Sunday, 31 October 2010

Another lovely day on Burnham beach

After church this morning I tried to photograph the speedboats racing in the bay but they were way out of range. Quite like this though, after some Photoshop fiddling.

Exeter City 2 Brentford 4

A crazy game, people. It's the often disbelieved claim of the fan that we was robbed but man, this one took the biscuit. Awful goalkeeping cost us this one and yet it would have been six had he not saved two penalties. The stats show that we were all over them, more shots on target, more off target, more corners, blah, blah, blah. But what matters is scoring goals and we conceded three very soft ones.

An extract written by a Brentford fan confirms:

"well what can i say.

two pints of guiness and time to reflect with a pub full of exeter city fans.

Basically outplayed and outpassed for 80 mins. won 4 : 2 had one disallowed and missed two penalties. Who said this is a strange game.

Came away thinking we had got away with it and really deserved nothing from the game.

Three points is three points and on we go. Unfortunately it was exeters fpptball i would rather watch each week.

Not being negative but very honest after a very strange game.

I would suggest Andy Scott does the lottery tonight though."

Never mind, hey? Onwards and upwards. Let's see, who's next? Ah, top of the table Brighton away on Tuesday. Hmmm...
I consoled myself with taking a few pictures. In order, Ryan Harley - playmaker signed from Weston Super Mare; Liam Sercombe; Jamie Cureton and his second (consolation) goal.

Church Weekend Away

Had a great weekend away last week as half of the church decamped to Paignton. We had a great time together, my friend Chris Spinks doing an excellent job of teaching some of what the Bible tells us about prayer. In the week that followed I am encouraged that I have had several conversations with people who are trying to get into new habits - indeed I am one of those people. Not that I had a conversation with myself but you get what I am trying to say.

We were also blessed with a musician who led us in some new songs - so nice to sing live songs rather than CDs as we usually do in church services. And to top it off we all went along to a terrific service at Brixham Baptist Church on the Sunday morning. It was a combined family service for harvest and the festival of the sea and was SO creative that you really did not know what was going to be happening next - a rare thing indeed in a church service.

Followed the weekend away with a few days in Brixham, a truly beautiful place to relax in. And play with a camera at.

Replanting a church

Despite being au fait with the concept of church planting - indeed having been involved with helping plant one - I had never heard of replanting a church until recently. Most of the church leadership were on a day conference on Reading and reaching your community when Martin Robinson used this term. As it became clearer in the course of things, this is when the church undergoes changes to get back on course in terms of it's mission to the community it is in.

One of the churches present shared a story of how they made some structural changes to the fabric of the building which marked a new beginning to who they were and what they were doing as a church and it struck us very clearly that this is what we had done as well.

We were left a legacy as a church just after I got here which meant we could update our building. We took out the pews, installed chairs, rid ourselves of some 'sacred furniture', removed the pulpit. All the kind of thing that religious people hate you for doing but nearly all the negative comments we had were from people who don't come to our church and like to look in on dark wooden pews and panelling when they visit every umpteen years.

Without intending or realising it, it seems we put a new stamp on the place and it has signalled a new start for us, or a replanting if you like. I am quite excited to find that we have been doing this without knowing and it helps us to make sense of what we are doing. We have a long way to go but without having done all this we would still be fighting tradition at every corner. Instead we can move on and fight battles that are worth fighting.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Made in Dagenham

Terrific film. Really enjoyed it. If you like Calendar Girls then you'll like this. A good British cast, funny, moving, thought-provoking. To think that the battle for equal pay was still raging when I was a toddler. What did people think that they were doing, paying women less for doing the same? Seems like a weird thing from this distance.

The Hurt Locker

Anyone know how this finished? We started it last night and then got scared and couldn't finish it.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

We own our football club

Living with a Liverpool fan, it's hard not to have some sympathy for the farce that teh club have been through over the last few weeks. Seems all is done and dusted now - at least for a while.

Down a couple of divisions I support a team that is owned by their own supporters - the only trust owned team in the football league. It came out of similar mismanagement some years ago and now, safely promoted from non-league football, Exeter City seem to be punching above their weight as we rise to 7th this evening in League 1. It's a family orientated club with a genuis manager and a great crop of players. The side has been built steadily over the past five years or so and there seems to be an eye on the long term stability of the club. Being owned by the fans works well and it is a joy to support.

It seems to work well for Barcelona too.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Any excuse for cake

On Sunday we celebrated 167 years of being on the premises, though the church is at least 12 years older, having met in a house at least as early as 1831. So we had cake and are in the happy position of needing two cakes to make sure everyone got some. Interestingly we have at least two people who have been at the church for more than half of those 167 years!

Southampton 2 Tranmere 0

On Saturday I defied the camera ban at St Marys (without realising it) and took a few pictures of the game I was at. Only took my wee compact but I hadn't remembered that the club had controversially banned press photographers from the ground in order to do all photography in house. So I got a few snaps before a steward came over and had a word. Laughable really considering that we were shoved up in the gods. This picture is taken from my allocated seat even though eagle-eyed viewers will see that there were a few spare seats closer to the action. Of course, by shoving the away fans up and out of the way, you minimise any potential problems and make it harder for people to get behind their team.
I was in the away end to support a Tranmere supporting friend, I was his chaplain really. His team were woeful, Soton were excellent. Don't be fooled by their start to the season, I'd be very surprised if they aren't promoted this year. Tranmere, I fear, won't escape the drop for a second successive year.

Anyhow, bids for an exclusive action shot from the game will be considered - this is Soton's number 19, ex-Exeter City man Danny Seabourne in action. Not that he had a lot to do on the day. Taken on maximum zoom from up there, you can see why they were worried!
PS - Nigel Adkins new positive thinking regime has yet to reach the man who operates the tannoy. First song played on entering the ground - miserable and (sometimes) magnificent Morrisey.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The Truman Show

Had a great night last night, watching this film in a proper cinema. The print quality wasn't great but then it is 12 years old. I was surprised at how few people had seen it before, which might tell you something of the kind of place we are in. Some struggled with what the film was about, some loved it but UP was definately more popular last month.

In the end, is it a film that is sympathetic to the Christian faith or is it antagonistic? I think it can be argued either way. It probably comes down to whether you believe Christof to be representative of God or not - and again there is ambiguity there. He claims to be the creator but only of a show - not Truman himself. Perhaps the 139 on the sail of Truman's boat is deeply significant - refering to the Psalm. It certainly fits with the conversation between Christof and Truman that follows. Truman 'dies' in a crucified pose but is resurrected and ascends the steps to... where or what? Is the parallel with CS Lewis' The Voyage of the Dawn Treader deliberate? Or does the film argue that a True Man only finds how to truly live on turning his back on God? Or is it post-modern and just playing with images?

A number said that they felt they needed to watch it again. I have already promised to lend the DVD. We had a good conversation on the night and 54 came to watch, which was pleasing. Wondering what they will make of Changing Lanes next month. Expecting a smaller crowd for that, less well-known and a 15 for strong language.

Finally, great topical joke in Truman - newspaper headline that reads, "Who Needs Europe!" on the day we beat the US in the Ryder Cup. Good film.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Playlist for The Truman Show

We have the second of our Reel Issues films at the cinema tonight and this is what I have chosen for the playlist beforehand.

Real, Real, Real - Jesus Jones
Absolute Reality - The Alarm
Somebody Up There Likes Me - David Bowie
Watching - The Thompson Twins
Even Better Than The Real Thing - U2
Once In A Lifetime - Talking Heads (You may tell yourself, this is not your beautiful house, with your beautiful wife...)

Looking forward to it!