#iqtank Christmas Present Ordinary People – Ordinary Places – Extraordinary Story

21 11 2011

I’ve asked Rob Wylie to write a guest post this week for #iqtank and as a reminder to what vfxhanley did last year. Rob is a pioneer in the North East and an all round good bloke! Enjoy!!!


Last year I heard VFXhanley talk about a Christmas photo project that he put together. You can read about it here. This got me and a local Methodist minister thinking about whether we could do something similar here in the North East. They did it slightly different to us in that their images were in 3D and they had them up in one place, but other than that it’s basically the same idea.

We have taken a series of photos of local people, in local settings from the North East, who take on the persona of some of the key characters in the traditional nativity story. Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, the Magi, angels, shepherds etc. We will be placing these pictures in public spaces for people to view, and we have agreed to have some put up in our local Costa Coffee in Whitley Bay and other local cafes/bars. Then, in the final week before Christmas, we are putting all the photos together in one place for people to view. The pictures will be on display from the first week in December in various places and they will also be able to be seen in the weeks to come on my blog

Alongside this, we got together with a few creative folk to put some worship material together that will be used around a different image on each Sunday through Advent. Also over the four weeks in advent I will be posting something each week which relates to one of the pictures we have taken.

The idea behind this is about engaging our local community with the traditional Christmas story, it’s also about putting the nativity story in a modern context and I suppose asks a challenging question about what do we do with the traditional story that God came to earth as a small vulnerable baby. Why not, as you view the pictures, ask these questions

Is Christmas present for you?

What is Christmas wrapped up in for you?


EXPO CHURCH flier – 14th June 2011

5 06 2011

Click here for an Expo Church flier

hope you can make it!

For now

29 06 2010

I’ve decided to pause on the blogging till after the summer. Partly, because I’ve got a very hectic summer coming up; I’m working in Ghana, taking a wedding in Ireland, speaking at Greenbelt and moving house!!! But also because I have so much going on in my head that I’m struggling to crystallise it in written form (a common problem for a dyslexic!). So I’ve decided to give myself July and August off and return in September.

Have a good summer!

To let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own intelligence, and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity…. not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it comes only to the patient, who are there as though eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide.

From Rilke, Rainer Maria and Herter Norton M.D. (trs) (1954) Letters to a Young Poet

Prophetic Voices!

1 03 2010

It was my first day ‘in the office’ today and I decided I ought to begin it with prayer. However, it didn’t quite work!! First I had to learn an alarm code and have 7 (yes 7!) keys cut in order that I can get into my new office. Once that had been done (and a sneaky coffee in Costa) I then had to find a way of furnishing my new office. The problem, of course, is who pays? And if we can even establish that – how do they pay for it? After a morning of sorting that out (but still no furniture!) I felt the need for prayer!!

I decided to go to one of my old haunts The Beacon House of Prayer. There were 10 of us in the meeting which began as it usually does with singing and then led into prayer for the City. Towards the end of the hour they began to pray for me. There was a time when I couldn’t really cope with that sort of stuff. Being a true liberal I didn’t really go in for that charismatic-laying-of-hands malarkey. But as a true Post-Liberal I want to keep my options open, and more than that, I know that these guys had a real passion for the kingdom and a genuine love for me.

As they prayed I felt ‘anointed’ a real sense of God’s power and presence. Not in some namby pamby kinda way, but a real sense of Otherness, a sense of something greater and beyond me and, strangely enough, a confirmation of who I was. As they were praying a few of them had words from God about me. I’m still not sure what I think about this – but …. in for a penny ….

These were some of the words that were received: someone felt that God was offering me a blank scroll, another saw me as David about to take on Goliath with ‘limited resources’ but with ‘the heart of a warrior’ and the confirmation of God. Then, as were leaving, a lady came to me and said that as we were praying she had a vision of a field of mushrooms!

Not sure what that’s all about … but let’s see ….

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