Saturday, December 31, 2005

Post-Hackdom & Happy New Year
It seems that moots increasing exposure on the internet with every increasing hits has been noticed by 2 particularly annoying hackers. You will be pleased to know that even though we have had a daily fight changing passwords and access info utilising all of Ians, Gary's and John's front line defence tactics, has not as of yet got rid of the problem... However, we have maintained a non-agression, turn-the-other-cheek approach by not pursuing them through the net as a form of vengence, more a hope-they-get-bored-soon approach...... We are trying to be biblical!!!

So if it goes funning puts up interesting pics and plays Turkish music - don't think Moots gone ethnic - just another touch of the hacks!!!

Anyway, enough of that, HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL YOU MOOTERS & MOOT FRIENDS, and see you in 2006...........


Wednesday, December 28, 2005



Stopped off at the
Yorkshire Sculpture Park yesterday on my marathon snowy drive back to London. They currently have three pieces by James Turrell installed in their new building. His work is preoccupied with light and optical perception – so much so that my digital camera couldn’t even register the two other more subtle pieces. In Ganzfeld the rear of the room is literally a wall of light that can be approached across a sloping floor. The ceiling slopes down and the side walls widen towards the light, distorting perception of distance in the space.

Ganzfeld provides an useful counterpoint to Chris Ofili’s
The Upper Room in Tate Britain (with architect David Adjaye) that we’ve been thinking about recently. Both pieces could be said to have ‘spiritual’ content in one way or another: Ganzfeld works in a very direct, phenomenal way using light and its poetic associations whilst The Upper Room relies far more on symbolism and iconography. Both clevery employ layout and bodily experience; Ganzfeld to induce a slightly unreal sense and The Upper Room in terms of ritual and approach.

Of the two pieces Ganzfeld seems the most successful to me, largely due to its directness. This may also be because it is so polyvalent - I guess I'm just ascribing something of the Christian significance of light to the work whilst others might bring different values to it? The Upper Room is far more pointed in his references.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Christmas
Just recovering from eating this lovely christmas lunch... Is great to sit down and relax amidst the quietest London I have seen.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Went to visit banksy's annual festive exhibition today with les bakeurs... Was full of the usually mix of iconic images that had been banksified, as well as the usual books and prints for sale... Not quite as eyecatching as last year, but still some good stuff, particularly some early sketches of the Gorillaz, and a nice crucified santa wearing a satan belt.

Monday, December 19, 2005


google fight!!
google have a new site where you can pit two different searches against one another...
so here are a few fun results...
vaux beats headspace
moot beats vaux

grace beats moot
gareth powell beats ian mobsby
jonny baker beats gareth powell
andrew jones beats jonny baker
andrew jones beats rowan williams (ummm didn't see that one coming)
the pope beats andrew jones (just)
liberal theology wipes the floor with evangelical theology
the church of england beats the methodists
the catholics beats the church of england
good beats evil
god beats satan (phew that could have been a massive eschatological problem)
I beat Jesus (he he)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Can we all take a chill pill!
I don't know about what your work and home life are like, but this time at the end of advent, makes people stressed and grumpy. My hospital job has been horrible, with everyone being catty and basically nasty. It is the season of projection before the season of love, peace and good will to all people?? Is it because we can't be nice for that long so need to get the claws out before?.... My work last week culminating in the day of hell on friday so detroyed me, that I missed a good party and a supper the day after because I felt so unwell and stressed after it, and felt (very unlike me) that I could not cope with being around too many people....It is a very long time since people's behaviour at work has reduced me to a combination of rage and tears......So can I give an appeal, at this time of year, we need to be gentle to one another!! In our gentleness we may look after each other a little better.....I for one need a bit more luv-in...

Mike Peters is ill.

Does anyone remember the band The Alarm? I was big into them in the eighties.

Sadly, the lead singer, Mike Peters, has been diagnosed with cancer. Apparently it's the return of a cancer that was put into remission about 10 years ago, and although it's not curable, it is treatable.

The Alarm, and later Mike as a solo artist were regulars at Greenbelt, and Mike famously taught Bono how to play "Knockin' On Heaven's Door".

He goes into his illness in some detail in an open letter on his website here.

I'm sure those who remember the band fondly will spare a thought or say a prayer for him.

New Book on the Emerging Church
Not sure if people remember, but last spring a number of UK emerging/fresh expressions leaders went across to Passadena to join in a consultation.....which followed on from a piece of Research that Bolger and Gibbs were doing on the Emerging Church. This PhD research has now been compiled into an excellent, is the best I have seen so far on the whole reasoning and purpose behind the emerging church movement. I therefore highly commend it. I am really pleased that they have included a number of things I have said about my experiences from Epicentre, and more importantly from Moot, (my responses in the book are now 2 years old, so now reflective entirely on the real progress we have made lately). So it is worth considering getting this for your book shelf - lots of quotes and references made to Moot - click the pic to go through to more info from the authors. The Book contains lots of info drawing on the views of lots of our Emerging Church fellow spritual travellers including Karen Ward COTA, Paul Roberts Bristol, Ben Sanctus 1, Kester of former Vaux, Sue Wallace of Visions, and others.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Random Friday afternoon image No. 7
November 2005
The majestic Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. Designed by the LCC Architects' Department under Sir Leslie Martin, 1964. Listed Grade II* but depressingly has been neglected over the years.

Moot Advent & Christmas 0506
Moot Community Event Planning Dec 6th, Conference Centre, STMW from 7 for 7.30pm
We will be planning events for the spring term, as well as sorting out services for Christmas, so please support us if you consider yourself to be a member of the Moot community by attending this.

Moot Advent Eucharist, Dec 11th 6.30 for 7pm, STMW Church
This Moot will be the fourth Moot Eucharist, exploring the theme of God’s potential in Christ the incarnation.

Moot Christmas Party, Dec 13th, The Dovetail Pub, Clerkenwell from 7pm
Gareth has done us proud if you are into Belgium beer – there are over 300 varieties otherwise known as ‘Friars&Monks are us’, see blog for details:

St Matthews Carol Service & Party, Dec 18th, 6pm, STMW Church
This service, draws together the various congregations of the Church including Moot to celebrate Christmas in the lead up to Christmas week, which will be followed by a party... Come it will be good.

Moot & King George’s Hostel Christmas Carol Service, Dec 20th, 7pm STMW Church
This service will be led as a joint service between the Moot Community and the staff and tenants of two of our local homeless hostels. We need all hands on deck for this, so please let Ian know if you can assist. It will be followed by mince pies and drinks. This event provides an opportunity for Moot members to offer hospitality to those less fortunate than ourselves through hospitality and kindness.

St Matthew’s Midnight Mass, 11.30pm Christmas Eve. STMW Church
The traditional thang – you know you love it – much candles..

Christmas Day Service, 11am, STMW Church
Again the traditional thing, this time Ian is presiding & preaching..


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Moot led memorial service in King George's Homeless Hostel for Kevin, Westminster 12th December 11am

Today, Neil and I led a memorial service for Kevin, who died in the hostel 2 weeks ago, leaving many of the residents & staff in some shock, as he died in the hostel.

It was a deeply moving experience, and I for one see it as quite a privilege to lead such a form of worship/remembrance.
It was equally a very humbling experience. It puts into context your own life, and once again I am reminded how rich and privileged my life is. The poor remind you of their dependence on God, when they have very little else that is there's. I was reminded of the Beatitudes, and why these people really matter to God. I hope that our relationships with this King Georges community develop, as we all have much to learn from those less fortunate than ourselves and our particular postmodern angst....... I was privileged to have a bit of a reality check today with these very gracious people. Let us continue to pray for Kevin, and his friends and family left behind.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Advent reflection

As requested, here's the reflection I wrote for last night's service...

One of the moments of my pregnancy that will always stay with me happened in a clerical vestments shop in Asissi.

Ian, Mike and I were on holiday in Tuscany. About 10 days beforehand, we’d been told during a routine scan that there was potentially a problem with our baby’s brain. Most of the time I was able to stay positive and believe that it was only a small possibility that something was actually wrong.

However, that morning I’d woken up early and gone through a whole worst-case scenario during that “between sleeping and waking” state. This had really rattled me and I was finding it hard to hold myself together – I couldn’t stop crying. And I couldn’t talk about it – somehow, putting my fears into words would make it all even more real. So, we went out to visit Asissi as we’d planned.

We went into a shop where Ian was looking at cassocks, I wandered around the shop and found a load of icons. One of them just stopped me in my tracks and I couldn’t take my eyes off it. It was an icon of the Madonna and child, and it was the look on her face that I was so struck by. She was holding the baby close to her face, and there was a tear on her cheek, she looked so sad. I had, for a long time, thought of having a child as the greatest joy – the thing I longed for most, and now I could begin to see that the greatest joy could also open you up to the possibility of the greatest pain and sorrow. I found the picture a huge comfort and began to see why Mary is such an important figure. I felt like someone else was with me in what I was feeling. I know that God is neither male nor female, but most of the main NT characters are men. I felt like I could identify with her, and she with me. It may not make a lot of sense – but that’s what I felt.

Shortly after that, we went into a church and I lit a candle and said a prayer to Mary for the first time in my life.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Moot Advent Eucharist
These days, it is not often I am moved to tears, but the connection between what Mike & Carey talked about in Carey's pregnancy was deeply moving. Both were profound thoughts, as we enter Advent, particularly Carey's reflections on Mary, and she a good Baptist girl... Thanks Mrs & Mr Radcliffe, you really blessed us with your wisdom tonight.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Moot are having a christmas party on the tuesday 13th december and we are also inviting all the other alt/emerging churches in london to come along - so if you fancy some good beer and catching up with a few old (or new) friends do come along. It will be held at the dovetail pub in Clerkenwell central london, EC1V 4JP from 7pm - map here. We have hired a nice large space in a great venue that does over 300 types of fantastic beer.

Hope to see you all there

Hi everyone again ....enjoying the blog and i will miss the old routemaster buses - remind a little bit of the anglican church - not quite up to its original function but somehow it keeps going and you gotta love it ....

Paul both islands spectacular - sorry didnt get a chance to call in - passed through hamilton very late on a friday and a sunday ..... but you live in a beautiful country that inspires great spirituality .

Sorry to bore those who havent been here but all i have to say is Milford Sound .....Did an overnight cruise here .......and all you can say literally is MY GOD ........

I think God set up camp here on the seventh day and then forgot to move on ....Of the dozens of countries i have visited have never seen anything so beatiful ...perfect weather , kayaking with dolphins and penguins ....watching seals playing in the early evening calm .... then lying on the roof of the boat in the midst of the sound watching the stars come out one by one ..... then lying under the southern cross and meditating .....its a funny thing this beauty - it makes you pray more ..... still wondering how to create that sense of wonder and beauty in the city to carry it with you ....any ideas ?

Love it .....keep on keeping on and see you all next sunday ...


Friday, December 09, 2005

Death of an Icon

Sadly, today is the last day that the old Routemaster buses drive their routes around London. It's especially poignant as the 159, which is a Routemaster, runs pretty much from my front door to Parliament Square, and is the bus I use to get to St. Matthew's, Westminster every morning.

I've got mixed feelings about this. Being English, we're very used to persevering with things that are horribly out of date - 50 year-old buses, Last Night of the Proms, pounds and ounces, the Monarchy, you know, that sort of thing.

The open back with no door is pretty unsafe (although you can jump on and off at will), and it's impossible to use one if you're disabled. Plus, we've discovered that you can't fit a pushchair on one.

However, for iconic value, you can't really beat the old Routmaster. It is a design classic. Thankfully some will be preserved on heritage routes for the tourists, but it's not the same as taking a design classic to work every morning, is it?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Hallo again everyone from new zealand ...loving the photos from carroty wood and very sorry not to have been there. I'm now on the south island and have been staying with mike and rose riddell for the last 5 days - an amazing time of good food - good wine and late night whiskey fuelled theological discussions mostly taking place in their hot tub in the garden underneath the stars of the southern hemisphere .

By the way Ian - mike sends his warmest regards to you and for reasons unknown speaks very highly of you . :-}

But as you say New Zealand is an incredibly spiritual place and i want to throw out another possible discussion topic amongst us ....but new zealand is a good place to commune with god ...make life changing decisons and start to dream dreams again is still a good thing ....... i havent yet met my wife here but theres still another 6 days to go so get praying ...

Last weekend as you were enjoying the luxury of carroty wood i was in a little town called rotorua and i went to have a look at the little anglican church in the town on the saturday afternoon while my friends did their advanced mountain biking course.... The church of Saint Faiths was stunning ....built of wood in the maori part of town in 1800s ...inside it is full of traditonal maori carving on the wood- every pillar and even the ceiling covered in maori carvings ....then there are traditonal stained glass windows of the 4 apostles - all as white europeans -but then it gets interesting -At the front to the right of the main altar there is a little side chapel called the galillee chapel has a huge floor to ceiling window looking out over lake roturua .......sandblastted onto the window is a christ figure ......2 really interesting things about this ....the christ figure is walking on the water of lake roturua but you can only get the proper angle when you kneel at the altar rail ....secondly its a maori christ figure - dressed in traditional maori chieftain costume ....and part of me was intitially quite shocked at thinking of christ as a maori chief and then i got to thinking about what my image of christ is like and realised how ridiulosly cultural it is ..... my presbyterian sunday schoolblond haired blue eyed jesus is wrong then why not a maori jesus ......... how much of what european missionaries did was cultural imperialism much do we still see jesus through our cultural preconceptions and misconceptions

jesus has many faces in many lands .....and ours is not any better or any worse than anyone elses ....Has made me start to think about doing a moot service looking at the faces of jesus around the world and what we can learn from it

Was wondering if anyone else has had those moments when they realise how much of our faith images are cultural rather that factually true and what can we learn from how we protray christ in the city - how do we reach out to those around us without falling into the trap of 19th century missionaries taking their blond haired blue eyed jesus to the uttermost parts of the world

anyway heading off to queenstown and milford sound tommorrow ....but what i'm most excited about is spending some time at dorothy browns cinema in arrowtown on sunday - where the seats are designed to hold red wine and a cheeseboard and the movie is The lion the witch and the wardrobe ...filmed in new zealand but concieved in belfast by my fellow countryman - CS Lewis feels right to see it here

Till next week then =- blessings upon you all


Monday, December 05, 2005

more Carrotyphotos...

Developing a new habit
I have been reading a lot about the Cisterians (a monastic reformers group in the 12th century). They started a new monastic movement that rallied against the monastic groups of their day because of their rich and lavish lifestyles.

At the end of the 11th century many monastic houses (famously cluny) had become very rich, having much land and property. Becoming a monk in one of these monasteries was actually rather like staying in a nice modern hotel today – 3 - 4 hot meals a day, lovely comfy beds, nice comfortable surroundings and a really lovely habit (the monastic 'cassock') decorated with expensive fabrics and jewels in some cases.

One of the first things the did was introduce a plain white habit, that was cheap to produce and had no fine detailing and jewels on it. It was an outward sign of their inward vows to poverty, chastity and obedience.

I have been reflecting on this reform movement and our own context. Clothing today is a vast global empire, dominated by western companies, many of which are making a quick buck by exploiting the cheap labour available from the global south (as well as exploiting child labour in some cases).

On a more personal scale, what you wear defines you, it reflects your tastes, choices and values. You can see that by wandering into a Weatherspoons bar and checking out what the guys and girls are wearing, then head off to a slightly more upmarket place like the LAB bar in soho and finally go somewhere swanky like the St Martins Hotel Bar, you will quickly see the place of clothing in our social orderings and groupings. It defines to a certain point where you belong, who you are and where you are likely to be accepted.

I try and buy clothing that is well made, lasts and is ethical (from howies for instance) - I see this a partly being informed by my Christian view of life, yet I find diesel, carhartt and other quite expensive brands very alluring, and my wife will tell you I have a penchant for nice skater shoes.

So my question (sorry its taken so long to get to it) is not so much how should we live, but what should we wear? Should we, like the Cisterians, wear simple plain clothing that is well made and cheap (from a good source)? Should we perhaps adopt a habit that is brandless, plain and simple? Using this as an outward sign of our desire for simplicity in life, as a sign against clothes as a status and therefore excluding signifier. I find the idea very attractive on one level. What does everyone else think?

A meeting of minds

The first of (probably) many photos from the moot weekend away, Ian tries to get through to Ivy about the merits of emerging church.

A vision for diversity for Protestant aspects of the church
Please see below an interesting article on the whole issue of current pressure for conformity from the more conservative evangelical parts of the church, and how this is at odds with the values of the protestant reformation.

It is interesting to reflect on the current crisis in the Church as raising the very same issues in the church - but a crisis that has been brought about by the shift of modernism to postmodernism. Somehow, cultural change always seems to faction people into two groups - the radical and the conservatives. We see this being played out in the Anglican Church as we speak.

What is fascinating, is that groups such as 'reform' and others hold as their aim - to finish off what the reformation failed to complete because of the intervention of Queen Elizabeth I - about maintaining a broad centre of prostestant and catholic co-existing in 1 church. It was only the extreme catholic and the puritans that would not accept this idea of diversity.... and now in the 21st century, it is the conservative catholic and conservative evangelicals who seek to undermine the advances of the Church of England to respond to the culture and times we currently live in.

Such positions, in my opinion do not understand or value the deep biblical understanding of the body of Christ and the call to be an ekklesia - an alternative society - yes incomplete, but at least an attempt to find unity in diversity to approximate to the Kingdom of God.

There is therefore a place for catholic, evangelical, charismatic, emerging church, you name it.....


Friday, December 02, 2005


Random Friday afternoon image No. 6
Hoboken, New Jersey, February 2005

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