Time for coffee

garfieldcoffeeweb.jpgCaffeine is my shepherd; I shall not doze.
It maketh me to wake in green pastures:
It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses.
It restoreth my buzz:
It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for its name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of addiction,
I will fear nothing
For thou art with me; thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me.
Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of The Starbucks:
Thou anointest my day with pep; my mug runneth over.
Surely richness and taste shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the House of Mocha forever.

Changes to Gift-Aid giving

lucre.jpg I think quite a few people are aware of changes to Gift Aid in the UK as from April 1st but recently I’ve come across quite a few churches and organisations who are not, hence this blog post.
In actual fact ‘Gift Aid’ is not changing but the rate of income tax is going down from 22% to 20% and hence the money re-claimed from gift-aided donations will go down. It’s not a huge decrease but it will make a significant difference.
Where Charities were claiming back 28p for every gift-aided donation, they will now only get 25p.
So a Church/Charity that receives £50,000 in gift-aided donations would previously have been able to claim an additional £14,000. From April 1st this figure will now be (by my calculations) £12,500, a drop of £1,500
For Churches that employ youth workers/ministers this change could be significant and needs some pre-planning.

The Future of Christian Youth work tour

News from Nigel, (and I quote)
*The Future of Christian Youth Work* – *The Future: on tour*
The consultation event held in December about the future of Christian youth work was really well received and so we have decided to take the idea on the road. In March we will be spending a few days going around the country to look at some of the issues relating to the ‘Future of Christian youth work’.
All *events run 7.30 till 9.30 and are free *– donations welcomed.
We would be delighted if you could join us to share your views and insights and to meet up with other local youth workers for some networking conversations.
(venues and dates in continue reading)

Continue reading “The Future of Christian Youth work tour”


I was thinking about a time when I was at a big swimming pool complex (you know the ones where there are so many flumes, waves, sprays, jets, showers and the like that you can’t actually swim). Specifically I was thinking about the flumes and then, one in particular. It had a name that should have been enough to warn me (you know something like ‘Vortex’ or ‘Plughole’ or ‘Organ donor’) but it looked OK. I launched myself into the tube and thoroughly enjoyed the first couple of seconds of water washed incline. However after turning the first corner it pitched down at the kind of angle normally associated with free-fall parachuting and, had the breath not been sucked from me would have ellicited a scream that could have been heard several counties away.
Anyway January has suddenly turned a corner on me in much the same way, I was sliding through the month at a balanced pace and then whoosh, it’s REALLY REALLY sped up. Being this busy is not my favourite way of being and I have to be very careful that I don’t embrace my preferred modality of procrastination.
There is good stuff hapenning as part of the high speed January flume experience though so I can’t complain.
The blog came up trumps and I had an offer of accomodation before my trip and an answer to my lonely hearts ad.
I’m seeing the ABC* next week along with my fellow Diocesan Youth Bods, oh and the conference I am on next week includes an excursion to the ‘Curry Mile’ in Manchester. Also the new computer arrived and I am a BIG SCREEN Vista user, very cool and Vista is not that bad, in fact it’s pretty decent (but don’t think about having less than 2 gig of Ram dya hear!). I have also been thoroughly heartened today by reading about Steve’s ministry among purchasers of new mops!
* ABC = Archbishop of Canterbury (who I have met before and respect ENORMOUSLY)

Youth group moments

I was at a community youth group last night and one of the challenges was for the guys was to be making and cooking a pudding during the evening (Recipe, ingredients and help already on hand). They duly and chaotically produced a ‘Pineapple Upside down pudding!’ ……… the only oddity being that they decided that no-one likes pineapple so they produced Pineappple Upside down pudding without the Pineapple. Very tasty and made me laugh. And all this I should add to a constant karaoke session that consisted mainly of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ again and again 🙂

Sport on Sunday

I have received a question from a Mrs Trellis of North Wales (Ok, the question is genuine but not the name) and it runs exactly like this …..

"I would be interested to know how Youthblog readers approach the perennial problem for parents of children wanting to play sport on a Sunday morning when their parents perhaps feel they should be going to church. In my case my eldest son (who is 10 in March – yr 5) would like to play rugby. However Rugby is not played at his school and all junior rugby is played on a Sunday morning. Hence the dilemma.This also applies to junior football leagues and other sports.Some parents i know approach this problem by alternating between church and the sport. I would be interested to know what other readers think"

I’m not sure whether you see yourself as ‘Youthblog readers’ as it sounds a bit serious? However switching to theological and reflective mode ….. and considering what you say to parents and young people, lets have some pithy, short but thoughtful answers. I know there will be a whole RANGE of opinions on this one so please don ‘t get into either attack or defence, just lay out a considered piece of advice please! (no bonus points for using words like ‘contextualise’ or ecclesiologically’)
(PS I REALLY like the idea of a ‘Problem Page’ on Youthblog, do e-mail questions whether silly, e.g, should all male youthworkers have goaties? or serious ones, e.g, the above)

Christians Together on Climate Change

hotglobecc.jpgOn the 16th February in Reading is an event by the above name. It looks like a really good day with a great range of people involved and some key speakers, workshop leaders. I’m hoping to be there.
I’m flagging it up for two reasons:
a) You might like to go/take a group to the whole or part of the day
b) There is real scope for a group(s) to be involved in the market place area putting on some interaction, campaigning fun type stuff (ideas available).

Contact me and/or Download file

I’m looking for a woman?

Slightly scatty but enthusiastic youthworker (40) with GSOH seeks female youthworker for a fun weekend in Bournemouth!
lhc.jpgThe above is true but it’s ‘cos I’m running the youth work for a Church weekend away in Bournemouth. The weekend is happening in a hotel near the beach from the 8th-10th Feb and although my whole family are going I do need a female youth worker to co-host the programme with me.
If you think this might be fun then give me a shout!

More than Sunday

mts.jpg I’ve had the privilige recently of being in conversation with a Church in Marlow and working with them as they look at how they serve their community and engage with young people. They’ve been talking about their work and their focus about Church being more than Sunday.
They’ve now set this up as their web site and I’m really excited to see how their mission and community develops.