What goes around comes around

sled trainingweb.jpg
I received this brilliant list of Christmas and Advent links from Dave at Guildford, who flagged up that Alice of Chelmsford had posted them. Then to complete the circle, I noticed some of the links were pointers to Youthblog *laughing!* So in a ‘the circle is now complete’ sort of a way, here they are.
But first a couple of pressies from me.
A Christmas in other languages quiz Christmas in othjer languages quiz.pdf
and a Christmas(esque) film quiz. christmas movie wall quiz.pdf Enjoy
and then the list ……………..
Christine Sine
Steve Taylor prayer station ideas
Christine Sine again with a meditation for first week of Advent, you can also find a link to her 2010 video which is always great
Christmas dramatised reading
More Advent ideas for prayer
Reflections for the 2nd week of Advent
Links here to a set of Advent images from Ben Bell
Alternative Advent resources – from last year so links may not all be active
Free resources from Barefoot – hope this is still valid
hilarious post on the most gruesome nativity sets!
Advent monologue scripts courtesy of Rob, OPM in Gillingham
UCCF video for Christmas shared by Phil Ritchie
Advent 3 reflection – My God is so small
Christine Sine again – Litany for the Homecoming of God
An amazing Biblical ‘poem’ from Rachel Marszalek
Silent Monks singing Hallelujah
The Christmas Narrative in Chocolate
3 session Resource guide on the Nativity
Jonny Baker links to advent prayers and liturgy
Links to a variety of readings for Christmas and Epiphany celebrations

Merger proposal

I’ve just seen a proposal for a merger between LCET and Amaze and thought you might like to know. To me it sounds very good news and will boost LCETs considerable impact that it is already having locally and nationally with their selfharm and schools work support and resourcing, whilst strengthening AMAZE’s ability to operate on behalf of youth workers.
I’m thinking the new name might be, the Amazing LCET (Luton and beyond)


My daughter is off on a World Challenge expedition arranged by the school and has to raise the funds as part of the project and learning. In January she has the chance to organise and host the Thursday church/community coffee morning which would be a fantastic chance to raise some of the cost.
Trouble is, it means a morning off school …. and the school have said No!
world challenge.jpgCaptain’s Log Supplemental: I should clarify that is not challenging the world (Stu!) but on a World Challenge Expedition to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco in May.
She has to raise £1020 costs, plus buy her equipment (eek) and so far is doing a Charity coffee morning on 6th Jan (any cakes, ‘bric a brac’ or Raffle prizes appreciated), a Quiz evening on Feb 12th and a sponsored abseil down the Avon Gorge in March.

Strategic musings

I have now submitted a paper to Bishops Council reflecting the startegic musing that many of you have been helping with. The council have not yet seen the work so I’m only posting the outline of the situation so far, but will abridge you of the steps I am proposing soon. In case you are interested, here’s the first half of the paper (the bulk of it is available by clicking “continue reading”!:
A proposed Youth Ministry Strategy
Diocese of Oxfor
We have a Problem
We have an Opportunity

59% of UK Churches have no contact with 15-19 year olds
49% of UK Churches have no contact with 11- 14 year olds*
“Numbers of children and young people gathering with the church for worship continue to fall”
This paper aims to outline the huge gap between our aspirations in terms of young people and faith, and the reality. It aims to lay out a strategic response which will frame the job of the Youth Adviser over the next five years and to request some additional funding to both reduce the disengagement from church, and to promote and enable a re-engagement

Continue reading “Strategic musings”

So how was your Friday?

Woolhope Cockshoot was not being used this weekend so it seemed like an ideal chance to truck on over to deepest darkest Herefordshire with the family. The plan was to do some cleaning and polishing of the centre, take some more photos for the web site and do a bit of a condition report … as well as enjoying some family time at (probably) the finest residential youth centre in the cosmos.
There had been no snow stories from the area, and the weather forecast was good, ie a tad warmer and some rain. Thus we loaded up Charlie the van and headed out.
Just under two hours of clear and snow free roads saw us turning off for the final approach onto the labyrinthine lanes in which Woolhope Cockshoot nestles. These roads contrary to everyything else around were a thin layer of compressed snow and ice. *Eek!* Having come this far though we were not for turning, and so edged gingerly along the lanes. At this point it started snowing BIG time, I mean BIG time. One mile in and with two remaining we started on the uphill section and began encountering traction difficulties, then with one mile to go and the hill getting steeper and the snow getting even heavier, the van could no longer get enough grip. With nowhere to leave the van (even if there was, we could not have managed to propel H and all the kit there), and the conditions getting worse, we were forced to admit defeat. This meant reversing Charlie bus a mile down a single track country lane in the dark and in a snow storm before we could find a turning point.
snow carjams.jpgWe turned and headed out onto the roads and homewards down towards Gloucester where we, given the lower altitude, were encountering torrential rain. Disappointed but laughing we headed towards home and bed.
However as we climbed out of Gloucester up to Birdlip, the world changed. The torrential rain became a blizzard and the road was hidden from view by fallen snow. We couldn’t believe it, the road that had been clear two hours previously was now buried with inches of the white stuff. The traffic coming down was at a standstill with a snow plough trying to clear the way. We meanwhile managed it up the hill to the Hot Air roundabout guessing at a road position to maintain. The road to Cheltenham was closed due to snow with a Police car blocking the way. We though were heading the other way and joined up with a small convoy driving in the middle of the two lanes of the dual carriageway at about 30mph, peering into the snow storm and whiteness of road, sky and scenery.
Thankfully we emerged back into rain at Cirencester and smiling at our surreal and other worldly experience on an adventure to nowhere and back, we cruised on home. We rolled in at Midnight, unloaded the van, drank hot chocolate and slept EXTREMELY well.

Offers in print

I need an opinion loyal blog reader(s).
Last night I called into Staples to buy a printer cartridge. They were more expensive than I normally pay BUT a helpful sales assistant pointed out that if I bought two I’d get a 20% discount. Happy days!
I duly selected a blue cartridge and a yellow cartridge, both for the Canon PIXMA mp560, and took them to the till where the 20% discount was not forthcoming. On querying this I was told that the discount only applied if they were the same colour AND the same ink for the same machine.
What ensued was a series of philosophical discussion up through the layers of branch seniority as to whether their sign communicated this, or whether I was in fact buying two of the same ink (in keeping with their advert). The entire branch personel remained fixed in their opinion that the sign and the offer meant the same colour of the same ink for the same machine.
20 percent off.jpg
but I place myself into the hands of your collective wisdom. Does this sign suggest they could be of different colour or does it state that they need to be the same colour.
Thank you for participating in this X Factor ethical marketing survey!

Lexidographical analysis

The training of our dog, Lexi (a process I call Lexidography) is progressing … and mainly in the right direction. On the whole she is very obedient and for the most part even not pulling on the lead (apparently this is quite a success with a Collie). However when off the lead, every so often she smells a pheasant/deer/fox/race-horse and a little neural switch in her brain goes into ‘bolt’ mode … and she is *woosh* gone.
On the plus side we are getting to know new people in our community when they ring us to say that they have a Collie with our phone number round her neck. Oh and the ‘Race horse’ reference above was not an exaggeration. If you were at Newbury races last week and wondered why there was a Collie competing in one of the races alongside the race horses ….. I might be able to tell you!
lexi dog.jpg
Lexi dog: cute, extremely fast and the cause of a few (more) grey hairs for me.