I got a lot of hits yesterday by putting ‘I am a voyeur’. Hmmmm


I finished an MA at Cliff College (part of Manchester University) about 2 years ago The MA title was ‘Mission and Evangelism’. My wife called it an ‘MA in theology’ to her friends as she claimed that ‘Mission and Evangelism’ made me sound like a crazy fundamentalist. Nothing could be further from the truth; I am merely unbalanced-that doesn’t neccesarily make me crazy.

I did a thesis on U2- which must be a huge suprise to anyone who reads this blog. Not. Actually I took a novel angle…. Bono is not quite God. Being an alpha male (actually I’m less than delta) I got a big kick out of the fact that I was the first, in the 10 years of the course’s history, to look directly at contemporary culture. The others predominantly looked at church/church issues. On reflection, many of the others were better! But I still find it a tadge concerning with the dominance of ‘popular’ culture that my halting effort was the first.

I am now an MA dissertation supervisor. That makes me sound wise- I am not! Some of the research that I did for my MA involved sitting in the kitchen, drinking red wine and listening to very loud music. I am now supervising the makings of an excellent dissertation on the short lived sci-fi series ‘Firefly’ and the spin off film ‘Serenity’. I’d never seen it- it is really excellent. If you don’t do sci-fi- watch this, it is different and I can’t work out why it was cancelled (hmmm….perhaps as it was different). Some of my preperation involved lying on the sofa, watching the DVD and drinking red wine….sometimes working is so hard….

Anyway, the purpose of this meandering entry is to ask you to visit Julie’s blog..- ask her questions…. and if you are a fan, beg to see a draft. I wasn’t sure whether the hypothesis would work at first, but it does and it is very good.

Just a thought….if you are the slightest bit interested in evangelism/missiology/contemporary church or however you like to define it………. how much music do you listen to, how much film do you watch, how much to you inhabit ‘popular culture’? If you don’t, or ‘don’t have the time’, how do you hope to have anything to say?

Stories from the frontier…

Relaying info back last night about what I did on my sabbatical. My usual freestyle riff which worked for some and not for others; sometimes I have too much going on in my head….


3 powerpoint slide shows since you ask:

‘why do ministers go on sabbatical?’ to a soundtrack of ‘Numb’ by U2.

‘what I did’ to a soundtrack of ‘Glastonbury Song’ by the Waterboys (my excuse is my children like it…)

‘what I learnt’ to a soundtrack of ‘Videotape’ by Radiohead.

I enjoyed it- juxtaposing random, non-linear images with music that connected and disconnected…

Just to remind me and keep it somewhere where I can access it, I came across 3 ‘stories from the frontier’ that Stuart Murray Williams gave us when I was at Cliff College back in September..

(1) Whilst being shown around La Sagrada Familia ( in Barcelona, an American in his 20s asked who all the pictures in the Cathedral depicted. ‘It is Jesus’ was the reply. ‘He looks quite young- how old was he?’ He said. ‘He was 33 when he died.’ was the answer. ‘What did he die of?’.


(2) A succesful Nigerian evangelist came to see his friend in London. When he got on the airport bus, as was his custom, he began to preach the gospel. No one responded- people looked awkward. He arrived at his friend’s house and cried out ‘Something is wrong; I have lost my annointing.’


(3) A church in London had a large annexe that was used for artist’s studios etc. The vicar was a familiar site around the place. The studios tended to be shut on Sunday. One artist, however, had forgotten something so came to pick it up. He saw the vicar at the church door, shaking hands with parishioners. He went up to the vicar ‘What are all these people doing; I thought church was closed on Sundays’.


‘Food for thought’ he thought. ‘Perhaps some people should wake up and smell the coffee’, he mused…..