THIS WAS NOTTINGHAM | (See my Full 66 City Tour List by Clicking HERE)
THE CONTENTS OF MY HEAD AND HEART
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I was up at 5:30am. The internet had only been alive a wee while to start my uploads, but then had been down all night. None of my stuff was uploaded, thus leaving me now three days behind! The battle for getting the connection fixed would go on all day, but to no avail. Free Wi Fi in most places is a complimentary service. The providers have no obligation to fix it. And they didn’t. Sigh…..
Frankly, I wasn’t feeling too well today. I don’t know if I have a bit of a head cold or my 59 days have finally caught up with me, leaving me exhausted but almost as soon as I got up, I was ready for bed. A friend called me to see if I was OK. He had not seen any blog posts the last three days and wanted to make sure I was still keeping on. It was an encouraging call in many ways and greatly appreciated. Tell you more later. Meanwhile I had already picked up two emails, one of which was chasing me about ‘where their video interview was,’ and the other asking me not to put their video up as my visit had created a somewhat of a crisis. Oh dear! The day and all its repercussions were calling.
I went for breakfast around 7:30. Fried eggs this time, but you could tell that the hotel was struggling. Everywhere was more than a bit grubby. I got back and decided to have a bath to see if it might perk me up. It did a little, but not too much, my body was still feeling mighty aged.
Anyhoo, after drying off and doing some tidying up of my stuff, it was gone 9:00am and so I went on to make some calls and was graciously allowed by St Peters church Nottingham to come and speak at their lunch time communion service, and also another church called GRACE which meets in the former labour exchange also returned my call to say I could come and do some interviews in the afternoon. Grace was not too far from St Peters, so that was great, indeed, St Peters was less than ten minutes away from the hotel. I decided to go and check it out. I wanted to see if I could drag my PA system down there without moving the car. Despite the damp weather, I had a feeling I would be doing a little open air speaking today.
Nottingham’s market square had the now familiar ‘Occupy the whatever’ tents up. The little Himalayan shanty town of igloo shaped tents were all neatly corralled at one end of the square. I decided to go and check them out, and see if I could get a few interviews.
The church is reluctant to get involved in Politics. Unless it is in Northern Ireland. It would appear that both it and its ministers have been muzzled to a point of utter ineffectiveness. Yes, the church’s ministers have become political eunuchs for should they ever open their mouths with comment, condemnation or suggested solution, someone just might fire them. It would appear that the church is so far above these things that the best thing it can do is to make tea and sing songs whilst copulating ignorance and numpti-ism give birth to ineffective political dwarfs who never grow out of their diapers. And there should be enough in that little sentence to offend a multitude of wet onlookers. I thoroughly believe that we the church have political solutions to the mess we are in, but tell me, where on earth are we on the political horizon? I see no ships!
Behind the tented ‘information desk,’ I asked some slightly probing questions of an unshaven ‘oik’ (well, he was) wearing a dwarves hat, sorry, I mean a political protestor wearing a Peruvian bobble hat. I was trying to find out just what they were trying to achieve by all this camping out? I was simply, trying to smilingly and politely probe for some cohesive and logical even slightly intelligent reason as to what they wanted to change and how they were going to do it. However, all my simple questions, seemed to simply exasperate him until after less than five minutes he walked away from me suggesting I seek some help for a mental condition he perceived I had. Yes, I needed to see a Psychiatrist. Frankly, I probably do. However, I do know what I am trying to achieve and how I intend to achieve it and why. He hadn’t got a clue. Neither did his dwarfy hatted mates. Sorry, his Peruvian bobble hat adorned political activists. Well, those who weren’t asleep in their bags, after all, it wasn’t yet mid day.
I think, I might sum up what he in particular wanted by saying that he wanted to see each country have its own manufacturing base and free global trade with jobs for everyone with a wage cap limit on high earners, and substantial tax breaks for Peruvian hat makers in China. This sounds pretty much like a communist philosophy to me. Oh and also he did not want any world leaders representing their own country but simply an elected global speaker who would represent the planet to…..? well I suppose to itself. As a secondary issue, they all in Nottingham wanted a free lease from the local council on a large empty building to run a community centre which free marmite for everyone over the age of 65. I reckon his dwarfy hat needed un-tightening a bit. This was just plain Peruvian bonkers.
A nicely dressed old woman passed by and was accosted and told she looked like she had a few bob to share with others. She replied that she was a pensioner and had worked since she was fourteen. When asked what she did, she told them she helped rebuild a bombed out country after Word War II. She was told she should have been thankful she had a job.
The democracy and the freedom we have has been bought with people’s blood. It allows us to form political parties with practical objectives to proclaim its views, get elected and thus push forward social change. Maybe, just maybe, if these folk got off their arses and out of their tents and tried to do just that, THEN we might just see some change. Can we do it? Yes we can! Who said that now?
The existing political parties have all failed abysmally, each one allowing the gap between the rich and poor to grow like a yawning abyss. If this is not fixed. They and we all, might just fall down it. In any event, before that happens, I am pretty sure we might just go to war again just to take our minds off the crisis before us. Syria? Iran? Another surprise maybe? Let’s wait and see,
The church however, especially the established church, has thoroughly committed the sin of the book of James in bowing down in preferential deference to the rich. The confusing thing is that it has done this whilst doing probably more than anyone else in taking care of the poor? It is grossly confusing. Tell you what though, to the growing Islamic community and to the sizable secular society it is still an absolute irrelevance. This needs to be addressed. Yesterday. Maybe we should start getting our Biblical shaped personal opinions out of the cupboard of fear, for the gap between how relevant we think both the church and are Bible are is so far removed from what other people think, I reckon we must all be wearing our own invisible dwarfy hats that are all a little tight.
Anyhoo, as for all our ‘occupy the city’ stuff. Unless you can come up with practical solutions and workable policies, go home. And as for our existing and continually failing governments, watch out, because many of us are now going to rise up like never before and ballot box you out of the ring. I am calling all Christians to now thoroughly engage at every level with the political process. If someone tells me they are ‘in the city for the sake of the city’ once more and are not part of the political and governing authorities, I will, from hence forth, give you a slap! Your faith without works is dead. ‘In the city for the sake of the city’ what does that mean anyway? I’ve been hearing that for 15 years now on both sounds of the pond. Stop saying it! Its so annoying!
One more thing to note about my encounter with the Nottingham Peruvian attired political inactivists, was my brush with yet another angry and abusive atheist. Its always astonishing to me how angry most atheists are and how derisory they are in their so called scientific approach to Christians. I think this whole turning of the cheek business needs to be dropped for these folk. Honest, God forgive me, I just feel like smacking them in the mouth! Can anyone please find me a ‘get out’ clause regarding not repaying evil for evil and all that, blessing and turning the other cheek, cause these angry offensive folk are really getting on my wick! I know, I know. I am repenting even as I type. Even so, is there such a thing as a calm and nice inoffensive atheist?
So, anyways. I went back and got my board and changed the lettering to “City 59 of 60 – Nottingham and the book of James.” I dragged the PA and board down to the church in time for the Communion service and arranged to give my little proclamation after the service, both inside and outside. However, St Peters did not at this time want me proclaiming form the church steps just in case they were seen to be associated with what I said publicly.
Unfortunately I had forgotten my camera and so had to hightail it back to the Budget Hotel and the 8th floor to get it. Sigh. I got back half way through the service and after Rev. Christine had finished up, stood up to find that everyone had stayed behind to listen. Actually, St Peters had about maybe 15 people there that day and they all listened intently and a couple even came out support me outdoors.
I set up my board facing the upward stream of the Nottingham shoppers. I recruited a very active young man to do the video recording.
I interviewed a couple of people after, one of which was my cameraman who had been awake for a month. I told him that his condition must be sending him bonkers! He replied “No, its sending other people bonkers.” Please pray with me for Michael as he bounces around Nottingham with his King James Bible.
I left my PA and board in St Peters and went down to GRACE church. It’s a great building and a surprisingly younger congregation of former students. Maybe 3-400 folk. I did not have time to do any real homework, but it would appear that the city of Nottingham and its 60,000 students are wells served by young and growing churches. My impression was that churches were working well together here and were established, healthy and growing. I would love to have my impressions conformed.
I popped into a local store and picked up some vitamins and some grub for later. I was exhausted. I went back to my hotel and complained to the manager about my lack of Wi Fi, his lack of information on his lack of car parking space, and a couple of other things. He listened but could do nothing. So, no Wi Fi connection again tonight.
Arriving back in my room, I was so glad that I had nothing more to do today. I need a sleep. I ate my reduced in price clearance chicken sandwich, downed some fizzy pick me up vitamins and got my head down for half an hour. I am aching. Day 60 tomorrow, 7 more days to go. I intend to make it. Please God.
When I woke up, I typed for a few hours and then had to re-park my car. I got back. Packed in preparation for an early start tomorrow, got a bath, rang Bridget and then got my head down once more. For those interested. The Cat seems much better. I hope I am feeling the same tomorrow.
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