Well, I stayed at home last night to watch the World Cup Final. I originally kept the evening free in my diary when the fixtures came out with the vague notion England might be playing! Thats aid, I was glad my pre-tournament tip, Spain, won as I think it was a victory for decent football. That said, it was a strange World Cup, but you can read 'why' in many other places - I still think there's a need for a 'faith in football' blog, which if anyone wants to join me on setting this up, get in touch.
The morning, however, was a different kettle of fish. I was preaching Paulton which is a small church south of Bristol. I announced tot he congregation I have two new heros. More accurately, a hero and heroine - the husband and wife team of Barrie and Sue Clarke. Barrie is a 'retired' Baptist Minister and Sue claims it's mostly down to Barrie, but they are clearly a great team and both have contributed significantly to what can only be described as a huge cultural shift in this particular church community. I'm not sure how old they now are, but Barrie wasn;t just retired when they arrived at Paulton. In seven years the church has turned around. Yesterday there were 43 in attendance including a group of young children. This is a stark contrast to seven years ago - my memory is of about ten people, seriously approaching a reasonable life expectancy and a very formal atmosphere. That's all changed and I came away shouting 'hallelujah', etc.