Friday, 26 April 2013

Stuart Townend

A great night had by all at 'An Evening with Stuart Townend' last weekend.  The church took a (fairly safe) punt and booked him and we were chuffed to sell out the 300 odd tickets in a local school hall.  Stuart was so easy to work with and the performance was brilliant.  In reviewing the evening we really don't think it could have gone any better.  The only thing we got wrong was to order too many biscuits and that's a very solvable problem!

I enjoyed the opportunity to photograph him while he did his thing and as well as these pictures, there are more (including some terrific shots taken by my friend Mark) here.   If you ever get the opportunity to go to one of these evenings, take it!

Oh dear....

One point out of a possible 18 is not promotion form.  In the end the injuries did for Exeter City and they ran out of steam, the 1-0 home defeat to Cheltenham Town being the final straw.  Given that at the start of the season we were tipped as mid-table it wasn't so bad.  Frustrating to be seemingly nailed on for a play-off place and then to fade away at the end though.

I missed the final home game of the season due to an exciting gig at church (see next post) but it has been good to see most of the home games this year - probably 20 games in all.  It has been a privilege to be taking photographs at the them and whilst it's a stiff learning curve, I have definitely learnt through the year.

Now for a summer of (hopefully) slightly more creative work as I take non-football pictures for a while.  Of course, there's always the cricket...    

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Exeter City v Dagenham & Redbridge

Different day, different weather, same result.

Exeter had the chance to put things right yesterday against a struggling Dagenham and Redbridge team but they lost 1-0 at home.  From an injury in the first minute to Kevin Amankwaah, it was clearly not going to be our day.  We conceded very early and despite pressing hard, didn't create the opportunities.  It was at least warm and I didn't need a coat.  The bright sunshine made for some better photos too.

With five games left, we are still in the play-off places, chiefly because all our rivals lost too yesterday. We won't stay there playing like this though.  It's been a bad week.  We should easily have won two of the three games and if we had we'd be in an automatic  promotion place.  The eternal "if" of the football supporter.  (Another) key game coming up - away to Rotherham on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Exeter City 1 Rochdale 2

Lots of reasons to leave St James Park on Monday feeling gloomy.  Exeter followed their Saturday defeat at Plymouth with a 2-1 reverse to Rochdale, conceding in the 87th and 90th minutes.   As Paul Tisdale admitted afterwards, they were very poor.  Still, in the play off places - just.  It'll be a key game on Saturday when we welcome Dagenham and Redbridge.

In addition it was freezing cold - five layers were not enough - and the gloom meant I didn't get much in terms of photos either.

All this is thrown into perspective with the sad news that Angela, one of the ladies who welcomes us into the stadium when we go to sign in, passed away the night before after a long battle with illness.  She was a friendly face when I turned up as a rookie and always kind and helpful.

A bright ray on a cold day, my favourite parishioner (in particular) is delighted to get her picture taken with Brendan Rodgers after the game.  His lad is on loan to us until the end of the season and Brendan took time out from managing Liverpool to visit.  He was a gent, very patient and generous with his time, given that it must have been a day off for him.  It had to be, there was no way he'd have come away with the names of anyone to buy after that display!  

Monday, 1 April 2013

I read it in the Daily Mail

I realise that as a Baptist minister I have no right to comment on this.... but here goes anyway.

George Carey was probably a very good AB of C back in the day and probably did a lot of good.  However, I can't help thinking that if I was Justin Welby (and I'm sure I'm not the only one thanking the good Lord that I'm not) I'd be a bit miffed if I had Georgie boy in the background.  Imagine, your first Easter message; the chance to talk of new life, hope, resurrection.  But what are the headlines? George Carey has written an article for the Daily Mail on how Christians are being persecuted under the current government.

He (or the Daily Mail?) chose to use Good Friday to air these issues when I suspect that most Christians would rather be talking about Easter.  I don't think it was a great decision.  It's not as if I disagree with him particularly, it's just that the headlines suggest a church that is up in arms about being allowed to wear crosses to work and are opposing same sex marriage.  It is as if we are defined by what we stand against rather than what happened at Easter.  We seem to be characterised by complaining when our rights are infringed instead of sucking it up and proclaiming good news for the poor.

As an evangelical Christian, I want to be known for what I am in favour of - grace, mercy, peace, love, forgiveness - rather than for what I oppose.  I'm not sure how we turn that around, but I can't help thinking that it doesn't look right at the moment.

My views are my own, might well be wrong, and are probably not shared by my church.  The value of blog posts can go down as well as up.  Terms and conditions apply.

Blog post title courtesy of the wonderful "Dinner Ladies".