Still Valued and Blessed


When do we move from middle age into old age?  Is it when our hair begins to turn grey – or we lose it? Could it be when we hit the age of being eligible to receive our pensions? Maybe it is at that time of life when we cease to carry out any kind of paid employment? Is it when our health begins to fail, or when we come to a point of realising that we can no longer do what we used to? Many people say that ‘old age’ is all about attitude of mind.

God doesn’t want us to stop living fulfilling lives – filled with joy and hope – just because we have reached a certain age. We still have spiritual needs to be met; callings to fulfil; and, through our relationship with Jesus, an eternal spiritual connection with God that no one and nothing can take away. And this is why I came to write Still Valued and Blessed. Not to try and define when old age does or does not begin, but to encourage the kind of understanding of Scripture, relationship with Jesus and mind-set that enables us to approach, enter and journey through old age with a positive attitude that will enable it to be a spiritually fruitful and fulfilling time of our lives.

Just because we are older, doesn’t mean we have to stop! Indeed, surely it is better to see this stage in all our lives as nothing more – and nothing less – than another chapter! New experiences lie ahead, new wonders, new challenges.

With God beside us, these senior years have as much promise as the ones which we have already lived. It is not about dwelling on the things we can no longer do – though don’t for a minute think just because you’re a certain age you can’t run a half marathon or learn a new skill – it is about seeking God’s continued calling, no matter what our age. And in that, realising and relishing the fact that we are, each and every one of us, Still Valued and Blessed.

Patrick Coghlan

Five Note Philharmonic – Sarah Watts



I have so much to thank music for. Not just the obvious things like appreciating its power to relax me, change my mood and to conjure up life memories etc. Those things are important and powerful of course, and one should never underestimate the power of music, but for me, it was so much more.

I could probably say that music played a huge part in carving who I am. Because I was fortunate to have been encouraged by my parents and school to play an instrument…or two. Music gave me an identity, punctuated my week with exciting experiences, introduced me to friends, shaped my teenage social life, gave me a career, and even found me a husband.

This is probably why I feel so passionately about sharing this experience with others. I have written a lot of music, and I can honestly say that the aim behind most of it has been to make playing music enjoyable, accessible and inspiring. Some of the young people who have played my music may have only played three notes, but I wanted them to really enjoy playing them, and remember the experience.

Because of the “Wider opportunities” and “First Access” schemes many Hubs, music services and schools are now able to provide class instrumental lessons. This is wonderful, but the challenge has always been “How are we going to get these young instrumentalists to keep playing?”.

Often music comes to life when you play it with other people. Research has shown that those who join bands, orchestras ensembles and groups at a young age are more likely to continue playing their instrument. With this in mind, it’s really important that we as music educators offer these opportunities in the very early stages of learning.

My “Easy band book” and “Band in a book” have been very popular as a “grass roots” ensemble resources, but I wanted to do something better. It’s very difficult to write something for a beginner ensemble that is suitable for everyone. This is mainly because the instruments are often in different keys, and most teachers just don’t have time to arrange things specially.

I have recently written a new book called “Five note Philharmonic” where despite the “key issue”, each part only uses five notes. Where possible I have made sure that these are five of the easiest notes on the instrument. It’s wonderful offering an “Ensemble experience”, but it’s important to make sure that it’s a comfortable one that will build confidence rather than deflate it.

The book has ten short pieces in varying styles, all have a piano or CD accompaniment. I have also written an extra B flat part for a slightly more advanced player so that the melody line be played with a B flat or C instrument.

One of the strongest desires I have for anything I write, is for it to be useful as a resource for teachers. It is also very important to me that my music can provide the same “musical excitement” for somebody that gave me the inspiration to write it in the first place.

Sarah Watts

Sponsored reading of Nicholas King’s translation of the Bible

We are delighted to announce that Nicholas King’s iconic translation of the Bible will be read in its entirety between November 30 and December 3.— a ‘first’ we think!

bc-1501437Everyone is welcome to drop in—here are the details:

Reader    Reverend Canon Mary Garbutt

Venue      Church of St Mary the Virgin, Maidwell, NN6 9JF which, you will be pleased to know, has a loo

Dates        Monday November 30 from 7am to 10:30pm
Tuesday December 1 from 6:30am to 10:30pm
Wednesday December 2 from 6:30am to 10:30pm
Thursday December 3 from 6:00 am to finish

This is a sponsored reading and all money raised will go towards the upkeep of the seven small rural

churches Mary has responsibility for and their link parishes in Bungoma, Western Kenya.

Contributions will be most gratefully received by Mary.


Her contact details are:

The Revd Canon Mary Garbutt
The Rectory
Harlestone Road
Church Brampton

First woman bishop presented with Bible translated by Jesuit Catholic priest


On Monday 26th January Libby Lane was consecrated as the first female bishop in the Church of England in a packed service at York Minster.

Kevin Mayhew is pleased and proud to announce that the Bible she was given at this groundbreaking ceremony was a boxed presentation edition of Nicholas King’s Study Bible.

Nicholas King’s prestigious translation has quite rightly received many plaudits since its publication and this presentation to Libby Lane confirms its leading place among the finest Bible translations available to scholars today.

Nicholas King, who has taught New Testament at Oxford University, is frequently in demand all over the world to lecture on biblical subjects. He is the first person for over 70 years to translate the Bible on his own, without the aid of a committee. His translation, first published by Kevin Mayhew in 2013, is from the Greek, complete with grammatical inaccuracies and idiomatic peculiarities. The result is a vibrant translation which is exceptionally stimulating and sometimes startling. It shakes off the dust which often settles on passages that have become tired from overfamiliarity or frequent quotation, allowing the text to come to life in new and unexpected ways.

Church leaders, scholars and readers of every denomination have greeted this unique study Bible with delight.

Modern Language

Many will remember the joy that greeted the introduction of Common
Worship in the year 2000. At last, Anglican worshippers were able fully
to participate in worship using familiar, everyday language in prayers and
responses whose meaning was clear.
Many might have wondered why it was taking so long for traditional
hymnody to become similarly inclusive and accessible. Although we have had
an explosion in new hymns and worship songs, that still leaves a wealth of wellloved
hymns in danger of falling into disuse simply because their language and
imagery are barriers. And indeed, as we have discovered in this process, even
some modern songs slip into archaism all too easily. When is the Church going
to enable congregations to be fully included, not only in the prayers we say but
in the ones we sing, too?
Well, now we can! This is the collection that addresses that need – almost
certainly the most radical revision in modern times to a major hymnal. Having
said that, we must also say that radical revision of hymns is not, in fact,
anything new in itself; many well-loved traditional hymns are in reality very
different from their ‘original’ versions. Consider, for example, ‘Hark, the
herald-angels sing’, which began life as ‘Hark, how all the welkin rings’, and a
simple look at the list of authors to which that carol is attributed indicates
a long development process before it became what most people now regard as
the ‘original’.

Valuing our tradition
This, though, is not about a rejection of tradition. Our treasury, as Jesus said,
should contain things old and new; and just as, for example, the Book of
Common Prayer and the King James Bible continue to be loved and valued
alongside Common Worship, so no doubt will the more familiar versions of
hymns also remain in the treasury.
What we have done here is to offer alternatives to traditional wordings to
make them accessible to more people. Hymns, of course, unlike paintings and
symphonies, for example, are not primarily works of art but means to enable
participation in worship, and it is that objective that takes precedence in this
book. Many of these hymns, we suspect, would have faded completely from use
over the next few decades or less and that would have been a huge loss, not only
to hymnody but to spirituality. We hope that our changes might enable at least
some of the ‘old’ to remain in our treasury alongside the completely new, of
which there are also a good number here.

From the days of the first vernacular translations of the Bible, there has been
recognition that the gospel of Christ should, as far as possible, be equally
accessible to all. So it should not be necessary to have a classical education and
be steeped in poetic traditions in order to grasp the essential meaning of a hymn
as the music pushes us onward from one thought to the next, denying us the
time we might take to reflect on a Bible reading or poem. Many people,
however well-educated, do not have a ‘feel’ for poetic language, and if the
Church is to be true to its founder, then those whose communication skills are
different should not be excluded from singing and understanding hymns.
Having said that, however, neither do we want unnecessarily to impoverish
our worship with triviality of thought or expression, and it would be sad to lose
the grandeur of language with which hymnody has undoubtedly enriched our
worship for centuries. Many hymns richly repay, and indeed stimulate, deeper
reflection on our faith, which is surely something we should all be encouraged
to do.
It is also true, of course, that our faith is a celebration of Mystery – a
celebration that by definition we can enter into without fully understanding. To
try to make Mystery fully accessible is worse than futile, as the attempt to do so
(and the illusion that we have succeeded) can only diminish our concept of
the Divine. Awe and wonder also are essential elements of worship – in the
words of Robert Browning, ‘[Our] reach should exceed [our] grasp, or what’s a
heaven for?’
Holding these disparate values together has been one of the creative challenges
of our task as editors, reminding us of another great faith-concept: paradox!

Archaic language
There is more to this than simply changing ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ to ‘you’, which itself
often results in unnatural-sounding phrases. Many other words still used in
hymnody are unfamiliar today. People steeped by life-long experience in
Christian worship may well know what ‘vouchsafe’ means, but the person
venturing into church for the first time, and already feeling like a stranger in a
strange land, might find it a serious barrier.
Many words, of course, simply don’t mean what they did when the texts were
first written. Perhaps the most well-known example for older people would be
‘at thy cradle rude and bare’ from ‘God rest ye merry, gentlemen’. More seriously,
the use of ‘fear’ to mean ‘respect’ is simply asking to be misunderstood, as are
references to the Holy Ghost. And just what are modern people to understand
by, ‘Here I raise my Ebenezer’?
Inevitably, in hymnody, many of these words occur as part of the rhyme
scheme and so demand more extensive change to the text than simply their own
replacement. Because of our commitment to the clarity and inclusivity of the
language we have generally not shrunk from doing this but hope we have done
it carefully, skilfully and, most of all, respectfully.

Demeaning language
The evolution of language – a process now highlighted and greatly accelerated
by phenomena such as texting and the internet – affects more than just clarity.
Some words in common use only half a century ago are now considered deeply
offensive. So, while it was clearly acceptable in a different cultural and
theological milieu, there are serious questions about asking people to describe
themselves as ‘wretch’, ‘vile’, ‘worthless’, and so on, in a modern context.
For all our flaws, we are human beings made by God in God’s image. Yes, the
image is disfigured – horribly so in some cases – and, yes we have done, and still
do, some pretty horrible things – but there is now abundant and compelling
evidence that constantly emphasising our dark side (and often asking people to
describe themselves as much worse than they are) is not the way to help any of
us to change.
Many terms for illness, disability and disadvantage have become either
pejorative or patronising, and it’s important that people who would feel the
impact of that should not be excluded from acts of worship by the words we ask
them to sing. So words like ‘lame’, ‘dumb’ etc. have also been changed, with
very few exceptions.

This is a difficult one since one person’s heresy is another’s free thinking, but we
felt it right, without imposing our own personal beliefs more than is inevitable,
to reconsider the wordings of some hymns. A good example is the well-loved
‘Away in a manger’ with its completely unfounded statement that the infant
Jesus did not cry. Apart from the heresy of Docetism which denies the true
humanity of Jesus, this also, by implication, links his infant silence to his
perfection – setting a standard of supposed ‘goodness’ convenient to adults but
unattainable and unreasonable for children.

We recognise, of course, that Scripture is full of references to spiritual warfare,
but surely none of us can be unaware that, not only but certainly in
Christianity, such language has proved itself dangerously open to misuse in the
justification of horrific conflicts and the endorsement of brutal imperial
domination. Closely related to militarism is triumphalism. Of course there is
triumph in Christianity, but it is the triumph of the cross – a radically different
concept from putting enemies under our feet (an image sadly used in hymnody)
which has no place in Christian thinking. For the God of Jesus Christ, victory
over enemies consists in reconciling them as friends!

Losses and gains
We have been immensely grateful for the willing co-operation of many authors
and copyright holders who have agreed to our requests for changes, and we fully
respect the right exercised by some to decline permission. Sadly, this has resulted
in the loss of a very few popular texts from this collection, including those
modern classics ‘How great thou art’ and ‘In Christ alone’. However, we have
also been delighted to include a large number of completely new texts, some by
exciting new writers, along with many children’s and all-age worship songs
making their first appearances in a general hymnal.

Keys and musical settings
‘We can’t sing up there’, is a comment made after far too many church services.
And it’s true; research shows that for various reasons the human singing voice
has dropped over the last century. And we only have to listen to congregations
to know that many people have real difficulty with hymn singing. Carols
especially – think of ‘Christians, awake!’, ‘Hark, the herald-angels sing’, ‘Once
in royal David’s city’ and ‘Silent night’ – don’t just have very high notes but the
tunes hang around up there, which is even worse.
Usually, the problem is easy to solve: tunes can be pitched in much more
friendly keys and, as a rule, when this is done the congregation sings with
enthusiasm and comfort. In those tunes which have a long stretch (like ‘Danny
Boy’) we decided that it would be better to growl a little at the bottom rather
than risk damage to the vocal cords at the top.

The art of the possible
Of course, one cannot be absolute about anything – including that statement.
In balancing the many, and often conflicting, ideals of this hymnal, there
inevitably have been times when we simply had to do the imperfect best we
could. In musical terms, this applied to the choice of keys as we were faced with
deservedly well-loved tunes whose wide vocal range meant that they were either
going to be too high or too low and we had to find the best compromise.
In the texts, possibly more frequently, similar issues arose. An example is
G. K. Chesterton’s masterpiece of political critique, ‘O God of earth and altar’,
an arrestingly powerful and (sadly) highly relevant poem to read but sometimes
difficult to grasp the meaning while singing, as the tune pushes us on and denies
us time to reflect. In this and similar cases, we have tried to balance clarity of
expression with a need for a little thoughtful reflection on the part of the reader
and hope that worship leaders will feel able to introduce the hymn with a few
explanatory words.
On the basis of our criteria, some hymns were quickly excluded – ‘Fight the
good fight’, for example, relies on militaristic imagery throughout. Others are
clearly of great merit but had perhaps a verse that did not meet our criteria. This
presented a dilemma which is felt by some worship leaders who would love to
use a particular hymn but find themselves prevented by what is actually quite a
small but significant part of the text. In those cases, rather than exclude the
whole hymn, it seemed not inappropriate to make changes to the text. In doing
this, we again bore in mind that we are not ‘defacing the original’ but rather
offering an alternative to allow most of the text to remain in wider use
for longer.
Inevitably, of course, there comes a song whose very archaism is an essential
part of its charm, and an example of such is that much-adored carol, ‘Ding
dong, merrily on high!’ with its ‘swungen’, ‘sungen’ and joyful if nonsensical ‘ioio-
io’! Sometimes it’s good to go beyond words and simply make a joyful noise
to God!
Saint Irenaeus said, ‘The glory of God is humanity fully alive, and to be alive
consists in beholding God.’ Part of being fully alive is surely about being fully
included, valued and involved in worship. That being so, it is particularly
appropriate to dedicate this new hymnal, in Irenaeus’ terms:

To ‘the glory of God’.

Michael Forster
Kevin Mayhew

Q&A with Nicholas King

Nick King

If you didn’t catch Nicholas King’s talk on Bible translation at CRE, Sandown earlier this month, then you will have missed one of the highlights of the whole event; delivered with humour, humility and zest,  I was inspired to put on my theology hat for a bumper blog post! Below the respected New Testament scholar and Oxford University lecturer talks New Testament ‘freshness’, Hebrew, learning Zulu passed 40, ‘elderly gym antics’ and the ‘impossibly difficult task’ that is Bible translation!

At a recent talk given at CRE, Sandown you said you began by translating two Gospels simply ‘just to see what it was like’. You’ve also been quoted as saying that Bible translation happens because ‘the community has forgotten the language of the sacred texts’- do you think subconsciously you were feeling this when you chose to translate?

I don’t think that was what was going on inside me; I sat down to translate Mark and John because I had to give a summer school about the two of them, and there is no better way of getting a ‘feel’ for a document than to translate it. And it was certainly a great education.

Nicholas King
Nick signs copies of his latest book ‘The Prophets’

What age did you begin learning Hebrew, how long did it take you to master and also what advice would you give to someone wanting to learn the language?

I started learning Hebrew in my mid-20s; and my advice is that the brain works better the younger you are. I learnt Zulu when I was past 40, and that was really hard work. The only advice is that learning a language is very hard work, and you must never give up. Do a bit every single day; do new stuff in the morning, and familiar material last thing at night before you go to sleep.

Nick King - Book Signing

Presumably you’ve read the bible simply as a reader and believer in God as much as you’ve read it as a scholar…how much do you think personal beliefs inadvertently ‘cloud’ a translation…would having no belief in God take some of the feeling out of the text?

Many non-believers have worked on the biblical texts (though I sometimes wonder why); so it is certainly possible to work on them without believing in them. As for being clouded by ‘personal beliefs’,any translator is the person they are and not some other person, and what you do as a translator is greatly affected by the person you are.

Before you began each of your translations did you have an idea of what you didn’t want to produce…what you didn’t want it to sound like and also how you’d strike a balance between literal renderings and paraphrase; about pitch of discourse, style and format?

Before I started the translation, I thought translation was easy; I thought, for example, that every word in the source language would always be translated by the same word in the target-language, and that I could control the effect of what I was doing. I found in fact that the translation dictated itself, and that it was out of my hands. The one quality that I wanted the NT to have was that of ‘freshness’ which is there in the 27 documents that make up the original; and I am pleased to notice that several reviewers have used that word. Now I know that translation is an impossibly difficult task.

The Old Testament - Nicholas King

Did you find yourself seeing, in your minds eye, the various people in the Bible– was there enough there in the text to get that kind of clarity?

One always forms an impression of the people who are part of the narrative; how accurate the impression is, must be, of course, another matter.

You spoke of avoiding ‘puréed sludge’; translating the various voices in a way that they all retained their uniqueness rather than sounding like one and the same. Are you able to summarise in one or two words the personalities/character traits of say, Matthew, Mark and Paul?

Matthew: a school-teacher, with all that implies
Mark: young and vigorous
Paul: a great lover

The New Testament - MathewThe New Testament - Mark

Have there been many sleepless nights during the course of translating the Bible and has there been anything that was particularly difficult to translate?

The hardest bit was Romans; at times I found that the closer I looked the less I understood what Paul was saying.

Not that man - Nicholas King

Are there any parts that seemed ‘easier’ than others to translate and why do you think this was?

Perhaps Joshua to 2 Kings, the ‘Deuteronomic History’, because it is mainly narrative. Ruth, because it is a breath of fresh air after the appalling narratives with which the book of Judges ends.

Who or what kept you sane throughout…I read that you’re a big cricket fan so perhaps watching/playing?

Playing cricket and squash, as well as some running and downhill skiing, until osteo-arthritis brought retirement upon me. Now I content myself with elderly antics in the gym.

Did you check your translations with other readers?

For some reason I felt very private about the translations, preferring to wait and see how readers reacted. However I had an excellent copy- editor in Peter Dainty, who was incredibly vigilant, and a former student, Yolande Trainor, who read every word of the text with her Ladies’ Bible Study group in South Africa, and preserved me from many blunders.

With regards to the things left unspoken in the Bible, for instance in Mark 16:8…why do you think that some translators have felt the need to fill in the gaps- do you think it’s because they didn’t trust the reader to get the nuances in the text or simply because they wanted to put their own stamp on it?

It is probably a bit of both; biblical narrative operates by understatement, such, for example as the terrible story of the binding of Isaac in Genesis 22, which is simply crying out to fill in the gaps. And quite often later authors have been unable to resist the temptation to fill them in.

Strangest Gospel - Nicholas King

You have said “The Greek text of the New Testament is only a scholars’ guess, and what we have in our modern editions is not a manuscript that ever existed; all the manuscripts that we possess have mistakes in them, so we do not even know what the original text was”…does this conflict in any away with your belief that god’s voice is just below the surfacedo you believe that this voice will get harder to hear/find?

This is where the Church comes in; we get the Bible from the Christian community, and not the other way round. However (and this is really important) it is also true that the Church is subservient to the text, as well as being its source, and we all have to listen to that voice of God which is there “below the surface of the text”, whatever the quality of the translation, and whatever the state of the manuscripts.


You mentioned the biblical narrative has ‘a certain fullness’ would you say that in distilling/ editing this ‘fullness’ in your own translations you’ve done away with poetics? Was there a chance that the translation would not only have been ineligible but twice the size if you’d left the ‘fullness’?

“A certain fullness”. I can’t quite remember saying this, nor what precisely what I might have meant by it! However I have tried to be faithful to the text, and where it was poetic I have tried to be poetic, and so I don’t think that I distilled it in a way that would have made my final text notably shorter than the original.

At CRE, you spoke of your affinity with Ronnie Knox (a theologian who amongst other things translated the Latin Vulgate Bible into English, using Hebrew and Greek sources)– remarking that you said a prayer at this grave in ‘allegiance’. Are there other people you admire/feel an allegiance to?

The list is too long, but those who taught me above all. In different places, Peter Hardwick (and he would be surprised by that), and Geza Vermes, both of whom have died this year; Robert Murray SJ, Professor Christopher Rowland – and many many others.

Father Ronald Knox
Father Ronald Knox d. 1957

Has translating the Bible changed your understanding of it in any significant way? And would you say it’s strengthened your faith?

One thing that it has taught me is how much I love the bible. And, yes, I think that my faith has gone deeper.

And finally, what advice would you give to someone wanting to translate the bible?

Think twice about it.


With special thanks to Nick for this interview!

Posted by Sarah

The books featured in this post are available from all good Christian bookshops or direct from Kevin Mayhew online: or by telephone: +44 (0)845 3881634

At a glance: Three recent KM publications

Word Alive! All-age dramas to bring the Gospels to life ~ Claire Benton-Evans (Pub. Feb 2013)

Word Alive by Claire Benton-Evans

Quote “Reading scripture dramatically like this can be wonderfully revealing…exchanges like these can bring to life the noisy, argumentative crowd surrounding Jesus and his disciples…The key ingredient in all these dramas is freshness.

Overview Reading through I’m enthused!…Claire is good at setting the scene for each drama e.g. for ‘Walking on Water’ she compares the calm of the Lake District to the ‘wicked wind’ in the Jordan valley whipping up a storm on Lake Galilee ‘before you can say man overboard’. Props are kept simple but are effective and the book lacks none of the creativity and freshness that we’ve always loved about a Benton-Evans publication!

A selection of other titles published by KM Feasts and festivals (Aug 2012) Food for Prayer (Dec 2008). She’s also written chapters on Celebrity-obsessed culture, Family breakdown, Sexism, The NHS and Women in the church for Sermons on Difficult Subjects (Aug 2011).

About Claire Claire writes exclusively for Kevin Mayhew. Her consultancy work includes all-age worship workshops and children’s spirituality training for clergy, worship leaders, head teachers and school governors.

Forthcoming events:

25 April 2013 Marham Church C of E Primary School in Cornwall, helping the school to design their own  ‘spiritual space’ for the children to use.

11 May 2013  Edinburgh, leading a ‘Taste and See’ day on children’s spirituality and all-age worship for the Church of Scotland.

All mentioned books available from KM Publishing and all good Christian book shops. A free sample of Word Alive! is available on our website:

Rejoice with Me~ Hope for lost sheep~ Annie Heppenstall (pub. 5 March 2013)

Rejoice With Me by Annie Heppenstall

Quote “Whether our path is rocky or smooth, the way we respond depends a lot on whether we feel loved or not.

Overview Annie Shares her personal ups and downs to explore what it is to feel like a ‘lost sheep’. This is an uplifting read covering a lot of ground. It includes lots of imaginative references (Leo Tolstoy’s story about a Russian shoemaker) and great imagery (Annie’s two tatty bookmarks- one of which is a yellowing photocopied sheep!). Great if you’re feeling ‘spiritually sick’ or just want an inspiring pick-me-up.

About Annie Annie is a qualified teacher and has a degree in Theology and Religious Studies from Cambridge University. She has spent the last four years practising a contemplative lifestyle, giving time to her family, to her writing and other creative expressions of spirituality as well as training in spiritual direction and counselling skills.

Other titles published by KM Hiding in God  (April 2012)

Both books available from KM Publishing and all good Christian book shops. A free sample of Rejoice with Me is available on our website ()

The Lindisfarne Gospels~ The English Church and Our Multicultural World (Reflections and Liturgical Resources~ Ray Simpson (Pub. Feb 2013)

Lindisfarne Gospels by Ray Simpson

Quote “I write, not as an expert, but a hungry pilgrim who picks up crumbs left by the experts, finds them life-giving, and shares them with other hungry spiritual seekers.

Overview Very current/ topical, this slim but packed volume (you’ll have to keep up!) takes you through the history of the Gospels- unravelling the various strands in a colourful and impassioned tone.No expertise on the subject is required (so it’s suitable reading for the layman!) though the resources and liturgies section (which is quite big) lends itself more to those in Celtic ministry.

About Ray

Ray Simpson is the founding guardian of the international Community of Aidan and Hilda and the principal tutor of its Celtic Christian Studies programme. He sends a daily prayer tweet @whitehouseviews and writes a weekly blog

A selection of other titles published by KM Reflective Services for Lent (Oct 2012) Exploring Celtic Spirituality (Feb 2004). He also has
two chapters on Abstinence and Fraud in More Sermons on difficult subjects (Dec 2012).

All mentioned books available from KM Publishing and all good Christian book shops. A free sample of The Lindisfarne Gospels is available from our website and The Lindisfarne Gospels Facebook Page

Music Education Expo 2013: Day One: The rumble over Music Hubs

Having pored over the Arts Council website today to top up my Hub knowledge, I was reminded of one teacher’s remark during the Q&A with MP Ed Vaizey on Wednesday about the provision of ‘meaningless one year’s tuition’. The overall success of a hub including the provision of pathways for continued support after a limited period of tuition seems to depend on the  bid winners’ (mostly music services) ability to develop a strong ‘hub vision’ and make innovative partnerships with organisations in their local authority. This undoubtedly doesn’t happen over night  but  there was much talk to suggest that it simply doesn’t  happen much at all, with schools and other organisations far from included, ‘pushed out by the music services’ were the exact words from one disgruntled music teacher. Other issues raised included the desire to see details of failed bids, and a concern that the consultation period for deciding on the winning bids was too short.

Arriving late but with an inspired vision for music hubs, Mr Vaizey did appear, at times, reluctant to claim responsibility for the practical details beyond such a vision. Ultimately satisfied that his desired goals had been implemented (and at speed) all other problems are simply down to the fact it’s early days  and hubs are still evolving– he could well have a point but what’s your opinion? Please feel free to comment and share your experiences (good, bad or inbetween) of music hubs.

MP Ed Vaizey

Post by Sarah

Music Education Expo 2013: Day One: An Overview

With my nose glued to an iPad for most of the day, I was nearly mown down by a (superb!) marching band but ushered swiftly out  of the way by a kind member of staff! Other notable moments included the tribalistic quality of what I assumed were clapping and rhythm exercises coming from the theatre but sounded more like Rhinegold’s inaugural rites! There was also a fab rendition of an Abba song from a young recorder group, not to mention MP Ed Vaizey’s talk and the savaging he received from a few disgruntled music teachers AND not forgetting the inspirational talk on Blogging for music teachers (Save time and money whilst raising the profile of your school!) by two queens of blogging Hanh Doan and Jackie Schneider…phew! Busy day!

Music Expo 2013 - Overview
Music Education Expo 2013

Hanh Doan and Jackie Schneider On Blogging

For the fact that one music teacher asked whether blogs were free to set up or not suggested that there were those in the audience without social media savvy and/or those too busy to look in to it– but enthusiastic about the prospect nonetheless! A glance at both Beaumont School and St Theresa’s School blog page shows YouTube clips, images of whiteboards with the day’s lesson notes on, reminders, announcements, homework and more! For inspiration on setting up your own blog visit:

You can also follow Jackie and Hanh on Twitter @jackieschneider and @myhanhdoan

Music Expo 2013
Percussion Play demonstrate to delighted spectators

Music Expo 2013 - Why Play the Recorder?
Sarah Watts with Kevin and Abbie from the KM team

Post By Sarah