Durham Chronicles 5—Sing to Me an Evensong


It was a chilly but sunny Friday evening, and the Lincoln Singers had trundled up to Durham to do the weekend singing in the cathedral. First port of call--- evensong. Evensong is one of the great Anglican choral traditions. It's sort of like having Christmas Eve candlelight service all year round. Like any BCP service, it has certain elements--- an OT and a NT reading BUT no preaching, except by special exception (say a special festival day). The apostle's creed said and the Lord's Prayer … [Read more...]

Game of Thrones– The Second Season


Long running serials are difficult to sustain, episode after episode after episode. One way to avoid monotony of course is to have a plot so gargantuan, involving so many characters and sub-plots, that you avoid repetition altogether. What you do not avoid is your audience losing the ability to keep up with all the comings and goings and toings and froings, or in this case killings and thrillings.Game of Thrones is after all, a war flick. Its about multiple families fighting to be able to … [Read more...]

The Durham Chronicles– Part Four


Durham Cathedral is without argument the greatest Norman cathedral in all of Europe. One of it's most notable enduring and endearing features is of course it's bells.The bells ring the hours, the half hours, the quarter hours, and when you live in the shadow of the cathedral you hardly need a watch. The bells will tell you what time it is, and can be heard all around. But the bells are also used to call you to church, to the vast array of church services offered daily in an English … [Read more...]

The Pure in Heart— Murder Mystery 2 by Susan Hill


Murder mysteries are by definition, explorations of darkness, evil. After all, we are talking about murder here, not accidental death. And so necessarily the murder mystery novelist must do what few of us relish doing--- pull up the front door mat, and show us the unseen and obscene disgusting things that crawl around right under our noses, unnoticed.Hill is very good at such explorations and revelations, and yet maintains a ray of hope in her characters that are Christian, particularly Cat … [Read more...]

St. Andrews Highlights


This is the first of two posts on St. Andrews, mostly pictures. What you see above is two aging gentlemen, one with the initials BW3 and one with the initials NTW. We are standing in Tom Wrights lovely sitting room in his bungalow near Kirkaldy. The next two pictures are from his study--- one is of the handwritten flow chart for Chapter 10 of the Paul book. The other is his Thomas Jefferson revolving Bible stand (I need one of those for sure).Below this we have pictures of me doing … [Read more...]

The Durham Chronicles– Part Three


Down at the Cafe Capriccio they are serving up a mean mocha. Right at the apex of Elvet Bridge street, and next to Sadler Street in Durham, the Ducate coffee-making machine is humming. I do mean humming. The biscotti is flying off the shelves, and the paninis are fantastic. You can even get a full English cooked breakfast, but who wants that in an Italian bistro? This is a family owned restaurant with the Pappa of the place hardly speaking English. He is from Napoli, but fortunately he has a … [Read more...]

The Durham Chronicles– Part Two (Christ is Risen!)


Durham at 5:15 in the morning just after the clocks have been pushed forward is not exactly a time for a sunrise service. It was billed as a bonfire and baptism and confirmation and communion service, all rolled into one and it lived up to its billing. The service lasted a good 1:45, and nobody was eager to leave. The service began in utter darkness in the cloister....then the bonfire was lit and the choir and the clergy processed to the middle of the lawn in the midst of the cloister. The … [Read more...]

Whatever your Path, Don’t Let it be a Psychopath–’The Various Haunts of Men’


First novels are make or break kind of things. I know all about it. If the Lazarus Effect hadn't done reasonably well, we would not have been five novels into the series as of this summer (Roma Aeterna is coming). Whatever trepidation Susan Hill, who lives in a Gloucestershire farm house, might have had about her first mystery, it was entirely unwarranted. People went wild over The Various Haunts of Men, comparing her to P.D. James. High praise indeed. It is one of those rare novels where it … [Read more...]

Contemporary Worship Unveiled

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RJBd8zE48A … [Read more...]