Bonhoeffer uses a similar phrase 'worldly Christianity'. It's J Gresham Machen that I want to line up most closely with. See his Christianity and culture here. Having done commentaries on Proverbs (Heavenly Wisdom) and Song of Songs (Heavenly Love), a matching title for Ecclesiastes would be Heavenly Worldliness. For my stance on worldliness, see 3 posts here.

Bio 11c Daniel Wilson

Text not available
Back at St Edmund's
In January, 1804, Wilson returned to St Edmund Hall as a tutor and by January, 1807, had been appointed vice-principal. He combined these positions with charge of the parish of Worton, between Banbury and Woodstock, which was in his uncle's gift. We have emphasised Wilson's standing in the evangelical succession and as Loane suggests one might have expected 'useful service comparable to that of Charles Simeon in the sister seat of learning'. 'But' observes Loane 'Wilson was neither fitted by nature nor suited by office to do for Oxford the work which Simeon had done for Cambridge' – not being rector of a church or fellow of a college at first.
He did say before going there
I fear Oxford. I tremble to think of its Dons, and its duties, and the general tone and colouring of its maxims and opinions. I cannot forget the past. I cannot but dread to encounter new trials, new men, new pursuits, with a variety of difficulties and temptations hitherto unknown, unheard, unthought of. But to shrink, would prove me faithless. I undertake the office, not of my own will, but from a sense of duty.
Oxford was not a complete failure. He was asked to preach before the University in January, 1810. However, it did take its toll on him inwardly. Already in 1804 he is writing
I like my position. Everything falls out as I could wish. But I see many dangers looming in the distance. My heart is already becoming entangled in worldly studies, so that divine things lose their savour. I wish to count all things loss for Christ. I wish to love and cherish divine concerns; but pride, ambition, secular pursuits, and cares, beset me and make my path slippery and insecure. Pray for me.
Two years later it is
My soul is sick. I am perplexed and overborne with college and university business. I have wandered from God. You would not believe, my friend, how weak my mind is, how perturbed, not to say hardened, so that I feel no love for sacred things, nor derive any profit from them. Sin, disguising itself in the form of those literary pursuits in which I am engaged, has deceived, wounded, and almost slain me. I scarcely see Christ, and scarcely love Him. That glow and fervour which I used to feel spreading over my whole soul, is extinguished. Well do I know that I have grieved the Holy Spirit.
Then in 1807 he laid aside his journal not to take it up again for over 20 years. By 1809 he was convinced of the need for a return to pastoral ministry.
The employment of a tutor at Oxford has been far from being perfectly congenial to my mind. As to the propriety of my leaving the university, and giving myself wholly to my ministry, I cannot have a doubt. The gradual decay of vital piety in my own heart, is too obvious and too alarming a symptom, not to force itself upon my conscience. May God yet spare me for His honour!
He summed up much later
My time at Oxford was utterly without profit as to my soul. Pride grew more and more, and carnal appetites enchained me. On the other hand, Worton afforded me much spiritual consolation. These nine years were passed, I trust, in the path of duty, though amidst struggles, temptations, and frequent estrangements of soul and spirit.

St John's Chapel
Worton had been the one bright spot in this time of dearth and he had ministered faithfully there until he began, from 1808, to assist Cecil at St John's Chapel, Bedford Row, Bloomsbury, London. In June 1812 he took full charge there, resigning his Oxford posts and moving to London. Begun as a Chapel of Ease in the reign of Queen Anne, St John's was seen as the headquarters of London's evangelical party and Wilson was an obvious choice.
There he devoted himself to 'ceaseless activity' as a powerful, forthright and popular preacher. Loane speaks of his 'commanding oratory' and of 'years of great blessing' noting how, having preached only 640 sermons in the 11 years of ministry before Bedford Row, he now preached 1187 sermons in just 15 years! His 2000 strong congregation of 'lawyers and merchants', swollen by other visitors in the season, was peppered with Wilberforces, Macaulays, Thorntons and Grants of Clapham Sect fame. Very diligent in preparation, he would take only a few notes with him into the pulpit. Loane says
He stood as God's servant to do God's work and his power was soon felt by all. He was in earnest at a time when earnest men were still comparatively hard to find; he preached a full gospel in an age when preachers of the gospel were few and far between. He was steadfast where many were given to change, and moderate when others ran to extremes. His grave and dignified bearing was a solemn rebuke to the spirit of levity or unbelief, and his impassioned address to conscience was varied with an impressive pathos of appeal.
In 1821 Wilson took the funeral of commentator Thomas Scott. He was always a fan of Scott. He describes their last interview in 1819 thus:
I sat up with Mr Scott last night till near 12 O'clock, talking over my correspondence with the Bishop of Chester on the doctrine of salvation. This morning he gave us a most beautiful exposition of Romans 10. 12, &c. Afterwards Mr Scott went over my homily sermon with me. He alters but very little, and approves of most of my ecclesiastical notions. Mr Scott is tolerable in health, though 72 years old, and asthmatical for 45 years. He is very busy with his new edition of the Commentary on the Bible. He has now finished the whole of the first volume, and parts of the second and third. He finishes four or five sheets a week, expounds twice a day, has above a hundred communicants at his sacrament, is popular and beloved in his neighbourhood, and has fuller churches than ever. It is quite delightful to see him once more in the flesh.
Scott was someone he always delighted to honour.
There was no one in whom he placed more confidence, no one whose writings he more habitually studied. To the close of his life, Scott's Commentary on the Bible was the book of his choice. It exactly suited him. He never seemed sensible of its defects. He never felt it heavy. New authorities arose, new comments appeared : but still his word remained the same - "The old is better." He recommended it to every one whom he valued, and read it always himself. Its accordance with Scripture, its perfect honesty and integrity of purpose, its moderation in statements of doctrine, the practical and holy tendency everywhere manifest; all these won his heart and kept it.
He used Scott's commentary with his Bible daily. He never passed a copy, however old the edition, without buying it. At one point he began having it translated into French. When his two sermons on Scott were published some thought his praise too great.
“Thomas Scott was a wonderful man" he used to say, "as wonderful in his way as Milton or Burke. He overcame great difficulties, and lived down great unpopularity. Why, he was at first quite hooted in London for his long sermons."

Hymn of the week 18

On Sunday we sang what has been described as "one of the best modern hymn texts about the ministry of the Holy Spirit". We used Blaenwern, as suggested in New Christian Hymns. The tune was written by Welsh schoolmaster William P Rowlands (1860-1937) during the revival of 1904-05. It became popular later when Billy Graham used it for What a Friend We Have in Jesus.
The hymn itself is by retired Canadian schoolteacher [Edith] Margaret Clarkson (b 1915). She herself says the hymn was written at the Severn River, Ontario, in 1959. She says "I had been asked by Stacey Woods, then general director of the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship in Canada and USA, to write a teaching hymn on the Holy Spirit for use in student work. He felt there was a great scarcity of teaching hymns on this subject." It appeared first in Anywhere Songs (1960, copyright IVP) and was quickly picked up by British hymnals. "At the request of the committee working on IVCF's Hymns II" she says "I wrote the extra four lines (last quatrain of stanza 1) in order to adapt the text to an eight-line tune, rather than the four-line tune used earlier. This version appeared in Hymns II, which was published in 1976. In 1984, in an effort to remove all archaisms from the text and make it totally contemporary, I made the final revision ... the only one that will be authorized for publication in the future. All my Inter-Varsity hymns were turned over to Hope Publishing Co. in 1986; Hope now holds the copyrights."

For your gift of God the Spirit,
pow'r to make our lives anew,
pledge of life and hope of glory,
Saviour,we would worship you.
crowning gift of resurrection
sent from your ascended throne,
fullness of the very Godhead,
come to make your life our own.

He, the mighty God, indwells us;
His to strengthen, help, empow'r,
His to overcome the tempter,
ours to call in danger's hour.
in His strength we dare to battle
all the raging hosts of sin,
and by Him alone we conquer
foes without and foes within.

He, himself the living author,
wakes to life the sacred word,
reads with us its holy pages
and reveals our risen Lord.
He it is who works within us,
teaching rebel hearts to pray,
He whose holy intercessions
rise for us both night and day.

Father grant your Holy Spirit
in our hearts may rule today,
grieved not, quenched not, but unhindered,
work in us His Sovereign way.
fill us with your holy fullness,
God the Father, Spirit, Son;
in us through us, then forever,
shall your perfect will be done.
PS I just checked and found that I also chose this hymn back in May. See here. I managed to find five verses on that occasion. This time I missed one of the best verses:
He who at creation’s dawning brooded on the lifeless deep,
still across our nature’s shadows moves to wake our souls from sleep;
moves to stir, to draw, to quicken, thrusts us through with sense of sin;
brings to birth and seals and fills us - saving Advocate within.

Bio 11b Daniel Wilson

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Conversion
Spiritually, at this time Wilson was not in a good state. He was irreverend in church, did not pray, scarcely read the Bible and enjoyed posing as a sceptic. His line was that as God was sovereign there was nothing a mere mortal could do to alter his fate.
Then on evening of March 9, 1796 things began to change. He was warmly advocating his cynical view of God's sovereignty to some friends when he was challenged. Surely the God who chooses the ends also ordains the means it was suggested. When Wilson objected that he did not have the necessary feelings, it was countered that he should pray for them. He tried to laugh it off but the shaft had struck home and a period of protracted conviction followed. He wrote first to his old tutor John Eyre who was a help to him. On April 20 he had an interview with John Newton. Here is Wilson's report of the interview at the time (writing to Eyre).
I this morning breakfasted with Mr. Newton. I hope the conversation I had with him will not soon be effaced from my mind. He inculcated that salutary lesson you mentioned in your letter, of 'waiting patiently upon the Lord'. He told me God could, no doubt, if He pleased, produce a full-grown oak in an instant, on the most barren spot; but that such was not the ordinary working of His Providence. The acorn was first sown in the ground, and there was a secret operation going on for some time; and even when the sprout appeared above ground, if you were continually to be watching it, you would not perceive its growth. And so, he said, it was in spiritual things.
"'When a building is to be erected for eternity, the foundation must be laid deep. If I were going to build a horse-shed, I could put together a few poles, and finish it presently. But if I were to raise a pile like St Paul's, I should lay a strong foundation, and an immense deal of labour must be spent underground, before the walls would begin to peep above its surface.
"'Now,' he continued, 'you want to know whether you are in the right road; that is putting the cart before the horse; that is wanting to gather the fruit before you sow the seed. You want to experience the effects of belief before you do believe'. 'You can believe a man if he promises you anything, but you cannot believe Christ when He says, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out." If you are cast out, it must be in some wise, but Christ says, 'in no wise.' If he had said, I will receive all who come except one hundred, then you might certainly think you were of that hundred: but the "In no wise" excludes all such arguing. There are few awakened sinners who doubt Christ's ability to save, but the fear seems to run on His willingness, which, of the two, is certainly the most dishonouring to our blessed Saviour. To illustrate my meaning: Suppose you had promised to pay one hundred pounds for me and had given me the promise in writing. Now, if you should refuse to pay the money when I sent for it, which do you think would involve the greatest impeachment to your character, to say that you were perfectly willing to fulfil your commitment, but really had not the power; or to say that no doubt could be entertained of your ability, but you were unwilling to be bound by your promise
"'Unbelief is a great sin. If the devil were to tempt you to some open, notorious crime, you would be startled at it; but when he tempts you to disbelieve the promises of God, you hug it as your infirmity, whereas you should consider it as a great sin, and must pray against it.
"When Evangelist, in the "Pilgrim's Progress" asked Christian if he saw a wicket-gate at the end of the path, he said No. Could he then see a shining light? He thought he could. That light was the Bible, and it led him to the wicket-gate. But when he had passed that gate, he still retained the burden. It was not till he looked to the Cross that the burden fell from his back and was felt no more. Now,' said Mr Newton, 'the gate through which you have to pass is a strait gate; you can but just squeeze in yourself. There is no room for self-righteousness; that must be left behind.'"
It was probably some time in October 1797 that he eventually came through. As Loane remarks there was 'something quite out of the common in the depth of his penitential sorrow and his self-abasement, as well as in the long lapse of 18 months before he found pardon and peace. But there was a purpose in it all, for his was a life marked out for God.'
Preparation for the ministry
From very early on he felt drawn to the ministry but there was some reluctance on his father's part to allow it, the apprenticeship still being incomplete. When the young man consulted with the well-known preacher Rowland Hill patience was urged. After a year's wait an interview was arranged with the leading evangelical Richard Cecil, who felt sure of the genuineness of the call. Arrangements were made for Wilson first to study under the evangelical minister Josiah Pratt for six months then to enter St Edmund Hall, Oxford in November, 1798.
Oxford at this time was in a low state both academically and spiritually. Charles Simeon's work was just beginning in Cambridge but at Oxford St Edmund's was the only ray of despised evangelical light. Six students had famously been expelled from there in 1768 for Methodism but it soon became a real evangelical centre for years to come. At this point it was better known for its piety than its learning. By means of fellowship with men from several colleges it was a time of spiritual growth for Wilson. He studied hard and even became a byword for it. It is said that he translated Cicero's Epistles into English and then translated them back in again to perfect his Latin style! He gained a first-class degree, graduating BA in March 1802 and MA in 1804. In 1803 he won the chancellor's English prose essay prize for his essay on ‘Common sense’.
Early years of ministry
He went on to be ordained in September 1801, taking up a curacy in Chobham and Bisley in Surrey. This was under Richard Cecil. Cecil was only present in the summer months and so Wilson had plenty of opportunity to preach and to get to know the parish, which he did with great willingness. At the end of the time he writes
They have first seen me as a preacher: they have cherished, comforted, and loved me. All things there have worked for good. Church, rector, and people have alike smiled on me. Nor has the Spirit of God left me without fruit. I know that some have, by the grace of God, and through my instrumentality, been awakened and born from above. I speak, of course, only as a man, for God only can see the heart.
In November 1803, he married his cousin Ann, daughter of William Wilson. She was to be his partner in life for the next 24 years. They had six children, three of whom reached adulthood. The sudden death of Ann in 1818 when she was just seven years old was a hard blow as were the other two deaths. His son John grew to manhood but proved to be a source of great grief because of his spiritual rebellion. He did eventually come to salvation before an early death in 1833 but not without much heart searching on his father's part.

Focus Gig


Last Thursday night Rhodri and I went down to Christchurch (nearest place for a convenient evening) to see Focus play. On a small stage they played to a packed standing audience covering all the old ground - Sylvia, Eruption, Focus 2/3, Harem Scarem, Hocus Pocus (now a showpiece for the amazing drumming of Pierre Van der Linden) and (as rumoured!) a splendid renditon of Round Goes the Gossip. The emphasis was a little too much on nostalgia for my liking but it was great anyway. It was a shame that everything started so late and the band didn't come down to meet and greet. An extra little treat on the way back was the request you can hear Janice Long fulfilling on the video. (PS the ghost was Thijs's joke - the ghost of Akkerman one wit quipped).

Model for a hotel


When I was in Trafalgar Square recently I noticed the new sculpture on the fourth plinth. it is called Model for a Hotel 2007 (formerly Hotel for the Birds) and was unveiled about a fortnight ago (Nov 07) a 5-m by 4.5-m by 5-m architectural model of a 21-storey building made from coloured glass. it looks a little like a construction from one of those educational games kids had in the seventies.
It is by Thomas Schütte (Born Nov 16, 1954, Oldenburg, Germany) "an important German contemporary artist". From 1973-1981 he studied art at the Kunstakadenie, Dusseldorf under Gerhard Richter and Fritz Schwegler.
The work cost £270,000 and was funded primarily by good old Ken the Mayor and the Arts Council (ie taxpayers like us). Sandy Nairne, director of the nearby National Portrait Gallery and chairman of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group that recommended Schütte's proposals to the Mayor in 2004, has said: "There will be something extraordinarily sensual about the play of light through the coloured glass. ... [I]t's going to feel like a sculpture of brilliance and light." In fact it looks like a construction from one of those educational games kids had in the seventies.

Bio 11a Daniel Wilson

Text not available
Some years ago I sent for books and booklets from the Lord's Day Observance Society. Among them was a little book advocating the observance of the Lord's Day by a man I'd not heard of. His name? Bishop Daniel Wilson. Being a good nonconformist the word 'bishop' gave pause but I was well enough acquainted with things to know that did not necessarily mean the man was completely suspect! Anyway I read the little book and found it a help.
I have more recently learned that it grew out of sermons preached in 1827 and was originally published in 1830. It "engendered deep concern on the part of the clergy and men of good standing" and led to Wilson and his cousin Joseph Wilson forming the LDOS the following year. It is still in existence and is just one example of Daniel Wilson's energy and how it still has its effects today.
Wilson's name has hardly arisen since then but more recently I came across him again with the reissue of Sir Marcus Loane's The Oxford Cambridge Evangelical Succession. (See here). This looks in turn at the great evangelist George Whitefield (1714-1770), preacher and hymn writer John Newton (1725-1807), the commentator Thomas Scott (1747-1821), the preacher Richard Cecil (1748-1810) and finally Daniel Wilson (1778-1858). Loane relies chiefly on the two volume biography of Wilson by his nephew and son-in-law Josiah Bateman that appeared in 1860. (Avaailable on Goodgle Books). Bateman in turn makes use of a journal that Wilson kept from the very end of 1797, shortly after his conversion, until 1807 and then after a 23 year gap, from 1830 until the end of his life. There were also hundreds of letters. Bateman and Loane note how carefully Wilson's friends kept these. 'That surely goes to prove' says Loane 'that there was always a tone of greatness in the man.'
Early life
As Loane says 'Wilson belonged to the fourth generation of the evangelical revival' and as we look at his long life we will note his links with the more familiar names just mentioned. The George Whitefield connection comes through his mother Ann Collett (d 1829). She was the daughter of Daniel West, one of George Whitefield's friends and trustees. She, with her husband, Stephen Wilson (d 1813), a wealthy London silk manufacturer, were hearers of William Romaine, Cecil, Scott and other Evangelicals and were the earliest spiritual influences on Wilson, their eldest son, from his birth in Spitalfields, London, on July 2, 1778.
A delicate child, he soon grew stronger and came to have a buoyant personality and good looks. He began school in Eltham, Kent, when he was 7 and from the age of 10 until he was 13 was under the care of Rev John Eyre at Hackney. Eyre had served as curate to Richard Cecil in 1780.
After finishing school in 1792, he began a seven year apprenticeship in Cheapside, London, under his uncle, William Wilson of Worton, near Woodstock. Though the hours for it were few he continued to study hard at Latin and French and other subjects.

Hymn of the week 17

Every week we sing eight hymns but it's nearly always the Charles Wesley that catches my eye. Here he typically rings the changes by focusing on gospel paradoxes.

1 WEARY souls, that wander wide
From the central point of bliss,
Turn to Jesus crucified,
Fly to those dear wounds of his:
Sink into the purple flood;
Rise into the life of God!

2 Find in Christ the way of peace,
Peace unspeakable, unknown;
By his pain he gives you ease,
Life by his expiring groan;
Rise, exalted by his fall,
Find in Christ your all in all.

3 O believe the record true,
God to you his Son hath given!
Ye may now be happy too,
Find on earth the life of heaven,
Live the life of heaven above,
All the life of glorious love.

Preaching Trafalgar Square



It was my great privilege once again last Saturday to preach in Trafalgar Square. With no rain or wind it was pretty good day for it and we are thankful to God for the opportunity. Besides the preaching there is opportunity to pass on literature and chat personally. Sebastian Mani is the good man who organises it all with help from the TBS and others. The stills show me preaching in my parka (it was cold!). The video clip is of British-based Australian Steve Bignall.

Guernsey







So no-one biting then? Well, it was Guernsey. Yes, I've just spent the last few days in the Channel Island of Guernsey, with my friends the Yerbys. It was my third trip to the island, which is a haven of quietness. Robert was church secretary when I first came to Childs Hill. Elaine is a native Sarnian and when living in London proved impossible and Slough proved a slough of despond they looked to a life on the island where they have happily lived these many years bringing up their four (now teenage) children.
They belong to La Villiaze Evangelical Congregational Church pastored by Walter Chapman. The church is small but faithful, quite conservative (AV, suits) but outgoing. See here.
It was the church's 191st anniversary and I preached on the Thursday night (Ezekiel 37) and at both services on the Sunday (John 3.16; Christian freedom). I also joined them on the Saturday for their meal at The Farmhouse where I was given opportunity to say a few words more informally.
In between times I did a little exploring of the island with Walter and then Robert, which included some walking, some drinking of coffee, some museums, meeting Walter's parrot Caleb again and attending an auction in St Peter Port, something I'd not really done before. I also had time to read - especially the two volume Life of Daniel Wilson. It was quite gratifying to read of when he arrived in Guernsey when I was actually there!
Travel and leisure and preaching are all tiring but what lovely time. I am thankful to God, to those who made it such an enjoyable time and to my church and family who are always very good about such things.

EL Lunchtime lecture


There is a lunchtime lecture (12.30-1.30) next Monday at the Evangelical Library in Chiltern Street London, near Baker Street Tube. I am going to be speaking on Daniel Wilson - An introduction to his life. Do come if you can.

Where have I been?

It's been a bit quiet around here the last few days. That's because I've been away. Can you guess where? Ten points if you can tell me where this is.

UK Crossings 06 Panda


The panda crossing was a type of signal-controlled pedestrian crossing used in theUk 1962-1967.
In the early sixties the British MoT, headed by Ernest Marples, was looking for a way to make pedestrian crossings safer under increasingly heavy traffic conditions. The successful zebra crossing design was not considered safe enough for busy roads and could create traffic delays as pedestrians crossed whenever they wanted. Off-the-shelf light-controlled systems were available but were too expensive for widespread use. Some cities had innovated their own one-off crossings but the lack of standardisation was considered a safety issue. Furthermore, all existing signalled crossings tended to have two major drawbacks: stopping traffic for long periods of time and violating contemporary right-of-way law by signalling "Don't cross" to pedestrians.
The panda crossing was introduced in 1962 as an attempt to combine the best features of available and experimental crossing systems. The first public example was opened on April 2, 1962 outside Waterloo Station in London. The majority of the initial sites used for this experiment were in Guildford where all 13 existing crossings were converted, and in Lincoln where 10 crossings were converted. Further sites across England and Wales increased the size of the experiment to more than 40 sites in all.
The Panda's distinctive two-light signal head with striped Belisha beacon (the "STOP" text on the red light persisted through to early Pelican crossings).
The layout was superficially similar to a traditional zebra crossing, with a painted area on the road announced by Belisha beacons. For distinction, the panda road pattern was different (triangles rather than stripes) and the beacons were striped, not plain. The main additions were the light signals on the beacon poles. The traffic signals consisted of a pair of lamps, red and amber, while the pedestrians had a single signal displaying the word "Cross" when appropriate.
In the idle state, all the crossing's lights were off. A pedestrian wanting to cross would press a button on the beacon pole and be instructed to wait by an illuminated sign near the button. The system allowed for a pause between crossings in order to avoid traffic delays and so the pedestrian might wait a short while before anything happened. The amber traffic light would pulsate for a few seconds to inform motorists that someone was about to cross; a pulsating red light was then the signal to stop. At this point, the pedestrians' "Cross" signal began to flash. After a few seconds, the "Cross" light started to flash faster and the pulsating red traffic light was changed to a flashing amber (this "flashing" phase was considered distinct from the initial "pulsating" amber light). The "Cross" light flashed increasingly fast as crossing time ran out, and the traffic was allowed to proceed during the flashing amber phase if the crossing was clear. Eventually, the "Cross" light and the amber switched off completely and the crossing was reset.
The panda crossing avoided legal problems by omitting any sort of "Don't cross" message to pedestrians. The measured pause between crossings helped to keep traffic flowing. The light sequence also prevented long delays by allowing traffic to move after a few seconds if nobody was crossing. However, despite its apparent rationality, the design was not a success. In particular, the distinction between the flashing and pulsating amber phases was subtle yet highly significant and there was no clear "Go" signal at the end of the sequence.
By 1967 the panda crossing was a matter of concern for the Ministry of Transport, and so a new type of crossing, the X-way, was introduced. Surprisingly, the new system was not phased in gradually by replacement, rather the pandas were removed seemingly as a matter of urgency. The X-way itself soon disappeared when, in 1969, the modern Pelican crossing was introduced.

David Beckham Academy


My middle son headed off a little early this morning as he and his friend in class and at church are off with some others to the David Beckham Academy for a day of football training. He really loves football and it looks like a brilliant opportunity. More here.

UK Crossings 05 Pegasus

As this gripping series continues we turn our attention to a pegasus crossing or, more prosaically, an equestrian crossing. This is a type of signalised pedestrian crossing in the UK. It has a special consideration for horse riders. The name is from the mythical winged horse, the Pegasus.
Normally, they are in the form of a pelican crossing (see past posts) but simply have two control panels, one at the normal height for pedestrians or dismounted riders, and one two metres above the ground for the use of mounted riders, and the "green man" and "red man" pictograms are replaced with horses. Additional features include a wooden safety fence and a wider crossing so that the horses are further away from cars than normal.
If the crossing is to be used by pedestrians and cyclists too, then a parallel toucan crossing is placed next to the pegasus crossing.
I must confess I've never seen one of these things but then I don't live in quite the right place I guess.

A car with power


I've no wish to own a Lexus but this example of power seen in a Hampstead Heath Car Park struck me as interesting.

Taith Cerdded


We were on our annual walk this morning. Ostensibly it is a sponsored walk for the Welsh School but we mainly enjoy the walking and talking. It has been on nearby Hampstead Heath in recent years. It is not normally this late but the weather was so pleasant out there no one complained. The Autumn colours are wonderful. Whenever I go on the Heath I think to myself I must use it more. Perhaps I will. We always see someone famous up there. Last year it was broadcaster Melvyn Bragg. This time it was the actor and comedian Les Dannis. More on the heath here. And here. London Welsh School here. And here.

UK Crossings 04 Toucan


Yet another type of pedestrian crossing in the UK is the toucan crossing. This one allows bicycles to be ridden across a well as providing for pedestrians. Since two-can, both pedestrians and cyclists, cross together, the name toucan was chosen. (Nothing like a good pun, eh?)Toucan crossings are normally 4 metres (13 feet) wide, instead of the 2.8 metre (9 feet) width of a pelican crossing or puffin crossing (covered earlier). A "green bicycle" is displayed next to the "green man" when cyclists and pedestrians are permitted to cross. As well as this, it is different from a pelican crossing because, before the lights for vehicles go back to green, a steady red and amber are displayed instead of the flashing amber seen on pelican crossings.The pedestrian/cyclist signal lights may be on the near side of the crossing (like a puffin crossing), or on the opposite side of the road (like a pelican crossing).
Signalled cycle-only crossings exist, linking cycle tracks on opposite sides of the road. You may ride across, but you MUST NOT cross until the green cycle symbol is showing.

UK Crossings 03 Puffin



(Mostly cribbed from Wikipedia)
A puffin crossing (pedestrian user-friendly intelligent) is a type of pedestrian crossing used in the UK. it is basically a refined version of the pelican.
It differs from a pelican crossing (see previous article) in that the lights controlling the pedestrians are on the near side of the road, rather than on the opposite side. The system also utilises sensors which detect the presence of pedestrians waiting at the crossing, and as they are crossing the road.
The crossing control lights, which inform the pedestrian when they may cross, are positioned at the road side, set diagonally to the road edge. The stated reason for this design was to allow the pedestrian to monitor passing traffic while waiting for the signal to cross. However the act of monitoring passing traffic often means the crossing control lights are out of the pedestrian's field of vision. The crossing control lights of the older Pelican and Toucan (see later) designs are mounted across the road from the pedestrian attempting to cross, resulting in them staying within the pedestrian's field of view for a greater proportion of the time. A second stated reason for the design was that having the lights closer to the user would assist visually people who could have difficulty viewing the signal from across the carriageway. The Pelican and Toucan designs also feature visual cues close to the pedestrian informing when the pedestrian may cross, in the form of the display mounted above the button pressed to activate the crossing. This claimed advantage is thus much less than it would initially appear.
In addition to the positioning of the crossing control lights, some push-button units are also fitted with a tactile knob under the unit which rotates when the user may cross. This feature is also added to pelican crossings.
After requesting to cross (by pressing a button) a kerb-side detector monitors the pedestrian's continued presence at the crossing. Should the pedestrian decide to cross prematurely, walk away from the crossing, or wait outside the detection area, the pedestrian's request to cross could be automatically cancelled so traffic is not halted unnecessarily.
An on-crossing detector ensures that the signal for vehicles remains red until the pedestrians have finished crossing (within practical limits).

Remember remember


I'm not sure how many (if any) members of the Westminster Fellowship happen this way but this is a reminder that the fellowship meets on Monday (5th - first Monday in November) and I am the speaker. We will be revisiting the subject of regeneration so do come if you can.

Osian Huw


I am an uncle again - for the eigth time. This one's very special not only as he's being blogged so young but as Eleri's sister and her husband have been married many years and we were tempted to give up hope. Osian's a big boy (9lb 1 oz) but he and his mam are doing fine and we're looking forward to seeing him.
Osian was a poet in Irish folklore. (The Irish use two s's hence my earlier misspelling).
We now have a four man chain of names in our family that goes Rhodri Tomos Osian Huw Geoffrey Thomas.
Llongyfarchiadau i'r Alsopiaid ac yr holl teulu!

Derek Swann

The Welsh preacher Derek Swann went to be with his Lord at 10.30 pm last Monday night. He had been suffering with cancer. The funeral will be next Wednesday in The Heath church, Cardiff. A Congregationalist, I believe Derek began his ministry in Cwmbran in the late fifties but spent most of his ministry in Ashford, Middlesex, before retiring to Cardiff. He was a great encourager and part of that group of Lloyd-Jones/EMW men who had such a solid influence in Wales and beyond in the sixtes and seventies especially. He will be missed.
He spoke to us at LTS on pastoralia issues one time I recall in the eighties. I remember him describing pastoral ministry very honestly as 'staggering from crisis to crisis'. I remember thinking at the time it'll be a bit like that and it has been. More here. And here.

Ray Gravell


Growing up in Wales in the seventies was a wonderful time rugby wise. The names of JPR, Gareth Edwards, Phil Bennet and the Pontypool front row are still remebered today. Among those names is that of Ray Gravell who has suddenly died of a suspected heart attack while on holiday with his family in Majorca. Though rugby was his first claim to fame he also acted in Pobol Y Cwm, was an eisteddfod druid and for my boys was the man who read Y Tri Sgerbwd and other children's stories.

The WRU site says
The 56 year old former Llanelli, Wales and British and Irish Lion centre had recently been recovering well after having a leg amputated below the knee following complications linked to diabetes which he had been suffering from for several years.
Last night (Wednesday), the Welsh Rugby Union paid tribute to him as a man who epitomised the passion, flair and dignity of his beloved Welsh nation.
He won 23 caps for Wales, famously helped Llanelli beat the All Blacks in 1972 and became a British and Irish Lion during a career in which he earned a reputation as a powerful, straight-running and hard-tackling centre who never gave less than 100% commitment.
After retiring from the game, he never strayed far from rugby and became president of Llanelli RFC and the Llanelli Scarlets, while also forging a career as a rugby broadcaster for S4C and the BBC.
With his love of life, he also became a big screen and television actor but it was the game of rugby which always remained the focus of his life away from his wife Mari and their two daughters.

Ray Gravell was a true giant of Welsh rugby whose face with its familiar beard and strongly Welsh accented voice were instantly recognisable wherever in the world the game of rugby is played.WRU Group Chief Executive Roger Lewis said, "We are all in total shock because Ray was so full of life even through the difficult health problems he suffered recently.
"He was a wonderful ambassador for rugby and for Wales and a great example of how the game can bring out the best in a man.
"As a player, he always gave a huge amount of respect to his opponents but never gave an inch of ground to anyone he faced on the field of play.
"It is a measure of the man that he forged rugby friendships which lasted long after his playing days up until the present day.
"Most recently, he stayed close to rugby as a broadcaster and was always in the tunnel to greet the teams with a handshake and a hug before and after big games.
"It is typical of the man that he became part of the tradition of our game and he was delighted when we asked him to present the jerseys to the Welsh players in the changing rooms before Wales play South Africa at the Millennium Stadium later in November.
"Before the Rugby World Cup, it was Ray who came to the Stadium with his wife and children to announce the names of the Welsh squad to the media. He was the right man for that role because of the pride and passion he clearly displayed when he read out the list of names.
"We will miss him as a rugby legend but more importantly, we will miss Ray as a great friend and a fine, family man."
WRU chairman David Pickering added his tribute to the former team-mate he played alongside more than 100 times for the famous Llanelli team.
It was the Llanelli skipper Ray Gravell who made 19 year old David Pickering his vice-captain for the Scarlets.
David Pickering said, "Ray was an inspiration both on and off the field and he will never be forgotten by anyone who truly loves this game of ours.
"He was renowned for his passion and strength of character and it was always reassuring to know Ray was in the line-up and on our side.
"A lot will be said in tribute to the way Ray approached the game but it must also be remembered that he was a great and skilful player who deserved all the top honours which came his way.
"He set an example which should be followed by any youngster who wants to play rugby in a way which will make them a better and stronger human being.
"He epitomised all the best elements of the game of rugby and he will be sadly missed, not just in the world of rugby but by everyone who knew him."

UK Crossings 02 Pelican

Zebra crossings have increasingly been replaced by another type of pedestrian crossing, known as a pelican crossing (pedestrian light controlled). These are marked with traffic lights for the vehicles and green and red men icons illuminating to show pedestrians when and when not to cross. Pedestrians only have right-of-way here when the green man icon is lit or if they entered the crossing while lit. Pelican crossings were first introduced in 1969 (after an earlier failed experiment known as the Panda crossing).
There is a push button for those using the crossing. The term pelican crossing is used only in the UK, although similar traffic control devices are in use throughout the world. The pelican crossing was the first definitive light controlled crossing in the UK.
Pelican type crossings sometimes have further non-visual indication that it is safe to cross, such as a beep, vibrating button or tactile rotating cone in order to assist blind or partially sighted pedestrians.

UK Crossings 01 Zebra


This is a little pedestrian but there is slightly more to it than at first blush. We begin with zebra crossings, the originals, which are found in many parts of the world.
The crossing is characterised by longitudinal stripes (hence the term, named after the zebra) on the road, parallel to the flow of the traffic, alternately a light colour (usually white) and a dark one (painted black, or left unpainted if road surface itself is of a dark colour). The stripes are typically 40 to 60 cms (16 inches to 2 feet) wide. Pedestrians always have right of way on a zebra crossing.
The zebra crossing was first used (after some isolated experiments) at 1000 sites in the UK in 1949 (the original form being alternating strips of blue and yellow), and a 1951 measure introduced them into law. In the UK the crossing is marked with Belisha beacons on each side of the road. The beacon is a black and white pole topped by a flashing amber globe. They are named after Leslie Hore-Belisha, Minister of transport who introduced them in 1934. Pedestrians have right of way on this type of crossing; road traffic must give way to them.
The crossings were originally marked by beacons and parallel rows of studs, but the stripes were soon added for the sake of visibility.
Today the amber lights flash and there are zig-zag lines on the approach. Zebra crossings with bollards in the middle should be treated as two separate crossings.
A zebra crossing famously appears on the cover of The Beatles' Abbey Road album. This is a famous zebra crossing, and has even been incorporated into the current Abbey Road Studios logo. However, since the Abbey Road photo was taken, zigzag lines at the kerb and in the centre of the road have been added to all zebra crossings to indicate the no-waiting zones on either side. There are actually two zebra crossings in Abbey Road and people can sometimes be seen taking photographs of each other on the wrong one.