Welcome to this, the home page of my website.
I update this website regularly (all pages), especially the blog. I don’t maintain a regular e-distribution to notify folk of updates although you can sign up to get notifications each time I post. I maintain distribution lists e.g. community, Christian, councillor and homeless and send emails to these from time to time. I also regularly post on my Facebook page (I do respond to Friend requests), and announce whenever I add new material to my website. I am happy to engage respectfully with website visitors.
The purpose of this particular page is to provide links to my writings over many years that are freely available as downloadable PDF files.
In addition, I regularly maintain a blog in which I write on matters of personal interest and (imho) of importance too, on many subjects.
Click here for the list of the latest titles included in the blog – click on any title and you will be directed to the post relating to that title. I endeavour to update this on a regular basis.
The following are links to my various non-blog writings:
Solomon’s Song of Songs
The aforementioned titles are available as free downloads as well as some being available in paper book form. While he is happy for these to be shared electronically, please respect that the copyright remains with the author. The author intends to post regularly on his blog, which may eventually be consolidated into a book. He is currently working on producing a verse by verse commentary on the Song of Solomon, which he hopes will be available late 2014.
The following downloads relate to the author’s community activist interests:
Outside the Camp
“Outside the Camp” describes some of the author’s experiences working in the community and has been written to set the record straight and to encourage others: an existing and a new generation of community activists. The first edition was published in April 2012 and this second edition contains minor updates with two chapters removed as these have been updated and released as separate books: Spirituality and Mental Health and The Gay Conundrum (see below). He reflects on what he has done and seen, taking both a critical and a humorous look, trying to fit this in with the bigger picture of what was, is and could be. While he thinks this will interest some, he hopes the message and challenge of the book will be heeded: we will take an interest in and be involved with our communities, in order to make that all important and necessary difference. While recognizing we all differ in our circumstances, interests and abilities, the author argues that we all have a part to play in improving our communities, even if we sometimes have to be like the Scapegoat on the front cover of his book. The book suggests ways we can all be community activists and make our own unique contributions to making the world a better place.
Onward and Upward
The author further reflects on many of the big issues that affect our communities and how these relate to his ongoing community activism. It also serves as a repository for some of his writings that he considers to be pertinent and of interest since producing the first edition of his book: “Outside the Camp” and provides a sequel to it.
The issue of religion and spirituality has never been far away from the author’s own community activism. In this book, he reflects on the part this plays, personally and generally, from a conservative evangelical view point, yet respectful and understanding of the many other different perspectives that are held. To an extent it attempts a theological rationale to that of being a community activist.
Spirituality and Mental Health
It was concerning his response to folk with mental health issues that first got the author fully involved as a community activist. This book is an update to something he wrote several years earlier. It attempts to look at the bigger picture and how the intricate subject of mental health relates to community and faith matters.
The Gay Conundrum
Homosexuality is a hotly debated subject. There have been several recent developments and significant shifts in opinion. This book looks at how Christians should deal with gay folk and the thorny matter of “gay issues”, being true to their beliefs yet still be able to operate winsomely and effectively in the public square.
The following downloads relate to the author’s interest in education:
A parents guide to the 11 plus
This relates to the authors experience mentoring his son in order to prepare for and hopefully pass the 11+. It incorporates some of his research regarding what is a significant exam for many 10 and 11 year olds who need to pass in order to secure a much valued grammar school place. While things have moved on since writing this book, much of the material remains relevant.
The following downloads relate to some of the authors past research activities into community related matters:
This may be a little dated but a lot of the content remains relevant. It relates to some research undertaken by the author that sought to better understand some of the communities that exist in Southend and the issues they face. Some are relatively new to the area (usually as a result of immigration) and others, for whatever reason, are not engaging fully in mainstream community life due to feeling disempowered etc. It is the understanding gained from researching missing communities that gave the author a much needed impetus to carry on some of his subsequent work as a community activist. The main geographical area of interest is Southend-on-Sea.
Faiths and Africa
This is a continuation of the author’s Missing Community work and relates particularly to faith communities and those from the African continent.
Southend Mental Health Directory
This piece of research relates to one of the author’s earliest projects as a community activist. Many of the contacts and much of the information included is now very much out of date, although there is still much that remains relevant. This isn’t quite the latest version but it is the latest that could be found.
The following books relate to the author’s interest in church history:
Who are the Brethren
This was the culmination of some of the author’s earlier investigation into the history of the denomination in which he has been particularly involved, which was also a significant part of his own cultural heritage. This need to be updated, which is now unlikely to happen. However, Tim Grass’s book: “Gathering to His Name” contains much relevant material that relates to what the author was seeking to achieve but in far greater detail.
The hearts and minds of J.N.Darby and E.B.Pusey
This was produced in relation to a research project for an Open University degree and contrasts two larger than life and hugely influential nineteenth century figures at opposite ends of the ecclesiological spectrum.
Coleman Street’s Children
This was produced to coincide with the centenary of the church (2000) the author has been associated with most of his life (which closed July 2013). It tells the story, especially with respect to some of the key personalities. Unfortunately, the book is now out of print and what is given below is not the final manuscript. However, anyone wishing to know more about the history of this church and churches planted by this church should still find much that is of interest. The download version doesn’t include the photos.
The following downloads relate to earlier attempts by the author to produce a commentary on a book of the Bible that particularly interests him – the Song of Solomon:
Solomon’s Song of Songs – Fired up
This is the introduction to the commentary.
Solomon’s Song of Songs – Love as strong as death
This continues to explore some of the main themes of the Song and looks at a subject close to the author’s heart – truth.
The author’s hope and intention is eventually to consolidate these writings and provide a detailed exposition of the Song itself – all under a single cover.
Solomon’s Song of Songs – Conference paper
This is the paper the author presented at a conference on Brethren church history.