Saturday, January 13, 2007

St. Marys - The Plot Thickens

What next?
Allegations that one of the Hastings Council members who was involved in the decision to lease St. Marys to Sonrise Church is actually a member of the Church!?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Sonrise Church - What some of their members have to say

No point in me ranting on about Hastings Borough Council leasing St. Mary-In-The-Castle to the controversial Sonrise Church. Just go to , type "Sonrise Church" into the search box, & see for yourselves. is definitely the best (worst!) site of the church itself to check out.

Here are a couple of blog posts from one of their many American websites :-

Day 205, July 24, 1998, Friday.
Are You Astonished At Sin.
Ezra 9:3:
So when I heard this thing, I sat down astonished.Ezra was astonished that the people of Israel had fallen away from the Lord to the point that they married nonbelievers. What would he think of God’s people today? The people of Ezra’s time at least repented. We on the other hand have sadly become a people hardened to sin and its affect. We are no longer appalled at obtrusive pornography, blatant homosexuality, sexual promiscuity among children, nor countless overt violations of the laws of God. We even mock at those who would make a stand against these transgressions. We deem them archaic and behind the times. Listen, God’s standards have not changed. Sin remains unacceptable to a Holy God. It is time that sin is unacceptable to God’s people as well. We must repent of our apathetic attitudes toward sin and its effect. It is time that we, as Ezra, sit down astonished, and rise to action.

Day 168, June 17, 2003, Tuesday.
Bless God 2
Kings 23:24:
Josiah put away . . . all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book.As America plummets down the slippery slope of debauchery, it appears that there is no turning back. Not to tolerate the growing perversion permeating every realm of society, seems irreversible. There was a time in America that adultery was not only a sin, it was against the laws of the land, along with homosexuality,
public nudity and even vulgar language. Josiah proved in his day that there can be a moral turn around. He did it by sovereign dictate. We can do it by a greater sovereignty - the sovereignty of Christ. Not by mandate, but by example. Not so much by changing the laws of the land, but by changing the people of the land through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It can happen, even if it has to start with just you and me. Let us begin in our homes and in the market place. Let us change by performing the words of the law, which are written in the Book. A friend of mine, Pastor Leo Giovinetti, says it this way, "America, Bless God."

And a few choice words from another one of their sites :-

The Christian and the Social Order All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement
of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.
Exodus 20:3-17; Leviticus 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 10:12; 27:17; Psalm 101:5; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 5:13-16,43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3ff.; 10:21; Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Romans 12–14; 1Corinthians 5:9-10; 6:1-7; 7:20-24; 10:23-11:1; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8.


This one is quite ironic & amusing, despite the seriousness of the situation in Hastings. Only Americans could come up with such nonsense!

Link :- Sonrise Community Church (Unite Service)

September 19th, 2005.

Church Review :-
Theology: 2/5
Mission: 2/5
Community: 3/5
Worship: 3/5

Summary: I attended Sonrise Community Church’s Unite Service. An evening ‘postmodern’ service for people aged 18-30 years old. What struck me the most at this service was the preaching. In the service I attended, the pastor spent most of the time speaking about himself. He talked about his job as a news anchor, how he now gets paid well to work part time at Channel 8. He talked about how he "closed the deal" in evangelizing a Budhhist. (I’m glad he is evangelizing but part of this should be done in love not to ‘close the deal’.) Over half the message with about him. In fact, he even shared a story about how his wife had to elbow him five times when they had guests over because he was always speaking about himself. He confessed he could "talk about myself for hours". I’ve got to be honest, this really angered me. Here were a group of 18-30 years-old who were being preached a non-Bible centered message. Just because this guy was a news anchor doesn’t mean he’s qualified to preach at a church. I pray their other services are radically different but even so, the ‘Senior Pastor’ was the person who hired Pastor Miller. I understand a pastor can have an "off night" but to preach the message he delivered, too much is left in doubt for us to recommend this church.

We do not recommend this church because of the low quality of preaching.

Links :- Churches, Not Recommended

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hot from the Press

Hastings & St Leonards Observer, Woods House, Telford Road, St Leonards, East Sussex, TN38 9LZ.
All rights reserved © 2007 HastingsToday is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

News - Monday 11pm, 8th January 2007 - Decision on Castle.

HASTINGS Borough Council Cabinet has tonight decided to allow St Mary in the Castle to be leased out to the controversial Sonrise Church.
More than 100 members of the public were present, and voiced their anger at the Tory council. The council is going to get a blasting for this - of that there is no doubt - and at one stage wardens were called to the Town Hall to restore order. The council is doing this simply to save money. The arts community is outraged.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Sonrise, Moonshine, & Hogwash

So, as predicted - front page headline of the local paper : "Artists & Council Row over Church".
This is from the paper's website, posted on 04/01/07 :

"A row has erupted between council chiefs and a group of artists, which claims it is being given its marching orders.
South Coast Artists (SoCo), based in St Mary-in-the-Castle in Pelham Crescent, is furious councillors are considering handing the management of the building over to Sonrise Church.

The group has held numerous art exhibitions at the venue since the organisation was formed in July 2004.
Robin Holtom, chairman of SoCo, said: "The council is trying to evict us, yet we have turned St Mary-in-the Castle into a successful art gallery. We have made good use of this space to brighten up the seafront and raise the cultural profile of the town."
Hastings Council manages the venue as a gallery for SoCo and takes 30 bookings a year for the auditorium.
Residents said the council's proposal to give Sonrise Church a lease from April 1 raised 'serious alarm bells'.
John Clark, of St Mary's Terrace, said: "How can the local electorate and ratepayers be sure the financial negligence and mismanagement displayed by the previous administration in the appalling recycling saga is not going to be repeated by the present one?
"The online report for Monday's cabinet meeting states the annual revenue cost of St Mary-in-the-Castle is £138,850.
"It also says the proposals will save £66,000 in the first full year after the transfer and a further saving of £35,000 will be made in repairs and renewal. But one wonders how these savings are going to be made without any details of the terms of the lease.
"Latest available figures show the centre's total income for April 2004 to March 2005 was £84,066 with expenditure at £55,451."
Erica Smith, of Waterworks Road, fears Sonrise Church may exclude certain groups. She said: "I am concerned one of the aims of the church, as is the case with other evangelical churches, is to try to discourage homosexuality. The equal opportunities statement on its website states all minority groups are welcome to join, but it doesn't make a clear statement about how tolerant it is of 'active' homosexual relationships.
"St Mary-in-the-Castle is currently one of only two large venues in the town which are wheelchair accessible. I would like assurance that if this venue is to be handed over to an evangelical church, it will remain open for use by all members of our community.
"It is too valuable a resource to be allowed to become exclusive and was, thanks to a broad-based, and long-drawn-out community campaign, with a lot of hard-earned fundraising, this building was saved from ruin."
Under council proposals Sonrise Church will be given a five-year lease from April 1 and be charged with refurbishing the building.
It also plans to develop the ground floor area as a coffee bar, market the venue as a conference centre, and make the building available to schools, the university and local charities."

Sonrise @ St. Mary?

Click on the images to enlarge. Article from Hastings & St. Leonards Observer, Friday Dec 29, 2006.

Well here we are Ladies & Gentlemen & welcome to The Show. Plans by the Council to lease St. Mary-in-the-Castle to the Sonrise Church should bring a welcome breath of fresh air into a decidedly God-less Arts Centre. This American based church operate strictly within the ethos, guidelines, language, framework, of all globally successful American businesses. Their business just happens to be selling Christianity. Creationist Christianity to be polite: Evangelical Right Wing Neo Conservative Christianity to be honest. The poster above comes from their local Hastings & Maidstone website & (literally) gives a very clear picture of their general operational style. The website is full of endless Biblical references, all applied to "modern day living" & the problems arising from it - depression, stress, family breakdowns, poverty, young people, etc. The website index has categories such as the "Pastor's Page", (where the above poster is), "FAQ's on GOD" (sic), "God's Girls", "Polls" (Has Christmas lost it's true meaning?") & other such fascinating promotional material, so to speak.
And for a real treat, go to their main website for the full-blown epic Western version. (Money Talks). I'm sure their presence at St Mary will be yet another fine addition to the ongoing, all-embracing, regeneration of Hastings & St. Leonards currently taking place, even as we speak. I'll be getting our local newspaper later today - more news for sure!

Monday, January 01, 2007

More sixes & sevens

I posted this in June '06 --->

Sixes + Sevens

There's definitely a link between the history of rock/pop music & sixes + sevens.
Rock 'n' Roll hit the streets around 1956/7. Psychedelia changed everything in 1966/7.
Punk appeared between 1976/7. The rave scene & the 2nd Summer of Love 1986-7.
BritPop & Battle of the Bands - Oasis v. Blur 1996/7.
2006? The supremacy of the Internet. MySpace etc could soon be history. 2007? The mind boggles! The Blog Minders are here.

Obviously I was being a bit flippant, especially on the Oasis / Blur thing, & the MySpace comment, knowing full well I'd have to give up & join the masses at some point.....
But the general idea seems ok to me, & here we are at the end of 2006, & the start of 2007, so it's now........or in ten years time!
I've had many questions over the years about some of the famous jazz (& rock, to a lesser degree) musicians I got to see live onstage in my younger days. I've been promising to tell the tales for so long, I figured it would be a really positive new year resolution to actually sit down & start doing it.
Likewise "The Real MCCB History" (Mass Culture Control Bureau to the non-initiated).Now the official MCCB website is stranded, & slowly sinking just off the coast of Cyberia, Aliens@C has become the main info source.
By a sheer stroke of luck, Blogspot have just introduced a new version of their Blog. Amongst other things, it enables posts to be given a label which can be accessed easily at one push of a button.
I'm going to start the jazz story from 1956, & the MCCB History from 1976 - both of these dates being relevant, as you'll find out.

So watch out for the labels "MCCB HiStory" & "JazzMan-T"