The similar phrase 'Worldly Christianity' is one used by Bonhoeffer. 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.

Two good quotations

1. C S Lewis
I am finally learning how to use Facebook and got this one from Doug McMasters of Tooting
“If you do not listen to Theology, that will not mean that you have no ideas about God. It will mean that you have a lot of wrong ones - bad, muddled, out-of-date ideas. For a great many of the ideas about God which are trotted out as novelties today, are simply the ones which real Theologians tried centuries ago and rejected.”
2. John Piper
The second I found in Don Carson's companion volume to the M'Cheyne readings.
"The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night."
(A Hunger for God: Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer

Iain Campbell move

Interesting news here from Iain Campbell who is downsizing congregations.

Moody Radio Broadcast

I mentioned the other week recording some interviews with Paul Butler of Prime Time America. Apparently the 8 minute radio broadcast on being born again has now aired and can be heard at Paul's blog here. Paul is clearly very skilled in being able to put together this fairly coherent piece from my ramblings. Thanks to him. The one we did on Proverbs will hopefully be aired later in the year.

52 JC No 20

This is from the introduction to the commentary on Psalms and is the nearest Calvin gets to a testimony
When I was as yet a very little boy, my father had destined me for the study of theology. But afterwards when he considered that the legal profession commonly raised those who followed it to wealth this prospect induced him suddenly to change his purpose. Thus it came to pass, that I was withdrawn from the study of philosophy, and was put to the study of law. To this pursuit I endeavoured faithfully to apply myself in obedience to the will of my father; but God, by the secret guidance of his providence, at length gave a different direction to my course. And first, since I was too obstinately devoted to the superstitions of Popery to be easily extricated from so profound an abyss of mire, God by a sudden conversion subdued and brought my mind to a teachable frame, which was more hardened in such matters than might have been expected from one at my early period of life.
Having thus received some taste and knowledge of true godliness I was immediately inflamed with so intense a desire to make progress therein, that although I did not altogether leave off other studies, I yet pursued them with less ardour. I was quite surprised to find that before a year had elapsed, all who had any desire after purer doctrine were continually coming to me to learn, although I myself was as yet but a mere novice and tyro. Being of a disposition somewhat unpolished and bashful, which led me always to love the shade and retirement, I then began to seek some secluded corner where I might be withdrawn from the public view; but so far from being able to accomplish the object of my be desire, all my retreats were like public schools.
In short, whilst my one great object was to live in seclusion without being known, God so led me about through different turnings and changes, that he never permitted me to rest in any place, until, in spite of my natural disposition, he brought me forth to public notice. Leaving my native country, France, I in fact retired into Germany, expressly for the purpose of being able there to enjoy in some obscure corner the repose which I had always desired, and which had been so long denied me.
But lo! whilst I lay hidden at Basle, and known only to a few people, many faithful and holy persons were burnt alive in France; and the report of these burnings having reached foreign nations, they excited the strongest disapprobation ... certain wicked and lying pamphlets were circulated, stating that none were treated with such cruelty but Anabaptists and seditious persons, who by their perverse ravings and false opinions, were overthrowing not only religion but also all civil order. Observing that the object which these instruments of the court aimed at by their disguises, was not only that the disgrace of shedding so much innocent blood might remain buried under the false charges and calumnies which they brought against the holy martyrs after their death, but also, that afterwards they might be able to proceed to the utmost extremity in murdering the poor saints without exciting compassion towards them in the breasts of any, it appeared to me, that unless I opposed them to the utmost of my ability, my silence could not be vindicated from the charge of cowardice and treachery. This was the consideration which induced me to publish my Institute of the Christian Religion.
... I had resolved to continue in the same privacy and obscurity, until at length William Farel detained me at Geneva, not so much by counsel and exhortation, as by a dreadful imprecation, which I felt to be as if God had from heaven laid his mighty hand upon me to arrest me. As the most direct road to Strasburg, to which I then intended to retire, was as shut up by the wars, I had resolved to pass quickly by Geneva, without staying longer than a single night in that city. ...

Tower Bridge Leap

On the Duck tour we had some nice stories including a reminder of how in 1952, a number 78 double-decker bus was unlucky enough to be on the bridge when it opened. Back then, the lights would change to red, the gateman would ring bells to encourage the pedestrians to move off the bridge quickly and close the gates, and the head watchman would order the bridge to lift when it was clear. On this day in December, there was a relief watchman, and something went wrong. Albert Gunter, the driver, saw that the road ahead appeared to be sinking. In fact, his bus was perched on the end of an opening bascule, which was giving the illusion of a sinking road ahead. He realised that he would not be able to stop in time to prevent going into the water, and making a split second decision, decided he would go for it. He accelerated and jumped the three feet gap, landing on the north bascule, which had not started to rise. None of his dozen passengers were seriously hurt, and he received £10 for his bravery. He also appeared later on the TV programme What's my line?

Duck Tour

My birthday celebrations continued on Saturday with a duck tour around London and into the Thames with the family. These DUKW's are 1942 American amphibious vehicles adapted and painted yellow. More here. Great fun. There were more cakes and another rendition of happy Birthday on Sunday morning after the service.

Luvly Jub'lee

As some of you may know I turned 50 today (like Morrisey and John Sopel). Thanks for all your greetings (cards real and online, phone calls, Facebook messages, etc). I had lovely presents (smellies and cheese and chocs and socks, shirt, money, etc). I especially appreciated The London Encyclopedia from the family - a brilliant buy. My father-in-law wrote me a poem and Rhodri reworked My Brother Jake (My father dad!) to great effect. I think I had four lots of happy birthday sung (from Aber, Cardiff, at home and in church). People are so kind.
Fifty, of course, is pretty old and means most of your life is probably over. So far its been 25 years preparation for the ministry, 25 years of on the job training and now hopefully my best 25 years of service. We'll see. I'm very thankful to God to be alive, to have been converted and to be wanting to serve.

Assembly blogged

So I'm home from the Assembly, which was a good time as reported. I had not particularly been looking forward - too many conferences already this year, the programme did not look that strong and numbers appeared to be down. As it turned out it was a very distinctive conference of a high standard and numbers were not too bad in the end, with plenty of new folk and a good mixture (for me) of familiar and new faces. I suppose the one depressing thing is that we continue to be a fringe (Baptist) of a fringe (Reformed) of a fringe (Evangelical). There was something rather rugged and individual even bloody minded about our main speakers that would read well in a history book but is more difficult in reality. But then Ii think it might be like that with Calvin or Nehemiah or Enoch too. Mp3s of the messages should be on the Caterham website soon.

Grace Assembly 09 9

Our final address was given by Phil Arthur from Lancaster. He began by referring to the case of Dr Lloyd-Jones and his 'crazy' move to Aberafan. Phil can identify having left teaching for a northern backwater. Has he too thrown his life away? It all depends on your view of the local church.
He then took us to 1 Timothy 3:14-16. After putting things in context he spoke appropriately on what the church is and what it is for. No doubt much of it was based on what he has preached in Lancaster in the past. Phil's audio sermons on 1 Timothy can be found here.
The church is, of course,
God's household, the church of the living God and the pillar and foundation of the truth (1 Tim 3:15). Phil was eloquent on the importance of the local church. When one is absent from a community the impact is devastating.
As for what the church is for we turn to verse 16. Paul speaks of the mystery of godliness being great. Mystery here is, of course, God's revealed plan of salvation. In Ephesus they spoke of Diana being great but the really great message to hold up is the gospel, summed up here in six short statements. There is some debate about how the statements for together but the main point is clear - proclaim Christ.
He appeared in a body the incarnation
was vindicated by the Spirit at many points but especially in the resurrection
was seen by angels, as he ascended, especially
was preached among the nations, beginning at Jerusalem
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory probably not the ascension but the return of Christ.
It was good to be reminded of these vital truths stressing the importance of the local church and calling us to press on in proclaiming the gospel for the honour of Jesus Christ.

Grace Assembly 09 8

We have now reached the final day of Assembly. We had a short question time last night but there weren't too many questions. The most interesting being Former GP and pastor John Hall from Westerleigh spoke first, on small group work.
First, using Luke 16, John outlined the gospel for us, reminding us of the realities of heaven and hell. He spoke also of the great difficulties of winning people to Christ. How do you survive so many failures? We find comfort in the Scriptures and the examples of Paul and others.
Small group work is one way of seeking to do biblical evangelism. Paul was energetic in using various methods including discussions in a lecture hall and from house to house. Small group work is useful in preparing people to get more from the regular preaching. It has been used in the history of the church and can be used in all sorts of ways today.
Available courses
The biggest and best known is the Alpha Course. Some 2 million in the UK have attended courses. The problem is not so much the style but the content. The use of manipulation cannot be denied.
A better one is Christianity Explored (formerly Christianity Explained). This Anglican course is again Anglican and does not say anything about who God is. It is Arminian and uses a prayer to pray.
John has his own course that has gone through various incarnations being simplified on the way. This is now available in booklet form as Christian Basics. It is a systematic presentation (unlike the Biblical theology approach) in 12 lessons. It is available online here.
Small group work can be difficult for a small church. There are dangers - psychological pressure, their not coming to church, etc. It is dishonest to use a course you do not agree with. If you are a real Reformed Baptist use that sort of material.
The need is obvious. We are living in an age of biblical ignorance. People who don't read especially need help. You may want to do your own course but this is a means.
Once again this was a very personal, moving and honest message given with great enthusiasm. One of his best anecdotes was about giving Pink's Sovereignty of God to a woman who went ballistic but was willing to believe what the Bible says.
At the close John spoke briefly and warmly of the faith of Christians he knows in Sri Lanka, despite their many troubles.

Grace Assembly 09 7

In his second message (on Wednesday night) Martin Grubb looked at the question: What do we long to see God do through our endeavours and what does God need to do to us in order to make us effective in his hands? His answer (looking at Luke 5): We need to learn to break people's hearts from the experience of being broken hearted ourselves.

The story of evangelism in the early church is dominated by two very different men - Peter and Paul. Luke (expanding on other accounts) tells us that Peter began his career of evangelism by being shattered by Christ. This is exactly how Paul began. If we are to break people's hearts, we need to be broken men ourselves. We are talking about conviction of sin.
Here we see Peter's piety. It is an example to us. Martin made six main points about Peter
1. His experience began with trusting Jesus in the face of death
We need to get a biblical idea of death.
2. His experience showed itself by serving the cause of Christ
It's great when people are eager to do something. Will you serve Christ?
3. His experience involved a crisis in obedience
It often affects the areas where we are most competent. It's not easy but we must obey.
4. His experience involved falling on his knees in shame and utter confusion and astonishment
5. His experience involved a fearful forgetting
6. His experience involved trusting Jesus for the future and following him
Such experiences prepare great evangelists,which is what we need. Once again it was a great message full of wonderful anecdotes that we have only sketched rather generally here. It stirred you to evangelise. One of the best was the fear of the Bible shown by people who have seen an atheist Martin knows reading one.

Grace Assembly 09 7

This Wednesday afternoon we had our second news session. Simon Calvert spoke again recapping on various issues that have taken up the interest of the Christian Institute since last year. He spoke about the human embryology bill, which thankfully did not include a further liberalising of abortion laws. Other victories include the one over Google regarding advertising and the case of Pilgrim Homes in Brighton who were under pressure from the local authority over the promotion of 'gay' values. In other cases there was less encouragement including some reversals. Other cases are ongoing - the lady who fosters children and saw a child of a Muslim background converted and so was not allowed to continue, the couple in Cornwall who have policy of no double rooms for the unmarried and the pressure they are under from the homosexual lobby, etc, etc. Equality and diversity is the big thing at the moment. The question of churches needing to prove they give public benefit in order to hold charity status was raised. This should not be a problem for most but something like Jews for Jesus may have problems. More here. Ferris Lindsay spoke about the work of the Tyndale Academy. Ferris is a great enthusiast and it is always fascinating to hear him speak about his changing work among children in Newham, East London. The opportunities among Sikhs, Muslims, etc, are great. Barry King is another fascinating and gifted individual, who spoke with simplicity and power on church planting. You need a sower, some seed and some soil and most importantly God's Spirit. It also takes suffering - not an optional extra. The work spoken of last year has continued in Wood Green, the Angel and North Watford. He was able to speak of conversions (in double figures) and believers joining too. He has also been able to be involved in a replant in Halstead, Essex and another new work in Eton Bray, Bedfordshire. He has also begun to be involved in a replant in Runcorn, which begins in June. Chelmondiston and Albert Street, Oxford, are also in his sights - not to mention the growing work in Gillingham. A nice element here was that another group elsewhere in Gillingham has been started and it is planned that these two groups can be joined together and act as an independent local church. Brian Ellis spoke next on the work in the Philippines. He chose to focus not on CCM or street work but the Grace Ministerial Academy and ancillary work. He must have spoken of a score of churches being pastored by graduates and others. It is amazing what is being done. He also mentioned Carey Outreach Ministries. What opportunities there are. We briefly rounded off with John MacDonald (GBM) on China, Brazil and Kenya and Martin Leech (EMF) on Palma, Mallorca concerns over accreditation for the Bible School and the matter of persecution. Great session. Very stimulating.

Grace Assembly Business

Messengers from around 40 or so churches attended the Assembly with somewhere over 80 people present. Some 90 churches show an interest in the Assembly altogether. Seven London churches were represented, four from Yorkshire, three from Manchester, three from Suffolk and two each from Gloucester, Hants, Lancs and Wilts. Also represented were 18 other areas in England plus Dundalk and Cubao, Philippines.
We had our business meeting after lunch on the Wednesday. It was nice not to be chairing the meeting, my term as chairman now being over. Graham Field chaired. We have become more organised in recent years and so beside reports on numbers and finance, etc, we re-elected Graham, Dennis Gamston and Jack Jenner. We also agreed to have Philip Tait (Hardwick Baptist, Stockton-on-Tees) on the steering committee.
We have agreed to meet again next year in Swanwick on May 25-27, 2010.

Grace Assembly 09 6

The conference here is called 'Good news for a dying world'. The second morning session was led by Mick Lockwood from Haworth in Yorkshire. He had four things to say to us on reaching the unreached.
1. Motivation
He spoke first of Ed converted through Hal Lindsey's Late Great Planet Earth who saw four people converted in weeks by badgering people. Why all that happened was that he knew the truth and further he was moved by the love of God and a desire to serve him. It is all about being like Jesus Christ. Love is the key here. Christ's passion for sinners is central. Without love to sinners we cannot be like Christ.
2. Luke 10
1 It is a matter of appointment - God wants you to do this work. How humbling and what an incentive.
2 There are more than we may expect.
3 We are not to work alone but with others - ministers must do this
4 We should think in Parish terms - we are to proclaim the Word where the Lord has placed us. We go with the prayer that where we go the Lord will come.
5 The importance of prayer and dependence on God
6 There are many bleak predictions today and we can feel fearful. That's when we are ready - we are lambs among wolves.
7 We do not need mega resources
8 When we go out we look for the person of peace, the sympathetic person
9 We have a message of peace in the gospel
10 Assimilation is important
11 We cannot do miracles but we can do people what good we can
12 There is also a need to warn those who refuse to accept the gospel
of the judgement
3. The basis for our joy
There is joy in seeing gospel success but rather we should rejoice in our salvation in the world to come. Jesus himself rejoices in the sovereign choice of God. We should join in that rejoicing. To say this is not to go off topic but to see that in evangelism today we need to remember God's mysterious ways. By way of example here he told how someone had complained that they were brainwashing school children in their schools work. The upshot was that the area RE advisor (a Hindu) looked at things and recommended more Christianity leading to greater opportunities.
4. Opportunities
Rather than aping each other we need to look to the Lord and see what he would have us to do. Doors open, doors close.
Great stuff!

Grace Assembly 09 5

After a morning prayer time and breakfast we assembled for our first session of the day 'Bunyan the Baptist'. The speaker was Oliver Allmand-Smith from Ramsbottom.
After a very brief introduction touching on Bunyan's greatness he referred to the 19th Century book by William Urwick containing the essay suggesting Bunyan was not a Baptist. (Bible Truths and Church Errors). Urwick's evidence is fourfold.
1. His baptism was in infancy and not as an adult. There is no evidence of his being baptised as a believer.
2. All his treatises on the subject against Baptists rather than for.
3. The way he and his church were treated by Baptists show he was not one of them.
4. He had his infant children baptised in the C of E.
This seemingly formidable body of evidence was easily answered. There is no record of Bunyan's baptism but there are almost no records of anyone else in the church being baptised. Bunyan considers infant baptism a sin though one to which he showed great toleration. The Baptist historian Thomas Armitage tackles the question of Bunyan having baptised children and points out that where such records are found they are incorrect and spring from confusion. Bunyan was a Baptist. His anti-Anglican writings show how unlikely it might be for him to have his children baptised in the Church of England. Bunyan's church was very strict with people who had dealings with the Church of England.
Having said this it is clear from Erwick that Bunyan was not in line with the Baptist view that links baptism and church membership. He refuse to believe that baptism was required for church membership. It, indeed, has nothing to do with the church, according to Bunyan. At one point Bunyan refused to release a Mrs Tilney from membership who wanted to join a church that required baptism for membership and even threatened excommunication.
Bunyan clearly saw baptism as a minor issue. Why? It was not out of weakness or any idea that the NT is unclear on baptism or some sort of ecumenism. Three reasons were proposed:
1. Because of his own conversion and spiritual pilgrimage.
2. Because of his determination to fight what he believed to be the battle of his day against dead religion.
3. Because of his determination to be united with all who were also seeking to fight the same battle.
It was his fear that baptism could promote dead religion that really drove him.
This was a most interesting paper not from a simply antiquarian point of view but raised vital issues for us to consider.
Oliver himself closed with three points
1. To exalt the individual's Christian experience over the corporate life of the visible local church is wrong. Bunyan's mistake is being repeated today minus the depth of experience and commitment that marked him.
2. We must follow the biblical pattern that is seen in Scripture where baptism and local church membership are taught and insisted upon.
3. To promote opposition to dead religion and broader unity at the expense of following the patterns laid down in Scripture for unity among God's people we are in error.

Grace Assembly 09 4

Our final session for the first day was led by Simon Calvert from the Christian Institute who began by making remarks from Romans 1, stressing conscience and the suppression of the truth, elaborate lies. This rotting society needs us to be salt and light.
He then went on to update us on various things including the issue of freedom of speech. The victory in 2006 over religious hatred has been followed by debate over the issue of incitement to sexual hatred. A free speech clause has been suggested for the bill but the government doesn't like it and want to get rid of it. It is now before the Lords. We need to be free to say that homosexual practice is wrong (just as we can about other sins).
Then the equality bill brings together laws from the last 40 years and is a massive tome. That is beginning to be debated in Parliament. This is a real battlefield for us. The government are using the bill to make things difficult for Christians. Current exemptions will no longer apply. For example, if the government has its way a church could not specify that a youth worker be heterosexual in practice.
Throughout the stress was on the need for wisdom and prayer. Simon mentioned that he had been with John Mason an SNP MP who is very positive over these things.
By way of question and answer Simon mentioned how the stance that CI takes is that followed by Peter Tatchell, Christopher Biggins and Rowan Atkinson too. There is a lot of misinformation about.

Grace Assembly 09 3

After a sumptuous evening meal we assembled again for out third session. On both evenings we are set to hear Martin Grubb who is now in his fifth year of church planting in Charlesworth in Derbyshire near Glossop (based on an old Gadsby chapel). He sought to give us seven encouragements in evangelism that are not dependent on our skill or on our success. Slightly abrasive in style but very warm he gave us seven encouragements. They were:
1. The message of the gospel.
The message of the kingdom is a great message as seen in the pictures used in Scripture and the message itself. What a message we have!
2. The example of the first evangelists.
Jesus himself. He was a great preacher who everyone wanted to hear. Peter and Paul and others preached in similar ways. We belong to the same family. He used the illustration of wearing the rugby shirt of a successful side. The heroic age of evangelism should inspire us. We are in that line.
3. The need of the crowd is as great as ever.
Christ had compassion on the people as being like sheep without a shepherd. Who cares for people today? Politicians? Some of his anecdotes were very humorous.
4. The urgency of Christ.
This is seen in Matthew 10 the passage we read. The horizon grows and the urgency continues. Urgency or lack of it is contagious. He again gave a wonderful illustration of lack of urgency. He also spoke of the needs of the gospel here and beyond.
5. The prospect of harvest.
It is here in Matthew 10 and in many other places. Sowing, watering, etc, is all fine but we want a harvest. He gave examples of people beginning to come to Christ who he wants to see saved. Surely there ought to be something happening every year. We ought to be more eager.
6. The great danger of hell.
Jesus speaks openly of it. This is the thing to fear not something else. Do I really believe in heaven and hell? Do we really believe he is the Saviour of sinners?
7. The promised rewards.
Even giving a cup of cold water will be rewarded.
This was a really encouraging message.

Grace Assembly 09 2

Two or three other conferences are here at the centre. It was nice to bump into Gary Benfold briefly and then later Jim Webber from Lonlas, both here in an FIEC capacity.
Our second session featured Stephen Murphy from Dundalk. Stephen Rees chaired. That gave us a nice opportunity to sing 'Be thou my vision'.
Stephen spoke about the work of the gospel in Eire today. He first gave the history of Baptist work (more here) beginning with the planting of churches in Dublin, Cork, Waterford, etc by Cromwellian troops. In the 18th Century Fuller, Pearce and other English Baptists sent missionaries to Ireland to work among the very poor. In the 19th Century some progress was made also in the north although in the 1840s many of these very poor Christians died or emigrated.
By the 1960s the remaining Baptist churches were all very small. Today, however, a church like Cork is not only thriving but has planted three other churches and wants to plant more. How has this happened? Two unrelated things happened in the sixties that had their impact. Vatican II meant a change in people's attitudes. At the same time the advent of TV showed a world outside where things were different and Catholicism did not predominate.
In 1979 the Pope came to Dublin and 1 million of the three and a half million population gathered for mass. This was the high watermark for Catholicism. Since then various scandals have had their effect and church going is much less than it was. Against this background things have changed. The Charismatic movement within Catholicism has had an impact in leading people to see the importance of experience and reading the Bible. Similarly ecumenism (again not something we would see as wholly positive) has had a significant impact.
Another significant but mixed blessing has been an influx of American fundamentalists (not always the most culturally sensitive folk).
All this has led eventually to an indigenous Irish evangelicalism, some of whom are Reformed Baptists. In Dundalk this happened around seven years ago. Others are still working through these things.
Of course, there is still much opposition. The continuing institutionalised power of the Catholic church is one obvious example.
The description was fascinating and here we have given only a summary. What opportunities there are. Questions followed touching on the weakness of the Catholic church, opportunities with radio broadcasting (free!), Kilkenny, Waterford, Clonmel, Aontas, etc.

Grace Assembly 09 1

So here we are back in High Leigh Conference Centre, Hoddesdon. This time it is the Grace Assembly Conference. We have been having residential assemblies for some time now and it seems to work well although numbers are slightly down this year. I took the train to Broxbourne via Tottenham Hale then walked to the centre. They say it's two miles but it felt more like four. John and Jean MacDonald gave me a lift the last 5000 yards or so. We began with lunch so it was nice to have time together. I sat next to Philip Tait from Stockton on Tees and Gearoid Marley from Birmingham. There are lots of other familiar and unfamiliar faces here. We also met briefly as a steering committee before the first meeting. Our hosts are Mark and Chris Richards from Chesham. Mark kicked off for us preaching from Malachi 3:16 Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honoured his name. He gave us some background and then made the following points
1. The character of the people of God - They fear the LORD. The fear of the LORD was thoroughly with lovely references to the minister visiting the dance in the Lewis Revival of 1959, to Polycarp and to the modern martyr Mehdi Dibaj of Iran. He used that famous quote of Anselm about his devotion to the Lord even to going to hell.
2. The logic or reflex of the people of God - they talk with one another. He interestingly raised the question of whether we should put more time into our marriages given the prevalence of divorce. The people in Malachi's day knew their times and so saw the need to spend time with other believers. We are not in danger most of us of turning into a holy huddle. There is an argument for spending more time with Christians than ever. Obviously this includes things like assembly. Perhaps these are days for special measures such as these.
3. The conduct of the people of God - they respond to their situation by talking with one another He referred to Ephesians 4, Acts 2:42, Acts 12, etc, etc and also to Spurgeon's first sermon on how precious Jesus is to believers.
4. The Lord pays close attention to what they say and records it and does so much more. Moving on to the rest of the verse and beyond Mark then spoke of the blessings God brigs on his people who fear him.


Someone who knows me well sent me these. Some old chestnuts here.

1. The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian. (I nu it! - GB)
3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of maths disruption.
5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
6. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
7. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was accused of littering.
8. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France could result in Linoleum Blownapart.
9. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

11. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
12. Two hats were hanging on a rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, 'You stay here; I'll go on a head.'
13. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

14. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehabilitation centre said: 'Keep off the Grass.'
15. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was , a nurse said, 'No change yet'. 
16. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
17. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
. The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
19. A backward poet writes inverse.
20. In democracy, it's your vote that counts. In feudalism, it's your Count that votes.
21. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

Cromwell in the Sun

We know we are living in strange times when The Sun newspaper starts quoting Oliver Cromwell. (Don't ask how I know this please). That's what they have done today. Here is the speech. You can work out why they are quoting it. It was originally given at the dissolution of the Long Parliament in the House of Commons, 20 April 1653. It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.
Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?
Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!

Hymn of the week 34

Isaac Watts

So let our lips and lives express
The holy gospel we profess;
So let our works and virtues shine,
To prove the doctrine all divine.

Thus shall we best proclaim abroad
The honours of our Saviour God;
When the salvation reigns within,
And grace subdues the power of sin.

Our flesh and sense must be denied,
Passion and envy, lust and pride;
While justice, temp'rance, truth, and love,
Our inward piety approve.

Religion bears our spirits up,
While we expect that blessed hope,
The bright appearance of the Lord,
And faith stands leaning on his Word.

52 JC No 19

From Calvin's Preface to his commentary on the Psalms
I have been accustomed to call this book, I think not inappropriately, “An Anatomy of all the Parts of the Soul;” for there is not an emotion of which any one can be conscious that is not here represented as in a mirror. Or rather, the Holy Spirit has here drawn to the life all the griefs, sorrows, fears, doubts, hopes, cares, perplexities, in short, all the distracting emotions with which the minds of men are wont to be agitated. The other parts of Scripture contain the commandments which God enjoined his servants to announce to us. But here the prophets themselves, seeing they are exhibited to us as speaking to God, and laying open all their inmost thoughts and affections, call, or rather draw, each of us to the examination of himself in particulars in order that none of the many infirmities to which we are subject, and of the many vices with which we abound, may remain concealed. It is certainly a rare and singular advantage, when all lurking places are discovered, and the heart is brought into the light, purged from that most baneful infection, hypocrisy. In short, as calling upon God is one of the principal means of securing our safety, and as a better and more unerring rule for guiding us in this exercise cannot be found elsewhere than in The Psalms, it follows, that in proportion to the proficiency which a man shall have attained in understanding them, will be his knowledge of the most important part of celestial doctrine.

Visiting Dad 03

This visit was a little different to the others in several ways. First, although I had booked to go by coach it worked out that I went by car, so I was hermetically sealed most of the way except for stops at Heathrow (see previous blog) and Newbury (we were out of money and needed to eat). Then Rhodri was with me, so that was different. Thirdly, my dad is now home from hospital. I also saw my sister Gail and most of her family, which hasn't happened much previously.
So when we arrived around 6 pm Gail was there and the support worker (is that what they are called?). Most of the time it was just me and my dad and then before we went Rhodri was with us as we read the next bit from Mark's Gospel and we talked about what really counts. My dad is maintaining his 'I'm not against so I must be for' line, which I find slightly unconvincing. It's not in my hands.
So a more difficult visit in some ways - the TV doesn't help. My dad seems perfectly well but we know he's not and we will see how things unfold over the next few weeks. He's eighty soon so we'll look forward to that.


Having several namesakes out there, I get a vicarious thrill in genuine Internet entries such as these that I come across from time to time.
Soccer player
Early save from Artur Boruc. Great play from Gary Brady on the right wing. He feints inside and lets loose a terrific left-foot strike. Boruc reacts smartly to smother the ball at his near post.
Basketball player
John Jay then came up with back-to-back steals on Raider possessions – the first resulting in a fast break layup by junior forward Vaughn Mason with 24 seconds left and the second setting up the game-tying 3-point jumper with 17 seconds remaining by junior guard Gary Brady ... Brady finished with 11 points and three steals.
Record producer and musician
Recorded in Greenwich at Escapade Studios. Produced by Martin Brown and Gary Brady, the sessions were mainly recorded live with a full band behind the songs.
With the help of band mates Guy Whitby on drums; Gary Brady laying down chord tones on bass; ....
Master Tiler
Gary Brady Testimonial
After training at The Master Tiling School for 8 weeks I decided I wanted to be my own boss. The training at The Master Tiling School gave me confidence in my skills and also gave me a good insight into how to start up my own business.
IT is the end of the fourth day of Leoparsdstown's Christmas festival as Noel Meade slings his binoculars over his shoulder and, for the last time, walks briskly towards the weigh-room. The concluding Bumper had seen his warm favourite,Gary Brady, well beaten into second. Two furlongs from home you could not have seen such an outcome.
Recycling managing director
There aren’t a lot of people who could be described as being passionate about waste, but Gary Brady is very probably one of them.
Man from Ohio
Hard working individual who also happens to be a loving husband, and father. A little redneck, and all about adventure.
Gary Brady is an emerging painter who's passion for art was discovered long after beginning his education in communications and English on a football scholarship.
And ...
U.S. Marshals in New York State on Friday arrested a man who was being sought on a Durham murder charge, city police said. Marshals from the Joint Fugitive Task Force and other units arrested Gary Brady, 46, where he was working at a service station in Uniondale, N.Y., on Long Island, Durham police said. [This one evokes - there but for the grace of God]

Celebrating Sundays

Day One have just brought out an excellently produced magazine style booklet Celebrating Sundays. The author is Jonathan Holdt from South Africa. Son of Martin, when Jonathan and Adele were at LTS they worshipped here with us. I've bought several for the congregation here and would like to commend it to others too.

With or Without You

We note that Gunnersbury Baptist Church has a debate entitled ‘Better with – or without - God?’ coming up.
Two speakers, one Humanist one Christian, will "go head to head in debating life, God and reality". The Humanist is Dr Peter Cave (Lecturer, Author and Chairman of the Humanist Philosophers, part of the British Humanist Association (of the ‘There’s probably no God’ London buses poster campaign). The Christian is Rev. David Robertson (Author of ‘The Dawkins Letters’, Pastor of St Peters Free Church, Dundee, columnist and debater).
Time: 7.00 pm
Date: Saturday 13th June 2009
Venue: Gunnersbury Baptist Church, Wellesley Road, Chiswick, London W4 4BE
Admission: Free
Drinks and refreshments provided. See here.
I found the unconnected poster above on what I think is a Muslim site.

Marcus Loane 1911-2009

This obituary article by Iain Murray appears in the new June Banner of Truth Magazine.
The wider evangelical world hardly knew that there was ‘a prince and a great man fallen this day’, when Marcus Lawrence Loane died on 14 April 2009. At ninety-seven, he had outlived so many of his colleagues, and was seldom seen in the public work of the churches in recent years. In one sense he belonged to an age that was past. With his main convictions formed before 1939, he was a representative of an evangelical, Protestant Anglicanism that today is too largely a matter of history. It may be doubted if any archbishops remain in the world who commend the beliefs and witness of the Puritans as he did. Born in Tasmania, 14 October 1911, Loane studied at the University of Sydney and Moore Theological College before his ordination in 1935. He looked back with thankfulness to the preachers who were his examples in that period. They included the Rev. George Mackay of the Free Church of Scotland who, as a visitor from the Scottish Highlands, spent twelve months preaching in St George’s, Sydney, in 1929.

I was so impressed by the preacher that I began to attend regularly. Mr Mackay took a personal interest in me, encouraged me in my studies, and made no secret of his hopes that I would eventually be ordained. I will never forget the sense of awe, the deep reverence, and the solemnity of his preaching. His ministry left a lasting mark on my life.
Another of Loane’s early guides was the Rev. D. J. Knox, rector of a Sydney parish, whose daughter Patricia he married in December 1937 — ‘The greatest prize I ever won was the heart of the noblest girl I ever knew.’ The next month they sailed for Britain, where he served at Edgware and St Thomas’s, Edinburgh. This formed life-long contacts with the ‘mother-country’ and with such friends as Dr Douglas Johnson of the Inter-Varsity-Fellowship.
In 1939, at the age of 27, Marcus Loane became Vice-Principal of Moore College, which work was to be interrupted by war service as a chaplain in the armed forces in Papua New Guinea from 1942-1944. In 1954 he became Principal of Moore College, and in 1958 was consecrated as a bishop. He would enjoy repeating the words of a non-Anglican minister to him on the latter event, ‘Congratulations on becoming what some of us have long been.’ It was in the year 1959, when the leadership at Moore College passed to his brother-in-law, David Broughton Knox, that Sydney was stirred by the preaching of Dr Billy Graham. Bishop Loane took a leading part in that campaign and made it the subject of one of his early books. In 1966 he became the first Australian-born Archbishop of Sydney and Primate of Australia from 1978-1982. He was knighted in 1975.
The termination of public office for Sir Marcus did not mean ‘retirement’. What was first for him he expressed in the sentence, ‘I trust that the Lord who began a good work in me will continue it until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ On his eightieth birthday he added his approval to the words of Charles Simeon, ‘I seem to be so near the goal that I cannot but run with all my might.’ For many years after that date he remained active in writing, reading, encouraging, and corresponding. When, on occasions, he still preached he did not forget the rules he had long given to students, ‘Sermons must possess three essential elements: insight, logic, passion.’
Marcus Loane has left to us a large heritage of books. Three of them are currently in print from the Banner of Truth Trust – an organization with which he had cordial relations. They are Masters of the English Reformation, They Were Pilgrims, and Jesus Himself: the Story of the Resurrection. His Makers of Puritan History is currently being reprinted by the same publishers. In addition, the present writer values another 14 Loane titles on his shelves, and they do not constitute the total output.
Archbishop Loane has written on both English and Australian Anglican evangelicalism in the first half of the twentieth century. His works contain information invaluable for evangelical history, and his record challenges the idea that the best-known clergy of that period were weak ‘pietists’ who withdrew into corners. His narratives are always at their most inspirational when he is dealing with the evangelicals whose lives changed the direction of history. He wrote of such men Tyndale, Latimer, Bunyan, Baxter and Whitefield, not out of any longing for the past but from the conviction that the Christianity these men had would be admired and followed long after the trivial reading of the present is long forgotten. Those who did not understand him thought him too conservative – ‘his reading had not kept pace with the times’ – but it is in part from the influence of Loane’s books that a new generation is already arising. His vision was for the future, and he had faith in the promise, ‘Instead of your fathers will be your sons’ (Psa. 45:16).
Sir Marcus was a Christian of dignity and humility; firm and courageous; kind and courteous to all. When the frailties of age at last overtook him, his mind and memory remained as comprehensive as ever. Few who have known it can forget the hospitality of his home. For that
he would have been the first to point to Patricia, ‘My true fellow-pilgrim to that city whose builder and maker is God.’ It was only in the last weeks of life that home had to be left for hospital. Perhaps it was there that he thought for the last time of the words of the Australian evangelist, John Ridley, that he liked to quote:

‘No more sorrow’, Sing to me
By the shining of the crystal sea!
‘No more sorrow’, on that shore
Where the waves have lost their roar.

‘No more tears.’ All grief has fled!
No more weeping for the dead.
Former things will pass away
At the dawn of God’s great day
Sir Marcus is survived by Lady Loane. Billy Graham spoke of them both in 2008 as ‘two great servants of God’. There are four children, 17 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren, with another soon to be born.
Banner are soon to print his Makers of Puritan History.

A real blog

We are still committed to the idea of real blogging, which some of you certainly like. So, Wednesday, of course, was midweek meeting. I prepared during the day then slipped out in the afternoon to a nearby BUPA home where I speak from time to time. It is very difficult to make any impact as most of the residents are in quite a poor way. Anyway we try. The evening meeting was well attended (for us - that is in double figures). We have an Iranian in the congregation who is coming on Wednesdays now. He likes to pray in Farsi, which is difficult. I believe we should be able to say 'amen' so I ask him to summarise for us afterwards in English. We are learning the key words - Father, we thank you, etc. I don't want to stop him praying in Farsi as Islam will only allow Arabic and so if I say only English I seem similar. He had a friend with him this time and we hope to begin some Bible studies soon. We are going through Deuteronomy and this week we came to some of the most difficult couple of verses in the Bible (the law about a woman's hand being cut off - see Deuteronomy 25). I knew the visitor was likely to be there and so I could have left this out perhaps but I feel that we simply need to be honest. As it turned out going through Deuteronomy 24, 25 with people from the Middle East present gave things an interesting edge that would have been missing otherwise.
Thursday I was in the study for the morning then headed off, with Rhodri my son, to South Wales. En route we stopped off at a hotel near Heathrow where I'd arranged (through EP my publisher) to meet a man called Paul Butler, who is a producer for Moody Radio's magazine programme Prime Time America, which is syndicated across the USA. (His blog looks very interesting indeed). He was on his way to Uganda and wanted to interview me about two of my books, which I was glad to do. (He'd seen my video here). We found a corner in this nice hotel (it proved to be rather busy in the end) and he interviewed me on 'being born again' and on 'Proverbs'. I didn't enjoy the experience as I'm much happier in print where you can fiddle to your heart's content. When I speak. I tend to ramble a little. I'm also, on one hand, quite imprecise and, on the other, compensate sometimes by drowning my sentences in a heap of qualifications. Anyway hopefully he has enough material from the half hour to come up with two decent 8 minute pieces. We'll see. Rhodri and I then carried on our journey to Cwmbran where we were with the family for a few hours (more on that in a separate post). We were home around midnight.
Friday was set apart for more preparation for Sunday but I was quite tired and couldn't get much done. in the evening we had the regular clubs for children and young people. Numbers are up to around 15 (from 10) for the younger ones but down to under 20 (from 25) for the older ones. One of our deacons spoke (on the Pharisee and the tax collector). In the younger club they carried on with the mural they are doing and we played hockey in the hall. Gwion (just old enough for the older club) and Owain (only 8 but joined in fine) stayed with me as Eleri and Rhodri had gone to a meeting at the London Welsh School. The poet Ifor Ap Glyn was doing an evening for them. Ifor grew up in London and speaks English like a North Londoner. He has lived in North Wales for the last 20 years, however, and speaks Welsh like a gog. Eleri said it was an excellent evening with a good number present. She was in quite late so I put the boys to bed (for a change). Gwion was reading a Garfield book and so I read a book about sharks with Owain, learning that the whale shark is the biggest fish in the world and that (most) sharks must keep swimming or they'll die.

New Photo Series 20

Cola and Religion Kilburn (Double click to see)

Bloggy Special 40

Assembly 09 Next Week

I'm hoping to be at the Grace Assembly next week in High Leigh in Hertfordshire. There I'm expecting to meet at least two of these gentlemen with whom I enjoyed the recent outing to Bosworth Field. The irony of the shot of Phil and I in the stocks is that 350 years ago far from being a joke it was a reality for some Baptist ministers.

Interesting Video Link

Rhodri put this fascinating video up today here. Life's exciting.

My Brother Jake

My Brother Jake by Free

Best ofs 8

I first heard Free as a boy near the end of Junior School. We had this tradition of miming to songs for the Christmas party and one group chose to do All Right Now, which has a great riff but is rather aggressive for my liking. I later heard My Brother Jake, which another boy owned. I eventually persuaded him to sell it to me and for the last 20 years or so it has been my favourite song of all time. I'm not sure quite why. I've tried to analyse it and all I can come up with is that it builds and may be the mellotron is doing something subliminal.
I always wanted a copy of The Free Story LP but never got to own one. More recently I bought this best of CD of 14 tracks All Right Now. There is a certain sameness about several of the other tracks, which is not necessarily a criticism. I know little about the group but I always feel somehow that a more upbeat and vocally gifted Paul Rogers is singing to the guitarist Paul Kossoff (who eventually committed suicide) and trying to help him on. An attempted ordering of faves would be

1. My Brother Jake
2. All Right Now
3. Little Bit of Love
4. Wishing Well
5. Fire and Water
6. Travellin' in Style
7. Come Together in the Morning

Tea at the Ritz

One of several kind things the church did for us on my 25th anniversary was to arrange for us to have tea at the Palm Court in the Ritz Hotel near Green Park. It costs a ridiculous amount but for a once in a blue moon treat was wonderful and Eleri and I really enjoyed it. Everything is just so but not fussy or over the top. Just great. The fact this was the kindness of the church simply added to the occasion.
A lovely pianist played in the background. He managed Whiter Shade of Pale and a Beatles number among the more obvious tunes but didn't know Sylvia but promised to play it next time.
Afterwards we wandered through Burlington Arcade and then on to Trafalgar Square and the National Portrait Gallery, which was great too, as the sun shone and the rain kept away. St Martin in the fields looks very spruce after its clean up.

What's happening

Sunday was a good day. I preached from Mark 9 on cutting off hands and feet in the morning and from Hebrews 12 on the Lord's discipline in the evening. They were both very practical passages - one very challenging and one full of comfort. I think they were appreciated by the two congregations - the morning one around 50, the evening one more like 20. Easier to preach than to live I guess. We had tea together before the evening service and reviewed the year gone by (see previous post).

On Monday it was the meeting of the trustees of Grace Magazine. For various reasons we were rather thin on the ground but it was good to meet and seek to encourage the editor Stan Evers and those who assist him. it is an excellent magazine. I raised the issue of providing an online edition, which would be a great help, I believe. I hope something can be doe about that.

In the evening I was over at Cranford where the support group for the church planting work led by Robin Asgher were meeting. It was a good time. Some real progress is being made but there are still important decisions to be made in the near future.

Bill Bailey

Watched Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra. It's that high brow low brow mix that can be so funny. This Cockney William Tell was the highlight but the Docteur Qui was brilliant too as was the 70s US cop show and so much else. Genius.

Members Meeting 09

We had our annual church members meeting the other night. It was quite a small turn out and we chose a night when the Koreans were also meeting, which didn't help. However, there is always something to encourage us at these meetings. Small as we are, we are able to do something.
Current membership is 27 (soon to be 29). Two new ones joined (one by baptism, one by marriage) and two moved on. We were also encouraged to hear of two boys who grew up in the church being baptised this last year. We continue to mentor LTS students. As ever we continue to have a large and wide ranging number of visitors. There are also about 15 adults and as many as 20 children regularly in the congregation. One of these was tragically burnt out of his home nearby in the year losing everything. One of our member also had her door kicked down by the police in error. A former member was badly injured in a car crash in Nigeria. We pray for those coping with such tests. During the year Rhodri and Sibyl were engaged, of course. There were several babies – four to former members and one very recently to one of our deacons.
Of course last October marked my 25th anniversary as pastor, which was marked by a special weekend of thanksgiving. We've continued to meet Sunday and on Wednesday nights. The preaching has been from Deuteronomy, Ezekiel, Mark, Hebrews and elsewhere. There was a brief series on how to die well. Various visiting preachers have come when I've been preaching elsewhere. After church each Sunday morning there is a cuppa and we also have fellowship lunches and teas. At Christmas we always have a get together too.
Children’s work has continued on Fridays and Sundays. We recently had a Holiday Bible Club looking at Moses. We have also had several meetings for those 15 an older. There have also been one or two football matches.
We've regularly distributed tracts and in December distributed around 500 copies of the special Evangelical Times. I have also held meetings at old people's homes and we have had one or two international evenings. My book on Regeneration was also published and the one on Proverbs reprinted.
We regularly have clean-up mornings to try and keep the place tidy and in good repair. New gas fires were purchased for the parlour and kitchen and some work was completed on the caretaker’s flat and the manse. A major professional survey of our buildings has recently been completed and there will be more to do in the coming year.
For some time now we have given 17 ½% of our general fund to various outside causes. Altogether we must have given something like 10,000 pounds to overseas mission just this year. We seek also to support the LIP, Evangelical Library (I chair both committees), LTS, etc. There is also the regular preaching at Trafalgar Square. Some have been involved in outreach in Hyde Park and on Beach Missions and at various camps and conferences. So we press on.

New Photo Series 19

Gold Tudor Rose Bosworth

Strawbs Lay Down

Here's some good seventies pop by The Strawbs from TOTP2 (you know how he came by the words)

By still waters I lay down with the lambs
In pastures green I made peace with my soul
And I cared not for the night
While my guiding star shone bright
By still waters I lay down.

Lay down, I lay me down for my soul.

At the roadside I took toll of my times
In dirty streets I found peace for my soul
May the merciful be right, Are you ready for the night
At the roadside I lay down.

In deep sorrow I took flight with the sun
From mountains high I gained strength for my soul
I proved stronger than the test
When my spirit came to rest
In deep sorrow I lay down.

The undercover revolution

This cleverly titled little paperback from Iain Murray is an informative and apologetic piece in the Schaeffer mould in two parts.
The first and main part is fascinating. It looks, after a brief introduction, at Robert Louis Stevenson, then Thomas Hardy and then, more briefly, at more obvious and well known examples of anti-Christian writing in Shaw, Wells and Bertrand Russell. The second brief section is called 'Is Christianity fiction?' and is a more pedestrian attempt to promote the gospel. When a Christian writes about such figures one comes away with quite a different impression to that engendered by a humanist. A number of neglected or downplayed matters are highlighted and certain contradictions are exposed here.
The book is ony 95 pages and can easily be read in one or two sittings. Christians will find it interesting and it may be appropriate for certain unbelievers.

52 JC No 18

On unity (this is quoted in Iain Murray's new book when talking about Whitefeld)
For not all the articles of true doctrine are of the same sort. Some are so necessary to know that they should be certain and unquestioned by all men as the proper principles of religion. Such are: God is one, Christ is God and the Son of God; our salvation rests in God’s mercy; and the like. Among the churches there are other articles of doctrine disputed which still do not break the unity of faith. Suppose that one church believes – short of unbridled contention and opinionated stubbornness – that souls upon leaving bodies fly to heaven; while another, not daring to define the place, is convinced nevertheless that they live to the Lord. What churches would disagree on this one point? Here are the apostle’s words: “Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be of the same mind; and if you be differently minded in anything, God shall reveal this also to you” [Phil. 3:15]. Does this not sufficiently indicate that a difference of opinion over these nonessential matters should in no wise be the basis of schism among Christians? First and foremost, we should agree on all points. But since all men are somewhat beclouded with ignorance, either we must leave no church remaining, or we must condone delusion in those matters which can go unknown without harm to the sum of religion and without loss of salvation. But here I would not support even the slightest errors with the thought of fostering them through flattery and connivance. But I say we must not thoughtlessly forsake the church because of any petty dissensions.
Institutes 4.1.12

Wendover Woods

For Bank Holiday we drove west to Forestry Commission owned Wendover Woods in Buckinghamshire on the edge of the Chilterns. It was a bit wet at times but we were able to have a picnic lunch in an under cover area where we watched people on the zipwires in the Go Ape section. We then did one of the walks. You can see the chalk stones in the mud of the paths. We got a few glimpses of the Aylesbury Vale. Just under a mile there were activities to do every tenth of a mile (sit ups, lifts, chin ups, etc). I did it all to bronze standard except the chin ups - couldn't do the required number. Dewi felt unwell so stayed in the car. (Rhodri was packing for a trip to Paris the next day). Driving back we passed a village complete with fete and cricket on the green - very English. Back here the kids watched a film on TV Haunted Mansion - not very good. A very pleasant day.