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Category: Blog

The Art of Not Being Bored to Death in Church

This morning, Liam Cartwright has written about church worship and how it impacts upon those who have come along. He was prompted by a survey in The Times that suggests that perception in the wider populace is that going to church was the most boring activity a person can do. Leaving aside that a survey of people who by and large don’t go to church is based upon prejudice rather than experience, it raises some key points for me as a liturgist and worship leader.

Health and Safety at Work

Liam passionately talks about embracing breadth of tradition to lead inspiring worship in a variety of different settings. He calls for vibrancy and diversity in our worship. He’s sparked healthy debate on twitter and is inspiring people to stop leading worship they wouldn’t want to attend themselves. Prompted by one twitter interaction, I turned to my blog to talk about easter fires and plea for people to make it a spectacle. One of the defining learning experiences I had at theological college was attending a placement church where I watched on in disbelief as a disposable BBQ was cermonially lit to usher in the joy of the resurrection. A picture of me immolating myself in the church park at Holy Nativity paints a thousand words and there is a deeper issue of how the church values the leading of worship.

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We’re Back!

My website disappeared at the beginning of December.  You probably didn’t notice.  It broke.

I am incredibly grateful to Fr Simon for getting everything back online.  Rebuilding has been quite an in-depth process.  I hope that I have managed to bring order to the chaos that comes from having a website that began it’s life on Myspace over fifteen years ago.  Since then, I’ve migrated to WordPress, which then became “changingworship dot com” and then eventually, robbsutherland.com.

Done is better than perfect | Something I am going to try to live by.

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RIP Desmond Tutu

At the Community of the Resurrection

RIP Archbishop Desmond Tutu. A genuine modern legend who truly had an impact upon the world and brought about change for the better. Someone who gave gave us a glimpse of the Kingdom of God, a hope of a world in which people are created equal and not trapped by the structures society places them into.

When I met Desmond Tutu, I had been ordained about five minutes. I was a young guy with long hair who spent most of his life answering the question “are you really a vicar?” On the day of my ordination I wasn’t even sure my own bishop thought I was suitable. I imagined him going along the line, putting his hands on the other candidates heads, getting to me and skipping me in the line.

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Poverty | Time to Challenge the Narrative!

If you have hung around for long enough, you will know that I have strong opinions about poverty and how it is created within our society. As the world re-emerges from the last 18 months of Covidtide, we are seeing a sharp snap back to a narrative of the undeserving poor.  With universal credit being slashed in the coming week affecting 6 million people, we are once again seeing an ideological drive to level up the wealthy at the expense of the poor. 

At the heart of it all is the narrative we tell ourselves about who we are as a community.  This clip is well worth two and a half minutes of your time.

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