Words, Images and Imagination – NOW PUBLISHED

To buy follow the link https://hymnsandbooks.blog/words-images-and-imagination-now-published/

This unique collection of original poems, watercolour prints and photos, all by the author, explores life in all its fullness – relationships, conflict, hope, time, age, memory and mortality. Reflecting the author’s upbringing by the sea in Devon, his training as a Marine biologist and his ministry in the Methodist Church, images of the sea and faith are lightly woven through its fabric.

A first collection of poetry and art by an internationally published writer of over 1500 hymns.

Words, Images and Imagination – Andrew Pratt

Face masks – UK

The BBC has announce that

The government is adding museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship to the list of places where face coverings should be worn in England.
It is currently a recommendation, but will become law on 8 August.
It has been compulsory to wear them in shops since 24 July.

Let wearing of masks in Church be a sign of love of our neighbour. Unusual for Government of any shade to insist on loving neighbours…one small step…

The pandemic calls for closed hymnals

This article by L. Roger Owens is an interesting reflection for those who are finding the ban on singing in church problematic –

The pandemic calls for closed hymnals

L. Roger Owens teaches Christian spirituality and ministry at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is author of Threshold of Discovery: A Field Guide to Spirituality in Midlife


Black Lives Matter – Professor Anthony Reddie

The ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement emerged in order to counter the patently obvious fact that Black lives do not matter. This is not just a question of economics or materiality, it is also about seemingly ‘ephemeral matters’ like the impact on our psyche and associated questions of representation and spirituality. It has been interesting observing the concern of some white people for matters of law and order and governance and property re: the tearing down of the Colston stature in Bristol. I worked for a year in Bristol and was confronted with the sight of statues built in honour of men who enslaved my ancestors. Polite petitions to move these and other statues were ignored. Long before a so called mob tore this one down Black activists asked for it and other statues to be move to museums where those who deliberately wanted to see them could, but saving those of us who didn’t, the ignominy of having the lives our oppressed ancestors constantly insulted. White authority ignored our claims, BECAUSE OUR LIVES DON’T MATTER and in the face of White complacency and disregard, OUR FEELINGS DO NOT MATTER EITHER. In 2007, I along with many others, campaigned for a national monument to mark the epoch of the slave trade and the countless millions who died under the yoke of British slavery. We were peaceful, respectful and went through the usual peaceful channels and first the Labour government under Blair, then The Coalition and finally May’s government all summarily ignored our pleas. We were peaceful and respectful and made our entreaties in the time honoured and peaceful way. But we were ignored BECAUSE OUR LIVES AND FEELINGS AIN’T WORTH JACK! We campaigned for an apology for Britain’s involvement in the Slave Trade and Blair gave us deep sorry but no apology because the slave trade, sanctioned by greedy white mercantile interests, said it was legal at the time. So no apology and certainly no reparations. Once again, we were not hectoring or behaving like a mob. We made arguments, some of us wrote books, essays and articles and it still made no difference. So we continue to live with the psychological and spiritual damage of witnessing monuments to the people who made millions from peddling the Black flesh of our ancestors, and this is before we even get to the tangible manifestations of economic hardship and the social deprivation facing Black bodies in postcolonial Britain. So I find it interesting that following the pulling down of a statue, we have the usual concerned voices of White people sharing their concern for law and order and the dangers of mob rule. Where we their voices when all the aforementioned was happening? Where was the British academy and theologians commenting on the collusion of the Church in the slave trade and the later colonialism that enriched all the historic churches, but taught Black people to hate themselves? My friend and fellow Black theologian in Britain Dr Delroy Wesley Hall speaks of Black people living in Britain struggling with a form of existential crucifixion. We are mired in our continued ‘Holy Saturday’ following our social and collective crucifixion, but with no ‘Easter Sunday’ on the horizon. So White people can complain about our not abiding by the rules when our attempts to do so have been ignored completely and treated with contempt! So at this moment in history, I am not going to thank White people for issuing apologies and ‘taking the knee’ and writing statements and going on marches that don’t cost them anything, when we are dealing with existential crucifixion that leads to us being more likely to struggle with mental ill health issues, such as schizophrenia. I am not going to ‘educate’ White people on how to deal with their discomfort and emotions when I and countless Black people are afraid to go out of our houses lest we end up as part of the disproportionate numbers who are stopped, detained and questioned by our supposedly benign police for breaking lockdown restrictions. Some of us have simply had enough of White hypocrisy and the sudden interest in our concerns having shown scant regard for them in years gone by. Systemic racism didn’t start with George Floyd’s death nor will it end with White people ringing their hands in liberal guilt, telling us how sorry they are for the racism that blights our lives and not theirs! Some of us will continue to fight, but we are tired and more angry than you can ever imagine, so please don’t you dare tell us how we should behave, because when we played by your rules of civility, you didn’t give a damn!
Professor Anthony Reddie
Extraordinary Professor, Theological Ethics
University of South Africa
NRF ‘A Rated’ – Leading International Researcher
The Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture
Regent’s Park College,
University of Oxford
Pusey Street
Author of Theologising Brexit: A Liberationist and Postcolonial Critique (London: Routledge, 2019)
1st ever Black and Postcolonial theological assessment of Brexit.
Black Theology
An International Journal