Monday, 25 April 2011

Welcome to my YouTube channel to see Hornchurch Passion Play videos

Dear Friends

 I have uploaded videos of the Easter 2011 Hornchurch Passion Play, from my camcorder.

Please click on the hyperlink and enjoy.   (The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him for ever.)

Many think that the HPP 2011 was the best ever since 1995.  Kevin Walsh was the director and with his team he deserves much credit for the high standard of performances and commitment.  Didn't Simon look the part, particularly on the cross?  Memorable!   

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Nasty Priests - granted. Nazi Priests - come off it!

I was highly amused, after reflection, by a blog by Arkadyrose (Morris dancer and "critic" of the Hornchurch Passion Play), which appeared on the world wide web after the Maundy Thursday dress rehearsal.

The blog referred to the "Nazi Sanhedrin" and contended that Jesus was condemned to death by "Nazi Stormtrooper Jews".  I can assure you that there was not a Brown Shirt or swastika in sight!

According to the Arkadian Path that this woman follows, Jesus was wearing " a natty pair of white boxers and a neon green party hat".  Seriously? Well, there seems to be real economy with the truth.   Jesus was, in fact, wearing a white loincloth. The neon green party hat must have been a trick of the light, or something else.  Something from out of space, or planet arkadia? There are clearly some serious factual errors in the blog. 

The Hornchurch Passion Play does not take place in Billet Road but Billet Lane, and not in the car park.
The location is on the Queen's Theatre Green between Billet Lane and North Street in Hornchurch.

The Sanhedrin sit beneath a star of David and two menorahs.  The Roman SPQR banner and the two very long Roman banners are away from the Sanhedrin in the Roman area where Pontius Pilate appears.  The HPP choir are between the Sanhedrin and the Roman area.

The HPP Sanhedrin have long beards.  The Nazis, in fact, would attack Jewish men with long beards.  Have you ever seen evidence of a high ranking Nazi or low ranking member of Sturmabteilung wearing a long beard?

And I don't  look like a yok!

This does not resemble a Nuremberg rally.  The parallel invites ridicule.  The regalia is Roman and has no links with National Socialism or the Third Reich.

This evening a new friend from Jews for Jesus praised the HPP.  He was not aware of any anti-semitism, which I have experienced when supporting the original North London team in the Premiership.  (Come on you Spurs.)

Shalom.  Yeshua lives!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Hornchurch Passion Players - riders on the storm

Earlier this evening storms around Hornchurch threatened the fine warm weather and ideal conditions.  Some feared that rain, thunder and lightning would stop play.  But the second evening of this year's Hornchurch Passion Play went ahead successfully, though there were far fewer in the audience compared with Good Friday's
viewing public. Yesterday's performance has been praised as the best ever in the history of HPP, dating back to 1995. (There have been performances in 1995, 2000, 2006 and now in 2011.)

Kevin Walsh, the director, told his cast that some observers wrongly thought that he had professional actors connected with the Queen's Theatre.  He has been delighted with the high standards of acting and commitment shown by his cast to date.  Kevin played Jesus in previous years; it is Simon Pugsley's first year as the Son of David and Saviour.  And didn't he do well! Some of the photographic images of Simon on the cross are really iconic.

Please see the HPP website for news, photographs and developments.  The Church of the Hornchurch Passion Play is riding the storms of life and witnessing to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Resurrection and the Life.
He is alive and reigns in obedient hearts.  He is coming again.

Good Friday 2011 - a special day in Hornchurch

Good Friday in Hornchurch was a special day.  There was a march of witness, a morning service on Queen's Green and a very well attended Passion Play performance in the evening.  Unforgettable.  Thousands, over three thousand, came to see the Hornchurch Passion Play, and many went away moved and deeply touched by a tremendous visual experience. 

Conversions to Christ have happened in the past and it is expected that a work of God in human hearts will continue. The whole HPP has been grounded in prayer and a commitment to the extension of God's kingdom, His reign in people's lives in Christ Jesus the Lord and Saviour.

The above photographs were taken on Maundy Thursday evening, the final dress rehearsal. Please see the HPP website for more photographs and the latest news.  Happy Easter weekend!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Hornchurch Passion Play - the hardwork is paying dividends

Yesterday afternoon, the hard work in rehearsals, in planning and preparation, paid off during the creditable technical rehearsal on The Green by the Queen's Theatre.  The weather was sunny, warm and dry.  Some of the "priests" were feeling the heat of the day, in thick and dark costumes, when they were sitting in their unshaded area which faced due south.  High standards were attained on such a lovely day.  Rikki Walker, HPP Committee Secretary, managed to take some outstanding photographs in the excellent light. They are well worth seeing.

I have attached some photographs of the sterling preparation work done on Saturday 16 April. It was an overcast but dry day.  Hats off, including hard hats, to the workers at the Hornchurch Passion Play site.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Hornchurch Passion Play - update

I have inserted some photographs from the rehearsal at Campion School last Sunday, which included the choir.  (Please see my YouTube channel to see a small part of the rehearsal.)

We have the technical rehearsal on Palm Sunday afternoon at 2.30 p.m. on The Green, and the final dress rehearsal is on Maundy Thursday at 7.30 p.m.  Kevin Walsh, our director, has been on Premier Christian Radio to publicize the performance over the Easter weekend.

Good weather is needed.

O Lord, hear our prayers for fine weather again. Amen.

It occurred to me that Simon who plays Jesus (in the Hornchurch Passion Play 2011) looks a bit like Lothaire Bluteau, the French Canadian actor, when he starred in the movie Jesus de Montreal (1989).  Apologies for not putting in the acute accents!


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Hornchurch Passion Play - rehearsals are tough for Simon

We are getting ready to perform the Hornchurch Passion Play on Good Friday, Easter Eve (Saturday) and Easter Sunday evenings.  It will take place, God willing, on the Green by the Queen's Theatre.

Rehearsals have been hard work but it will be worth it, and we pray that all will go very well on the night.

You are most welcome to come.  The HPP performances start at 7.30 p.m. at the Easter weekend and you won't be disappointed.  I shall be, in the words of Rabbi Daniel, "most heartened to see you."

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Prosperity preaching poisons the churches

Prosperity preaching poisons the churches because it teaches people to serve mammon and seek worldly wealth.  Some are drawn to conferences on prosperity because they believe that they can become, by miraculous means, a money magnate. This teaching appeals to their greed and avarice, the flesh and carnal desires for selfish gain. It can rob them of godliness with contentment.

Verses in 1 Timothy 6: 9-10

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.

For the love of money is the root of kinds of evil; some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang.

These words are a sobering warning that should be remembered when we hear the poisonous pontifications of the properity preachers .

Friday, 1 April 2011

A Sad End for Dr Albert Odulele: is restoration to ministry possible or is it game over?

Dr Albert Odulele, founder and pastor of Glory House Church in Plaistow, east London, was sentenced yesterday at Woolwich Crown Court to eight months' imprisonment.  He had pleaded guilty to sex offences involving a teenaged boy and a young man. Albert Odulele will be on the sex offenders register for five years.

Such a sentence spells an end to his influential ministry as a church leader.  It is very unlikely that he would be put in a position of trust and pastoral care for a church congregation in the future.  There are those who would never allow him to have any church leadership position at all.  The considerable risks, it is strongly argued, would be far too great.  Such temptations should be avoided at all costs.  Others believe that a complete restoration to the ministry and leadership is possible.  One argument is that God can heal completely and can miraculously restore the fallen person from the most heinous sin.  Is there objective and reliable evidence for such a miraculous event?  People can deceive themselves and others.  There have been cases of sex offenders claiming deliverance who re-offend.  Safeguards, supervision strategies and circles of support cannot guarantee complete success.

Perhaps he will preach again and produce Christian literature.

But the question is, should someone who has an urge to commit a sexual offence be given any chance of leadership in Christian ministry when they might do it again?

When it comes to sexual offences, especially those involving young people, children and vulnerable people, most Christians wish to be very careful and they would say "no" the the above question.  It's game over for their church/pastoral ministry.

Our prayers should be for Albert Odulele in prison, where he will have a tough time as a sex offender, his wife and family who must be devastated by the situation, and the Glory House Church which has had large congregations and very well attended meetings.  Love does not rejoice in the wrong.  We weep with those who weep.  This is a sad time for them all.  May God help them to go forward in His grace and strength. 


River Stour