Archive for the 'Radio' Category

Mind the Gap…

I was asked to contribute a bit to the BBC Surrey & Sussex Sunday Breakfast programme presented by Gavin Ashenden, on some of the BBC’s current First Click initiative to help people use internet services, and about online communities, new media and such bits and pieces. Gavin’s page is here, with this week’s listen again (probably only available in the UK, and only for one week) found here. Our discussion verged over email, blogging, Facebook and Twitter; and whether these amount to ‘real’ communities or not. Even the Twurch of England got a name check. The bit where I am chatting with Gavin comes in at about 1hr40min in, though why any one would want to listen again to it escapes me.

The edited down excerpt is available here (probably illegally), so if you really wanted to listen to it click here:

Download the Alastair with Gavin Ashenden 24 Oct 2010 file…
On a completely different subject, I was also asked to contribute to the ‘1 minute sermon’ for the week too – and I did it on Gap Years, or at least, Gap Trips.

Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap

The image above links to a pdf; but the text is below.

The link to Laura’s Gap experience blog on the BUNAC site is here.

“Mind the Gap” says the voice as the doors open on the Tube train on the London Underground; and for just a minute I want share the benefit of a Gap Year, or – in acknowledgement of the cuts as a result of Continue reading ‘Mind the Gap…’

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Got up with Gav

Affectionately known as ‘Get up with Gav‘, the BBC Southern Counties Sunday Breakfast programme is hosted by Gavin Ashenden. Gavin is a good friend, who I have significantly more respect for after seeing him ‘behind the wheel’ of a live 3-hour programme. For someone who gives the impression of being slightly affectionately and delightful disheveled in life, he is amazingly in control of the multitude of threads needing to be woven together for such a live broadcast.

Alastair in the Brighton Studio with Gavin at Stupid oclock

Alastair in the Brighton Studio with Gavin at Stupid o'clock

It reminded me a little of visiting the local Radio Nottingham studios as part of a my pre-ordination training, and seeing a young ‘DJ’, who we knew from our local church at the time, deftly flicking records on to the decks, whilst handling a mid-morning phone-in, and managing to take time to talk to a group of ordinands visiting the station. On returning home, I said to Kay “That broadcaster is going to go a long way; we will have to keep an eye out for him.” Within weeks, he had been transferred to Radio 1. His name? Simon Mayo.

A minute is a very short time to say anything sensible at all, really (though local colleague Kevin managed to keep his ‘sermon’ within the 60 seconds a couple of weeks before me!).

Having been through a few Robin Hood related places recently, the affable outlaw became my subject. (See these links for more on Robin.)

Click the Play arrow below to hear the interview/sermon

[audio src="http://acutting.org/files/aud/AlastairGavin14June2009.mp3" /]

One of the interesting asides I came across whilst researching for the ‘sermon’ was a feeling of being stalked by Robin. Or I suppose, more properly, as I was following him, I was the stalker. Not only did he have the familiar Nottingham connections, where I had done my training at Theological College; but my two following curacies in South Yorkshire also had Robin connections. My first parish post was at All Saints Woodlands, just north of Doncaster, where there is not only a Robin Hood stream, but stories of Robin being in the local Barnsdale forest (the area is not far north of Sherwood forest).

My second parish placement was at the parish church in Wadsley, in Sheffield. On the edge of the parish was the village of Loxley, possibly also spelt Locksley, where in some traditions Robin Hood was born. I was involved in planting a new congregation from the church, based in a school in Loxley during my time in the parish. Fascinating that these three ‘place links’ should show up around three of our successive homes. My investigations have not revealed that Robin Hood has any connections with Copthorne

1 Minute Sermon - 14 June 2009 - Robin Hood

Text of the 1 Minute Sermon - 14 June 2009

You can also find the original article on my ‘Papers‘ page. Other recent epsiodes for Sunday Breakfast may be available on iPlayer here.

The full text follows:

I’ve been through Robin Hood territory a couple of times recently. Yesterday I was in Nottingham, and I recently passed through where Robin is reputed to have been born, in the village of Loxley, which now rather overtaken by it’s neighbouring village of Sheffield; and Hathersage where Little John is supposedly buried. I will spare you my rendition of any of the Robin Hood songs, especially at this time in the morning!

But most of us know some of the tales of Robin Hood, and his band of men, stealing from the rich to give to the poor; righting wrongs, battling on behalf of the oppressed, fighting for justice. (I am pleased to observe that this group included a cleric; though Friar Tuck does not always personify priests in their best light!)

Of course, both Robin Hood, and his band of followers were no favourites with the authorities. Being pursued by the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Guy of Gisborne, and bunches of soldiers is the stuff of so many action adventure books or films. A hero.

Another hero, with a band of followers; pursued by the authorities, on the side of the little people, recognising and supplying the needs of the poor, was of course Jesus. So no wonder there are so many stories of him too, not just in the written Biblical record, but in songs and mystery plays; in paintings and in films – throughout the world, and throughout history.

The authorities thought they had him, bound, nailed, crucified – dead. But more dramatically than any fictional action hero, with a single bound he is free: risen, his foes vanquished!

No wonder so many of the tales of Robin Hood are so appealing – and interesting to see their precursor, in a way, in the radical Jesus of the gospels.

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Riding through the glen,
(Robin Hood, Robin Hood, With his band of men,)
Feared by the bad, loved by the good,
Robin Hood! (Robin Hood! Robin Hood!)

Drat – I promised not to sing…

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Love in Valentine’s week

Just been checking the blogs, and I’m a little surprised no-one appears to have picked up on one of this morning’s Radio 4 Woman’s Hour items, featuring Stella & Stan Hagarthy’s surprising, and apparently God-inspired business and web-site, Wholly Love.

Wholly Love's website

Wholly Love website


Apparently, they have not yet had any endorsements from significant church leaders or organisations. I wonder who might be first in the queue?

Years ago, I remember the bishop who confirmed me, John Taylor, then Bishop of St Albans, noting the counties his See represented, introducing himself at Greenbelt as the Valentine bishop – the bishop of Herts and Beds.

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