2nd April     Sally Hitchiner
10th - 15th April     The Holy Week Hut
7th May     The Art of Songwriting
4th June     Richard Beck
   
 
BEYOND CHURCH BLOG

BEYOND BLOG

Cole Moreton - 5th March 2017


Cole very honestly shared his story as one who loves Jesus but finds it hard to love the institution of the church, especially in recent years when it has not dealt very well with the issues of gender equality, sexuality and marriage and the political landscape, especially in the US.


He described how all of us keep unpleasant things behind a wall or a dam so that we can maintain our circles of community but sometimes one more thing added to the pile behind the dam is too much and it cracks and splits leaving us swimming up to our necks in stuff that is too hard to deal with.

We also listened to a track by Iain Archer - Everest - to help us to reflect on the need sometimes to just hold on through the night until dawn breaks and brings us relief.  You can listen to that on Youtube here.

Some other day, when my morning comes,
I’ll be the one that’s waited all night


Cole has kindly allowed us to post his talk here including the Q&A that followed.  You can listen to it here.

Our next event is at 7.30pm on Sunday 2nd April with Revd. Sally Hitchiner from Brunel University who will be talking about what it means to live in the space left in a church that has a wide variety of views about sexuality, gender and equality.





An Evening with Pádraig Ó Tuama - 5th Feb. 2017



Pádraig is a poet, storyteller, theologian and the leader of the Corrymeela Community in Northern Ireland.




He brought his unique collection of stories, thoughts about prayer and poems to St. Luke's Prestonville for a memorable evening.  His soft spoken Irish brogue gives everything that he says a poetic cadence and he has a great gift for telling stories with depth of meaning and purpose whilst maintaining an air of charm and good humour, evening in dark circumstances.

Over 100 people came to listen to him and the overall response has been very positive with people expressing their appreciation for his words and wanting to relive the experience.  Fortunately we recorded the event and Pádraig has agreed to allow us to post this as an mp3 download which you can access on this link.




24th December - Hut 395





It is said that medieval philosophers spent a lot of time discussing how many angels could dance on the head of a pin and that this is an example of how philosophy can embroil you in pointless conversation.












Whether you think this sort of debate took place or not, it certainly is true that the Bible tells us that a host of angels appeared on the night that Jesus was born to announce his birth and to rejoice in the message of good news which would bring great joy to all peoples.


Hut 395 aimed to give people a hint of a heavenly host with a clever arrangement of mirrors and a lighted angel.  

The reflection of the angel in the mirrors bounced back and forth giving us a repeated image which stretched off into the distance.  

If viewers could align themselves correctly then this line of angels could in theory have gone on for ever.

A huge crowd turned up including the mayor of Brighton and Hove, Peter West, the Bishop of Lewes, Richard Jackson and local resident Zoe Ball and we had a great time singing angel themed carols and hearing the Christmas story as recounted in the gospel of Luke.  

We then distributed glowsticks around the throng and in recognition that the angels brought the glory of the Lord to shine around them, we broke these sticks as a sign of the light of Christ coming into the world.




This was a fantastic end to a memorable ninth year of the Beach Hut Advent Calendar and we look forward to our our tenth anniversary next year.









23rd December - Hut 329



We have had a remarkably peaceful Advent when it comes to the weather and have hardly had to mention it in the blog each day.  The exception was today. 

It seems extraordinary that we've been able to get to the 23rd December without a bad weather evening but Storm Barbara put in an appearance tonight.



She brought strong winds with her and combined with a high tide this meant we had a constant spray of water which wasn't quite rain but made for an uncomfortable evening.


But this didn't stop the Zahorchak family from throwing themselves into the spirit of the season.  The children had dressed up as angels and looked adorable sat in their hut although they had to abandon that in favour of more weather friendly gear.

This is known as Nate's hut after Nathan Zahorchak who died unexpectedly in 2014.  The hut is a way for Katie and her children to remember Nate in a positive way and a place of happiness and relaxation for them.




Playing cards in memory of Nate, who was a magician, were hanging as decorations in the hut along with photos of the family that he loved.







There was also a Merry Christmas display and some sets of angel wings fluttering in the wind.





The children weren't the only ones to take up position in the hut as soloist Laura Brookes and her accompaniest came along and sang a number of Christmas carols for the assembled crowd.





Storm Barbara is supposed to blow through overnight and hopefully the weather forecast for Christmas Eve at hut 395 is calm and peaceful.





22nd December - Hut 82



This evening we got a child's view of an angel thanks to the work of the children at the Downs Infants School Art Club.


The centrepiece was another large angel but very different to the collaged one we had last night.  






This angel looked like a little girl, flying along with a beaming smile on her face and her hair drooping down over one eye.  She looked like she was having a lot of fun as she was swayed by the wind under a star and a collection of other, smaller angels, all made by the children.




The children had also been asked what they thought about angels and it was really interesting to see their different comments about this.




Some understood that sometimes we describe others as angels, especially when they've done something good or kind for another person.  






Others had a more objective understanding of the type of being an angel is and how they might behave.






It might not be a bad thing for us to encourage our youngsters to model themselves on angels, whatever they understand that to mean.





W e also had garlands of angels across the lintel of the hut and a little band of angels brought instruments with them and played so that we could sing some carols together.




It was a very pleasant, charming evening with a lot of good humour and communal enjoyment.






Only two more huts to go and our pilgrimage will move towards Hove Lagoon for Christmas Eve, but first we stop at hut number 329 tomorrow for our penultimate opening.








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