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
Thursday, July 31, 2003  
having a catch up flicking through some blogs i regularly look at i noticed a rant by jordon cooper has been highlighted by several people. anyway i followed it up and it is simply brilliant so whilst recognising that lots of you may have caught wind of this already, for those of you that haven't, jordon rants here on seeking goes digital... church stays analogue. this seems very tied in to pete ward's ideas about liquid church. steve taylor adds some good thoughts concluding with

The missional task of the church is to turn communally authentic resources into consumptive product, allowing consumers to experientially try before they buy and thus be transformed into disciples of Jesus

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Wednesday, July 30, 2003  
madonna wearing headphonesthe labyrinth web site has had tour pictures updated at last! see the lab in various cathedrals round the uk. go here and click on the photographs button. the madonna was even spotted listening to the soundtrack in wakefield!...
Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Sunday, July 27, 2003  
ever wondered who the genius behind online labyrinth, rejesus, and embody is? well i found this hilarious shot of bruce on his embody site... mmmmm!!!

sand triqutra picone thing of his i've not mentioned on here before (i think) is his set of 25 prayer exercises such as a sand triquetra (see pic). they are really good and yes you guessed it they are worship trick 51...

Sunday, July 27, 2003

lance armstrong wins tour piccongrats to lance armstrong on the incredible achievement of winning 5 tours de france in a row. it has been a fantastic race this year. i confess that i've been sad enough to have been videoing the late night footage (for some sad reason it hasn't been on terrestrial tv other than at 1:30am) and watching it first thing in the morning before heading off to work! he now joins the elite group who have won the tour 5 times. no one has ever won it six. can he do so?.....
Sunday, July 27, 2003

Friday, July 25, 2003  
to follow the labyrinth as it develops in australia see labyrinthaustralia blog (for those of you who don't follow the comments). i have added it into my blog list....
Friday, July 25, 2003

Wednesday, July 23, 2003  
a few people have mailed me to say that the links in my articles to labyrinth dissertation and alternative worship and popular culture weren't working. these are now fixed...

australian labyrinth bagtalking of labyrinths, the labyrinth is rolling on apace. the two year uk tour is pretty much finished now. but it is being launched in wales with an adapted design and the cds translated into welsh which i'm looking forward to hearing and seeing. and it has been taken on in australia by eddie chapman and SU. photos of their first ever one are here. they've even designed their own discman holders - cute eh?!

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Saturday, July 19, 2003  
visited banksy's turfwar exhibition today and it was inspirational as expected...

turfwar montage

how about this for a quote on vandals from his book 'existencilism'?

twisted little people go out every day and deface this great city. leaving their idiotic little scribblings, invading communities and making people feel dirty and used. they just take, take, take and they don't put anything back. they're mean and selfish and they make the world an ugly place to be. we call them advertising agencies and town planners...

smallritual has a page of photos from the exhibition here

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Thursday, July 17, 2003  
rachel has come up with this idea of a digital quilt where anyone can send in a 100 x 100 pixel image that will be added to her digital quilt which is explained here and you can see its progress so far here

quilt squarei've put together a square - the pic is of a hard drive that was damaged. lose your memory and seems like everything is lost... but why not send rachel a square to add to the quilt? and i'm making this worthy idea worship trick 50

Thursday, July 17, 2003

darren with alt worship bookmade me laugh seeing this pic of darren rowse in australia with his newly arrived alternatve worship book and CD rom - enjoy!!!
Thursday, July 17, 2003

banksy has got an exhibition of his stencilling etc in london for three days from tomorrow. this sounds like a must. the secret location has just been revealed as 479-483 kingsland road, london e8 . banksy usually keeps his head down but the guardian have scooped an interview with him here.

(mark, if you are reading, even you should get down to london for this one after your earlier jibes about exhibitions!!!)

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Wednesday, July 16, 2003  
harryb picchristchurch pici don't often blog about family/personal things, but there's always room for exceptions. congratulations to harry (my son for those who don't know) whose school team, christchurch, reached the national finals of kwikcricket for his age group. out of 55 000 children originally it was now down to the last 16 teams - and to cut a long story short (the medal kind of gives it away!) christchurch won and are champions of great britain. en route to the finals they beat the west midlands, scotland (congrats to tom who did a gary sobers and hit 36 off one over!), and south wales (beat them by one run) - this was now the semi final against s.w. england where they won by 70 runs. then in a somewhat nerve racking final against n.w. england they coped with the pressure and managed to win eventually!! matthew read was carried off the pitch as a hero after he hit a blistering 6 and 3 4s in the final two overs.
here's the mottley crew rightly looking chuffed! hooray!!!!!!

tlb piccongrats too to talllankybaker who won an award for his computing/technology skills at school yesterday. yes it's happy dad day!

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Monday, July 14, 2003  
the word evangelical is now firmly linked in the public imagination with intolerance and bigotry. How did it come to this?

thus speaks giles fraser in a commentary in today's guardian. i have refrained from comment so far on this whole debate - all seems a bit too sad and depressing. but i have said almost exactly this line to several people in the last week. anyway's it's a pretty interesting article!

Monday, July 14, 2003

A few quotes from rowan williams address to synod:

In all kinds of places, the parochial system is working remarkably. It's just that we are increasingly aware of the contexts where it simply isn't capable of making an impact, where something has to grow out of it or alongside it, not as a rival (why do we cast so much of our Christian life in terms of competition?) but as an attempt to answer questions that the parish system was never meant to answer....

At present, we stand at a watershed in the life of the Church of England - not primarily because of the controversies that have been racking us, but because we have to ask whether we are capable of moving towards a more 'mixed economy' - recognising church where it appears and having the willingness and the skill to work with it. Mission, it's been said, is finding out what God is doing and joining in. And at present there is actually an extraordinary amount going on in terms of the creation of new styles of church life. We can call it church planting, 'new ways of being church' or various other things; but the point is that more and more patterns of worship and shared life are appearing on the edge of our mainstream life that cry out for our support, understanding and nurture if they are not to get isolated and unaccountable. These may vary from the classic church plant model - a new congregation generated by an older one - to the Thursday night meeting for young people once a fortnight, the Sunday evening Songs of Praise in the pub, the irregular but persistent networking with the people you met at Greenbelt or Spring Harvest, the mums and toddlers event on Tuesday morning or the big school Eucharist once a term which is the only contact many parents and friends will have with real worshipping life. All of these are church in the sense that they are what happens when the invitation of Jesus is received and people recognise it in each other....

Can we live with this and make it work? This is where the unexpected growth happens, where the unlikely contacts are often made; where the Church is renewed (as it so often is) from the edges, not the centre. We need a positive willingness to see and understand all this - and to find the patterns and rhythms and means of communication that will let everyone share the benefits. That's to say we need ordained leadership which is capable of making and servicing connections between lots of different styles of 'church' - leadership which is therefore very clear about theological priorities, not protective of its status, skilled in listening and in interpreting what may seem very different language groups to each other

flipping hec! from the archbishop no less. i find this massively encouraging. the full text is here. (thanks john for passing it on to me!)

Monday, July 14, 2003

Sunday, July 13, 2003  
re:source logowas at an open day for re:source on saturday. re:source is a course that is being set up to train people involved in church planting in the emerging culture. it runs over a series of weekends over a period of just over a year along with web forums etc. details are on the site. the course starts in november so not too late to sign up even if you missed the open day! there is so much around that can be depressing about church so it's a wonderful change to go and be with lots of people doing fantastic mission and developing church in new ways, often in very diffiult situations. we heard six very different stories of what people are doing in the uk - the uniting feature of all of these was that they are all founded on mission which is exactly what church should be about and in many places needs to recover! roger ellis has initiated the project (and been an advocate of church planting for years) and there are lots of others who have joined in as partners including cms. i've been involved in the planning and will be involved in some of the weekends.

there were a couple of things i particularly liked that roger said. one was (having spoken about the incarnation) that the spirit has an indigenous impulse i.e. comes to help people understand in their own language/culture. so if the spirit is with us we'll carry forward that impulse... a good illustration of this was made by cindy from ignite who made everyone stand up and join in a rave dance - the point she was making was that we felt really uncomfortable but that is exactly what young people are felling when they come to our churches and worship that is in a language/form they can't understand - as she put it 'they don't want to join in our moves!'

another was that after all his years of experience he thought that in minstry generally but particularly in church planting, it's only going to really happen if you're involved and doing it for a bout 10 years! i agree... and think that in our instant culture we need to hear this

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Thursday, July 10, 2003  
mobile phone picever wanted to be able to send bulk sms/text messages to mobile/cell phones without having to do it from your phone? well it can be done from the computer - not news to a lot of you i'm sure. but it can end up expensive. however some entrepreneurs led by no less than seb apostol (his surname rather than his spiritual status) have solved your problem. visit txtevents and you can bulk buy messages and the whole process is set up for you. way to go seb!!! and hat off to tlb for the flash animation....
Thursday, July 10, 2003

Wednesday, July 09, 2003  
polyphic spree picgreenbelt lineup looks really impressive this year!!! just been announced that polyphonic spree are playing, alongside the likes of billy bragg, aqualung, and umoja. anita roddick is joining the speaking on the monday where there is a special focus on trade justice. details on the rest of the lineup are here see you there....
Wednesday, July 09, 2003

spotted reviews of journey - labyrinth cd rom and labyrinth and old hymns in dub on SU's churchathome.
Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Tuesday, July 08, 2003  
arkaos picarkaos have launched version 3 of the VJ software!!!
Tuesday, July 08, 2003

the guardian newspaper had a section put together by teenagers yesterday. i thought it was fab... a real highlight was sam wetherall's rewrite harry potter and the philosopher's stoned giving HP a more truly teenage persona (and vocabulary!).

also in the guardian this week was news of the bill viola exhibition at the national gallery from october this year - read here.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Monday, July 07, 2003  
a couple of weeks back i was raving about adbusters and mentioned that james trafford from l8r, an alternative worship community in north west london, had got a letter published. well finally i've got round to quoting a bit of it as worship trick 49...

coke can picWe sit in a circle and pass around a glass of Coca-Cola, each sipping some as we read these words: 'Is this the blood of Christ, or the blood of bottlers mysteriously disappeared in Coca-Cola's Columbian plants in Union battles? Or is it the blood of malnourished babies, after Zambian mothers are convinced by glossy advertising that Coca-Cola is the best thing to feed their children? Or perhaps the blood of malnourished teenagers in Rio who became vitamin deficient after drinking too much coke? Maybe it symbolises our blood rotted away by the 13 lumps of sugar in a 330ml can, and an acidity strong enough to dissolve teeth and bones. Coca-Cola, The Real Thing.'

We pass a glass of water around the group, each taking some as we read these words: 'Water is the real thirst quencher, source of life and well being. 'I am the water of life' a man said over 2000 years ago, but was his water prepackaged, patented, privatised and paid for? This purity, this necessity for survival is out of reach of 200 million people. This number will double in the next 20 years... This water then also has the taste of blood, yet this is perhaps the real thing, reminding us that we need to commit to the substantial, the necessities of life in a struggle for the real thing to become reality.'

Monday, July 07, 2003

was at another discussion on liquid church on friday at oasis hosted by! was pleased that pete ward didn't repeat stuff i'd heard him do before but offered a few new musings. one that particularly struck me was, in talking about a liquid/fluid environment, he commented that often producers think that meaning resides with them, but in fact it doesn't - it resides with the ways that people consume or use those products. (i've mentioned de certeau before - this is very much the kind of thing he is saying in another way). now the follow up comment was this:

the meaning of church is not what the people who run it say it is or think it is. we need to ask what it means to the people who come/consume it?....

now this may seem a little controversial but think about it for a minute. what does church mean to you? take the sermon - what is going on with the audience? very rarely what the preacher thinks - i've written songs, had ideas, planned the day, drifted off... and sometimes been challenged. or worship - the worship leader assumes one thing is going on but what is happening with the audience? lost in worship? hating the song and its lyrics and everything it seems to represent? drifting off?... or maybe people are at church to meet people afterwards or to get their kids into school or something completely different. seems essential for church leaders to find out some of these things! taking it a step further, things like alpha or greenbelt or what we might loosely call 'products' out there in the fluid marketplace are exactly the same. the producers say and think it means a particular thing but where meaning really lies is in the way people are using it and weaving it into their lives.

so what?! that's it... it's just a musing but maybe we need to at least take consumption a bit more seriously to find the ways people are 'making do' and weaving these things into their lives.

Monday, July 07, 2003

Friday, July 04, 2003  
flicker logohad a catch up with flicker and found a superb article beginners video on practically setting up tvs and videos to use in worship. it really is good. i have added it as an article in my list....

i also noticed a list of sixteen ideas for shooting video which i have added as worship trick 48

Friday, July 04, 2003

go to google and type in weapons of mass destruction to search. click on the i'm feeling lucky button and read carefully what looks like an error message. in case the lucky option changes the direct url is here.
Friday, July 04, 2003

Wednesday, July 02, 2003  
damien hirst lego sharkin case you haven't noticed in the comments john davies posted a comment after the post mentioning brick testament on the so called turner prize of the north with an entry from artists who have reworked damien hirst's shark in formaldehyde in lego!!!! fantastic stuff....
Wednesday, July 02, 2003

had the privilege of hearing john taverner's the veil of the temple last night. it was an incredible experience. i wouldn't want you to think i've suddenly got all cultured or anything but someone kindly gave me some tickets!!! it wasn't the full version (which lasts all night) but 2 out of the 8 parts which lasted a couple of hours. it was in the temple church in london which i hadn't visited before - an old church modelled on the holy sepulchre - a wonderful space and absolutely perfect for this. the pews face inwards and there must have been 120 people involved in performing. it's hard to describe the experience.... there's a guardian review here. the singing and harmonies were simply beautiful. the songs are a mix of biblical texts and ancient songs and chants from the orthodox church but connecting with western music as well - a kind of east meets west. the cycles we heard seemed to follow the narrative of the passion and resurrection.

it may seem strange but i was struck by the parallels with alternative worship. our bishop describes grace as ambient church. well last night was certainly a kind of ambient church. the chants come and go and you just linger with the texts with a wonderful vibe of music. even the church organ was played in an ambient fashion often having a deep note just resonating for a while. also the space was used incredibly imaginatively with singing from both ends, the middle and at one point all round the church. but words do no justice to the experience - it was a thin place, the veil seemed to be lifted, heaven and earth touched. thank god for artists! thank god for music! thank god for free tickets! a wonderful gift...

Wednesday, July 02, 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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