And end to contstant re-DB(e)Sing stressing

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The move from CRB to DBS has largely been OK but one problem has emerged, that being in the way the letters form the active verb!
CRBing and being CRBed worked wheras DB(e)Sing and especialy DB(e)Ssed is clumsy and, pronunciation wise, more challenging.
A lack of road testing I think! (For those who don’t know me, note: I am not being entirely serious here …. but having waded through the gumph, you are rewarded with the important (and serious) stuff that follows)
On a more important note though, it is now possible to end the tyranny of being constantly re-DB(e)Ssed for every role. The Update service is now up and running and you can register and thus keep your DBS up to date online and NEVER need DB(e)Ssing again.
It’s £13pa if you are employed and free if you are a volunteer. You will need freshly DB(e)Sing though AND you must then register within 14 days.
You’ll find all the details here
I realise now that this solves the problem entirely as it will end the need for plurals, one will merely have (the much nicer sounding), “a DBS!”

The dirt jump kerb anomoly

I was chatting to a bunch of young people in a village last night. It’s a cool village for adults but a little light on stuff for young people (apart from the great youth group run by the church, but that’s only every other week).
The teens were telling me about the great set of dirt jumps and ramps that they’d dug themselves …. and how much time they had spent messing about there on their bikes.
Sadly though the council had taken a dim view and used a digger to flatten them. The logic being apparently that as it was council land the council would be responsible if there was an accident. It’s such a shame that the “suing” culture (and lack of common sense) leads to decisions like this.
If you follow this logic then kerbs (where a huge number of accidents happen with skateboards and bikes) and are council responsibility …. and hence leaves the council liable for any resultant injury.

Talk like a Pirate day

As it is Talk like a Pirate Day (aarrrr it is!) then a photo of the Jolly Haddon seemed in order.
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I really should have dressed like a Pirate today (would have been fun to see Diocesan reaction) but Hey Ho, But I can work on Piratical Vocab’ and diction though:

(Years ago someone (and we still don’t know who …. but it really really wasn’t me) ran the ‘Jolly Roger’ up on the Diocesan Church House Flag Poll. Extremely funny but not liturgically correct

Soulnet Breakfast Gatherings

Here’s where Soulnet Youth leader gatherings will be over the next couple of months:
23rd Sept – Milton Keynes (MK1 1ED)
12th Oct – Blackpool (FY5 5HQ)
17th Oct – Northampton (NN10 0LH)
18th Oct – London (SW7 1JA)
5th Nov – Guildford (tbc)
9th Nov – Dorchester (DT1 1RR)
13th Nov – Greater London (RM2 6DH)
23rd Nov – Portsmouth (PO5 3EL)
30th Nov – Bristol (BS8 2AA)

Let us know you’re coming
For up-to-date venue info, check the SoulNet website or Facebook page.

The art of Story

This is what I aspire to:
“The storyteller’s sacred task is to serve the story. You have to allow the story in, allow yourself to feel and respect it’s power, let it speak through you, give it away whole-heartedly, be present, stand in it’s presence and the presence of the listeners. To be a storyteller is to be a servant of the story and not just a master of the craft
Geoff Mead
Captain’s Log Supplemental: Pixar and 22 rules of good story

Dovedale House

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My retreat at the weekend was not at all what I was expecting!
Don’t get me wrong; it was great … really great. What I wasn’t expecting though was that I would feel such a deep connection to Ilam and Dovedale; but more than that, discover that not only is there is a rich and living history of faith and pilgrimage in this hidden valley, but that I am in a very very small way connected to that story.
When I was a small child, my Godfather, the Rev John Coombes Tomlinson, was the Vicar of Ilam. I remember visiting a couple of times with my parents and can recall aspects of the village such as the unusual “Swiss” architecture . He was only the vicar there for five years but the village made a great impact on him and I think he continued to keep a home there that he would retreat to from wherever ministry had taken him at that time. My parents stayed in touch with him but I only saw him once more I think (when Jo and I got married), he died in 2005.
A couple of years ago we happened to be passing through the area and dropped into the village. It was great to be there, oddly (but wonderfully) it had not changed at all. I found John’s gravestone near the entrance of the church, spending quite a bit of time in the churchyard in quiet and in prayer. I found the experience quite moving, especially as by this time both my parents had also died, and hence many connections to the past no longer existed.
So, just before the summer when the flyer for the retreat appeared on my screen, I noticed that it was at Dovedale House in ILam, it just felt like I should go.
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What I hadn’t appreciated about Ilam (although, might have felt) was it’s spiritual significance. It’s a place of healing and pilgrimage connected in with the life of St Bertram; the landscape, a well and the Church of the Holy Cross all being part of a significant part of the story of Christianity in this country. Dovedale House see themselves very much as part of that rich story and a place where young people connect with the Holy Cross, the life of Jesus, and the continuing story.
We were asked why we’d come to Dovedale House and I shared that my Godfather had been vicar in the village. It turns out though that Dovedale House had become a centre for retreat and young people during his time and he in fact was a key part of it happening. I now have photos of him and Princess Margaret at the official opening.
A Thin place, a beautiful place … and part of my story.
I shall return

Sticky Faith UK

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I’m not the only one who has been talking about and using the “Sticky Faith” work from FYI, S.U, U.S and CYM are taking it on the road. If you are an Oxford Diocesan Bod you can catch this in the Diocese at Britwell on October 9th
Details here: Sticky Faith Tour Flyer.pdf