Monday, December 21, 2009

What are the chances?

If you've been listening to UK news, or are in fact in Britain you'll have noticed the snow! As I write it's falling again. This will mean nothing to those in Canada and the coldest parts of America. We as a country stand still and watch in awe as the white stuff falls from the sky.

We venture out tentatively and take our flipping time to get any where. We're starting to dislike it, but we still enjoy the white out.

I'll post pictures of the snow duck the girlies and guys made on saturday night. We've had an enjoyable time in the snow, but things suffer, like church attendance and parties. Still the snow couldn't stop us enjoyng the Strictly final on Saturday.

Friends are fantastic. We were all on Team Cola this year. Was much fun cooking, drinking and eating all together. Both dishes made were a hit. The international influence on my cooking is becoming more obvious, thoough I still will quite happily bake.

I love this season, even if everything halts for the snow.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I bring you a story of Nativity success!!!

Not that I thought it would be a complete failure. God and the performance nerves helped the whole thing massively. We had a whole church to perform to! It was awesome. I really loved it.

There were no horrid surprises. Just nice ones. Our Joseph this year put on a class act and got a laugh (he hadn't even said anything yet). The innkeepers spoke so clearly and all the narrators read very well. Angel Gabriel battled out of his sick bed to join the cast and Mary and Elizabeth were fake chatting really convincingly!

It's done for another 11days, we will be working with the children again for the 4.30pm Crib Service on Christmas Eve. All our other services will be on the Facebook page!

And at the end of it all I got a huge bunch of flowers for completing my PgDip! Lovely day!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mistletoe and Wine

As you may well have noticed Christmas is just around the corner.

This week has been my busiest pre-Christmas week. And it's not getting any easier. It's our Nativity play tomorrow morning at church. I can't imagine for one second that tomorrow is gonna be easy, but I'm sure that it'll be very fun.

The main thing is our cast seems to be made up of apathetic actors and actresses; apart from Joseph, he plays his part very, very well. We seem to have lost the real feeling of Christmas. There's joy and elation, hope and relief (probably mostly from Joseph), there's also scared and afraid (though we are told by the Angels not to be). There's no elecrticity in the air of what might be happening. Something much greater than ourselves, something not all about consuming.

I don't want to ban any present giving (I've spent my money) or be grumpy, I just want to understand the feelings behind Christmas.

I love songs too, music is great at this time of year. I have a Christmas CD that has been playng over and over at work and there are more than enough songs about Jesus coming. But we've missed that over the last ten years. My hat goes off to anyone who can make a hit about the real reason behind Christmas (and not just Cliff Richard).

Happy (nearly) Christmas! Enjoy!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Twittering away

Twitter has been in my life for a white now and one of the people I follow described it as "blogging for lazy people". Sadly, I'm beginning to think he is right. I have not blogged in a while because writing more that 140 charcters to describe what's going on seems like too much effort!

I have forced myself to remain on blogger for long enough to up date. And as I sit I realise that quite a lot has been going on and maybe that's the reason for not blogging and more tweeting instead.

I went to Youthwork The Conference and came back tired and with a cold, but it was good to be away and hear some brilliant speakers. Pete Grieg spoke on the first night, and was absolutely captivating. He was funny and really honest. Exactly what you need for a first night, in my humble-never-organised-a-conference opinion.

Then throughout the weekend I heard Andy Hawthorn, Mike P, Ruth Valerio and Jim Wallis. I am uneducated as to who Jim Wallis really is, so to hear him was very fun and enjoyable, he brought a very good message.

The rest of the time I spent catching up with friends, family and hanging out by the sea. I love the conference for all the hanging out you can get away with/do.

I came home, exhausted, facing a full week of work, and ended up in bed for 2 days asleep. I travelled to York on Friday to see friends and came home via Jude and Gill yesterday. I was all in for a busy week, but my body had a different idea.

So life goes on inevitably. Trying to have a quieter Advent this year, it starts today with Canon Andrew White visiting us for Christingle! (Not as quiet as I had hoped)

Monday, November 16, 2009


My salary is largely funded by a great bunch of guys at Church Urban Fund. They visited us a few months ago for Big Breakfast, took some information and some pictures.

We're currently "project of the month" on their website. Love it. There's Lauren and me under the rainbow in the hall (on the CUF home page), and then Trina and Dele at the top of the page and Alex at the bottom. Yes we have a wide mix of people at BB.

I cannot tell you how proud I am of all the hard work the volunteers do to put on Big Breakfast every week! It's a massive relief to see some of the work I do getting recognised.

Along with that and something God said to me last night, I'm feeling pretty chuffed right now.

Later this week I'm off to Youthwork the Conference. I'm massively looking forward to a) hanging out with the boys and my sister and b) being away for a bit with a purpose.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Out of the Darkness

Check out for pictures of the night in the Abbey.

It was a really good night, there was lots going on in the Abbey and the corporate worship times were brilliant. When we left in the morning it was pouring with rain, we hadn't had a sense of the outside weather at all. Stain glass windows don't give a great view of the outside world!

Vanessa and I were doing the Godly Girl stream, we had about 60 people come across 4 sessions. It was really great to see so many girls and to have the opportunity to share some wisdom with them. How much you can take on board after 12am is to be seen. So I can teach late at night now! I think we did alright.

Hopefully it'll happen again...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Plunged into Darkness

We are back to 'normal time' here in the UK, so the nights are dark and the dawn is earlier for a short amount of time. The first week always feels the most depressing. Everyone suddenly realises that winter is much closer than you thought and the chances of having a nice day disappear.

It's great for firework displays though and for all those who will be out on Saturday for Hallowe'en. Not a joyfilled time of year really, but I like it. The trees are changing colour and there is a better excuse to be snuggled up with hot chocolate. And most importantly apple filled donuts covered in cinnamon sugar. Yum!

And for something completely different, Liz and I will be hanging out in St Albans Cathedral from 8pm on Friday to 8am on Saturday, with hundreds of young people and some lovely people from my diocese. I am looking forward to the twilight hours, something I enjoy and don't find creepy, where every one is quiet and you feel like you are the only one awake. The fun thing is I'll have to teach. Have you ever led a session gone midnight? It struck me how unusual this might be the other day as I was preparing my session. I could have so much sugar/caffeine in my system that I'll be non-sensical. Start praying!

Anyway, it should be lots of fun and I hope to make many new friends during the night. If all else fails at least I can say I attempted to teach between the hours of 9pm and 2am. A unique opportunity!

Of course it's not all about darkness, this weekend also includes a 'Light Party' alternative to Hallowe'en for the children at church, and our new bishop is coming on Sunday to confirm (a CofE rite of passage?/ritual?) some adults and young people. then I finally get to see my family for an evening meal. Very happy to end the weekend like that!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Uganda Part 5 - The Aftermath

So, by now, a whole 6 weeks after our return from the wonderful country, things have settled and friendships across the country are starting to form

But thats not what I want to talk about...

On our way back from Uganda, we were delayed leaving Entebbe only by a few hours, but it made us late landing in Cairo. The plane in Cairo only waited 50 minutes, and we were left in Cairo along with many others who needed to be in London that night. Very helpfully the men on the trip had taken over and decided to sort us out.

Now begins about 6 hours of rollercoaster emotion, not helped by the fact that some of us had been up for 27 hours. First we were all going home via frankfurt, then we were all staying, then we were all going again. Every time the men came back there was a new wave of emotion (not all positive). Plenty of tears.

I referred earlier to being "ripped apart" from some of the team. This came at about 3pm when some of us were allowed to get on a plane to Frankfurt and the rest of us had to stay. Eventually the remainder recieved transit visa's and headed to a hotel in Cairo. We had two other Ugandan families with us and one lady who was by herself and instantly bonded to our group.

We washed and eat and slept and got on a plane on Monday morning, 24 hours late. It was much easier to be in Cairo Airport the second time around, 'cept it sounded like Egypt Air had had a weekend of it. They asked us if we'd like to fly via Frankfurt, even though we had our boarding passes and passports in hand! I wanted to punch the dude in the face, but had done so well up until this point...

The delay gave us a traumatic experience to further bond over. Much to the point when I headed to the Mission Direct office on Tuesday it was all I could talk about.

And the reason why I've written about it is now we are trying to claim insurance back on the flights, but this comes with conditions and things I cannot control. For example, the insurance company would like proof of delay, but with Egypt Air's track record in communication, I'm unsure we'll get written confirmation of delay. And it sounds like there will be a whole complicated back story to why we were delayed.

So I will keep you posted on how it goes, because any money we do get will go straight to the project!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Uganda Part 4 - The Pictures

Sorry it's taken so long for this one, facebook has almost ruined the art of Photo Blogging.

So here we go, in choronological order I suppose...

This one really speaks for itself. The second time I've been south of the Equator.
Me and 10 year old Joel. One of the proper little brothers of the trip... he is awesome!
The school at the beginning of the trip, the far left of the building is not finished yet, that was our job. The matrons quarters.
The rainbow we made on holiday club day 2. We put up a lot of the things the children had made and it made our meeting space much brighter.This is St John's about 30 mins from Rukungiri. It was really good to see the church and join in. There was an auction after, Joe brought a goat, Stephan brought a chircken!

This is the sewing room in the Mother's Union. They practice on cement bags because it's a lot less expensive than material.
The Life Skills Clinc, where parents with disabled children come and learn how to cope, talk to other parents and teach their children basic life skills. It's part of the 5 Finger project.
The pre-primary school, finished! well, our bit was finished. The roof has been put on now. I'm still massively impressed with what the builders and the team.
This is Benjamin, my builder friend who remembered who I was and asked for me by name. We had some very good relationships on site. The Ugandan people are lovely.
A huge Elephant!
All my lovely young people at a salt lake on the dawn safari!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Uganda Part 3 - That Family Feel

We had our debrief day on Saturday. Another trip over to Godmanchester, in a lovely part of the country, Cambridgeshire.

This was the first time we had seen everyone since being torn apart at Cairo Airport. Unfortunately we were missing 6 people from our team, 2 married couples who thought it was too far to travel for and 1 mother son team who were too busy. We arrived (on time - big drama last time meant we were late) and had lots and lots of hugs and a few tears.

We really were a family on this trip. Having an 8, 10, 12 and 13 year old on the trip really helped this. We also had a 70 something and everything in between. People perfectly capable of looking after themselves and some who needed coaching through everything (this is regardless of age). Everyone had their bad days and there were space giving moments.

It was massively different from all the other teams who were mostly older and married, or a bunch of young people from school. They each had their own bonding things. We were family for two whole weeks, from the moment we arrived at Heathrow airport, by the time we got to Kampala we were one family (at least that's my perception).

During the two weeks I had some very indepth conversations, we laughed so much around the dinner table, we got irrate with each other, we experienced some life changing things together.

When we had to say good bye on Saturday, I didn't realise how exhausting the whole day had been. I definitely didn't want to say goodbye. So I've promised myself trips to see people. We didn't work very hard on our presentation, but we had lots of fun while we were there.

I know lots of people have been on mission trips this summer, and I can bet they'll all have something to say about what bonded their teams, I can certainly say that our varying ages was the thing that bonded us the most.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Back To Church Sunday

This Sunday is National Back To Church Sunday, and this year St Hugh's is taking part. The stats say that there are 3 million people in the UK who would go back to church if they were invited.

So I have taken on the task of preaching this weekend. Not really a scary thought for me, I've got used to the idea that I preach probably twice a term. The subject is Adam and Eve in the Garden, we're focussed on 2v18 "it is not good for the man to be alone". I'm still aving lots of thoughts on this one and to fit them into 15 mins might be a bit of a struggle, but so far so good. I'm enjoying the challenge.

I have other homework too, we have an amazing mix of people at church and one of the vicars is a really great preacher. So she's teaching us how to be better at preaching. She set us home work last week; take a passage, read it, work out it's context, work out who it's for and do a 30 word mini-preach on what it means for us today. I haven't even started thinking on in, as per usual leaving homework right til the last moment.

I hope that B2CS goes really well for everyone who is doing it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Uganda Part 2 - The Importance of Church

This is the middle of a thought process connecting my 2001 trip to the 2009 trip, it's not finished yet because I expect it to go on for some time, and it'll develop more and more as I change roles within the church.

In 2001 I went to Uganda as a teenager, not really knowing what to expect and as my usual self, not entirely worried and not expecting to change really. I was dragged to church on one of the Sunday's we were there. All that was in me didn't want to go, I thought (like Jonah) that I could hide from God, on the side of a mountain seemed the perfect hiding place!! How wrong could I be? God found me, sitting on a step in a crowded church. *Skewed theology moment* I'm pretty sure He followed me there! But He was really sneaky about it. No headlights or anything, very annoying *moment over*

Being side swiped by God changed me massively. Over the last 8 years I've been working out how, whislt still being changed by God through it all. I consider the trip in 2001 to be the turing point in my life but not a Saul/Paul 180, more like a Peter-still-getting-things-wrong-3-years-down-the-line change. The last 8 years I seemed to have landed on my feet with pretty much everything I've done, it's been tough at times, but God has been there, whether I've acknowledged him or not. I've also had a massive amount of fun, made so many friends from across the world and am generally very happy with where I am and who I am.

And mostly those things are due to the secure environment church offers for me. I am happiest in a church. My church is my family. They are the people I cry and laugh with. They see me at my best (doing youth work, preaching etc) and my worst (before dwan after a sleepover usually). I don't know what I'd do without church. I hope that there are many people who feel the same as me.

I'm hoping and praying that I'll catch on to the changes quicker this time round! I'll still be thinking through the links for a very long time. I know how this all happened, it's down to God. So now it's next steps for me... where next? What next? And how does it involve going to Uganda again?!?

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Uganda Prt 1

Hello, I'm back! I'm writing after having a few days of reflection, the external processor that I am I have reflected with friends, in writing and going through some of the pictures I have taken. Out of the hundred or so photos I think are good enough for printing, you'll get a 5 minute whistlestop tour of our trip.

Last time I went to Uganda I could talk for hours upon hours about all I had seen, heard, smelt and tasted. This time round I had 8 years life experience and a leaders head on my shoulders. I think this made all the difference.

I'm definitely not that excitable any more, nor was I as homesick as last time. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it most of the time. Uganda is not a familiar country to me really. If you've been to a place once you can't say it's home, but you can feel comfortable very quickly.

As a consequence I wasn't too fussed by a lot of the things we saw, I could quite happily live in Uganda, though I have this feeling that wherever I go, as long as I've got some lovely people around me I will settle and be happy. This was very true of this trip. I was looked after well, as were the young people. We had an amazing staff team, who got on so well sometimes it was hard to break them up! The rest of the team was handpicked by God, that's for sure.

We always had enough people to do enough things. The Holiday Club was well attended, as was the building site. The builders in Rukungiri have lots of English friends now. I have a special builder friend too!! He's called Benjamin and had remembered my name (kinda) enough to ask for me on the day we came to say goodbye. I'm always struck by how friendly the Ugandan people are. I wouldn't generalise it to every African person, cos that's like saying all Essex people are chavs! The Ugandans give more than thay have at church, in their homes and of themselves. It's really something we can learn from.

My surprise really worked! the Vicar of St Hugh's rolled up one afternoon just in time to see the dusk. everyone wondered why he was in Uganda, that took a bit of explaining. And after he'd brought us all ice cream, Josh (aged 8) said "Can I go to Karen's church, I really like their Vicar?" I made it clear that everyone is welcome at our church!

We went to St John's Nyakaina on th middle Sunday. Very interesting, didn't feel long or drawn out (it was 2.5 hours long) and it included an auction to raise money for the church. Anything can be put in for auction including goats, chickens, sugar cane, and honey. I didn't take part in the auction, but most people had a go. We raised some money for the church.

The children of Rukungiri came to Rondavels (where we were staying) for some good old English Holiday Club Action! 150 children for 4 sessions. It was an experience, so now we have no excuses for running HC at Luton.

Also no excuses to turn down speaking engagements. I gave testimoy to 500 people, through a translator in the dark!! Scary stuff, but I think I was more scared of what my team would think.

Overall, it was a really good positive trip. I know my young people so so well now. We have shared this expereince. I'm hoping that I know myself enough to see how this trip has affected me, and I'll know it quicker than the 8 years it took me to dissect the last trip.

Part 2 will include photos and a more formal reflection.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Before I go...

If it wasn't so late at night here, I'd probably come up with something quite wise to say...

As it goes I can't think right now.

So anyway, we leave for Uganda at the weekend. I'm not really packed, I have a pile of washing that I need to do in order to be packed and I keep remembering things I should buy. Not just things for me, but things for holiday club and things for general travel. The thing I'm most scared of is being loci parentis for some young people while we are in Uganda. I'll leave it at that, for fear of saying something which might mean the young people stay in the UK!

Pray for us. I'll update when I come back, I promise! There will be photo's galore. And my mother is already lining me up for speaking dates... go to her and she'll tell you I'm available for most days! Also I'll post my testimony pre-Uganda.

My experience of Africa (Uganda being the only place I've been) has massively shaped who I am today, no doubt about it. Here's to praying that I learn what God is teaching me in less than 8 years this time round!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Holidays and Broadband

Not really been blogging, mostly because I've been busy doing admin, making cakes and attempting to get broadband in my house after a massive 4 weeks without (I think Broadband is quickly becoming a home essential).

I'll add pictures to this when I get home, as I've also now put my birthday pictures on FB, so will add those shortly.

I've been the temporary administrator for church whilst the actual secretary is on holiday, it's not vital for me to be doing this job, as the office runs intermittently during holiday times. It's more for my own stability. Last year I hardly did anything over the holiday period, but this time I've got 3 groups sorted from September to Christmas, and have even started to consider Christmas time. We're getting there with packing for Uganda and I think next summer I'll do a drop in during the summer as some of my yp are already bored (they've only been on holiday for 2 weeks).

So when the secretary returns on Wednesday I will probably retreat for a few days to prepare for a busy three weeks. I also am helpfully putting my thoughts on to paper about the coming year.

Look out for pictures they'll be up later when I get home. Have to also write a sermon centred around Uganda, 1 Corinthians 13 and Micha 6:8. So if any one has any ideas, they would be greatly appreciated!

Her's the finished article, 3 Chocolate and 3 Maderia Cakes all 6"x6" - a total of 6 hours baking. It's sparkly and purple... if any one would like to make me a cake those are good things to go with!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Long List

Things have been happening since I last wrote...

My faith took another bashing at a Youth BBQ. I can understand the school children doing it, they don't know me, they are permitted to ask questions (however mockingly). But at a BBQ with young people I know quite well, sadly I had to walk away and not be part of the conversation any more, cause I'd run out of answers and patience.

Then we had Lewsey Churches BBQ inside because of the torrential rain and thunderstorms outside. I can't remember having such extreme weather in the UK, it's been such a long time since we had regular decent thunder and lightening. I really enjoyed it, mainly because I wasn't getting wet!

The week wore on; it's that time of year for trips. We have an unusal thing in our youth group where two people were born hours apart, so have the same birthday. They are completely unrelated. I love the way God brings people together. We headed to Laser Quest for their birthdays. During 'dinner' I sat back and realised what a wonderful youth group had been formed over the last year. They, as a group, are testament to how much I have learnt. I love them all dearly and pray that their group gets stronger.

We had breakfast on the car park and a mighty miracle from God to do it. He moved the clouds at 8am and the sun shone through till 9.30am. Everything is possible when you let God work! It was great to see the young people and teachers that day, though sadly no dustbin men or old grumpies. Our community doesn't feel complete without them really. It was a great way to end the term.

During that week I also completed the practice and essay for my PGDip and JNC. So I can now say that "I am a fully Qualified Youth Worker, subject to Exam Board passing my essay and practice file". Not quite as fun as saying I'm a JNC Youth Worker, but close enough for me! It's been 2 years of hard work, but it's all done (subject to Exam Board - it's like a sting in the tail).

Then it was time for me and my sister to turn 25. We went our separate ways for our actual birthday. She hung out with our family and went drinking and dancing, whilst I spent the morning at Luton Hoo, and the evening at Silverstone.

For those who don't know Luton Hoo is a stately home turned Hotel, newly refurbished and reopened to the public. They do a great breakfast. So I and 12 girls (and 1 boy who is so tiny he didn't know any different) had breakfast together. It was delightful!
Me and Christine

Me in my new role as Stately Home owner!

Silverstone is a whole other world. Its one of the main race tracks in the UK and where Formula 1 raced only a few weekends ago. I went up there to spend the evening with a friend who was racing with Formula Student. All the Mechanical Engineer departments in Europe racing cars they have built. Was very fun I stood on the track and in the pit lane. My Dad really lovely Formula 1 so was very jealous. I loved it.

The Home Straight

Me standing with a vacant expression on my face... hoping not to get run over, not really know what to do. I look proper tiny under the Santander Bridge!

The pit lane... apparently still had markings on it from F1 (I don't really know though, I'm a girl!)

Sunday was spent at church with a[n embarrassing] rendition of Happy Birthday, which left me very red and quite embarrassed. Then to the parents for BBQ with family, extended family, our church friends and the boys school/work friends. Was lovely to see everyone and hang out. (will post pics soon)

Monday night I held another Youth BBQ and the new Curate helped out. He's a man and loves building fire, so the job was perfect for him. The YP had brought me a card and cake! They surprised me massively. And again I realised how blessed I am to have all 13 of them in my life. Lovely young people! Brilliant end to a great weekend!

Hopefully life will calm down now. Just Uganda and September term to prepare for! Ha ha... working hard as ever!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Lessons Learnt Pt 2

Yesterday afternoon was by far the hardest lesson I have ever had to teach. For all the lessons I have taught, this was the loudest and most questioned I have ever been in. Unfortunately the young people were not doing a very good job at listening to the answers I had. After a few incidents of "Jebus" I had to stop and tell them exactly what was bothering me.

Sometimes the things we say offend other people with out realising it. The only place I really pull young people up on their language is Big Breakfast, some of the yp swear unnecessarily and I have a sharp ear for it... but in this lesson there weren't any swear words, but poor Jesus got a nickname. I know he's been called worse things. I stopped, took stock for a moment and when I carried on things weren't much better.

I stood at the front of the class being pelted by some really good questions, "Who created God?" "How can you believe all this stuff?" "Is Jesus really alive?" "Does God talk to you?" Waaah, but I know that there is nothing before God and there will be nothing after God, I know Jesus is alive and God does talk to me (but not in a audible voice). Our children know myths about God, I find this very sad. They believe in very little and are sceptical. One of the teachers said "you can't question other people's beliefs" don't think that's so true, I think you can, but I think you do have to be sensitive to others too and listen to what they believe, even if you don't believe it yourself.

These discussions HAVE to continue... I was dreaming big dreams on Monday and one of them is to always be in discussion about faith and beliefs.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Lessons Learnt

Christianity lessons are going really well, thanks for all you who are praying/interested! It's been a good week. Though I sit listening to a tennis match I'm completely uninterested in. Sad there's no Murray on court today, but he's only young and Wimbledon happens every year. More chances for him!

Back to the lessons! I had a bit of a mental block in spelling harder words like Crucifixion and even Church at one point! Have learnt that spelling on a board is so much harder when there are lots of sets of eyes on the back of your head. Also had some very intersesting questions. I'm sure evey one else has experienced that moment when you realise there is someone in the room who has just as much knowledge as you, but you expected there to be no knowledge at all...

Happened to me on Friday, there was a JW in the class. Very very interesting to hear someone else pov, but for the conversation to have continued down the interrupted by unnecessary OMG from the tennis stairs afterwards.

I wanted to start conversations with these young people... seems I have done that. The teacher who was in Friday's lesson was very impressed with me. Though I wasn't too impressed with me, but there we go, God works in mysterious ways.

You know though, vodafone have nicked my blog title! They are going to be employing 8 people to work for an overseas charity of their choice next year. You could earn £45,000 for working for a charity under their scheme. Hmmmm not sure what I think of that.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

If you are a pray-er

Now would be the time to do the praying thing... I know it's late notice, but I'll be in school in about 15 mins delivering the first of six RE lessons on Christianity. This is an annual event for me, but it's always different. The young people are different, the teacher is often different (and some times learns more than the pupils).

We shall see how it goes. But if you are praying, pray now. Pray at 2.40pm on Thursday, 1.50pm on Friday and 2.40 Weds and Thurs next week. Will update on the inbetween times.

In other news, it's hotter here than in Uganda. I'm praying that Andy Murray will win Wimbledon (and turning into my mother in the meantime)! And something made my day today, but I can't tell you cos it's a surprise! Yeay! I love surprises!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Thought 5: Even the smallest amount of shock messes up my ability to wake up. Eg: Sunday was a very routine day, church in the morning, a relaxed afternoon and church in the evening, but on the way to church I witnessed a car crash, and knew some one who was involved. It was only a small crash, but still I was shocked. then I managed to over sleep by an hour this morning so was late for work.

This happened when I was the victim of a robbery, late for work the following day. When I wrote off a car, got my exam timetable mixed up and went for an afternoon exam in the morning. Shock is horrible, even the smallest amount.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Taken Over

The young people and myself helped church along it's way on Sunday. I spoke, they led games, sorted craft type things and did music stuff.

It's funny how we really are our parent's children on occasions like this. The service was longer than I'd planned... can't really work out where the time went. The things I've learnt in the past 3 years have been good, I've definitely stepped fully into St Hugh's way of life.

I'm at that point in life where people are turning 25 all around, my turn soon. So was in Essex to begin celebrations at the weekend. Really enjoy my Essex friends.

I also hunted down my Uganda memorabilia from 2001! Can't believe it was so long ago now, we all look so young in the photos. What I didn't find was a Health Passport saying I'd had a Yellow Fever jab more recently. Quite annoying, but then there appeared a raging debate on facebook as to whether I actually need a jab at all. To be honest I'd rather have a £40 jab than be really sick! But then I suppose I'm a westerner and money is no object. Selfish? Maybe. Sensible? Yes. Any way seeing my GP in two weeks to sort it all out. Don't particularly fear jabs, more worried about feeling sick in the wake of the jabs. Dr Michael, any suggestions?

Oh, then Andy Murray won at Queens, how exciting!?! Wimbledon is going to be stunning this year. I am, by no means an enthusiast, but tennis is very easy to watch and I mostly understand it. So looking forward to sport this summer.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Tigger moments

No internet at home means plain blogging for a few weeks. I promise many photo's upon the return of BT broadband to the house (Sky lost out because they were massively unhelpful...)

I'm at work, making massive use of the internet before working on a sermon this afternoon with no facebook distraction! There might be something go out of this lack of internet!

No thoughts worth sharing have occurred in the last seven days. But Good News prevails! Since we joined Mission Direct, had a project to go to and confirmed who was going to be part of the team we have raised the £11,160 we need to pay for our tickets.

This was massively helped along by my parents church, my own church and the local community. Everybody has put so so so much in. I got a bit emotional in church on Sunday. Not a bad thing, I was totally and suddenly overcome by how much people had given! It's amazing. God has been gracious to us, He's given more than I could ever imagine.

There are many minds at peace about this trip now, mine is one of them, but I've felt like this since February, so I turned into Tigger. My security and joy definitely come from God and I'm massively happy at the moment.

Now all I have to remember is to pay the money to MD oh, and get the booster injections and health passort I need to gain entry to Uganda.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Where are we at?

Half term ended with a bit of a flourish...

Two nights in London, one to see a friend play a gig and the second to be majorly disappointed by the Emerging Culture Salsa event. It seems that the emerging church still mostly caters for women and feels very disorganised.

I would have loved to have salsa danced to a live band with a man who could dance. Is that too much to ask? I would have done it very differently and I was not filled with hope when the organiser of the event introduced herself and said she'd never Salsed (sp?) before. Does this count as righteous moaning?

Then we had a town wide Pentecost Praise on Sunday night at the Calvary Church of God In Christ (COGIC). This was totally awesome, not only was it well attended, it was loud and so relaxed. I really loved it that there was no preach slot, but that leaders from across the town got up and prayed over the town. Hoping for more things like this and for more twenty-somethings to join in.

I was taking it all in and had a job to do, so felt more at home than previously.

Upon reflection of the whole weekend:

Thought 4: I really don't expect my peers (who aren't my friends) to know who I am, even if I know who they are/have worked with them before. I'm not sure where this thought is headed, I've not verbalised it enough. I think I expect young people to know me (I got on the train to London and said hello to two young people) but I never expect acquaintances to know my name, I'm just not important.

Oh and on the Uganda front, we had an afternoon tea this weekend and raised £180 from it! My young people have worked so so so hard towards the fundraising. I'm increasingly proud.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Michael's suggestion...

My thoughts aren't very deep and by no means theological and, when they are written down, often sound as though I shouldn't be thinking them any way.

Thought 1:
I go through life making various observations. One such observation occured today. I was on the M25 stuck in a 'for no reason' traffic jam. It only lasted about 10 minutes, so no big deal. I don't think people on the M25 know how to drive on the motorway. I think it's pretty simple and it's hard to tell if I'm in the majority or minority. I just want motorway driving to be simple and less dangerous, without reducing the speed.

Thought 2:
Pimms is nice... But you don't put apple in it. I will invest in a bottle of pimms this summer.

Thought 3:
Is it worth me signing up to Twitter? Or will I just end up stalking John Mayer? Am I popular enough to be followed? Does any body actually care?

Other thoughts include, will I ever own a house? Will I ever be married? 25th Birthday this summer, want to do something, but not sure what... Isn't thought a strange word when you say it more than necessary?

Friday, May 15, 2009

I have lots of thoughts...

...which I never seem to finish, or go around in circles with.

That is all

Monday, May 11, 2009

Slowly does it

A trickle still fills a bucket, even if it takes a little longer.

The money has trickled in over the last couple of years and we are nearly at our total for going to Uganda. Tis very exciting! We're three months away from a life changing trip and I've never felt less worried about all the decisions I've made, and been helped to make over the last two years regarding this trip. Now we just have to work out what to do for a Holiday Club while we are there!

Work is at a trickle as well, so while it feels like not a lot is happening, I'm finding ways to fill my time (with work, not fun things!)

The most scary thing is doing Christianity lessons again in MV. This time a Q&A session, I think that's the most scary. Being prepared for hard questions!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I have amazing friends!

This is my best friend Christine standing next to her own handy work. And there is another line drawing of Europe off to the right of the picture, but it wouldn't all fit in the frame.
It's not finished yet, but I will go back and take a picture when it is.

I have amazing friends. I could never imagine creating anything so huge or beautiful. My friends are great!

Monday, April 27, 2009

All growed up

Look at us all...

Aren't we a good looking bunch of young people? These are people I've grown up with and now have some really good friends. Essex people are lovely and this group are no exception. Here we are celebrating the engagement of Mandy and Rob. Both of whom I've known for a long time. Mum's is already planning the card for their wedding day! Had a great time partying with them.

As younger girls we'd always have the conversation about who would be married first. It changed depending on what mood we were all in. Mandy always thought she'd be last, but that's all changed! The planning for the wedding has begun with vigour! Should be a lot of fun.

These are my roots, I'm very proud of them.

In other news, it was announced at the church APCM on Sunday that Pamoja has about £6000 in its fund! Very exciting. We go to Godmanchester near Huntingdon on Saturday for Orientation Day. I don't know what it is but I'm genuinely joyful to be going on Orientation! Its a strange feeling, but I can't think of any other words to sum up this feeling. I'll let you know how it goes!

Friday, April 24, 2009

10 days

It's a long time in the land of the blogger...

I forgot to mention in my last blog that I have in fact cycled 400 miles in less than 40 days (due to having days off and finishing a day before I was supposed to)! If you'd like to give me money the website is

As a consequence I haven't really done any exercise since. I'll get back on the bike eventually. I can't believe it's done!! Wohoo!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Celebrations

This year we combined our Christmas and Easter displays, so here is what is on the ceiling at the moment, with the cross positioned underneath it.

The crown of thorns sits lonely on the steps to the dias. Awaiting to be put back on the cross, where it normally is. Apparently it was worn by one of the young people when he played Jesus a few years ago.

I think this was the most powerful thing that we did. At the right point in the story, 3 men raised the cross to standing, with the children sitting at the foot of the cross. It brought to mind all of the feelings over the Easter season. Everything drawn to the cross.

On Sunday morning we walked to the hills and watched it get lighter, the sun rose behind the mist. When you get up that early you kinda feel cheated if it's misty, but nevermind, a good breakfast, services and lunch followed. A good Easter all round really!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Cup Winners!

Oh yes! Probably the most gripping final of the season, the Johnstones Paint Trophy final was played yesterday at Wembley. Luton Town Vs Scunthorpe... an interesting match.

Luton have won something this season. Which makes a change from being unfairly robbed of 30 points at the start of the season. Yes, we still face relegation from the league, but at least we can go out on a high. We could join a small list of teams who are cup winners and then relegated.

And to take just under a third of the twon to Wembley Stadium is pretty impressive. I'm sure the rest of the town was listening or watching some where. I was, I got home in time for the beginning of extra time and managed to watch it on my parents sky box.

My lovely parents! And the rest of my family. We had a good time celebrating an 18th Birthday. We're all adults now, tis very scary. I can't believe we are already at this point, next thing we know we'll be celebrating our 30's!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Crafty things/Acceptance

Today was a great day. There are many things that happend today.

One was a craft fair/coffee shop type thing at church to raise money for the trip to Africa. If you missed it, you certainly missed out (the local radio even popped along). The young people did amazingly. They worked unbelievably hard, and made some money! We are still counting the miles though! (I'm on 270 by the way, only 10 miles behind target)

The other thing was Acceptance. A Girls Only conference run as a town wide event. A very big success. It's very hard to get an event like this up, so hopefully it won't be the last. I was asked to speak and it was such a privilege. Very exciting things going on in Luton once again.

Lots happening tomorrow too, but I'll blog about that later!

Monday, March 16, 2009

5 years

and a few days.

An interesting non-milestone.

Lots has happened in five years, thanks for the reminder Michael.

Social Networking has taken over our lives and blogging seems to be a thing of the past, seemingly replaced by micro-blogging. I don't think it'll catch on, but the press seem to be having a field day with celebs micro-blogging their days. It's quite sad, but also funny. I have a feeling the internet may implode on itself quite soon.

Cycling is going well, so far 145 miles. Which is the distance (driving) from Luton to Calais. Only 255 miles to go! Yeay!

Many other things have happened, but you can read the blog if you want to pick up on the things which have been important to me.

Monday, March 09, 2009

iSpeak (again)

I spoke at St Hugh's yesterday morning for the second time this year. Was very interesting to preach from a book that's not the Bible, but seeing as I cycle for 40mins a day I had time to read the chapter I was preaching on.

Here's the link
for my one and only fan - my Dad.

That's all I have to say for now. Short and sweet.

And as a total after thought, 5 years this weekend!

Monday, March 02, 2009


If you know me you'll know I'm on my way to cycling 4000 miles, the equivalent distance btween Luton and Kampala, Uganda!

Scary stuff! But I'm finding it fun. Granted I've only done 50 miles so far... but that is further than I've riden in my entire life I'm pretty sure!

We are going to Uganda with Mission Direct.
If you want to give us any money - oh yeah I have 8 young people doing it with me - click on the link in the title!

Friday, February 20, 2009


"What else will distinguish us?"

{ONEL!FE} is an organisation designed to support and encourage young leaders. They do this by holding conferences and taking some of those leaders to Uganda in the summer. Many of the young leaders from St Andrew's Chorleywood are on the team, and they did a brilliant job at looking after us while we were at conference A.

This years theme was "what else will distinguish us?" based on Exodus 33 and the transformational leadership of Moses. Not only were there some great speakers (Mark Waterfield, Pete Wynter, Greg Downes, Emily Vesey and David Pytches) there were also some great people to hang out with.

Of course we are distinguished by God, by what he has called us to do and be part of (and did you know that calling is irrevocable? Rm11v29) but it's about letting that call distinguish us in the way we live, lead and work. We know we are different, but we don't live it out much.

Pete Wynter talked about going deeper into the presence of God and taking it with us wherever we go. Hark back 3 months and Youth Work the conference is talking about the exact same thing. Maybe there is something in this deeper thing!

Small conferences are great, big conferences are great (if you know a small group of people). I'll be taking some young people to YLC next year, wherever I might be.

I really love church! I love going to different places across the world and knowing that I can find home there.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Twin-ness is great. I really love being a twin.

And no, we don't have a sixth sense, but our brains are wired pretty similarly. this is really helpful when attempting to find each other in a crowd or when arriving seperately at the biggest shopping mall in Europe/a tube station with a million exits.

We're better friends now than when we were growing up, and the skill of finding each other becomes better each time we meet up.

Saw Hairspray tonight at the Shaftsbury Theatre with said twin. It was brilliant! Especially an ad-libbing Michael Ball wearing a dress. Ben James-Ellis ('of any dream will do' fame) left a little to be desired and he over-acted his dancing in places (didn't know you could do that, but you can), apart from that he was very good. Leanne Jones makes a great Tracy and probably held the Baltimore accent for the longest! Tough work. And Raquel Jones who plays Inez has an amazing voice.

Go and see Hairspray!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Worth a mention

It has snowed a lot in England in the last 2 days. So naturally for us, everything has ground to a halt.

The last time it snowed this bad was 18 years ago. Which I remember as one of my most vivid memories.

It was one of those days where we went to school in the snow in the morning. We (sister and friend) got picked up by a neighbour eventually. And got to spend the afternoon at home. The next day I think we played in the snow, dad pulled us around the top of our cul-de-sac on a sled. Our next door neighbour helped the milkman deliver the milk.

The snow plough came up the road and dumped the snow on our front lawn, and we made thrones our of the mountain of snow! We were 5/6 at the time, it was the funnest thing ever.

I'll attempt to go into work tomorrow, but school is closed and it remains to be seen if we do breakfast club on wednesday.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Quiet Time

It's been a quiet start to the year. There's been much juggling and sorting out, but we seem to be settled and content with the fact that another year has begun.

Today is Chinese New Year and Australia Day... confusing! So I watched the aussie soaps and have stir fry for dinner.

My new year challenge was to not be so addicted to facebook. It seems to have worked.

The hope I had at the beginning of the year still hasn't died! I'm a little surprised, but that's a good thing I suppose. Hope for lots of things. Especially hope for Obama. Good prayers and speeches last Tuesday.

Hope, there always has to be hope. Faith, Hope and Love. I pray my year has all of these.

Monday, January 12, 2009

On the road

I would like to offically announce that I will be going to Uganda in late August this year!

It is a very exciting moment because the group I'm going with are all young people and they have been desperate to go for about 3 years. We will be working with Mission Direct on this project. We are going to be living at Rukungiri Mordern Primary School, which is in the south west of Uganda.

To aid our fundraising we will be running, cycling, walking, rowing and swimming 4000 miles (the length if you drew a straight line from Luton to Kamapla) over the 40 days of Lent. If you would like to sponsor us our justgiving page is here.

I'm massively excited about going to Uganda again! It's such a big opportunity for the young people and for me. The only pressure now is to (raise the money) enjoy ourselves!!

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Year and beyond...

I have returned to Luton with the intention to work. I preached on Sunday morning. I'm glad that there wasn't a lot of pressure with this one, the Anglican year begins on the first Sunday of Advent.

It was good. Not my best, but good all the same. There were God moments, which I certainly hadn't planned for and it's just lovely to be back with family and people who laugh when you make mistakes (because they know you, not because they are laughing at you).

New Year went off with out too many problems. Some lovely dresses and well dressed men. I didn't win best dressed, but my parents where the Judges so I couldn't have won. Liz has pictures. I didn't take my camera...

Looking forward to 2009, it's started well, let's hope it continues.