Saturday, 31 October 2009


I have grown up thinking that Christians shouldn't get involved in Hallowe'en. It's evil, it's bad, it's a slippery slope towards the occult.

I'm not so sure I believe the above any longer. Hear me out; I still think it's stupid to dress up as ghosts and ghouls, or witches and wizards. But then, I also think the same thing of Christmas, and people dressing up as elves, or whatever irrelevant Christmas imagery they choose to wear.

But to say that people dressing up and having a good time (a subjective concept, but who am I to judge?) leads towards occult practices is a little obscure. People dressing up as Father Christmas do not move towards a Catholic spirituality circa the 4th century, and hope for sainthood after death.

However, the above is flippant and could be argued back and forth. The biggest frustration is the proof-texting and bad hermeneutic used by Christians particularly in this country: arguing that those who associate with witchcraft are clearly condemned in the Bible, and as such, we should have nothing to do with Hallowe'en.

In response to that:
a) Yes, the Bible does say that, and I agree that witchcraft and the occult are in opposition to the Bible. However, one cannot use that verse, or verses to dismiss the occult, and yet still ignore the whole pork/shellfish/nylon laws which we happily go against.
b) Hallowe'en, for the most part, is not about the occult. Just as those using Christmas as a holiday to celebrate with their family are not on a slippery slope towards Christianity, Hallowe'en is just another holiday to the majority. An excuse to dress up silly and, again, 'have a good time'.

I suppose what I'm really trying to say is that we should indeed be careful. But let's not presuppose that dressing up as a zombie, or whatever other tenuous link has been made to the 'holiday', means that it's inherently evil.

And as a Mouse I know said: whatever you do at this time of year - make it fun.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Down's Syndrome

I read this article today, which contains these sentences in the middle of the article:

"Despite the higher number of Down's pregnancies, the number of Down's syndrome babies has fallen by 1%, from 752 to 743.

This is because improved antenatal screening means more Down's pregnancies are being spotted and more abortions are taking place.Without the improved screening, the number of babies born with Down's would have risen by 48%, according to the study."


Saturday, 17 October 2009


This week, Anthony Gormley's One & Other using the fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square ended.

Nearly every piece of journalism, be it radio, television or newspaper that I heard used a comparison with Andy Warhol's now famous quote, something along the lines of:

'Andy Warhol once said that everyone would get 15 minutes of fame. These 2,400 artists, however, had an hour each. Anthony Gormley's art project, blah, blah, blah...'

Every single report I came across. That's just lazy journalism. Sort it out.

Friday, 16 October 2009


I'm well aware I'm going to get responses like 'welcome to the church,' or some such twaddle, but I've found myself increasingly annoyed with the time and effort dedicated to planning in the church, and so much less effort to actually doing.

Yes, practical issues do have a rein on the more exuberant amongst us, but to get excited about something and then say that we're not going to do it for 6 months is just frustrating.

I am aware that my youth and naivete show through considerably here. I don't mind.

I just want to do.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Odds and Ends

Last night, I was at the gathering signalling the departure of Dave Hallissy from these shores to go and learn to fly. It was an odd experience. Partly because I got to see a large proportion of those lovely people that I studied with over the last three years. I had seen some of them only a month ago. I hadn't seen some of them for three months. It was brilliant to see everyone, catch up, answer the infuriatingly obvious 'how's work?' question, and take some photos, the fruits of which I will soon post here and Facebook.

But knowing that this is the beginning of something new, where one by one, people will no longer be around the suburbs of north-west London, easily within reach. We're all heading off in different directions. It's wonderful, 'cause God's in it, and they're going to do some amazing things. But they shall be missed, terribly.

The other odd element of it was the amount of referencing of my blog in conversations. You guys actually read this thing. Perhaps only when I shove it in your face, but you do. Weirdos. Well, this one is for you, for Hallissy, for us all as we slowly go our separate ways. Please know you're loved, appreciated and missed.


Had a 'phone call from the vicar this afternoon, asking I could come round to look at Outlook Express. I was a bit reticent, but I dutifully toddled round to see if it was anything I could fix. I had sort of assumed that he had done all he could to try and rectify it himself. I got there, and we soon discovered the computer was in Safe Mode.

I asked if he had rebooted it. He said no, and asked if he should. I suggested it might be a good idea.

The moral of this story? Well, there isn't one. But, to my utmost surprise, I have actually found a male of the species who doesn't just turn it off, and turn it back on again to fix it.

Weird. Who does(n't do) that?!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Oh, the English...

It's a truth universally acknowledged that the English invented football, rugby, cricket, and a host of other sports. It's also a truth universally acknowledged that we are generally rubbish at these things on an epic scale. Occasional successes, but nothing to write home about, as it were.

A conversation this morning regarding the church in Africa also showed this trend. We may have invented Anglicanism, but have managed to become rubbish at it on an epic scale. The number of Anglicans in the country roughly numbers one million, whereas the Nigerian Anglican church is full to bursting at 20 million, and the Ugandans at 10 million.

What a sad state of play. I think we should just give up pioneering things, and settle for persuing mediocrity. We might actually achieve that.


The front door to the church was steamed up today. With the weather being so inclement, I suppose it's not that much of a surprise. However, the condensation was on the outside, as the church building is actually colder than the air temperature outside. Yes, folks...

The church is colder than a rainy day.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

With Gladness In My Heart

Yesterday, when posting the Christmas related picture, I came very close to mocking the Americans. It may have been implicit in the whole process, but I stopped short of actually saying it. And at about half past 5 yesterday, I became very glad of this. Why?

Because I walked into Tesco, and they have a seasonal aisle. An aisle, ladies and gentlemen. A whole aisle dedicated to all things Christmas. In September.

So, I'm sorry America. It's not just you. You may have been perhaps the architect, and original perpetrator, but we're just as ridiculous.