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Snowball fighting, in church

You may not realise it – such it the effect of Christmas on our regular weekly routines – that today is Friday. Blog day. Mind you Christmas brings with it its own routines with the result that Christmases tend to merge together in our memories. So how will I remember this particular Christmas? What was most distinctive (so far)? The answer has to be the snowball fight, the snowball fight in church. Each church tends to observe Christmas Day in different ways: for some it is a major service, for others the major services have already taken place, as is the case for our own church. However, there is a Christmas morning service at our mission church in Smithy Lane. A simple buil

Mangers, of course, are dangerous

Mangers, of course, are dangerous. I learnt this a few years back when I asked one of our local farmers for the loan of a manger in order to give a touch of realism to our nativity. “Yes, of course” and he delivered a manger to the church, a large iron manger. “Thank you – but do you have a wooden one?” “You don’t have mangers made of wood,” he explained patiently. “They’re illegal.” Yes, you guessed it – health and safety. But for good reason – the wood harbours dangerous bacteria, most menacingly MTB which causes tuberculosis both to cattle and to humans. So Luke tells us: “She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for

When stuck in our bubble.

Late start this morning. Our country may be experiencing a seismic shift but a granddaughter’s school nativity play always has the priority. And as ever, it’s one surprise after another - the angel Gabriel, manger, shepherds and then out of nowhere, the three kings. Life is full of surprises. Certainly last night’s exit poll came – it would seem – as a huge surprise to nearly everyone, however they may have voted. So much so that I immediately went online to see how accurate such polls usually are. And as we now know, the exit poll got the result more or less right. Out of interest, I then looked at the Twitter feed to see people’s reactions - #exitpoll. Nearly all the tweets w

When to pull the plug.

This morning I shall be nervously standing by the phone. You may laugh, but it seems that my lifetime ambition to be the player-manager for Everton FC may still be realised. You may have read this morning that finally, after the 5-2 humiliation at the expense of our Stanley Park neighbours, manager Marco Silva has been sacked. Now we are seeking to appoint our fourth permanent manager since Roberto Martinez was sacked in May 2016. It can’t be easy being a manager of a Premier league football club, I realise that. Silva won only 24 of his 60 games. Maybe his greatest hour was when we beat the Austrian side ATV Irdning in a pre-season match. I’ll settle for 22-0 anytime. For the s

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