uk voice in the global conversation and buzz about alternative worship, mission, postmodernity, emerging church and all that



contact jonny
contact me at jonny baker

. interview with jonny on osbd
. interview with jonny on jordoncooper

photo albums
coventry stained glass   coventry

bath landscape   bath

. grace
. proost
. labyrinth
. alternativeworship
. smallfire
. flicker
. greenbelt
. embody
. smallritual
. one small barking dog
. the big chill
. ninjatune
. pork records
. iasym
. rejesus
. ship of fools
. kingdom space
. enetation
. tall lanky baker
. clubbers temple
. vaux greyspace
. adbusters
. sacredfuture
. everyday apocalypse
. sacramentis
. banksy
. txtevents
. theology and popular culture gateway
. future shape of church
. phuture
. highwayvideo
. jonbirch

articles by me
. the labyrinth: ritual as strategic practice (dissertation)
. alternative worship and popular culture
. jesus in amongst the brands
. using images in worship
. getting started
. youth culture
. novice guide to gforce
. coldcut and resistance
. youth ministry and the stranger
. revival
. forceful kingdom?

articles by other people
. beaudoin on capitalism
. forgotten fire
. guide to alt worship
. love affair
. how to start a blog 1
. how to start a blog 2
. churchless faith
. the mystery of mulholland drive
. the bible in transmission (lots of articles)
. chillout
. healing and reconciliation with young people
. beyond ground zero
. everyday apocalypse
. incomplete manifesto for cross cultural missions in postmodern times
. connecting up tvs and video
. women and men in ministry

. kingdom space
. proost
. andrew jones
. deepdirt
. jordoncooper
. bloggedy blog
. prodigal
. guardian
. daniels journey
. greenbelt
. wadders
. stevedownunder
. growproject
. living-room
. barky
. lebs rant
. davidhopkins
. smallritual
. john davies
. echoesofathenianidols
. grace lentblog
. en direct
. dave killingback
. emergingminister
. matt westbrook
. openground
. cre8d
. labyrinthaustralia
. bob carlton
. mootblog
. maggi dawn
. ramblin man
. tangled wib
. lillyspad
. aslansattic

music releases to date
. grace
. eucharist
. labyrinth
. backbone
. old hymns in dub
. spirit of the new

worship tricks
. intro
. 1 lazy
. 2 postcards
. 3 ad liturgy
. 4 my king
. 5 deadly media
. 6 liberation
. 7 compline
. 8 parables
. 9 gforce
. 10 pentecost flame throwing
. 11 virtual prayer
. 12 wwjw
. 13 connect
. 14 niceday
. 15 clubbers temple
. 16 shrines
. 17 timber
. 18 angel
. 19 do not be afraid
. 20 dvd rip for windows
. 21 celtic pumpkin
. 22 give us our daily product
. 23 alternative lords prayer
. 24 christ we share
. 25 born among us
. 26 imaging the word
. 27 o little town
. 28 magnificat and incarnation
. 29 jesus prayer and cord
. 30 network church
. 31 handwashing
. 32 a prayer for england
. 33 spirit and truth
. 34 when a man becomes a man
. 35 today
. 36 lectio divina
. 37 lost horizons
. 38 bloggers prayer
. 39 swearword and flesh of our flesh
. 40 focus
. 41 bitter journey
. 42 seven sayings
. 43 gethsemane
. 44 five angels
. 45 pentecost stencils
. 46 three is the magic number
. 47 arkaos
. 48 16 video ideas
. 49 the real thing
. 50 digital quilt
. 51 25 prayer exercises
. 52 not in my name liturgy
. 53 protest stencils
. 54 stations of the cross
. 55 jump london video idea
. 56 listen
. 57 cool stuff on CR dvd
. 58 flash texts
. 59 pentecostal ducks
. 60 mixed chemistry
. 61 the sower

what's on the CD player?
. the big chill - ichill
. !k7
. fila brazillia - brazilification2

what books are by the bed?
. the music of silence - john tavener
. hey nostradamus - douglas coupland
. this is uncool (the 500 greatest singles since punk and disco) - gary mulholland
. the bible
. fences and windows - naomi klein
. the art of looking sideways - alan fletcher

jonnybaker blog
Saturday, May 31, 2003  
off to paris in the morning for avant garde emerging church get together. looking forwrad to cathing up with andrew jones and matt glock. the strike in paris has meant a rejigged programme but the best thing is always meeting people and there will plenty of chance for that no doubt....
Saturday, May 31, 2003

Friday, May 30, 2003  
have added cre8d blog to the list of blogs. those of you following the web of blogs may be interested to see some of the faces that go with the blogs here. if you're not there (paul, mark, hadge, steve, john..... and others) why not buzz an e-mail and get on the grid?!
Friday, May 30, 2003

Tuesday, May 27, 2003  
anno domini is an exhibition in the virtual museum of canada of a series of images of representations of jesus. there are some great names for christ such as the poet of the spirit and the monk who rules the world . thanks jordan for posting this as a comment after the last post. thought i'd mention it here as not everyone may check the comments.

a few other links i have found or been mentioned to me recently...

highway video produce CD roms with video loops (quicktime or mpegs) on for use in worship. of the videos i have seen i liked the latest ones the most - the elements series. i have been having an exchange of e-mail with travis who is one of the people behind the site and am looking forward to meeting him at greenbelt at the end of august.

landoverbaptist is a spoof christian site some of which is fairly amusing. but surely the most bizarre item on the site must be the wwjd thong - yes that is what you just read - weird world eh?!

larknews is in a similar vein.

relevant magazine seems to be a blend of spirituality, emerging church, and cultural comment from a US perspective. the archives contain quite a lot of articles. i haven't had time to browse through them properly but no doubt in the mix are some interesting bits and bobs. i was interested to see an article in a recent magazine of theirs on how people are bored with worship - even though the christian music is selling loads of worship stuff. i did a search and couldn't find the article on the site. but here's a couple of quotes...
for all our creativity, diversity, quality and capital investment, we are fundamentally still unmoved. Our worship may be exciting, but we as worshippers are stil bored.... Perhaps it is time to return to simpler things, to ancient wisdom. Might it be time to give God centre stage again? Maybe rather than seeking an experience, a moment or a certain ecstatic ambiance, we could again become simple seekers of God...

and lastly (and this could be a real gem if you've read this far) mission articles from the mission journal evangelical missions quarterly are listed here. only some of these are available online sadly. it may seem a bit of a sideways connection. but at CMS one thing we have is a library and they get lots of mission journals which you can get passed by your desk. EMQ caught my eye last summer when they had an issue devoted to contextualising worship. the articles sing africa and indigenous worship are fantastic. sadly neither are available online but you can find out what issue they are from. here's a choice quote

Missionaries can be the biggest hindrance to the development of indigenous worship. We often find it hard to believe that forms which do so much for us may not have the same effect on someone else. More significantly, it is hard for us to accept that forms that do nothing for us can actually be true worship for a person from a different culture and background. Thus we tend to resist their innovations and persist with our familiar ways. This may never be spoken overtly but the believers pick up on what we think anyway. When we do so we impoverish their worship and turn the gospel into a white man's religion.

like so many issues in cross cultural mission, we may have (or be) learning these lessons in mission overseas but have we learned to apply them in our own context?!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Friday, May 23, 2003  
caught matrix reloaded last night. i enjoyed it but nowhere near as much as the first. can't think of anything profound or intelligent to say about it... so won't bother. i kind of think they should have stuck with just the matrix, though maybe no 3 will change all that?...
Friday, May 23, 2003

Wednesday, May 21, 2003  
spirit of the new coververy exciting - the new album spirit of the new arrived today!!!!! hooray... we've worked on this for ages. it was originally conceived to co-incide with the release of the 'alternative worship' book. but got a bit delayed. anyway it looks and sounds fantastic in my unbiased opinion. it is a collection of 12 new songs written by doug gay, myself, adrian riley, jon birch, andy thornton (the usual suspects...). there are some beautiful songs on the album. this is how we describe it on proost

Laid back grooves, gorgeous arrangements, a percussive feel, and Rosie Piper's atmospheric vocals all blend to create perhaps Proost's finest release to date.

jon has excelled himself in the studio. i could go on - forgive my over excitement - but i won't. it is available to order from proost. we'll shortly put up an mp3 track as a taster...
spirit snippet

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Tuesday, May 20, 2003  
amusing comments from tallskinnykiwi on the prayer of jael.
Tuesday, May 20, 2003

the times newspaper had an article on rowan williams making some comments about mission in the western church

MEMBERS of the Western Church exhibit boredom, greed and indifference, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Dr Rowan William says that too many people are hereditary Christians who have inherited their belief from their forebears as if it were something obvious.

Western Christians must recapture a sense of joy and wonder in the nature of God and to learn from countries where faith is newer and more vibrant to recapture the ?expectant joy of Christ?, he says.

the rest of the article is here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Sunday, May 18, 2003  
stencils picwell we've tried the chalk stencilling out. these are some of our pics - that is me, talllankybaker and h! not bad eh? it would be fair to say we put very little effort into the actual stencils - just produced something quick so that we could see if it all worked. now we'll wait for the rain and i'll let you know if it washes away or if our patio/wall/door is permanently scarred...

stencilling process picand here is stages 1, 2, 3...

p.s. it rained the next day and sure enough the slate was wiped clean...

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Friday, May 16, 2003  
got this e-mail from a follower of the blog

from your blog:

"why not stencil some symbols of the spirit for pentecost that are done overnight and appear on the morning of pentecost?"

Perhaps because I have a hard time recognizing vandalism of public or private property as an act of worship. Or are you suggesting that we stencil on our own homes and churches? I have had to spend too much time and money painting over other people's graffitti/guerilla art to think this is anything resembling a good idea.

the idea i was suggesting was the chalk based stencilling described in the second tutorial i link to precisely because it's easily removable/will wash off - sorry if that wasn't clear. i haven't tried it though - perhaps i will and let you know if it does just wash off.....

Friday, May 16, 2003

stencil revolution picfollowing my post about banksy and his stencilling round london adam sent me a couple of links to other stencilling sites.

guerilla parenting encourages parents to seize the city space to get messages across to their kids such as 'eat your vegetables' and 'because i said so'!!!!

and on a more serious note stencil revolution has loads of stencils. it will take you a while to look through. there are also some great tutorials - in particular getting started and using chalk. the second may sound strange but looks fab and is a way of stencilling that can easily be removed. i am going to add this as a worship trick 45 - why not stencil some symbols of the spirit for pentecost that are done overnight and appear on the morning of pentecost? if you do, make sure they are cool stencils and not some cheesy dove image!!! capture it on film and send me the pics....

Friday, May 16, 2003

Wednesday, May 14, 2003  
don't know if you've got round to checking out openground blog yet, but to encourage you in that direction here's a post from it yesterday:

Jargon (?jah:gone) n [from Hebrew] Yahweh, Yah (Jar) meaning God, Holy One, Supreme Being & gone vb past participle of go; adj lost; ruined; dead; spent. Worth thinking about?? The challenge is not to use jargon which by this definition could roughly translate as the language used when God is dead and gone!

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

proost catalogue picwe have just got organised to print a catalogue of our proost CDs and resources. it looks fab! if anyone wants one e-mail proost. prices etc are for the uk - you're better off ordering from the web site if you are elsewhere.
Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Tuesday, May 13, 2003  
the article in the last post is from the april 2003 issue of the evangelical review of theology...
Tuesday, May 13, 2003

at work theological journals and mission journals do the rounds... occasionally an article leaps out. there was one today called doing theology with an eye on mary by valdir steuernagel that is wonderful. it reflects on theology through the life of mary. here are a few choice quotes:

For theology to have the taste of God's things, and the smell of transcendency it has to be born in the messy kitchen. Wasn't that so with Mary?.... Theology is born in the guts, twisted by the shock of God's visit. The cradle of theology is stupefaction, when we find ourselves completely lost and completely thankful for God's visit...

(reflecting on the magnificat) It's a pity that poetry has been removed from theology. It's a pity we have turned theology into a semi object owned discursively. A cerebral verb of white men. And so it ended up heavy and tiresome, expressed in long sentences and articulated in lofty philosophical language. Let's confess: we have imprisoned theology in the academy and the library. Even Mary was left out because she couldn't write in German and she lacked that intellectual look..

We must recognise that we are children of a tradition that gave priority to the 'academic knowledge' and despised being together; that searched for content, and didn't prioritise emotion; that thought theology was a mind issue, giving no importance to the feet, with their ways and options in life. The heart with its thousand and one feelings and relations , with their thousand and two bifurcations, were not just overlooked but solemnly put aside...

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Monday, May 12, 2003  
moot now have a web site up and running. moot are based in central london running a couple of services a month. some of epicentre that was have joined in (or kickstarted) the action. looks great - site still being developed....

have also added openground to the list of blogs. openground is a group meeting in a pub in chichester (or thereabouts) in the south of england. this is a good looking blog and i personally think it could shape up to be really interesting. i love it when new things start to emerge.

booked tickets to matrix reloaded which i'm looking forward to. stumbled across matrixessays blog which may be deeply sad, but may turn out to be interesting - who knows....

Monday, May 12, 2003

Friday, May 09, 2003  
an old lady with a pencil can bring down a government by drawing an X on a ballot paper

thus says banksy. i followed the link off smallritual when i was looking at the kirchenlandschaft stuff mentioned in the last posting. banksy is a legend in london - graffiti artist whose work has been displayed all over the city. he works with stencils. his site is well worth checking out. i'm going to add it to the links. a couple of pieces i really liked are cop car where he has stencilled on a police car that it's a designated graffiti area! i also like the rat and the way he just blends in with the landscape...

skateboard pictalking of graffiti reminds me that talllankybaker has done his first ever piece of graffiti - respraying his skate deck - and added a section to his site on how to graf your deck. looks great!

Friday, May 09, 2003

can't remember if i've blogged about this before or not. but smallritual has a section as part of it's third place called kirchenlandschaft which means church landscape in german apparently. anyway steve collins has added a couple of pages of new ideas for church furniture and how they might then fit into a church building. be amazed! page 1 . page 2 . page 3
Friday, May 09, 2003

steve,jonny,ian pic been good to hang out with steve taylor who has been in the uk from new zealand. i met steve a few years ago when he was over so it was good to catch up over a meal and drink. steve did a couple of speaking sessions while he was over. one was at kings entitled 'evaluating alt worship'. it was interesting hearing steve's perspective on the differences between the way alt worship has developed down under and in the uk. one particularly interesting one is the regularity of meetings - most groups down under seem to meet weekly whereas in the uk it tends to be fortnightly or monthly. steve's refelctions are building up to what promises to be a really good book so i'm not going to reflect on it too much now.... it was a little bit weird that the questions seemed to end up wanting to put alt worship in the dock - isn't it too cynical? too small? too focused on tvs rather than community? etc etc - i'll be honest - this was a bit tiresome. i think alt worship is inspirational. it has kept me alive and passionate in terms of my christian faith, theology, engagement with culture, deconstructing the power structures that stifle life and creativity in church and so on. i know i'm biased but i just don't see why people want to be critical of a movement that has had such an impact on the way we worship - weird!?

blah picsteve also spoke at blah... last night at CMS. this was a great evening. i'm really pleased with the way blah.. has gone - been three really good evenings and discussions. again steve was very stimulating. people seemed to particularly latch on the the metaphor of DJ sampling as a way of how gospel and culture might be mixed. it seems to offer a way of imagining it that avoids treating culture and gospel as different things. i was intrigued to discover that steve has been inspired by de certeau and sarah thornton - two writers who i have found really helped fund my thinking about these things. also caught up with gerard kelly afterwards - which was fab. heard a rumour he has started a blog....? must track down the url.

that is it for the current series of blah... - summer never seems to be too good for these things. so we'll be back with 5 or 6 more next winter. watch this space.

Friday, May 09, 2003

Saturday, May 03, 2003  
forgive a bit of indulgence but in the may/june issue of crossrhythms magazine three of our proost albums are reviewed. and they love them all with each CD being given 9 out of 10. if you're interested they are

old hymns in dub review . labyrinth meditations review . eucharist review

hymns coverlabyrinth covereucharist cover

to set the record straight jon birch does the studio work so he is 'the most underrated talent' not me, or at least not just me :-) !!

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Friday, May 02, 2003  
just a reminder for anyone in or around london that next thursday steve taylor is joinging us for blah... for more information on what promises to be a fab evening see here.
Friday, May 02, 2003

Thursday, May 01, 2003  
went to another exhibition today... i don't want you to think i spend my life in exhibitions - i don't. but it's a combination of time off and a work team trip out. just one of those weeks i guess.

salgado bombay picexodus is an exhibition of photography by sebastiao salgado that tells the story of humanity on the move - refugees, displaced people, migrants. in many ways it's a heart breaking exhibition with images from kosovo, the kurds, rwanda to name a few. but it is well worth a visit. it's amazing how a picture can tell a story. this picture for example is of a pipeline carrying drinking water to more prosperous districts of bombay passing through the shanty-town of mahim - seems to sum up so much of the imbalance in the world. it may seem odd to go and see this exhibition when we get overwhelmed by images on the news. but somehow in the exhibition they seem to afford more dignity than on the evening news. and they are brilliant photographs. salgado explains his reason for documenting these images:

My hope is that, as individuals, as groups, as societies, we can pause and reflect on the human condition at the turn of the millennium. In its rawest form, individualism remains a prescription for catastrophe. We have to create a new regimen of coexistence

migrations has several of the pictures from the exhibition here. not quite sure why the exhibition is called exodus at the barbican and migrations here... - who knows?

the parallels between art exhibitions/installations and alternative worship always strike me. i probably sound like a stuck record. but one of the things which was a very small thing was that in the notes salgado concludes by saying i hope you will be quite a different person when you leave this exhibition. that would be a pretty good concluding thought/hope for any worship service.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

a bit about me... small drawing of jonny i am a londoner; christian; dad; postmodern (whatever that means - i know at least that i'm not modern); director of an independent record label proost which we set up to release music without being subject to christian record labels who had a frankly unimaginitive approach to music at the time as far as we were concerned; a member of grace , an alternative worship community in west london that has been an inspiration, lifeline, home, great bunch of friends, provided an arena in which to be creative about faith and worship and culture; i'm also part of the wider alternative worship movement/scene in the uk where i have lots of friends sharing the same dreams and struggles; an ideas person; a husband; national youth co-ordinator for cms; involved in various creative projects, the most successful of which has been the labyrinth which has been on a roll since we first installed it in st pauls cathedral in 2000; a mac user; co-ordinator of the worship at greenbelt arts festival where we have tried to create a space for new/creative/alternative worship especially in the new forms venues - a good place to visit if you want to encounter lots of creative uk worship in one go; writer (albeit a novice) with a few articles in books, mags and the web; a chelsea football supporter; involved in youth ministry - i have been for 15 years now - in the uk at least many people involved in alt worship want to avoid being labelled youth ministry as it's a convenient way for the church to write off what you do and the people involved aren't by any means youth (though some are), but i live in both arenas and think there's lots of overlap and creative conversation and ideas to be shared between the two; songwriter; lover of music especially the ambient, chilled, dub, instrumental end of things; lover of good food, belgian beer and conversation;

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