Yellow Braces 2012

Yellow Braces Publicity grab.jpg
The Booking form and publicity is now available (see below)
The Yellow Braces weekend, running at Hill; End on July 6th-8th, will be the usual mix of experiencing Christian community, great activities, good food and exploring faith. There is also a young leader training programme for teens 17-19 and a chance for your Youth Leaders to join the team in order to contribute and to develop their skills.
This year is the 40 year special and we’ll also be launching the Youth and Child Friendly awards from the event, helping young people to have a voice into how they see and experience Church.
This has been an awesome event for many many (many) years.
I’m REALLY looking forward to it.
Yellow Braces main flyer 2012.pdf
Microsoft Word – BookingForm Yellow Braces 12.pdf

Van Livery Verbiage

Steve Tilley has got me into the habit of spotting the verbiage that often exists on the side of vans over-egging what the company does. Spotted a corker this morning (sadly too long to remember) but it got me musing on some livery in a similar stylee for the side of my Youth Work Wheels:
Engendering holistic development opportunities and two way societal engagment to the pre-Adult sector

PGL Liddington

liddingtonpgl.jpgIt turned into a bit of an Outdoor Education weekend as I also accepted an invitation from PGL to head over to their newest centre, Liddington, to see what they had to offer.
The first surprise was how close it is to me/the Diocese. This centre is near(ish) Swindon, about 5 minutes from junction 15 of the M4 and in some stunning scenery. The second surprise was just how upmarket the venue was! PGL bought what was a failed luxury hotel* in 158 acres of grounds and turned it and the grounds into accommodation for up to 600 young people and a vast array of activities.
So, a weekend of exploring what PGL could offer which was great fun. I took two of my children and we enjoyed the tree top trail, the Zip wire, climbing and Archery (a small fraction of what is on offer).
It is a very impressive operation indeed. The Instructors were excellent, the food fab, the infrastructure great, and the grounds/activities first class. For a place to take a group to (however small or large) where everything is laid on for you it is brilliant …. and the product is nigh on perfect for schools. As a place to take a youth group to I think it is a really good addition to the choices available and has the considerable advantage of you knowing in advance what the costs will be.
I also know that off season it is possible to book the whole place for a weekend and that Gold Hill Baptist Church ran a church weekend for 450 or so people. May also be interesting?
Enormous thanks to PGL for their generous hospitality.
If you’d like to know more about taking a group there then please be in touch.
* The hotel infrastructure is superb but the design was fundamentally flawed in that the bedrooms were just really too small for what you’d expect from a luxury hotel. They actually feel small even for an outdoor ed’ centre but work well enough with 2 bunk beds in each …… and being a former hotel, all have en suite.

Adventure Plus

Friday saw me at the annual gathering of Friends, Supporters and Customers of Adventure Plus ….. a great Outdoor Education provider based in Witney, but working all over Oxfordshire and beyond. Aplus are very much a Christian organisation and that ethos runs through all they do, “Life to the Max” being their logo and mantra. It was an extra special gathering being a 21st birthday celebration to boot.
I’ve worked quite a bit with Aplus over the years; speaking for them, using them for activities, and being trained by them.
It was good to hear about their Total Adventure Camps, the Schools Work, Mobile Activity provision, the Gap year DistL programme …. and especially “Adventure Impact” that gives great opportunity and experience to young people for whom mainstream education is not working well. Across all the projects they are currently working with four to five thousand young people a year … but still growing.
They also have a mad plan to develop their own centre somewhere in Oxfordshire which will be amazing if it happens. Knowing Jon Cox (the director) and his blend of faith, energy, vision …. and persuasion, it probably will.

One of those weeks

What is this life if full of slog
We have no time to stop and blog.
No time to post, and pose the how?
Or why, or if …. or just the now.
No time to blog the thoughts that pass
Or comment when a reader asks.
No time to see if someone’s right,
When pointing out our oversights.
No time to click and gently glance,
At other bloggers’ circumstance.
A poor life this, if full of slog
With no time left to stop and blog.

I’m normally pretty good with blending together the elements that make up my life but this week has got a little crazy.
evillaminate.jpgThe Epic battle I am currently in with some laminate flooring (it hates me) that refuses to lay down properly and look wonderful is a big component in the crazy week, HAVE TO MAKE IT WORK and FINISH!!! aaarghgh. I spoke at a Synod last night over in Buckinghamshire (proved to be both fun and stimulating) so I wasn’t home until late, whilst this morning saw me on the road at the crack of dawn to get to St Johns College in Nottigham. (Currently breaking the journey at Watford Gap services and benefiting from their wi-fi). Not moaning though, love what I’m doing (APART FROM THE LAMINATE FLOORING!)
I’m speaking at quite a bit of stuff in March which I agreed to ages ago BUT now have to knuckle down and prepare, not my strong suit by ANY means. This weekend though sees me at a PGL centre …… should be fun 🙂
Anyway the M1 beckons
Every blessing for an extraordinary Wednesday


Hilarious game of Guggenheim (under-pressure category game) last night with some riotously funny debate over whether words were allowed or not. The young people were awesome and I got well and truly beaten. One lad had a truly impressive knowledge of obscure Old Testament names and played, amongst other things, “Uz” and “Buz” which I really liked.