Monday, 12 December 2011

It's a strange feeling - being ASC (after Soul Circus) in the Cathedral for 2011 at least. A disquieting mixture of sadness, relief and apprehension. Sadness, because it's over and I'm a little at a loss; relief, because it went as well as, if not much better than we could have expected and apprehension at the thought that we have to somehow match what we achieved on Saturday night the next time. However, all in all I am thrilled with how it went, although I feel we/I can't afford to rest on our laurels, SC has another gig on 5th February, which isn't that far away and I/we have to start thinking about that, planning it, wondering how different it needs to be, wondering what Soul Circus is, wondering how much needs to change and how much doesn't, what stays in, what doesn't, wondering how much of what we created on Saturday might be what we are about in the longer term. To get to where we got to in the Cathedral, Robin and I spent many hours talking about the concepts behind the end product. Now to many people that would seem to be a waste of time, but I think that as far as SC is concerned, this attempt to really get to the bottom of what we are trying to achieve, or not, or question, or get away from, or deconstruct helps us to have a clearer understanding of what gets included in that end product. Well that's the theory anyway! I think/hope that because Robin and I come, seemingly, from such differing ends of the churchmanship scale we can challenge each other in some particularly creative ways and I hope that this might be one of the things that makes SC unique. (I have to say, however, that this hole exercise is increasingly making me question the extent to which our apparently differing theologies are actually that different - and I think this sympathy (?) isn't peculiar to Robin and I, it extends to many people who might have considered themselves to reside predominately in one camp or the other, theologically that is.)

Well, there is, I am sure, much more to say, however, it is getting late and I have a full day tomorrow - but remind me to tell you about the V & A exhibition I went to today on Post Modernism, it was a trip down memory lane and very thought provoking.

Friday, 9 December 2011

As Robin put it today - "one more sleep till Soul Circus"! Nearly all the problems are sorted out, insurance is sorted, Love Hearts are sorted, drums are sorted, screens are sorted - so we are very nearly all systems go. It feels a lot easier to be nearly upon the event than horribly close to it but not quite there yet.

Caitlin is in heaven because we picked up the djembe drums today and have been playing with them at every given opportunity. We've been talking a lot today about the importance of getting 'rhythm' into church. Now I want to say that I am NOT a musician but I was watching a programme on the blues recently that said the blues is based on poly-rhythms, whereas european music is based on melody. I am not suggesting there is anything wrong with music based on melody - however, the information was for me an interesting confirmation of something that I had been thinking for a while - that there is an omission in a traditional western church music tradition - and the omission is RHYTHM. As huge swaths of popular music are dominated by black music, music that is driven by its beat, I believe we have to ask ourselves some serious questions about what this kind of music could bring to our own church tradition. It is my belief that music that has a strong rhythm is potentially more 'embodied' than music without it - and so we could ask what has happened to a church tradition that has been without music with the ability to carry this embodied element? This is definitely something that Soul Circus will explore and question - we shall certainly see how it will feel to accompany the Eucharist Prayer with live djembe drums for instance. I will let you know how it all goes.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Well exhausting day today - blowing a complete hooley out there - which drives everyone around the bend, horses, children, grown ups. Saturday looms every closer and have got to the stage where I will be very happy to get on with it!

In our Wednesday morning Eucharist this morning I wanted to share with everyone something of how the process has been for us over the last few days; the stress of the radio thing on Sunday morning and now the problems with the insurance. The point that I tried to end up making was that although the higher you climb the further you have to fall - if we really want to tell people just how much God can achieve in your life then sometimes we have to put ourselves on the line. Now anyone who knows me knows that standing in the middle of Norwich with a 'Street Pastor' sign on my back or proclaiming the 'Good News' on a beach mission - really isn't my thing; just the thought of the 99 out of 100 people who would walk past thinking I was some kind of looney is too much for my obviously fragile ego! However, what I do feel called to do is in some small way start to change the way people perceive the Church of England. I know that many people out there think of the Church as some kind of slightly musty smelling maiden Aunt - I want to make even the smallest contribution to changing that perception .

Maybe Soul Circus can do that maybe it can't but whatever the outcome no one will be able to say we didn't try.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Hello out there!

So - what to write?!! It's hard to image that the random stuff that goes on in my head could be remotely interesting to anyone other than me - but I realised this morning that as I am meant to be writing a journal for my next Masters module an easy way to get the work done might be to write a Soul Circus blog.

So what will I write - well I suppose longer versions of the random stuff that I might otherwise post onto Facebook. I could tell you about the books that I am reading (or not reading as the case may be) thoughts that I've had, conversations that have sparked thoughts, etc etc. So thought for today - Hmmmmmm.........

Actually I'm pretty overwhelmed with thoughts and planning for Saturday and Soul Circus' opening service. Epic studios, are causing problems with regards to the stuff they were supposed to be lending us - so at the very last minute I am now worrying about whether we are going to have to take out special insurance to cover the equipment we are borrowing. And apparently it's the borrowing part that is the problem if we were hiring it we would be covered by their insurance. Ha Ha he he - it's all good fun. Let you know how it transpires.