd not looked at in a long time!

Especially for tomorrow

Happy Watching!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Magna Carta flames at ASBO Jesus. I wanted to tag this humour but it isn't!

For sentimental rememberance

There's an online list of Scargill memorabilia available in an online auction. Marsh lounge chairs, the lectern, bedside tables. I'll try not to say - here - what I'm interested in. Unfortunately Henry is long gone! There's also a closing service on Wednesday 16th, nicer for it to be a weekend, but if it's a midweek there's a chance of it fitting in the Chapel!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

They only wanted a fence

From this week's Macclesfield Express:
Two Macclesfield men were caught stealing 14 stair gates, 24 cardigans and 24 inflatable England chairs from TJ Hughes. ..They were each sentenced to 150 hours community punishment

The joys of gay regexp

or webfiltering for beginners, from rightwingwatch.. and the Guardian Diary

More press coverage on Scargill

The Craven Herald's report on the Scargill closure. The Craven Herald is the local Skipton and the Dales newspaper -
District councillor for Upper Wharfedale, John Roberts, said he had canvassed villagers in Kettlewell for their reaction:

"They feel the closure will have quite an impact on local businesses - people resident there would come down to the pubs and the post office would have spin-off trade.
Local people are saddened by the closure, at the loss of jobs - which are few and far between in this area - and they are apprehensive about the future. ...
It will call for an inspirational architectural design because the site is so beautiful."