Trip to Deptford – Heather & Rich

We were off to visit Heather and Rich, our friends who live in Deptford, in central London for dinner last night. We got to the station to find that there were no trains into London and that the bus replacement service would take an extra 90 minutes. We decided to drive, which in the end took a lot less time than the normal train journey, let alone with the engineering works, and cost a lot less money. Particularly with the use of sat nav it really was very easy – probably more easy than the changes at the various stations. It shows the way in which public transport in Britain is in need of a major overhaul.

Anyhow it was a great evening with lots of lovely food and wine, and some great catch up time. Looking forward to hosting them in our new house in a few weeks.

Miniature Earth

Hannah, my wife, has been doing some research for a humanities citizenship day or more at school and found this legendary website. The video statistics are fairly common, e.g. they are in a life-file in the youth bible etc., but it is the first time I had seen it as a video. It is something I will be using with my 14-16, and 16-18 year old youth groups in the next few weeks. Check it out.

David Cameron and the hoodies

Interesting article on the BBC about a 17 year old hoodie wearer who was snapped making gestures behind David Cameron. The young man said the gesture was just “messing about”. “He says he’s coming round to stop the crime and that, but what’s he doing? He’s not stopping us, is he?,” he said.

David Cameron’s spokesman said “this picture illustrates precisely the sort of problems of anti-social behaviour and the need for positive role models that David was talking about.”
Will be interesting to see where this goes?

School assembly planning

I do a primary school assembly at least every two weeks and one of the things we had noticed was the bizarre topics we were given. So I spent this morning with Paula, the Primary Schools Worker, coming up with a year template of assembly topics which we hope to develop and give out to schools to encourage them in their collective worship. We have had positive comments from a couple of schools who are interested to see what we develop.
What experiences has anyone else had in this area – do your schools give bizarre or good topics, do you have a plan that you encourage your local schools to work to.

Christian blogging

I can’t remember how but I took part in a survey by Mark Kelly from pastors.com on Christians who blog. The results were recently published here showing some key statistics:

Preferred Blogging Platform

  • 50.1% Blogger.com
  • 21.0% WordPress
  • 9.3% TypePad
  • 2.5% MySpace
  • 16.1% other/no answer

How Long They Have Been Blogging

  • 55.5% less than 1 year>>
  • 33.2% 1-6 months>>
  • 22.3% 7-12 months
  • 33.0% 1-2 years
  • 11.4% 3+ years

Post Frequency

  • 47.7% 1-10 posts per month
  • 22.1% 11-20 posts per month
  • 18.0% 21-30 posts per month
  • 9.0% 31-40 posts per month
  • 2.5% 41-50 posts per month
  • 0.8% no answer

Gender

  • 84.2% Male
  • 10.4% Female
  • 5.4% no answer

Age

  • 1.4% 18-20 years old
  • 24.3% 21-30 years old
  • 37.1% 31-40 years old
  • 21.0% 41-50 years old
  • 9.8% 51-60 years old
  • 2.2% 61+ years old
  • 4.4% no answer

Ministry Role

  • 34.9% Senior Pastors
  • 21.0% Associate Pastor/Minister
  • 18.3% Layperson/Church Member
  • 11.4% Church Staff
  • 14.4% other/no answer
One of the other results of the survey is a large blog roll of all 367 participants. As there are 367 participants I am not going to list them all but go and check them out here.

My beautiful office

My new office is nearly finished and looks amazing. I am absolutely thrilled with my new working environment. The gentleman in the church who has been doing a lot of the work on it finished this morning on the shelving and got my noticeboard, and whiteboard up. I look forward to many a happy hour in it!

Poor technology

I have just been at one of our local secondary schools helping with a drop-in lunch club we run. The club went really well and a few of my young people who come to our mid-week youth groups popped in with some other friends who I hadn’t met before so that was great.
Afterwards we went to test a DVD we wanted to show as part of an assembly on Monday morning linking with the stop the traffik campaign. The technician tried two different DVD players and couldn’t get either to work properly, let alone show my DVD, so the assembly topic has had to be changed to something else which doesn’t involve technology. Given the prices of DVD players these days it is frustrating when a school can’t find one to work properly.

Slavery in Britain and the BBC

Check out the BBC In Pictures section which has some pictures and stories relating to human trafficking in the UK. The pictures are by photographer Karen Robinson’s portraits and tales of women trafficked into prostitution explore the devastating impact it has had on their lives. Her pictures are on as Slave Britain: The 21st Century Trade in Human Lives and is exhibited at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, 21 February to 29 March 2007.

Very thought provoking but also helpful if you are doing some stuff on Stop the Traffik.

Body image

BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat and 1xtra’s TXU asked 25,000 people, mostly aged 17 to 34, how they felt about their bodies. They were some worrying trends:

Women

  • The survey found two thirds of those who are size 14 also thought they were overweight or fat, and a third of size 12s think they’re overweight or fat.
  • Despite all the debate about skinny models, less than one per cent of those surveyed said they were a size zero, UK size four.
  • Almost half of all girls say they’ve skipped a meal to try to lose a few pounds, while 8% had made themselves sick.
  • More than half of females said they’d consider plastic surgery, breast implants were most popular with women and liposuction’s popular with both sexes.
  • Half of women said they want to change a lot about their looks, while more than 10% “hated” what they looked like.
  • More than half of girls aged 12 to 16 felt that their body image either stops them from getting a boyfriend or from relaxing in a relationship.

Men

  • About 20% of those in their early 20s said that they have taken protein supplements in a bid to help themselves bulk up, compared with 11% of over 35s.
  • Far fewer men than women said they were on a diet right now: one in five guys in their early 20s said they’d done it, but less than one in 10 men are on a diet at the moment.
  • When asked to rate photos of differently shaped male bodies, almost 80% of men and 65% of women favoured a very muscular physique.