do you want to be part of something exciting ….

IMG_1662well you can

Please support us at Dekhomai this year
If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time you will know that as Dekhomai we attend the MBS fair at Olympia each year.

The stand is really expensive … and loads of other people charge amounts like £50 for ‘stuff’ … but at Dekhomai we offer everything we do …. listening, healing prayer, Jesus Deck and Ruach card readings, blessings ….. all for free ….. it’s God’s stuff anyway so how on earth could we charge!?

But …. we still need to pay the fee for the stand …. so if you donate on our just giving page here you can help us be there again this year

I’ve written lots over the years about the vibrancy and missional opportunity of this place … you can read one such post from a couple of years ago:

Just wow!
Today I have been amazed.
I shouldn’t be.
But I am.

Stunned that God can use some cards to speak powerfully into the lives of people.
Incredibly powerfully.
To real people.
read more here

Please … donate here so we can be part of this again


fitting in is over rated

CMS open daysI am really enjoying being on the CMS MA course for pioneers. I love the teaching we are engaged in, and I love being part of my year group who are all engaged in creative and amazing ways in God’s mission in their particular communities. I also love being part of this group that recognises we are all just human, good and bad at different stuff … and all united under a feeling, and a reality, that we don’t often feel we ‘fit in’. I feel I ‘fit’ with this group! But …as the title says …

I love the whole course … until it gets to this time of the year when the sun is shining and I need to knuckle down, read books and produce something. Assignments for this course are interesting and fun as well though … recently we had to carry out some ethnographic research and present our findings, and currently I am putting together an essay with a title that asks me to look at symbolism and myth in my choice of a film, novel or piece of art and consider how that might inform my understanding of mission. There were other great titles too like a discussion of whether Jesus needs to be culturally relevant to be understood.

I’ve gone with the film one as I love film and have been considering for quite a few years of the dialogue that occurs between theology/church/mission and film. If it is true that society now propagates myth through film rather than chatting around the fireside as Dr Telford suggests then I want to grapple with that, delve into that, and use what I gain from that in attempting to engage in my community in a relevant and transformative way.

Anyway … I’m not sharing that so you now what I am writing about …. I am sharing my enthusiasm for this course because it is an AMAZING course …. and if you are looking for a course to be really engaging, creative and challenging in a good way then I want to recommend this course to you. Another bonus is, as well, that the course is significantly cheaper than some MA’s out there. There are other pioneer courses with CMS too … check them out. 

You can see the prospectus here … ‘fitting in is overrated’ and there is an Open Day coming up on 21 May …. if you can’t make that this flyer gives more dates. be great to see you joining ….

a great day

DSC_0415I love days like today ….
a long day ….
full of a variety of things
where I am doing a lot of the  stuff I feel I am ok at and that energise me
rather than those draining things that no one likes to do …

The day started in school as I chatted to parents about baptism while on ‘gate duty’.
After having a cup of tea with a member of staff, I rushed off to our secondary school to take the Harvest service …
Did this little trick as part of my talk from my friends at Mission Magic:

It seemed some of the staff and students were pretty impressed as I had a lot of good feedback … and it was fun with a great Harvest message … bonus!

I then rushed to another school to have chat with a member of staff as well as do some self esteem work with a pupil …. before then popping home to prepare food for tonight’s Agapai.

As I knew we had new people coming tonight to Agapai I played safe and produced a vegetarian dish and sorted some stuff in the bread maker … and then I made it back to the secondary school for the prospective Year 7 Open Evening. Here I had some great conversations with current students, staff and prospective new parents.

Finally I got home after 7 in time to finish the meal for tonight Agapai and take the bread out of the bread maker! Tonight we had a great chat, we shared a little of our stories and passions … we had new people … and we ended by praying for each other before sharing some bread and wine with a few of the words from the Northumbria Community’s Eucharist liturgy.

I feel so flipping energised!
The day has flown by ….
… but I feel I have done some of the stuff I was created to do today
So today is a good day
Not perfect … as some things and some people are missing …
but a good day …. and tonight … I am content with that.

Tonight I will be finishing my day with tonight’s Northumbria Community Compline:

The peace of God
be over me to shelter me,
under me to uphold me,
about me to protect me,
behind me to direct me,
ever with me to save me.


where to start?

IMG_1615Living on the Peninsula can be fun and vibrant.
Homes are being built so quickly that every day I go on a prayer walk I see something new.
This is not because I have poor observation skills but due to the fact that new things are appearing every day.
In my walk today I counted 20 buildings that are now being built or are inhabited that were not present when I moved here 18 months ago.
In the next 18 months there will be at least another 20 and possibly the starting of a new tube station, designed by the amazing Calatrava.

In this setting I am attempting to work with others to build ‘church community’.
It’s a big challenge … but I came here because I like big challenges and it is what inspires me!
I am, though, looking for people to join me in building community and church here.
This feels like a repetitive post … but people come and go here very regularly …. so it is kind of admissible to ask the same thing every three to six months when anywhere between 20 and 50% of the community could have changed.
if you have just moved to the Peninsula, or know someone who has that may be interested, then please put us in touch with each other.

One thing I notice here that I have not encountered elsewhere is that generally people don’t seem to have ‘habits’ like they have in other communities.
By this I mean in other places if I went somewhere on a set day at a set time I would expect to see some of the same people on a regular basis. Not everyone would be in those laces every week or day, much a significant number of them would be.
In those other places this was how I made contact with people, developed relationships, and eventually made friends.

This community is different … and I have wondered a lot why this might be.
In a lot of other areas new development is built in already existing communities of people so that there is a mix of ‘established’ and ‘new’ people mixing in the community. Here, on the Peninsula, we only seem to have the new … buildings being built on what was once just open factory space … where there was once no community we are trying to establish community.

My question is … as it seems we are needing to start from scratch here …. is

How do people start to build community?
What is the actual spark that gets the fire of community flourishing?

It seems to be that people growing in already established community already have that fire and they work together to keep the flame burning. I wonder whether keeping the fire burning is easier that getting the flame started in the first place. Certainly I remember from camping and ‘survival’ days that we were always told t not let the fire go out once we had it stared.

Could that illustration be relevant here today?
I’d really like to hear from others ‘out there’ who are dealing with similar issues …

what is the spark of church community?

Holy Ground …

collectionToday I am pretty proud to be a resident of GMV.
The response to our collection was amazing … we have too many bags of clothes to fit in my car, which is a pretty awesome problem to have.
People responded to the social media adverts but at least 3 sets of people walked past us and returned home to get clothes to bring to us to be given to refugees. I will deliver these clothes to GRACE this week so that that can happen.

Today showed that the people who live here want to make a difference. I think it shows that people here are concerned about the plight of their fellow humans and particularly of those that have been forced to leave their homes.

A particularly touching moment was when a man walked past and wanted to make a donation because he had once been a refugee from Bosnia and remarked how welcomed he had been made to feel when he arrived. I guess I wondered if he would till receive that welcome today in what seems to be our broken in a attitude country?!

But … today was good, today inspired people and the few of us from HTGP that were ‘out there’ in the cold have been encouraged too.

Tonight I spoke on Transfiguration and took the tack of not allowing ourselves to box God in. I felt the message tonight was that we were supposed to help spread Holy Ground and get the message of love and care ‘out there’ where the people are. For a coupe of hours today I hope that we did that.

Summer talk

ibiza-religonAnother good day as I met up with my great friend Richard from ICS and other people to chat more about Ibiza.

You may remember I went to Ibiza last summer (when I took the pic!) for 5 days with Richard to look to see how we could engage with spiritual seekers and tourists who both live on and visit the island. When I say engage … in case you were wondering … I don’t mean try and convert …. I mean to be a catalyst with them as they seek to engage with the spiritual, the creator and life.

I’m seeing that quite often people see Christian ‘mission’ as trying to change how they act, or how they believe. While that may happen; my view of mission is that it is more to join in with God is already doing, to help people notice what is deeply going on inside them already … to help them some some sense maybe of what they are experiencing in the spiritual part of their lives …. and then allowing God and the person to work it all out. After all … if God is God … then God does not need me t convince people …. God just needs me to show up and be there for when needed!ibiza clubJPG.JPG

I simply want people to be aware that they are created in the image of God and seen as perfect by God … as they are … i.e. they do no need to change to be acceptable! Mini sermon done!

We chatted through some exciting ideas and possibilities for Ibiza today …. only possibilities and ideas at this stage …but I still hope to return to this beautiful place in the summer …. watch this space and we shall see.

pioneering peninsula

peninsula-place-calatrava-architecture-news_dezeen_2364_col_4So … following from yesterdays blog …. do you want an opportunity to be involved in something really quite exciting?

A question … how often do you have an opportunity to be involved in something new, particularly where faith is concerned? How often do you get a chance to be involved in birthing and creating and moulding a new way of being church in a  community that is ever changing, ever expanding, ever more diverse with incredibly exciting plans for it’s future like this … click here!

That’s the opportunity I have, and it’s one I would like to invite others to join me in.

We are looking to develop a missional contemplative christian community. As we develop we would serve the wider community in various, but relevant and as of yet unthought of, ways that we would come up with after listening and hearing what people around us say. This really would be living out gospel kingdom values in a  dynamic and loving way …. really being good news for all we come into contact with.

so ….

What we are seeking?

  • People who are  Christians and interested in birthing and participating in a missional fresh expression of church with a contemplative flavour on the Greenwich Peninsula
  • People who have, or have had in the past, a desire to focus more on contemplative and prayerful action within a Christian community and be willing to lead aspects of contextual worship, mission and community life on the Greenwich Peninsula.
  • People who can commit to a Sunday evening Contemplative Eucharist, gatherings afterwards at a local pub or the vicarage and a Wednesday evening community meal with sharing of our weekly stories, prayer for each other with sharing of bread and wine.
  • Where possible join in the prayer life of Holy Trinity, currently 730am Prayer & Pastry at the Vicarage.
  • People willing to develop a meditation group on the Greenwich Peninsula aimed at supporting those who would call themselves spiritual rather than religious people.



I feel quite excited by what we can do here
But I know we need more people …. does that include you or someone you know?
Please take time to consider ….

I’d love to hear from you …. please get in contact  via comments here or via our current website:





The Wasteful Extreme Obscene Extravagance of God

water-wineI’ve been thinking a lot about extravagance recently.
One reason being it has been a topic that HTGP has kind of been considering and the ‘elaborate’ title of my writing today is the title I gave my homily last night.
Another reason is that the world today seems to be changing and in major ways, with Brexit and Trump, becoming more scarce rather than extravagant in its attitude and acceptance of people.

Last night’s gospel reading was the story of the Wedding at Cana.
We contemplated why Jesus would do such a bizarre thing as his first ‘sign’ as John calls it.
Those of us in the church community who have been brought up to use resources wisely struggled with this idea of extravagance and the real possibility of waste. In this story alone we are talking of 180 gallons of wine. That’s 900 bottles open to the air in need of drinking. That’s some flipping party! I can’t believe it was all drunk. Some must have been wasted!

Elsewhere we see this same extravagance line in Jesus actions. When feeding the 5000 12 massive basketfuls were left. In a  hot climate fish and bread would not last long. I guess it was wasted and thrown away.

In the story of The Prodigal Son, the father rushes out to greet his ‘lost’ son; the son who minjae-lee-laptop-sleeves-blossom-desirehas been extravagant in a  wasteful way and thrown away his inheritance, rather than being condemned as one might expect, is then welcomed back in more extravagance by the father.

Moving away from Jesus we see Mary being extravagant, and again wasteful, as she pours a years wages worth of perfume over Jesus’ feet. A little bit would have done the job. Again, instead of being condemned, Jesus praises her for her actions.

As a staff team we have read and chatted about Archbishop Welby’s lent book ‘Dethroning Mammon‘. Archbishop Welby writes ‘abundance exists to be given freely and openly’. He alludes to various incidences when God is extravagant and suggests we are called to mirror that.

I’ve been brought up to believe extravagance is wrong.
I grew up with a mother who worked hard in minimum wage jobs who saved and protected her money. I think this then led to her being over-protective but that is a separate issue. It’s hard to change a mindset of a life time.

To have an extravagant outlook I guess we need to sit quite lightly to feelings of ownership. If as Christians we believe all is a gift from God and all is Gods then at best we are only stewards and loan holders of God’s stuff for a limited amount of time. This should mean we do not get too attached to ‘stuff’. But …. we do!

One question Welby asked in his book was ‘what is your most expensive possession and would you give it away’. For me that would be ‘my’ house. Could I give that away? No is probably the honest answer! I wish I could say differently … and one day maybe I could be that extravagant … I decided with other things like my apple, or Max the mini that I could give them away if needed. It would be hard, but I could…. or I like to think I could.

But is this extravagance that seems to be pouring out of the bible only to do with money and possessions? I think sometimes it is really easy to make a donation, or give a gift. To be extravagant with time can be a real challenge. To be extravagant in our attitudes is a bigger challenge.

If we extravagant in our outlook then we have an attitude of welcome, a mindset of acceptance and a practice of love. In a world that seems to have changed to significantly in the last 6 months I believe that is what people need to experience. In this world where fear is bubbling and hate is thriving people need to hear the gospel message of extravagance …. a message that lavishes abundantly on me …. and on you …… and on everyone else too!

Whether we think we deserve it is immaterial …. God lavishes it anyway
Whether we think ‘they’ deserve it is immaterial … God lavished it anyway
Whether we think ‘what a waste’ is immaterial … God lavishes it anyway

Surely this is Christian mission …. to be extravagant in our welcome, in our love, and in our acceptance.


new notes …

img_1179One of the challenges I set myself a few months was to learn a new skill.

I was finding all I was doing was working or thinking about work and, in my experience, when that is all you do you soon start to become dry and find it difficult to vision or be creative.

I have always wanted to learn to play the sax. I was told by my mum years ago that I was not musical (after singing quite well in a  choir at school) and so for years, simply years, I have believed I could not do anything musical.

At the cathedral I used to panic about having to sing the sarsum corda but had wonderful patient people around me who helped and told me I could sing it ok.

For an ‘unmusical person’ I have always loved music … so a few month ago I borrowed a sax from a  friend and started to have lessons. I found I progressed ok (much better than I expected) so I now have my own sax and I am learning … slowly … but still learning to play some tunes. I have a great and patient teacher that I see every other week or thereabouts and I am having a lot of fun.

The result of learning a new skill, something totally out of my comfort zone, is that it has reminded me, or maybe it has re-taught me, that learning something fresh can be incredibly alien. For someone that doesn’t read music too well coordinating breathing, reading and finger movements to get tunes that sounds like tunes can be awkward. I look at Jason (cool sax teacher) and marvel at how he can play anything he chooses with seemingly little effort. And …. when it all works together for me, on those odd ocassions, and the sax just purrs a tune the feeling of understanding, resonace, achievement and excitement are pretty powerful.

My learning of the when and how to breathe while playing, what notes to play, how loud or soft to play them seems to be an apt illustration for me of how we support people who are seeking to connect with their God. It can be awkward, alien, uncomfortable and hard work …. the encouragements for me while learning to play have been those moments of resonance between myself and Betty (everyone has to make their saxophone …. don’t they?!), those moments when the sound has been great and I have felt ‘connected’.

In a time and culture when people feel ‘connected’ through technology yet in reality are possibly the most disconnected and reclusive we have been for centuries the question to ask, in my mind, is how to we aid this connection?
How do we support people as they walk the journey to that point of resonance?
What can we do, if anything, to either encourage or discourage that resonance of one-ness?

So … some questions … never said I had answers … but questions are always more fun to deal with than answers ….

what we are seeking …

seek-copy2017 is here ….
So … what is happening here in the pioneering peninsula of Greenwich … 

I am looking ….
I am praying …
I am waiting ….
for people
for people to join me
for people to join us
for people to get together to
to birth something new here
something intentionally spiritual
something deliberately communal
something that will make a difference
something that is new ‘cos there is no blueprint
something that will grow and develop as we grow and develop
something that needs to be moulded by whoever joins the journey

church …. yes
religiously set ways of dong things … no
collaborative, creative, meaningful … yes
having to believe ‘right’ things and behave in ‘certain ways’ … no
believing there is only one way to do things … NO!
Jesus gospel trinity based … yes
affirming and encouraging … yes
contemplative Christian community … very possibly yes

Does that sound interesting to you?
Do you live within reach of North Greenwich …. read on a little more …

What we are seeking?

  • People who are established Christians and interested in birthing and participating in a missional fresh expression of church with a contemplative flavour on the Greenwich Peninsula
  • People who have, or have had in the past, a desire to focus more on contemplative and prayerful action within a Christian community and be willing to lead aspects of contextual worship, mission and community life on the Greenwich Peninsula.
  • People who can commit to a Sunday evening Contemplative Eucharist, gatherings afterwards at a local pub or the vicarage and a Wednesday evening community meal with sharing of our weekly stories, prayer for each other with sharing of bread and wine.
  • Where possibly join in the prayer life of Holy Trinity, currently 730am Prayer & Pastry at the Vicarage.
  • People willing to develop a meditation group on the Greenwich Peninsula aimed at supporting those who would call themselves spiritual rather than religious people.


I’d love to hear from you …. please get in contact  via comments here or via our current website:

I think this is exciting … how often do we get a chance to develop and create and mould something new …. something that we hope will be of use not to us bit to those around yes as well … a blessing for us so that we can be a blessing for others … so … get in touch if remotely or only vaguely interested …