Monthly Archives: October 2007

Ten Twenty Thirty Meme

I have been tagged by Pam: PamBG’s Blog: Ten Twenty Thirty Meme.

In October 1997, I was working at City Networks Ltd as a senior developer. I had just started a new project leading a team to develop an application for the derivatives market. I also had a role in setting and managing standards and common tools as the whole development team moved to developing windows applications.

At the same time I was in negotiations with the Danish Bible Society about the possibility of forming my own company to write a new fundraising application for them that would be sold to other Biblke Societies and charities. Those negotiations had started nearly a year earlier when I was approached by the United Bible Societies. In the end it did happen and I left City Networks at the end of 1997, starting Sundayta Ltd on 1st January 1998.

I spent 2 1/2 years with City Networks and learnt an incredible amount, it was a time of huge change and growth in the company and in the development department. Worked with some great people on some interesting and challenging projects.

In October 1987, I was renting a room from a great friend (see Tuesday Thanks: Clive McKie) while working for the United Bible Societies, Europe Middle East Regional Centre. My job title was "Accounts Analyst/Programmer", however I pretty much managed to avoid any accounts analysis and was working full time as a Dataflex programmer and IT administrator. It was a great place to work, meeting some amazing people from all over the world. Within a couple of years I became Computer Consultant for the Europe Middle East Region which I remained until end August 1995. At this time I was just starting to do some international travel as we geared up to be the first region to prepare all budgets in a new DataFlex application.

Jane was still at University in Manchester and we were engaged. I was travelling up about once a month to see her and at about this time went up to help support the Chaplaincy team in the Bogle stroll (a rag week 65 mile walk through the night).

At other times I was the Scout Leader of the 1st Northgate, the troop attached to St Paul’s Methodist Church.

In October 1977, I was 12 and had just started at Hazelwick School. We had moved to Crawley for the schools a year earlier after I failed the 11plus in Kingston-upon-Thames. We were very busy at home. We had moved into a 2 bedroom bungalow and that summer we had joined the house to the garage and then taken the roof off the house in sections to replace it with a slightly steeper version with 4 bedrooms and a bathroom in the roof. By October we were in the final stages that would see my brother and I move into our new bedrooms at midnight on Christmas Eve. Until then my brother, sister and I were sharing one bedroom. We did all the work on the house ourselves with just two carpenters mates helping on Saturdays.


Forgot to tag anyone. How about Sally, Talmida and Will.

Tuesday Thanks: Clive McKie

When I was in my teens someone new and slightly older moved to Crawley and started coming to the same Church. As was often the case my parents immediately invited him to Sunday lunch. His name was Clive McKie, as a young (21ish) and enthusiastic Christian he was instantly adopted as a new mentor for the teens at St Paul’s.

Within a very short time he had started a new Sunday night youth fellowship. In the beginning there were five of us

  • Clive
  • Delia and Martin (sister & brother, good friends of ours)
  • my bother
  • me

That group continued for many years, at one time over 20 members. It was hugely influential on me in my pre-university days. We had great times with parties, weekends away, social evenings plus we got to discuss faith, scripture and issues that mattered to us. We also sang (very badly) what seemed like new and avant garde choruses.

I remember with affection Clive’s ex Post Office Morris Minor van with seats in the back, especially one trip back from a weekend camping at Hastings. Clive, Martin, my brother and I were in the van and maybe we had not got the weight distribution of all the camping gear very well sorted. At one downhill corner we had a scary few moments when the steering was not responding, then it suddenly did and we found ourselves aiming at oncoming traffic.

When I finished university I returned to Crawley, living with Mum and Dad and commuting to London. With little money I was as desperate to leave home as they were to regain their sanity :-) Clive came to the rescue. For a number of years he had been living in Horsham in a flat. Now he wanted to move back to Crawley and buy a house. It worked out well, Clive bought a house and Martin and I moved in as tenants. We had a great time.

While there Martin and I both caught the same train (6:42am at Three Bridges a 20 minute walk away, it was the latest train you could be sure of getting a seat on). At the time I was working at the United Bible Societies in a back street between Blackfriars and St Paul’s. Despite the fact we had such an early start and Clive did not need to leave the house until hours after us, he was always up first so he could have an extended quiet time of prayer and Bible study.

During this time Clive received a call to Methodist Ordained Ministry and so started training as a Local Preacher. I had taken over the Church Scout group and was busy commuting to Manchester at least once a month to see Jane as we were engaged. During that time Clive and I still used to talk about faith issues a great deal.

After 1 1/2 years Jane was about to finish university and we were getting married so we needed to sort out somewhere to live. In the end things worked out amazingly. Carolyn, who I shared an office with, was buying a flat with her sister. We were able to work out a swap so that I would take over as tenant of the tiny flat she was renting in Romford. That Easter I volunteered to help Carolyn move and volunteered Clive to help me help her move. When we had packed the vans and cars I was taken by surprise when Clive got in Carolyn’s car for the drive. Ten days later they got engaged [update: Clive claims that the 10 days is an exaggeration - but I have never ever exaggerated at all in my entire life :-) ] and a year later they got married.

Moving along the years, Clive and Carolyn were moving away to Bristol for Clive to do his full time Ministerial studies. Our oldest son was a few months old and we were stuck in a one bedroom flat in Croydon with huge negative equity. So for four years we rented their house while renting out our own flat. They were very good landlords :-)

Moving along a few more years to the end of 1998 when I first listened to my call to ministry, after Jane, the first person I discussed it with was Clive. We went and visited them for a weekend down in Weymouth (Clive’s first appointment). As expected he was as thoughtful, considerate, helpful and challenging as ever. Helping me further on my journey.

By the time I started my own training (part time), Clive had moved to a new appointment at Reigate in the same circuit as Crawley, where we still lived. So throughout my training Clive was local and supportive. He preached at my recognition service when I became an accredited local preacher.

Throughout these years Clive was not just my friend but a friend of the whole family. A good example of that was when we asked him to preach at Mum’s funeral service. It won’t surprise anyone who knows Clive that he ministered to us all so generously, sensitively and lovingly at that time. I know that it meant a great deal to Dad.

Img_2311_2In so many ways a simple listing of some of the events and ways Clive has been a wonderful Christian mentor, friend and minister to me does not do justice to all that he has meant to me over all these years. But all these and many more are the reasons why when it came to choosing an accompanying Minister for my Ordination I chose Clive. To have him take part in that very special service as someone who has been a key part of almost my entire Christian life was wonderful.

So today I again thank God for his servant Clive and for his ministry to me for over 25 years. No doubt Carolyn will get her own Tuesday thanks page in the future as there is loads about her too that I want to thank God for.

This is part of my Tuesday Thanks series.

£125m for Cycling in the UK?

Please go and support Connect2 the Sustrans project for "The People’s Millions"

From: £125m for Cycling in the UK? « cycling edinburgh .info.

The shortlist has been announced for The People’s £50 Million Lottery Giveaway. Fortunately Sustrans‘ worthy (but not dull) and ambitious (but not unrealistically so) connect2 project is one of the four finalists.

Pledge your support.

It must also be the bookies’ favourite as it’s an international plan
available locally to ‘everyone’, whereas the other three are site
specific. Whether much needed facilities to encourage walking and
cycling should depend on the telephoned votes of TV viewers is of
course a different issue.

NB This does not in anyway constitute an endorsement by me for The  National Lottery or gambling, I support neither. Nor I do not believe this is the correct way to fund essential infrastructure.

However, given that the National Lottery is both a promotion of gambling (which is a highly destructive addictive pursuit) and a regressive tax (poorer people pay a higher % of their income on it) then this project has the potential to give the best return to those who have paid the highest price.

Famous Magazine Article Author

So today I have suddenly become famous with an article posted in Headway the magazine of Methodist Evangelicals Today. It has the catchy title "Ordination and the 2007 Methodist Conference. An ordinand & Conference virgin’s view."

I urge you to join MET and hence get access to this fine report!