Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Our new website.

This blog is now no longer in use. Please come over to our new website at www.churchonthecorner.org.uk.
Goodbye blogger. You have been great.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

COTC Sermons on iTunes

Our Isaiah series is now available as a podcast through iTunes. You can find our iTunes music store page here.

Alternatively you can download them directly from here or you can subscribe to the RSS feed

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Football tournament 2007

We had another amazing football tournament on Bank Holiday monday, despite the weather in the morning it was a fantastic day. Here is a video of the highlights, and there are lots and lots of photographs from the day on the Football page of the COTC website.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Last Sunday - Image and Truth

This sunday evening we hosted a group of London based photographers for an exhibition of their work. A really good evening, the place was packed, Barry Dunnage spoke on 'Image and Truth". Liz has lots of pictures from the night here

Church on the Beach 25th-28th May

More information about our weekend away.
We are staying at the Pitton Cross Campsite which is five minutes from the beach. There are some pictures of the Gower here
Transport - we will hire a minibus, and there will be plenty of Cars driving down at various times. Or there is the train to Swansea option if you want it a bit more civilised; we can pick you up from there. Sunday is Pentecost and we will be having church on the beach.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

COTC Pub sign

I was thinking today about what image I would like for our new pub sign outside church. How about an iconic Jesus image in the style of the Angelic, or how about doing something in reaction to that.
One of my favorite images is Banksy's Fallen angel
How about this for our pub sign?

Sunday, April 08, 2007


We had a beautiful Easter, from the solemnnity of our service of shadows, watching the excellen and thought provoking Jesus of Montreal on Saturday night, watching the sun rise on Hampstead heath on easter morning and a lovely all age service after a fine breakfast.

My egg and bacon buttie

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Ex Libris COTC

As we look to develop the Cloudsley room at COTC (as the upstairs end room is
now known) as a place for reading, study and prayer I thought it
would be good to develop our Library. There are lots of good books at
the moment, but on the whole they are cast offs. So instead of people
donating their old books I thought it would be great to get you all
to donate your favorite book.

Why not look at your bookshelf and decide which is the book that has
meant the most to you, and donate it to your family at church (if you
can't live without it you can buy it again - it must be worth it!).
And better still why not write a review of it to encourage others to
read it.

I have made a little 'ex libris' card which you could print out and
stick inside the front, which has room for a brief review. If you
want to write something longer, why not tuck that into the book too.

We will select some of the best reviews and display them on the shelf
(like in Waterstones) .

Monday, March 26, 2007

Old Paths - Thomas Cranmer

We are coming to the end of this series, and though there are many amazing figures of recent church history I would love to cover we will just choose some of the key ones. Last night we told the story of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, architect of the Church of England and Martyr for his faith.
The video of his words and wisdom is above, his recent Biography by Diarmaid MacCulloch is excellent or you can listen to a lecture on the occasion of the 450th anniversary of his death by my old church history lecturer (yes it is all his fault!) from Bible College.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Old Paths - Martin Luther

More has been written on Martin Luther than any other figure in Church History. He stands between the medieval and modern worlds, and on one of the great faultlines of Christianity, and his thinking defines protestant theology to this day.
Lots of good online media on the subject. Melvin Bragg on Radio 4's 'In our time' discussing Luther at the Diet of Worms. There is the webpage of a US TV series on Luther with a dramatic introduction to the man and some interviews with people including Alistar McGrath. An interesting listen is David Starkey's abject attempt to suggest that Luther killed christianity which is shot down by his own witnesses.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Old Paths - Thomas Aquinas

Scholar, mystic, politican. You can download the whole of his epic 'Summa theologica' here. But perhaps just a taste is all you need - here is his 'Sacred Doctrine'

Monday, March 05, 2007

Francis of Assisi

Francis of Assisi is well known for his love of nature and his simple peaceful lifestyle, and his founding of the radical Franciscan order of Monks. He is one of the most Christlike figures in History, but the aspect of his life which is more pertinant to our day than any other is his relationship with the world of Islam. A good introduction here

The cost of life

I found this excellent 'game' today. I say 'game' because actually it is a bit traumatic. You have a little family who you need to keep alive, feed and educate. And it is really hard. They kept dying on me. It is sponsored by unicef and if has a very serious point about how hard life is in the developing world - and just when you think you are doing ok disaster strikes. Have a go and tell me how you do. I was beginning to thing it was rigged, but it turns out you can do okay: All alive, 2577 goud and 6 diplomas - beat that!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Last Sunday

The Last Sunday
Sunday night was quite memorable. It was the next in our 'Last Sunday' services and we spent the evening as a meditation on communion.
It went something like this:

Opening prayer

Reflection on Bread including a reading from John 6

Making Bread. We had mixed the dough, but it still needed kneading and shaping. During the breadmaking we shared our experiences of communion - both good and bad. Then the bread was taken off to be baked.

Reflection on Wine. There was wine on the tables and we discussed the biblical imagery of wine - as new life, joy, abundance and peace. During this part the smell of baking bread drifted through the room.

A short talk on the importance of the ritual, incorporating some of the historic conflict over communion and an encouragement to take this back as part of our community life.

Then the bread was brought out again, and we used it for communion. Lovely.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Benedict of Nursia

St Benedict icon .jpg
Benedict left his comfortable life in the city at a young age to pursue his relationship with God in the wilderness. Three years of solitude profoundly changed him, his understanding of humanity and of himself and of God.
Gradually others came to join him in the wilderness and as the community grew he found it necessary to develop a rule of monastic life, full of spiritual and practical wisdom for christian communities which profoundly shaped not only the spiritual life of western europe but also its politics. In an age when government was by force in these communities the Abbot was chosen by the monks and ruled the community in accordance with the written rule and in consultation with the monks.
As a contemporary introduction to the rule of Benedict I would highly recommend the book Finding Sanctuary (£4.50 from Amazon). One of the aspects which I found particularly helpful was Benedicts 12 steps of humility.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Old Paths: Augustine

Really enjoyed preaching on St Augustine yesterday. I am struck that one of the really important aspects of this series is that we see great figures of the past as they really are, and avoid the natural inclination to put people on a pedestal. Augustine is one of the greats, but he is also very human. And perhaps it is his awareness of his own failings, along with his ability to wonder that makes him so important.
For further reading there is a short biography here, and here is a modern translation of City of God, and here is Confessions. They are quite long though and you might want to pick them up in a 2nd hand book shop or from Amazon. The wikipedia article on him is not so good - I think people are fighting over him (the down side of wikipedia) and it is a bit scrappy.
Oh and check out this free download of Malcom Muggeridges 'a third testament'. The first chapter is on Augustine.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Old Paths: Tertullian

Tertullian was a theologian and fierce defender of orthodoxy. He articulated an elegant and sophisticated doctrine of the nature of God and coined the term Trinity. His influence on Christian thinking is enormous, but also very significant was his gradual rejection of the Greek philosophical culture which the early church was formed within.
You can read a brief biography of his life here [though with a rather more positive interpretation than mine], and find his surviving works and more in the excellent Tertullian Project
I was struck in studying Tertullian (ironically) by the importance of heresy to sharpen and refine orthodoxy. If it had not been for the views of people like Marcion and Arius this elegant articulation of the Trinity may not have come into being. The church has tended to try to lock down orthodoxy through fear of error, but it is that very struggle for truth which spurs us to understand and better articulate what we know of God.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Old Paths: Justin Martyr

Our new teaching series starts this week. It is called 'Old paths' and we will be tracing the course of church history through the lives of those who have gone before us.
"Though their culture and language seem alien to us, the same call of Jesus echoes in their ears, and the same spirit works in their hearts"
The first is Justin Martyr, who lived from around 100AD to 165AD and wrote bravely in defence of Christians and their faith in a time when such belief was brutally oppressed. For further reading his surviving documents are all available online. The excellent 'To the Emperor Titus Aelius Adrianus Antoninus Pius Augustus Caesar', his second apology To the Roman Senate and the Dialogue with Trypho. There is an excellent wikipedia article on Justin too.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Finding Sanctuary

In home groups we are studying this book written by Abbot Christopher Jamison from Worth Abbey.
It is a beautiful little book full of gentle wisdom and practice about making space for God in the midst of busy modern life.
You can buy it for a bargain £4.50 from Amazon