From the category archives:

Stuff

It is very easy to be servants of the word without disturbing the world: a very spiritualized word, a word without any commitment to history, a word that cannot sound in any part of the world because it belongs to no part of the world. A word like that creates no problems, starts no problems.
What [...]

{ 0 comments }

Sing a new song

by Richard on March 9, 2015

Not just a new song, but a whole hymnbook full, from the pen of our good friend Kim Fabricius. You can go direct to Wipf and Stock (the publishers), Amazon (if your conscience will bear it) or your favourite local bookshop - but this is a little book I highly recommend. It reaches the parts [...]

{ 0 comments }

Hymn of the day

by Richard on March 8, 2015

Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I go,
My daily labour to pursue;
Thee, only Thee, resolved to know
In all I think or speak or do.
The task Thy wisdom hath assigned,
O let me cheerfully fulfill;
In all my works Thy presence find,
And prove Thy good and perfect will.
Preserve me from my calling’s snare,
And hide my simple heart above,
Above [...]

{ 0 comments }

“Bitter-Sweet”

by Kim on February 28, 2015

“Bitter-Sweet” is one my favourite poems of the Welsh-born English poet George Herbert, who died on Dydd Gwyl Dewi (St. David’s Day - March 1st) in 1633. John Drury ends his magnificent Music at Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George Herbert (2013) with it, “one of [Herbert's] consummately crafted miniatures”.
Ah my dear angry Lord,
Since [...]

{ 0 comments }

The recurring “American nightmare”

by Kim on February 21, 2015

Fifty years ago — February 21st, 1965 — Malcolm X was assassinated in New York City.
Ten months earlier, at Cory Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, Malcolm had declaimed: “No, I’m not American. I’m one of the 22 million black people who are the victims of Americanization. One of the … victims of democracy, nothing [...]

{ 2 comments }

‘The computer is unable’

by Kim on January 30, 2015

The computer is unable
to find God: no code
number, no address.
Technology stalls
without the material
we provide it. There must be
some other way. ‘Try
looking,’ says the eye,
‘Try listening’ the ear
answers. I stare into distance:
nothing but the gantries
where art is crucified in
the cause of new art.
I have heard amid uproar
in London the black redstart
singing among the ruins;
so I strain [...]

{ 0 comments }

Tally ho!

by Richard on January 21, 2015

As the mayor of Paris threatens Fox News with a law suit, here’s a lovely takedown of Fox “news” “experts”

Tell me, my US friends: just why does anyone take Fox seriously?

{ 1 comment }

Son of Dog appears in Swansea

by Richard on January 20, 2015

Swansea woman finds Jesus - in her dog’s ear!
A Swansea woman had the shock of her life recently, when she found the image of Jesus in her dog’s ear.
25-year-old Rachel Evans was giving mini Yorkshire terrier Dave a wash in the bathroom sink when she decided to snap some selfies with the pretty pooch.
It wasn’t [...]

{ 1 comment }

Melchior

by Richard on January 4, 2015

Another offering from Maddy Prior & the Carnival Band

{ 0 comments }

Talking turkey

by Richard on December 25, 2014

{ 0 comments }

Noel: Maddy Prior & the Carnival Band

by Richard on December 24, 2014

{ 0 comments }

Pope takes Vatican to task

by Richard on December 23, 2014

BBC News: Pope Francis sharply criticises Vatican bureaucracy
Pope Francis has sharply criticised the Vatican bureaucracy in a pre-Christmas address to cardinals, complaining of “spiritual Alzheimer’s” and “the terrorism of gossip”.
He said the Curia - the administrative pinnacle of the Roman Catholic Church - was suffering from 15 “ailments”, which he wanted cured in the New [...]

{ 0 comments }

Democracy in the workplace: the Rochdale Pioneers

by Richard on December 21, 2014

Before I became a minister, I worked for 6 years in the Co-operative Movement. I am a democrat. I believe that if democracy is a just system for running a country (it is, isn’t it?) then by the same token it is also a just system for running a commercial operation. I know that many [...]

{ 0 comments }

Local boy makes Good, by Harri Web

by Richard on December 21, 2014

When Christ was born on Dowlais Top
The ironworks were all on stop,
The money wasn’t coming in,
But there was no room at the Half Moon Inn.
The shepherds came from Twyn y Waun
And three kings by the Merthyr and Brecon line,
The star shone over the Brecon’s ridge
And the angels sang on Rhymney Bridge.
When Christ turned water into [...]

{ 2 comments }

That night in Bethlehem

by Richard on December 21, 2014

Altan sing the beautiful gaelic carol ‘Don Oíche Úd i mBeithil’ (That night in Bethlehem).

Tip: you can use the tune even if you don’t know gaelic. It fits very well to ‘O little town of Bethlehem’.

{ 0 comments }

Mary’s manifesto — a hymn

by Kim on December 19, 2014

In Mary’s song of praise and peace
we call “Magnificat”,
a peasant maiden mocked the claims
of earth’s proud plutocrats.
An angel whispered, “You’re the one
who’ll carry heaven’s child.”
The girl, in fearful faith, said, “Yes!”
but barely forced a smile.
She went to see a kindred soul,
who praised what God would do;
yet Mary felt a deep unease
about the coming coup.
But then [...]

{ 0 comments }

Two things I find obnoxious about certain Christians at Christmas: not only, obviously, (1) the idiotic belligerence of some over the so-called “War on Christmas” (”Go ahead, punk, make my day: wish me ‘Happy Holidays’!”); but also, tiresomely, (2) the predictable sanctimonious pontifications and self-flagellations of others about in-house excess (”My fellow believers, remember the [...]

{ 0 comments }

David Cameron — Nativity angel?

by Kim on December 16, 2014

Letter published in the British daily the i on 16 December
Sir:
According to Vince Cable, “Conservative spending plans would reduce the armed forces to a ‘largely ceremonial role’” (15 December). What tidings of joy! It sounds about as probable as news of Herod inviting children to Christmas dinner, but if Mr. Cable is accurate, [...]

{ 1 comment }

Christ is Lord of all creation,
rules the universe in peace;
brings to judgement every nation
which would be the world’s police:
Lamb of God who lies with lions,
slain, he conquers Babel’s beast.
Weapons used for mass destruction,
tools deployed in [...]

{ 0 comments }

Advent: on (not) thinking about hell

by Kim on December 9, 2014

“Thinking about hell doesn’t help me to live the way I should. I believe this is true for most people. And thinking that other people might go to hell just feels evil to me, like a very grave sin. So I don’t want to encourage anyone else to think that way. Even if you don’t [...]

{ 0 comments }