Thursday, 8 June 2017

Today We Participate

Here's a poem. A bit cheesy, but it says what I'm feeling.


Today we participate
We can’t hesitate
Instead we engage
For the poor, the hurting, the forlorn
Today we stand and have our voices heard
Not ignored
With every word spoken
And every cross mark made
We proclaim a new way
A step made
Towards a better tomorrow
We won’t be silenced by violence
And we won’t be dismayed
In the places where it feels like we have no say
No way
We proclaim
What we believe
Words and ideas
Written in our veins
Grafted to the skins we are in
We will engage
There is no other way
No other choice to be made
We’ve no voice if we don’t participate
So we hope for the future
Being made known in the now
The future that forces the questions
“How? Why? What?”
“How did things go this wrong?”
“Why have we lost the plot?”
“What can we do, what alternative
Can alternate the narrative and
Disrupt it into something good?”
Today we participate
On behalf of those we love
And those it’s easier to hate
We engage
Not for popularity or praise
But to raise
A voice
A voice that raises questions
Questions that break down walls
And answers that build up bridges
Questions that seek solutions
And hard to handle truths
There’s a cost to me and you
Today we ask questions
That challenge insular understandings
Of “us and “you”
Today we participate for the many

Not the few.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Manchester Vigil Words

I was asked to lead a vigil for Manchester on Friday 26th of May. The vigil was to have opening words and a short prayer before a time of vigil.

Here is what I said:

Words of Welcome

This evening we gather
To stand in solidarity with the people of Manchester
In the wake of the bomb that exploded
In the foyer of the Manchester Evening News Arena
On the night of Monday the 22nd of May
Following an Ariana Grande concert.
The bomb has cost the lives of 22 people
It caused physical injuries to 116 people
It has caused unimaginable emotional distress to thousands of people
And it has touched the lives of millions around the world

This evening we gather
To mourn for those who have died
To grieve with those who grieve
To remember those whose lives have been torn apart
To give thanks for the emergency services and medical teams
To acknowledge our gratitude for the thousands of good deeds that sprung up in Manchester, like wild flowers in the face of tragedy:
For taxi drivers offering free lifts,
For local residents hosting strangers
For passersby caring for the injured and bereaved
For a city drawn together as one

This evening we gather
To stand with the people of Manchester
As a witness to the truth that love conquers hatred
And hope overcomes fear
We stand in solidarity with and for the people of Manchester
To affirm that the Light shines in the darkness
And the darkness cannot overcome it

Opening Prayer

As our vigil begins, let us pray:

Merciful God,
Architect of righteousness and peace
Draw near to all whose lives have been affected by the Manchester bombing
Grant eternal rest and peace to those who have lost their lives
Look with mercy on those who grieve and give strength to those who mourn,
That they might be empowered to face each new day in the wake of such horror
Strengthen those who are injured and pour out your healing, your rest and your peace upon them.
Merciful God, draw near to the people of Manchester and instill in them a resolve to stand firm in the face of hatred.
We pray all this, in the name of Jesus.

The vigil is observed, wreathes, candles, flowers are laid, silence is kept

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Street Art

Stoke Road in Gosport. Beautiful piece.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Waiting for Tenebrae

Waiting for Tenebrae

The Easter garden is garish and warm
                With the scent of 30 burning church candles
And it is all the better for it

Countless potted plants
Touch the shadows
With rich hues
Pale pinks
And red
                And butter yellow blooms
In a forest of green stems

This side chapel steeped
                In dancing candle flicker
                Caresses the darkness
                Shadows convulsing in response

This brick formed chapel
Sings of light and
                Life in the midst
                Of dark

As candles run down
We wait
In a sea of
Claustrophobic blackness
A darkness that will deepen
As in time
All but one candle
Is extinguished

And then
Even that solitary candle
In its time

Be overcome by the darkness

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

When Darkness Reigns

Here is a bit of a work in progress for Maundy Thursday, derived from Luke 22:53, it hasn't been possible to complete it in time for Maundy Thursday, but I'll be spending the odd moment on it in the days to come. 

Friday, 17 March 2017

A People

A People

We are a people
Called to live as a people
People loved
People hoping
People cherishing
People supporting
People seeking treasure
And finding it in each neighbour’s voice

With every passing day the neighbourhood grows
Richer in colour
More vibrant
Verdant hues

Sharp contrasts aren’t smoothed
Out to grey
Instead they are held

Fingerprints of who we are
Mark shared walls and railings

In our difference
We are truly found
Brought alive

The neighbourhood sings
New songs
Songs rising up
From long-silenced hearts

The neighbourhood is alive
And we its people are united
In imagination
In longing
Held by mutuality
Connected by our breath

Breath that is not ours
But gifted
Gifted by the Three in One
Who pitches a tent
Enfolding all in love

We are
This people
A people
All people
Gathering together

Holding on to truths we
See played out each day

Envisaging a new reality taking root

Dreaming with the neighbourhood

For the flourishing of all 

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Frail Fractions, Disrupted By Colour and Light

I've had a music project in the background for the last 18 months or so. Called Disrupted by Colour and Light, I'm building up a set of videos and music tracks. Here's one of them. It was a rough draft so some of the screen ratio is a bit off-kilter, but it does what it needs to do. Have a look.