Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Another bad decision in big football match

On Sunday there was another big and bad decision in the semi-final game at Wembley between Manchester City and Arsenal. Had there been a video review then the Manchester City goal, which had been wrongly disallowed, would have been given. The ball was not out of play. The television audience saw that it was a goal. It is high time to allow technology to help rule out these errors. Come you football administrators, get into the 21st century! There have been too many errors for far too long.

Friday, 14 April 2017

My recent videos on YouTube: johlibaptist channel

For those who like to watch my videos on YouTube, I have uploaded several recently during my walks and travels. I particularly like the ones which feature Addison's Walk at Magdelen College, Oxford, where CS Lewis was a fellow. Then I have added a few showing the delightful Suffolk countryside by Ramsholt and the River Deben.

I hope that the hyperlinks work. Happy viewing.





Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The Decline and Demise of the Open Brethren in Hornchurch: conclusions

Now that I have written a series of observations on how the Open Brethren in Hornchurch went from a significant part of the Christian landscape, in the 1970s when I came to the area, to a failed denomination with no active chapel or assembly at the present time in Hornchurch, I wish to conclude with some comments by a former Brethren elder who gave his reasons why there is no longer a Brethren presence in Hornchurch.

He put it down to three reasons: a call for professionalism, a changing world, and the demise of the small church.

On the call for professionalism, he mentioned that there was a desire to have trained ministers, those with expertise and men who were full time, theologically equipped to teach and lead the assembly.

On the matter of a changing world, he thought that the demands of modern life, the long hours working culture, job commitments, family needs, and school activities for the children, made it very difficult to find time to prepare for ministry, preaching, meetings etc.

On the demise of the small church, he believed that ninety nine per cent of those who left the Brethren assemblies went to other churches. The range of activities in larger churches was very appealing for the whole family, particularly in youth groups, larger Sunday schools etc. Larger church had more social events and a much more varied programme. It was easier to join in and to take a back seat, enjoying the activities without responsibilities and commitments.

I would add that the Brethren failed to get to grip with the changes in the world. Their position on charismatic renewal, women's ministry, and cultural issues, did not make them attractive to the baby boomers (those who were teenagers in the 1960s) and the generations that followed. The Brethren lost the means and the methods of passing on their brand of Christianity in Hornchurch.

If you have any reflections, observations, or insights then I would be delighted to hear from you. I welcome your comments.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

In Oxford, Magdalen College: Addison's Walk , late March 2017

While attending a ministerial Gaudy at Regent's Park College, I stayed at Magdalen College in the Waynflete building. The scouts at the main lodge were very helpful and explained the way to Addison's Walk in the grounds.

The weather was wonderful in the morning though slightly overcast in the evening. but the grounds were splendid by the beautiful River Cherwell.  It was a walk in a paradise, a place of peace and a promised land.

CS Lewis had rooms in this building. It was where he gave tutorials.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Essex Walks: Greensted to Ongar, part two

On the Essex Way into Ongar the footpath approaches the lane by Sainsbury's supermarket, the King's Head car park, and it passes Budworth Hall.

The spire of St Martin's Church can be seen on the far right of this photograph.
On the way to Ongar town centre.

The skateboard park, which some residents deem a waste of money and resources.

Looking back along the Essex Way towards Greensted, west of Ongar.
In Ongar across the road from Budworth Hall is the public library and the grounds of the remains of Ongar Castle.

The information board by the motte and bailey castle at Ongar.

The moat of the motte and bailey castle at Ongar.

Eventually I arrived at St Martin's Church, Ongar.

Does Russia wish to continue its association with the evil Assad regime?

This question keeps coming up: does Russia wish to continue to be associated with a regime, a criminal government, that uses chemical weapons on its civilian population?
Let us be clear on this. Gas attacks killed children in Syria. These vile chemical weapons came from government forces, aircraft flown by pilots loyal to Bashar al Assad. US and British intelligence agencies know that this happened. Syrian forces knew it took place. And the people in rebel areas know who is behind these chemical attacks.

So is it not about time for Russia to condemn this war criminality? If they pretend that this was not the work of Assad's forces and if they continue to support this heinous crime against humanity, then they are guilty of complicity, or not dealing with these unacceptable chemical attacks. Do they wish to stand alongside war criminals, chemical weapon users?

The Assad regime is guilty of using chemical weapons against their own people. The deaths of many civilians in Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province must be investigated by the international community.
Justice cries out against these atrocities.


River Stour