Adam Rutherford at the Guardian is taking the Alpha course, and blogging every Friday about his experiences. He's just survived the first session: "Mostly when I think about religion it's the foolish edicts of preposterous old men in dresses. But sitting down with people who choose to spend a sunny Tuesday evening discussing the meaning of life with strangers seems to be a much more interesting insight into what makes people of faith tick. We shall see." (Ht Andy Dowland)
Dave Walker reports on the Surefish Church Website awards, top blog was Sophia Network, which resources women in youth work and ministry, with Unfinished Christian and Church Mouse both highly commended. Manchester Diocese also picked up an award, which sounds about right. One of their parishes, complete with cartoon vicar on the homepage, picked up the best church website award.
General Synod is underway in York, but without a live broadcast on Anglican TV, unlike FCA (wonder why?) For news follow Thinking Anglicans, or Alastair Cuttings General Synod Blog, or on Twitter using the #synod tag. Tim Chesterton notes that the Canadian General Synod is doing a Cheshire Cat impression .
A couple of significant votes in the Lords: an amendment tabled by Lord Falconer to permit assisted suicide was voted down, whilst a clause which permitted cricitism of homosexual behaviour was retained in the Coroners and Justice Bill. The clause draws a distinction between criticism of homsexual practice and incitement to hatred.
Eddie Arthur notes a study which finds that 75% of us have a Bible but less than 10% know very much about it. (I imagine the same stats would apply to DIY manuals!)
Steve Tilley takes evening prayer out of the building.
Pisteuomen (sounds better in Greek) takes issue with street preachers.
Finally the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff is no longer the 'unfriendly gulag' it was in March. Though the cricket was disappointing (for an England fan), the stewards and staff made us feel very welcome, the Park and Ride was very well organised, and the steeply racked seating behind short straight boundaries meant you really felt close to the action.
Thanks to the Barmy Army for keeping us entertained yesterday, and no thanks to the umpires who robbed us of 30m+ of play, firstly by announcing a restart with 30 mins notice (the groundstaff were ready after 15), and then taking the players off for no obvious reason and then not telling anyone what was going on. With tickets at £85 a throw, I expected the officials to treat the crowd with a bit more respect, even if some of them were dressed as Smurfs.