Ellen Loudon

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Archive for January 2008


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Today was the Federation (united colleges – Anglican, Baptist, Methodist – in Bristol) quiet day. I and a group of other members of the federation spent the day at Downside Abbey. The Abbey is a Benedictine Community of Saint Gregory the Great in Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Radstock, Bath. It is also a school.

We spent the day with Dom Alexander reflecting on church unity. I spend the day reading and meditating on Colossians. I don’t really know why I was drawn to the book but it was a very profitable time for me as I thought about how Paul (or the Pauline pretender) encouraged the Colossian church to focus on the headship of Christ and unify around their faith in the gospel. A Church that was in danger of splitting is encouraged to “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 2.15.

Being one body, one church is very difficult at the moment and it breaks my heart to think that we can not agree enough to unite around this vision. Today was a time for hard thinking about what I would be prepared to give up for the sake of unity. It was a challenge and I am still thinking…


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January 30, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Archbishop delivers ‘Holy Grail’ to Pope

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This was the headline from the Yorkpress news today. I was very excited – after all it would be remarkable if, after Indiana Jones et al couldn’t find it, the grail had been in York all this time and the Arch- Bishop had decided to hand it over to Rome for verification. Unfortunately it turns out that this holy grail is of the beer variety, brewed in Yorkshire at the Black Sheep brewery. What a laugh the Bishops must have had as the cracked open the crate. The mental image of the moment is forming in my mind as I write.

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January 29, 2008 at 6:40 pm

Posted in church, fun, stuff

clerical shirts

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I have a real fear of clerical shirts. I am quire concerned that I am going to look blousey. So, today I went to meet a woman who is going to help me to not look like a bloke in puff sleeves. Most of the shirts on the market are just a man’s shirt with bust darts. I think this might be a tactical error on my part. I wonder what Gok Wan would make of it all. Anyway, I think I have made a break though with it. I have asked Amanda (the shirt maker) to make a replica of a linen shirt I have loved for years, I bought the black linen and she is making a mock up for a fitting in a couple of weeks. I will keep you posted.

A busy week this week (whenever is it not a busy week?). Tomorrow lectures all day and I am planning to go to hear a cat psychologist speak about how to help your cat with their mental health issues (I really need help with Benny’s issues!). Wed is college quiet day – I am off to a monastery. Thursday is a crazy college day which starts at 8.30am and goes on until 10pm. Friday college until 3pm then off to that London to see Count Arthur Strong. So, I really should get a few early nights whilst I can.

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January 28, 2008 at 10:22 pm


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Tomorrow I am off to Bristol prison for 2 services at the chapel (one at 9am and the other at 10am) so I have to be up very early to get through the various checks etc. This has been quite a busy weekend – On Friday night we all went over to bath to have a meal with Joe and Harriet who were both celebrating their 18th birthday. We went to a very loud but tasty mexican restuarant. It is extra-ordinary to think that Joe is now 18. He was so happy and all grown up…

My mum has come over to help me with Eva this weekend becuase I hve had to do some work today and tomorrow I am in prison and Mark has gone away to Wales to celebrate Ady’s 40th birthday. I am missing out again. Hey ho.

So, I had better get off to bed…early up and I need my wits about me.

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January 26, 2008 at 9:54 pm

Posted in family, stuff


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This image is a piece of graffiti by Banksy that has been painted onto a wall at the bottom of Park Street in Bristol, near the cathedral and county courts. The council wanted to remove it but a campaign by local graffiti activists successfully won a battle to keep it unsullied. I have some questions about this decision…who now is responsible for it’s maintenance? Is it now a piece of public art? Is it’s colour and texture to be preserved in the same way as say the Mona Lisa or the superlambbanana. Now I’m no critic but it seems to me that point of this defiant art is to disorientate and irritate as well as challenge perceptions about art, public and private spaces and ownership of the everyday. To preserve it seems the ultimate futile act and almost deludedly Peter Panesque. If I was Banksy or prepared to climb up a ladder I would be very tempted to spray paint over the image in an attempt to recover some sort of sense of reality. After all isn’t it supposed to be temporary, fleeting and timebound?

Liverpool City Council have decided that the infamous house rat on the corner of Berry Street and Duke Street needs to be tidied up. The building is in serious decay so they have decided to half board up the building thus covering the bottom half of the graffiti. This is so the visitors to the city don’t get upset about dereliction and decay (as if they haven’t seen it before). Many of the unused houses, shops and other buildings have been boarded up and then the boards are painted over and made to look more pleasant. This attempt to Dress Liverpool is one of the most bazaar outworkings of the Capital of Culture plan.

The BBC is running a Banksy Diary which includes some interesting personal stories about the way his work has touched the lives of ordinary people (whatever!!!) and the way to spot a Banksy (as if authetification is the point either).

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January 25, 2008 at 10:10 am

Posted in Liverpool, stuff


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I am not sure what heaven is…there are some great biblical hints but it is an illusive place sometimes best understood by it’s antithesis.

Contemplating Hell

Contemplating Hell, as I once heard it,
My brother Shelley found it to be a place
Much like the city of London. I,
Who do not live in London, but in Los Angeles,
Find, contemplating Hell, that it
Must be even more like Los Angeles.

Also in Hell,
I do not doubt it, there exist these opulent gardens
With flowers as large as trees, wilting, of course,
Very quickly, if they are not watered with very expensive water. And fruit markets
With great leaps of fruit, which nonetheless

Possess neither scent nor taste. And endless trains of autos,
Lighter than their own shadows, swifter than
Foolish thoughts, shimmering vehicles, in which
Rosy people, coming from nowhere, go nowhere.
And houses, designed for happiness, standing empty,
Even when inhabited.

Even the houses in Hell are not all ugly.
But concern about being thrown into the street
Consumes the inhabitants of the villas no less
Than the inhabitants of the barracks.

Bertolt Brecht

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January 24, 2008 at 8:26 am

Posted in poem

Brentry context are a funny lot

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not least because they produced this for the Christmas Trinity College review.

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January 20, 2008 at 4:06 pm