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26 July 2008

Updates from my blog reading

So much is going on I need/want to blog about but have been spurred on tonight to blog some stuff from my catching up on Google Reader. Here's a summary of my thoughts together with links as appropriate:

A while back, I wrote about the demise of the chain of bookshops formerly operated by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. To summarise, they were taken over/sold onto the Society of St Stephen the Great (SSG). It has transpired that SSG is, shall we say, not the nicest group and has very fixed ideas which don't fit well with the Christian faith. Slowly but surely, the rot set in - suppliers were cut; certain key Christian books were banned from sale. Then staff were issued with new contracts totally changing work patterns and contravening so many employment laws. Now, nearly all SPCK/SSG shops have closed and a number of ex-staff are taking the now liquidated SSG to employment tribunals. One guy who has kept us up to date with the news is Dave Walker, cartoonist for the Church Times. In the last week, and while Dave is in Canterbury as cartoonist in residence at the Lambeth Conference, he was served with a "Cease and Desist" notice from lawers in Texas where SSG was based. He had to remove all SPCK/SSG posts from his blog which he duly did. He was then made to remove the blog post that explained the censorship - even that was censored. It is a travesty of justice that such a thing has happened. So, when I came to todays post from ASBO Jesus, I was lifted. Well done to Jon Birch for not being afraid to stand up and be counted. SPCK is gone as a bookseller - that cannot be gone back on. But memories remain and these have been smashed to pieces by the un-Christian dealings of SSG. I used to work for SPCK hence my interest. I pray that sense will reign in this situation especially with this cease and desist rubbish and the important employment tribunals.

Related Links for this one:
Dave Walker
ASBO Jesus v SSG (also follow other links contained in the text for more info)
SPCK/SSG News blog
Chaplaincy for the Olympics
Have linked up recently with Salvation Army Officer, Major Judy Schultz, who is Research and Development Officer for the Barking Riverside Development Project. Anyway, been reading through her blog and came across a couple of things to share. Firstly, was interested to read that there is a chaplain to the Olympic Construction site and plans to get 15 volunteer chaplains to assist in the ministry! Fantastic - lets hope the Christian input at this development stage leads to some meaningful Christian Output in 2012.

Related link
Tea4two-two4tea blog (visit to stratford)
Who cares
Was pleased to get this reminder (again from Judy) about one of William Booths quotes. This one is a real challenge to The Salvation Army today:
"I do not want another ecclesiastical Corps cumbering the earth. When The Salvation Army ceases to be a militant body of red-hot men and women whose supreme business is the saving of souls, I hope it will vanish utterly".
I may comment further on this statement at a later date but welcome comments in the meantime.

Related Link
tea4two-two4tea (who cares)
For those who don't know, Alove is the former Youth Department of TSA - infact it still is the Youth Dept but labelled as TSA for a new generation. Never been sure about the name thing but blessed by what they've been doing. Anyway, it was announced in the last week that Russ Rook, Alove Director, is leaving at the end of October to start something new and exciting. Russ has been working for TSA from the old Mission Team days with Phil Wall for 18 years and has served well throughout that time. He's a real inspiration and I want to wish him well in his new venture. His replacement has now been announced and its interesting to see the job title is now Territorial Youth Secretary/Director of Alove - looks like TSA is trying to pull Alove back in line a little - time will tell what happens I guess but pleased to see Captains Mark and Andrea Sawyer will be the eventual replacements in May 09. I'm sure I know them but have certainly heard of them and what I've heard tells me they are the right people for the job. I wish them all well and will watch with interest. Lets hope the William Booth quote above doesn't come into play.

Related links
Alove - Russell Rook resigns
Alove - New appointment

Well, that will do for now in my blog roundup - may be more in a few days.

Whilst i've added these links, I am not responsible for the content of other sites


headphonaught said...

thanks for this... appreciated! Love the Booth quote... will reference it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dan for visiting me. The Chaplains are only for the construction sites there will be other teams for the actual olympics itself but we are more concerned with the people who are working on site and for the surrounding area and its stability before and after the games.

Mark & Andrea are wonderful people - Mark is out of Romford Corps (my era - old hahaha)

Sorry to read about Russell but like you wish him well - Nigel & I have enjoyed his ministry at Spring Harvest over the last 4 years.