<-- Google Analytics START --> <-- Google Analytics END -->

john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Thursday, August 30, 2007
    I'm walking the M62
    I'm resting this website while I'm on the road.
    Check the latest at my Walking the M62 blog.

    Wednesday, August 29, 2007
    Heaven in Ordinary - the talk and the walk
    My Heaven in Ordinary talk from a good Greenbelt weeked: text here; recording (CD or MP3) here.
    And my Cheltenham town pilgrimage: notes here.
    Thursday, August 23, 2007
    A response to the shooting of Rhys Jones
    My, inadequate but tangible, response to the shooting of Rhys Jones in Croxteth Park: to sign up to the Control Arms campaign. Squeeze gun crime at source - stop the manufacture and sale of small arms.
    Wednesday, August 22, 2007
    The Secret Life of the Motorway
    BBC Four is excelling itself with The Secret Life of the Motorway, an excellent piece of social documentary. Martin Parr reads out what people wrote on the back of their postcards sent from Forton Services in the early 1960s (when motorways themselves were tourist attractions); Will Self ruminates on how motorways might become our age's equivalent of megalithic remains: to future peoples, the only visible signs left in the landscape of our civilisation and its concerns. No Iain Sinclar or J.G. Ballard (as yet, two programmes in from three) but a host of other fascinating contributors. What better way to prepare for my M62 adventure.
    Tuesday, August 21, 2007
    West Derby Pilgrimage in Coracle
    More reading material for a summer's day - a Coracle article describing our Easter Saturday West Derby Pilgrimage: [pdf] [Flickr photoset]
    Monday, August 20, 2007
    Wise Traveller
    Wise Traveller launches at Greenbelt. Three books for the Mind, Body, Spirit market. A bold step for publishers Scripture Union. There's a few bits of my stuff in there and I think they'll have me reading some of it over the weekend. Hopefully their website'll be fully up and running by then too.
    Sunday, August 19, 2007
    Iona week - God in the City

    Some material from the week-just-passed on Iona, where we looked at the theme God in the City...

    Introductory article from Coracle, [pdf]
    God of the sunlight prayer-poem, [pdf]
    Peter Barrett, Where's God?, [extract]
    Quotations from Walter Brueggemann, Michael Leunig and others relating to 'place', can be found in my material on Healing Places (a previous Iona retreat programme)
    Liturgy of Thursday evening's agape service, [pdf]
    Talk given at that service: Jacob's Luz becomes his Bethel

    Martin Wroe's Cough poem ("what are you like?') is available in The Sky's Window and this and his Noise poem are in When You Haven't Got a Prayer; A Journalist Talks to God
    Spend time relishing the riches of The Michael Leunig website.

    Chris Makin is keen to keep going our conversations about urban spirituality. Email me for his contact details. One way to help that happen would be for people to make use of the Pray for the City website. Check it out and consider joining the blogger community there.

    Add your photos of the week to the feeble three I've posted on the Flickr: Iona God in the City week 2007 group I've set up for that purpose (to become a group member just ask me for an invite).
    Thursday, August 09, 2007
    One for the road
    Catching sight of myself in the mirror this morning I noticed that in my Esc T-Shirt I look surprisingly trim. Found myself thinking 'Some t-shirts are bigger than others'; repeating this led me to improvise a song: 'Some t-shirts' mothers are bigger than other t-shirts' mothers...' Now it may have been a mirage or I may not have had my glasses on but this early-morning (half-nine) incident made me think that perhaps at last I'm half-unwound and nearly in the mood to benefit from a break. Off to Iona shortly. Then Greenbelt. After that, I shall be mostly blogging on my Walking the M62 site, as that's what I'll be doing.
    Wednesday, August 08, 2007
    Two cheers

    Delighted to read today a CAAT mailing giddy with the success of two major campaigns: the decision of medical educational publishers Reed Elsevier to pull out of its ownership of some of the world's major arms fairs, and the statement by Gordon Brown of his government's intention to close DESO, an arms marketing unit funded by public money. Gordon will also be getting a thank you letter from me.
    Tuesday, August 07, 2007
    In our hands
    Philosophy Football are promoting their new Bored by the Big 4 tshirts at the moment. I would have got one if they'd put 'Big' in quotation marks to question the concept of bigness. Clearly if stevie-g had retained the favoured shirt of his childhood through to his current playing days he'd be on less money but he'd be with a club which has the integrity to give its fans (and by extension, the people of Merseyside) some real power in what Keith Wyness describes probably correctly as 'the most significant [debate] in our great Club's 129-year history'.
    Monday, August 06, 2007
    A claim on a hole in the sky

    Cujus est solum, ejus est usque ad coelum et ad inferos ("Whoever owns the ground, it is his from the depths of the earth to the heights of the sky.")

    I had this legal dictum in mind as I passed the site of the old St John's House today, once officially the sickest building in Europe, and where I worked for five years suffering frequent colds because of the ventilation hotspots / icespots, and dodgy stomachs through the legionella traces in the water. No wonder they demolished it eventually; the only wonder was why it took them so long.

    I had this legal dictum in mind because Eyal Weizman quotes it at the front of his new book Hollow Land: Israel's Architecture of Occupation, an apt introduction to what looks like a great work of geopolitical investigation.

    But passing the place where St John's house once stood I got to wondering about who owns that air space now. I mean 'owns' in a more than legal sense; more in recognition of the way that when we worked there that space was 'ours', our conversations, our routines, our industry (our skiving and conniving), gave that space its 'air' (while the air conditioning system gave out its sickness).

    Rather like the spaces once occupied by people's homes in the recently-demolished tower blocks in our area, I think that these bits of sky freshly appearing above the rubble can't be neutral space. They may be clear now but while memory and spirit endure they'll never be empty. I suspect that the gulls gliding through there today still encounter an arena of voices spoken, loves requited and lost, toil, joys and tears. So ok, in law, the air space on the SJH site is now owned by the government's PFI 'partners'. But I think I and my ex-collegues have still got quite a claim on that hole in the sky over Merton Road, Bootle.
    Sunday, August 05, 2007
    A drift through the Whirlpool Galaxy in Manchester

    Bored in the City are here.
    Friday, August 03, 2007
    An extraordinary venue for a talk about the ordinary
    This is the stage Greenbelt are putting me on (Bank Holiday Sunday, 17.45). An extraordinary venue for a talk about the ordinary. I've spent the last couple of days away, preparing the talk. Now all I need is a waterproof / windproof folder to keep it in...