ADVENTure: inspiring poetry for Christmas and Advent by Mark Greene

AdventureCoverI came across this gem of a book last year but discovered it too late in December to tell you all about it.  If you haven’t already done your Christmas shopping this is a wonderful present for anyone who has a faith or loves poetry – or both.

The book is a collection of 25 poems and accompanying reflections on the people and events surrounding Jesus’ birth, designed to be read either each day of Advent or over the Christmas period. Each poem is written with deep imagination, literary flair, often with an unexpected twist, and always throwing new light on stories we all think we know too well.   Continue reading

Christmas Ads: the modern seasonal sermon

Still from Sainsbury's ad 'The Greatest Gift'

Sainsbury’s ‘The Greatest Gift’

As some of you know, I have the privilege of writing for the wonderful London Institute of Contemporary Christianity (LICC), specifically for their Connecting with Culture page.  The brief is to write a short reflection on a contemporary British cultural issue with a faith lens – all in 400 words!  My piece last Friday was on this year’s Christmas ads which I thought some of you might be interested to read. Click here if you are!

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Hogwarts in the Snow – a Christmas family treat, 2016

Hogwarts in SnowNow I know some of you who read this will have already visited the Harry Potter tour at the Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden, Herts.  But for those of you who haven’t yet had the chance or who haven’t been at Christmas, read on!

Between now and 29th January, the studio tour is given the festive treatment to create Hogwarts in the Snow.  All the usual features, props and sets are there, but with a Christmas twist.  The Great Hall is decked out with wreaths, Christmas trees and magically lighting plum puddings, Christmas cards (some made by the cast themselves during filming) decorate the Gryffindor common room, and a special display demonstrates how snow and ice is created for the film, making for a fascinating chemistry lesson. Everything is given a light dusting of snow, including the outside where we got covered in soap suds a flurry of snow as we stood outside the Knight Bus. Continue reading

Trump victory: how to keep our heads when all around are losing theirs

kiplingquoteAnd so this morning, the world has woken up to what the vast majority of the British (and I dare say world) public feel is a tragic, shocking, deeply disturbing result: Donald Trump becoming President of the United States of America.

It’s like Brexit all over again, but on a global scale.  Even the weather has chimed in – it poured with rain last night just as it did the night of the Brexit vote in a season of unusually dry weather. Continue reading

Friday Fiction: I Arrived at the Garden Gate Part 4

 This is the fourth and last instalment of my short story that I started as a 400 word writing exercise for my Creative Writing a month ago.  If you’ve not read Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3, please do so before continuing. And thank you for all your encouraging comments on social media. I’ve been very encouraged by them.  If you like this next instalment, please retweet or share.

Time stood still for a moment disturbed only by the church clock striking three.

“You must need to be getting back to work, Marcus, no?” Alice ventured.

“Um, no, I took the afternoon off. I wanted to prioritise our meeting,” I explained. “About Laura,” I paused “how often did you meet up with her? You said you got to know her quite well.”

“Yes. We met up fairly regularly, about once a fortnight I guess. She was so keen to talk and I was happy to accommodate. And she was – is – such a lovely girl,” she quickly corrected herself, looking slightly embarrassed at her faux pas. Continue reading