The Illusive Changingworship

They seek him here, they seek him there….

Many apologies for my apparent lack of presence on the blog for the past month.  I’ve got a note from my mum and this is what it says:

Dear internet,

Please excuse Robb’s absence in the last few weeks.  He had a very busy time with Christmas and then he went on holiday.  Since he has been back he has been back in the swing of things with the parishes he works with.  He has also been having all sorts of interesting conversations about some exciting projects in the future.

We’ve been really busy getting on with things.  During our holiday we decided that we would try to prioritise our time a bit better in the future and try to spend less time on trivial stuff.  One of the things we love is film and television but we’re trying to cut out the nonsense.  It’s one thing dedicating an hour to an episode of Game of Thrones but another watching Home and Away.

There has been a lot going on with Silverthorn under the surface.  With two members of the band having second children there has been less gigging going on but we’ve still been pushing on.  Whilst we were on holiday Ruth and I spent a couple of weeks writing new material for the band and learning some new material.  We’ve been looking at our web presence and should have a new site in the next week or two.  We’ve also been visiting a lot of new venues and sorting out a programme of gigs from Easter.  It’s all up on the facebook page for now.  Hopefully before then we will be able to get some recording done and release some songs.

We’ve also been having some good talks about future events with Metanoia and the Rock Mass.  There are a couple of possible big projects for later on in the year and we will let you know more when the details have been firmed up.  The main thing we’re hoping to do is write a new Eucharistic setting in the next couple of months.

Needless to say, it has all been very busy with Church and also the stuff we do in our spare time.  Hopefully we will have more to report soon.

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Rock Mass @ Biblefresh Wakefield – Thanks

From the “Paradise City” cam

Changing worship blogs are like busses.  You wait for over a week and then they all turn up at once.  I want to say a few words of thanks for the Rock Mass at Dewsbury Minster last Saturday night.

The event was great to be part of.  In the six years or so that we have been involved in this sort of worship event it has grown and grown.  To think that an idea I had for an MA essay would grow into this huge event is astonishing.  Previously we have been used to smaller local churches.  All told there were 355 communicants on Saturday night and countless numbers of others.  There was standing room only in the minster – for most of the people who were there!  Lots of people travelled great distance to be there (Liverpool, Nottingham, Newcastle and the Isle of Man!).  Several youth groups came along and many who have never been to church before came out of curiosity!

One of the great things about this experience has been collaborating with people.  The staff at Dewsbury Minster were exceptionally helpful, supportive, relaxed and groovy.  This was a great help because we were describing a concept that no one there had previously experienced.  Thanks to the many people who came from around the country to help set up – Newcastle seems to be a good location for summoning roadies!

The tech support for the service was brilliant.  A big thank you to Pete and Ken who both did an amazing job in exceptional circumstances.  As well as that I don’t particularly envy Julz at trashiitreasure who is currently editing down hours of footage from four cameras into a DVD.  Thanks for that!

The serving team with Revd Rach at the helm were brilliant.  Thank you for getting on with it without the need for too much direction.  Sorry you didn’t get to see the visuals.  Thanks to the Cathedral staff who stepped in at the last-minute when some of our plans fell through and provided some stunning vestments and a massive icon.  Thanks to Charity who preached a wonderfully cheeky and highly inspiring sermon about embracing the gifts of our young people.

As I say, one of the key things with this type of worship is collaboration.  Whilst I made many of the visual aspects of the service from scratch, some of this would not have been possible without Fr Simon Rundell.  He has been producing resources and making them open source for many years.  When one and a half hours of visual material is needed, this is an invaluable resource.  Thank you very much Fr.  Even though you were not present in the minster, some of your images were and for that we thank you!

My last vote of thanks goes to the band and especially my wife.  You guys worked really hard to put together the set and were professional throughout.  You guys also did a brilliant job of keeping me sane!!  ROCK ON!!

All of those who I have forgotten to mention, I apologise.  Thank you for all your hard work.

Rock Communion Methodist Stylee

I have just realised that in the business of the last two weeks I have forgotten to mention this!!  Burton Road Methodist Churchis holding a Rock Communion service in Lincoln.  Metanoia are going to be there two weeks on Sunday at 6pm.  Graeme, Ali, Ruth and I were all at college together with their minister, The Sten (The Reverend Sten?).  Perhaps I should call him Mark now.  He has invited us down to meet his community and assist with the proceedings.

Sorry I have been so remiss and forgotten to mention it.  I also promise that once the Rock Mass and the Rock Communion are done I will have time to sort Metanoia a decent web presence instead of just a Facebook page.

The News

It has been a week of strange experiences.  I mentioned in passing to our lovely local journalists that I was involved in a service at Dewsbury Minster called the “Rock Mass”.  Obviously we have done a few of these before but this time it seems to have legs.  Something to do with it being in a “Minster” and something about it being a “diocesan event”.  I talked with our lovely local journalist for a whole three minutes whilst she wrote everything down in short hand.

Last night I discovered that our paper had a massive pic of me in it and a half page article about the event.  I was a little shocked at how much it focussed on me (I’m shy).  For our local paper this makes sense as the Rock Mass isn’t happening here.  For the people who live here I am the curio.  The Dewsbury paper has a preview of the event in todays issue and it is very much about the event.

Yesterday, I received a phone call from the Dewsbury Reporter asking if they could do a photo shoot for the event.  Could I bring my motorbike down?

The next thing I knew, I was riding a Harley into the Minster and plonking it in the centre aisle.

That is a sentence I never thought I’d be writing!!  I’ll link you to the proper photo when it has been published.

Faith in Dialogue

We could do with more of this sort of thing.

Catholic comedian and writer Frank Skinner… chats candidly to Archbishop Rowan in what promises to be a fascinating and entertaining evening.

I wonder if I can get a ticket and head down. It promises to be highly entertaining!

Rock Mass @ Biblefresh Wakefield

The Rock Mass just got big!!  Time for ‘Metanoia’ to ROCK Dewsbury Minster!

Wakefield Diocese are having a huge celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Authorised Version of the bible called Biblefresh Wakefield.  There are all sorts of activities going on during the day.

In the evening we will be holding a Rock Mass.  It is ideal for bringing your yoof to.  It is also great for bringing your adults to.  Ancient sacramental worship with a rock band and everything you need for a rock concert.

If you are interested in coming or bringing a group, please join the facebook event and consider following @biblefreshwakey on twitter.

The Viral Bible Project

As part of the Biblefresh initiative to celebrate 400 years of the authorised version of the bible, the Viral Bible project was launched this week at Spring Harvest.

The Viral Bible Project has taken off with a roar at Spring Harvest Skegness, as the members of the Christian Motorcycle Association got ten new Bibles into circulation around the country. The Bibles will be passed on from hand to hand, linking friends and sharing Bible passages along the way.

Specially-customised NIV Bibles, donated by publishers, Hodder, will be randomly distributed at Christian festivals such as ROOTS, Keswick, New Wine, Summer Madness, Leading Edge and Soul Survivor during the spring and summer.

The happy recipients will be invited to enter their basic details and highlight a passage that has challenged or influenced them. They will log onto a dedicated website – www.viralbibleproject.com to place a ‘pin’ on a Googlemap, and then pass their Bible on – to go as far afield as possible.

It sounds like quite a fun way of engaging with the scriptures.  I wonder if someone will pass one on to me.