Archive for June, 2011

Soul of the Beloved

June 30, 2011
Soul of the Beloved

Soul of the Beloved

I belong to the soul of the Beloved. — Rumi

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George Abbot’s Guildford

June 29, 2011
George Abbot

George Abbot

George Abbot (1562-1633), Archbishop of Canterbury, contributor to the King James Bible, founder of Abbot’s Hospital (an almshouse top end of Guildford High Street opposite Holy Trinity Church) was born and grew up in Guildford where he attended the Royal Grammar School. His father was a local cloth maker.

Maurice Abbot, father of George Abbot, was a clothier (weaver of cloth) from Suffolk, a wealthy local merchant who with fellow clothiers controlled the local wool trade. He was one of the Approved Men who with the Mayor ran the borough. He was married to Alice and they had six sons. The family lived in a house by the River Wey beside the Medieval bridge. The house was demolished in the 1950s and the site is now a public car park between the river and the George Abbot pub.

The Medieval bridge was used by foot passengers, animals and carts used the ford. The medieval bridge no longer exists, was destroyed in a flood. Similar bridges may still be found upstream. The ford can still be seen alongside the current bridge.

When Alice, mother of George, was in child with George she had a dream that if she caught and ate a pike he would be a man of some importance. Robert became Bishop of Salisbury. Maurice named after his father was a wealthy merchant in London, a London Alderman.

Guildford c 1600 was a town of some note, three churches, a friary and a castle. Houses lined the High Street, their large gardens ran back to the town ditch which was the border of the borough. The gardens were used for growing crops and keeping animals. Later cottages for rent were built to house the growing population. It was important to live in a borough as more freedom to trade than if one lived outside in a village. Many of the houses had a medieval undercroft.

Many of the side streets and alleys had the name gate. Why? Could there have been a gate across the entrance?

The Scandinavian gaten is the Scandinavian word for street. Many of the medieval streets in Lincoln end in -gate, for example Flaxengate, Clasketgate. The same can be found in York. This was a corruption of the Scandinavian for street not because they led to a gate in the city wall. But Guildford is too far south to have had a Viking influence. On the other hand, maybe a hint of a hitherto unknown Viking influence?

George Abbot attended the Royal Grammar School, a free school, where he learnt Latin. He then went on to Oxford.

George Abbot was a member of the Oxford group, one of six groups requested by James I to produce what we now know as the King James Bible. George Abbot translated the four Gospels and the Book of Revelations.

Abbot’s Hospital was founded by George Abbot in 1619 for twenty old people of Guildford who have fallen on hard times. He had originally wished to do something to improve trade in Guildford as that would have helped more people. [see George Abbot and Abbot’s Hospital]

George Abbot is entombed in Holy Trinity Church.

Based on a talk given at St Mary’s Church by Mary Alexander (church warden and curator of Guildford Museum) drawing upon material from the local archives. Part of the celebrations in Guildford to mark 400 years of the King James’ Bible.

It is a pity that Mary Alexander who gave the talk on George Abbot did not see fit to mention Bible-in-a-room that was taking place at St Mary’s the following week or that Catherine Ferguson was giving a talk on the King James Bible. For her own talk there was no notice or mention on the church noticeboard, not even a notice pinned to the church door. One gets the impression that talks are part of a secret society for only those in the know.

Guildford Museum has a George Abbot exhibition running all summer. Guildford House has a contemporary George Abbot exhibition. Holy Trinity Church is maintaining a Bible Journal.

Creative Arts @ Costa, a celebration of music, word and the visual arts, takes place at Costa in Swan Lane in Guildford on the first Tuesday of the month (same day as the farmers market). The next event is Tuesday evening 5 July 2011. There will be no events in August and September. Swan Lane is the narrow lane that runs between the High Street and North Street at the lower end of the High Street. With Eden People, a Christian collective.

The Keystone Spirit is a regular meeting of Eden People at The Keystone Pub (3 Portsmouth Road, Guildford, GU2 4BL).

The Bible in Voice and Verse, a celebration of the King James’ Bible. St John’s, Stoke Road, Guildford. 7.45pm Thursday 14 July 2011.

Cultural Day. New Testament Church of God. 2-6pm Sunday 6 August 2011.

The Gates of Hell

June 28, 2011
gates of hell

gates of hell

The gates of hell are locked on the inside. — C S Lewis

Also see

Love Wins

Flower Festival at St Mark’s

June 28, 2011
Flower Festival at St Mark's

Flower Festival at St Mark's

I had a sneak preview a couple of days before. I was on my way out, the heavens opened and it poured down with rain. I took shelter in the church and helped out.

A woodland glade, a sacred grove? The Flower Festival St Mark’s was all of these and more. Different areas, different themes. The altar an RAF theme.

Ancient churches are not sacred places because a church authority has said so. They occupy sacred sites, from when Man knew how to communicate with the Soul of the World, long before Christianity arrived. Some still do know how to communicate with the Soul of the World.

From Old Sarum it is possible to look over Salisbury. It came to the Bishop in a dream where to locate Salisbury Cathedral. Stand at Old Sarum, look at Salisbury Cathedral and you will see the Cathedral spire lines up with a notch on the hillside the other side of the valley. The notch is an ancient trackway. It is like looking down the sight of a rifle. You are looking along a ley line.

The prophets spoke of an age to come. In that age we are restored to our role as Custodians of Gaia. [see Love Wins]

Our ancient cathedrals, for example Lincoln Cathedral, were an attempt to recreate the wonders of creation. The stonemason crafted wonders out of stone, often hidden away in nooks and crannies, but seen by God.

Sunday afternoon the Chase Singers gave a choral performance, but for me a sad disappointment compared with Simple Singers, a Danish choral group, who sang a month earlier in May in Holy Trinity in Guildford.

Excellent cakes!

A special thanks to Marie and her helpers for all their hard work.

I donated to the church library The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho.

I also gave out a few prayer and meditation cards I had obtained from Eden People.

Synchronicity: Whilst helping out a couple of days before, I mentioned to a lady who I was helping a sermon I had received from Desmond Tutu a few years ago. The next day I checked my e-mail and to my surprise found I had an e-mail from Desmond Tutu seeking help on Palestine. The first time I had heard from him other than the occasion I mentioned to the lady who I helped with the flower arranging! The first (and probably only) book I borrowed from the church library many years ago was by Desmond Tutu.

St Mark’s is a red-brick Victorian church in Farnborough. The Flower Festival was part of the 130 years celebrations.

George Abbott’s Guildford. A talk by Mary Alexander at St Mary’s Church in Guildford. George Abbott was a former Archbishop of Canterbury, a contributor to the King James’ Bible. 7-30pm Tuesday evening 28 June 2011.

Creative Arts @ Costa, a celebration of music, word and the visual arts, takes place at Costa in Swan Lane in Guildford on the first Tuesday of the month (same day as the farmers market). The next event is Tuesday evening 5 July 2011. There will be no events in August and September. Swan Lane is the narrow lane that runs between the High Street and North Street at the lower end of the High Street. With Eden People, a Christian collective.

The Keystone Spirit is a regular meeting of Eden People at The Keystone Pub (3 Portsmouth Road, Guildford, GU2 4BL).

The Bible in Voice and Verse, a celebration of the King James’ Bible. St John’s, Stoke Road, Guildford. 7.45pm Thursday 14 July 2011.

Cultural Day. New Testament Church of God. 2-6pm Sunday 6 August 2011.

Eucharist: Feast of Mary and Elizabeth
GK’s Funky People at St Mark’s
Christmas Tree Festival at St Mark’s
Victorian Christmas Carol Concert St Mark’s
Christingle at St Mark’s

Jimmy Cliff – We Don’t Want Another Vietnam in Afghanistan

June 25, 2011

Jimmy Cliff at Glastonbury 2011 singing We Don’t Want Another Vietnam in Afghanistan.

Bono Pay Your Tax!

June 25, 2011
Chumbawamba headlining today at Glastonbury on the Tripod Stage! Great T-shirts!

Chumbawamba headlining today at Glastonbury on the Tripod Stage! Great T-shirts!

They have watchtowers built into the Glastonbury fence, seemed oddly familiar. — Mark Thomas

I’m all for protests. I’ve been protesting all of my life. I’m glad they got the chance to have their say. But, as it happens, what they’re protesting about is wrong. — Bono

Bono likes to pontificate on the world stage on Third World issues. Nothing wrong with that, he highlights real issues. But that does not excuse him from paying his taxes.

Last night at Glastonbury, ArtUncut pulled a stunt which highlighted his failure to pay his tax.

Campaigner Charlie Dewar said:

U2’s multi million-euro tax dodge is depriving the Irish people at a time when they desperately need income to offset the Irish government’s savage austerity programme.

Tax nestling in the band’s bank account should be helping to keep open the hospitals, schools and libraries that are closing all over Ireland.

Bono is well-known for his anti-poverty campaigning but Art Uncut is accusing him of hypocrisy.

Glastonbury security thugs were not amused. They pounced!

Bono was not amused. Bono criticised the tax protesters for “using large music events to raise awareness of political movements is tacky and opportunistic.”

Erm. Is this not what Bono does? Is this not the pot calling the kettle black?

Shame on the BBC who edited the incident out of their Glastonbury coverage.

Top story in Bono Daily (Saturday 25 June 2011).

Violent scenes break out in the crowd at U2’s long-awaited Glastonbury debut
‘Heavy handed’ Glastonbury guards break up U2 protest
U2 tax protest turns violent

Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Palestine

June 25, 2011

Archbishop Desmond Tutu knows apartheid when he sees it.

I have visited the occupied Palestinian territories and have witnessed the humiliation of Palestinians at Israeli military checkpoints: the inhumanity that won’t let ambulances reach the injured, farmers tend their land or children attend school.

This treatment is familiar to me and the many black South Africans who were corralled and harassed by the security forces of the apartheid government.

In South Africa, we could not have achieved our freedom without the help of people around the world, and musicians were central to our struggle. Through music and art we speak to a common humanity, one which transcends political and economic interests.

For this I am proud to support Freedom for Palestine by OneWorld. I urge everyone to buy the single and spread its message.

Archbishop Tutu endorses ‘Freedom for Palestine’ single by OneWorld! Have you got your copy yet?

Please support occupied Palestine by buying Zaytoun fairtrade fairtrade olive oil.

Jesus did not actively try to remove the Roman occupiers from Palestine, but neither did he aid and abet them.

If your local church hosts Card Aid, allows the sale of Israeli so-called Peace Oil, please seek removal. [also see Peace Oil or taking the piss?]

Synchronicity: I took refuge in St Mark’s Church a couple of days ago. They were preparing for their Flower Festival which takes place this weekend, including a choral perfomance on Sunday afternoon. Talking to a lady I mentioned a sermon I had received from Desmond Tutu a few years ago. The following day he sent me an e-mail on Palestine!

Israeli Apartheid – A talk by Ben White

Cooking the perfect steak

June 24, 2011

Jamie Oliver on how to cook the perfect steak.

Thanks Jamie!

Serengeti Highway cancelled

June 24, 2011
Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park

The State Party confirms that the proposed road will not dissect the Serengeti National Park and therefore will not affect the migration and conservation values of the Property. — Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism

The proposed Serengeti Highway has been cancelled. The government in Tanzania has backed down under intense international pressure.

Had the disastrous highway gone ahead it would have cut across the Serengeti Park blocking a major migration route for wildebeest.

Serengeti Watch:

A battle has been won, but the struggle to save the Serengeti goes on. Roads will still be constructed up to the edges of the park. The pressures on the Serengeti, including a commercial corridor to Uganda, still exist. The highway across the Serengeti has been proposed three times now, and can be raised again. But yes, let’s congratulate ourselves on the work we’ve done.

And the function of the highway? To aid the rape and pillage of Africa’s resources by the Chinese.

Serengeti road scrapped over wildlife concerns
Serengeti road cancelled
Victory for environmentalists as Serengeti highway plans are axed
Tanzania’s Proposed Serengeti Highway Threatens Greatest Wildlife Migration on Earth

Canon Andrew White awarded International First Freedom Award

June 24, 2011
Canon Andrew White - Photo Reuters/Oleg Popov

Canon Andrew White - Photo Reuters/Oleg Popov

To be considered a worthy recipient and to stand alongside such venerable past beneficiaries – me, a priest in downtown Baghdad – is just a wonderful honor. — Canon Andrew White

Canon Andrew White has been named as this year’s recipient of the prestigious International First Freedom Award for his extraordinary commitment to peace-keeping and religious freedom in Iraq.

The award was announced by the First Freedom Center, an American institute that seeks to advance freedom of religion and conscience.

President of the center Ambassador Randolph Bell said:

“We are proud to name Canon White the winner of the International First Freedom Award. This prestigious award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the advancement of religious freedom – the freedom of conscience.

“The judging committee unanimously selected him because of all he has done to advance religious freedom; his longstanding and highly effective commitment to this fundamental human right.”

Canon White will be presented with the award in Virginia in January 2012.

Anglican Priest Given Prestigious Religious Freedom Award
‘Vicar of Baghdad’ Receives Religious Freedom Award