2010 World Faith And Church Events. By Uncle Monty.

2010 World Faith And Church Events.
Compiled By Uncle Monty.
My indepth and select 2010 Calendar of World Faith
and Church Events is now uploaded and ready online.
Due to some earlier technical difficulties beyond my
personal control, such did result in an unfortunate
delay in posting the full list of religious conferences,
church conventions, interfaith symposiums, and
pastoral gatherings, from around the world,
for the upcoming year of 2010.
However, I am now able to post events already started
and for those now set for January, February, March,
April, May, June, July, August, September, October,
and November, 2010. Listings for December will be
posted once information is available for me to publish.
:: January ::
Sakyadhita 11th International Conference on
Buddhist Women. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
December 28, 2009 to January 3, 2010
'Year for Priests' - Clergy Conference Rome 2010.
January 4 -8th , 2010. Rome, Italy.
Treasures of the Triduum 2010:
Conversion and the Rites of Initiation.
Friday, January 22, 2010 Conference Center,
University of Saint Mary of the Lake Mundelein, Illinois.
Building An Ethical Economy – Theology and The Market Place.
Guest speakers are His Grace, The Archbishop of Canterbury, and
Sir Partha Dasgupta. January 27-29th, 2010. New York, 2010.
:: February ::
The 6th Hindu International Dyke Conference,
4th-7th February, 2010 at
Varanasi, India.
U.S. President's Day, February 12-15th, 2010.
Messianic Jewish Alliance of America
2010 Messiah Conference. February 12- 14th,
2010. Hyatt Regency, Irvine, CA.
Global Deaf Muslim Conference 2010.
The Spirit of Islam: Inclusiveness and
Religious Equality, 14–16th February,
2010. Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E) Church’s
Global Development Executive Board Meeting.
February 24-26th, 2010. Lyon, France.
Host: Novelle Alliance AMEC.
Christian Science Global Lectures:
BIEN IN FINE. March 4th, 2010. Mabiala Mavungu,
Mariages de la Mairie de Yopougon.
Conference. March 25-27th, 2010. Kansas City, Missouri.
:: April ::
47th Australian Christadelphian Conference.
Brisbane, Australia. 3rd-11th April, 2010.
Religion Communication Congress, 2010.
Chicago, Ill. April 7th-10th, 2010.
Community of Christ World Conference.
(Latter-Day Saints/Mormon)
April 10-17th, 2010. Independence, MO
International Order of Gnostic Templars.
World Congress of Secret Initiatic Societies.
Macerata-Osimo, Italy, April 17-18th, 2010.
L’Eglise Anglicane du Canada.
2010 National Episcopal Preaching Conference.
Hendersonville, NC, USA. April 19th-22nd, 2010.
Sponsored by: The Episcopal Preaching Foundation.
The Wrongfulness of Terrorist Actions:
An Interfaith Perspective. April 29-30th, 2010
:: May ::
Tokyo 2010 to Model After
First Global Missions Conference.
May 11-14th, 2010. Tokyo, Japan.
The Foursquare Church Convention.
Atlanta, Ga. May 31st-June 3nd, 2010.
The Royal School of Church Music
Music Sunday, June 13th, 2010.
The Irish School of Ecumenics 2010 Conference.
From World Mission to Interreligious Witness:
Visioning Ecumenics in the 21st Century.
Association of Classical & Christian Schools
2010 ACCS Annual Conference.
”Sine doctina vita est quasi mortis imago.”
June 17–19th, 2010 • Durham, North Carolina.
Association of Anglican Musicians.
2010 National AAM Conference.
Hartford, CT. June 20-24th. 2010.
Musicians is an organization of Musicians
& Clergy in the U.S. Episcopal Church and
throughout the Anglican Communion.
2010 World Religions Summit.
Interfaith Leaders in the G8 Nations.
University of Winnipeg, Canada.
June 21st – 23rd, 2010.
International Conference of the Order of St. Luke.
UBC Okanagan, Kelowna, BC. Canada.
June 21st-June 25th, 2010.
:: July ::
XIV World Congress ICMDA
2010 International Christian Medical and Dental Association.
4-11 de July, 2010. Punta del Este - Uruguay, South America.
UU Ministers Conference. Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
July 9-13th, 2010. Details forthcoming from International
Council of Unitarians and Universalists. (ICUU) website)
World Methodist Evangelism.
2010. Kwang Lim Vision Land, Seoul, Korea.
20th Baptist World Congress July 28th-August 1st,
:: August ::
International Christian Chamber of Commerce’s
Youth Conference. August 7-14th, Vaasa, Finland.
30th International Old Catholic Congress.
9-13th August, 2010. Zurich, Switzerland.
Internationaler Anglikanisch/Alt-Katholischer
Koordinierender Rat. More info: Rev’d
Dr Angela Berlis, tel +41 (0)31 631 4193,
E-mail: aocicc@alt-katholisch.de.
The Pentecostal World Conference (PWC)
August 24-27th, 2010. Stockholm, Sweden.
The Presbyterian Church, USA.
2010 Peacemaking Seminar. August 25-29th, 2010.
Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico.
:: September ::
33rd Congress of the International Association of
Religious Freedom. Sept. 1st-4th, 2010. Kochi, India.
61st Annual Catholic Cemetery Convention & Exposition.
Sept. 14 - 17th, 2010. Omaha, NE.
Since 1949, the Catholic Cemetery Conference helps Catholic
Cemeterians and their staff enhance their skills in caring for
the deceased and comforting their loved ones through ministry,
education, networking, and outreach opportunities.
:: October ::
2010 Mainz International Organ Competition.
Prizes: Euro 8.000, 4,000, 2,000. and 1,000. Jury: Bovet,
Boysen, Divellec, Fagius, Gnann, Kaiser, Oortmerssen,
Schnorr, Serafin. Deadline for applications: 28th February,
2010. Age limit: 34 years. Organisers: Hochschule für
Musik - Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz.
Oct. 11th, 12th and 14th, 2010.
The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization.
October 16-25th, 2010. Cape Town, South Africa.
The Congress, held in collaboration with the World Evangelical
Alliance, will bring together 4,000 leaders from more than 200
countries to confront the critical issues of our time – other world
faiths, poverty, HIV/AIDS, persecution, among others - as they
relate to the future of the Church and world evangelization.
The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. The Zion
XIV Conference. Oct. 21st-24th, 2010. Atlanta, Georgia.
:: November ::
Church of God. 103rd Holy Convention,
Nov. 8-16th, 2010. St. Louis, . MO.
The Scottish Episcopal Church’s Edinburgh
Diocesan Stipendiary Clergy Conference.
Nov. 9-11th, 2010. Edinburgh, Scotland.
:: December ::
Listing for December, 2010, will be posted when
details are available for the 2010 World Faith
& Church Events.
If your organisation is holding a major religious/interfaith/church
event during 2010, or beyond in 2011 and 2012, and would like
to list such herein at thebiggerissue.org, then please send full
details ASAP to: newsscope@k.st.
The primary aim of listing the 2010 World Faith & Church
Events is to provide quality over quantity. Just to simply list
all and sundry doesn't make for much more than cluttered
and packed dates and venues of religion and faith going on
here, there and everywhere. Hence, the list herein is
limited to perhaps the more unusual and striking
gatherings around the world for the 2nd Decade
of the 21st century.
Faithfully, Uncle Monty.
+Advent, 2oo9.
+Eve of St. Andrew's.

His Grace, The Archbishop of
Canterbury and His Holiness, The Pope.
:: Of Religious Interest ::
The Church Year, 2010.
Play. Located at Oberammergau. Germany.
From May 15th to October 3rd, 1010
International Christian University,
Mitaka-shi, Tokyo, Japan .
The World Congress of Faiths.
Worldwide Poll Finds Strong Support for Right to Criticize
Religion. By Brian Hutt Christian Today Reporter.
Scientology a criminal organisation says Australian senator.
Melbourne, Australia (ENI). An Australian lawmaker has launched a
scathing attack on the Church of Scientology saying, "Scientology is not
a religious organization but a criminal organization that hides behind
its so called religious beliefs." In a speech to the Australian Senate on
17 November, Senator Nick Xenophon said the Church of Scientology
had a "worldwide pattern of abuse and criminality". The Church of
Scientology responded in a statement saying that the senator had
presented unsubstantiated allegations as if they were factual evidence
and by speaking under parliamentary privilege he had abused the
powers granted to him as lawmaker. Ecumenical News
International. 23 Nov. 2009.
Blogger Frank James for National Public Radio said "the so-called
war on Christmas appears to be escalating this year" in the United
States with the start of the Thanksgiving and Christmas season
marked by a national advertising campaign based on the slogan,
"No God?... No Problem!" The campaign by the Washington-based
American Humanist Association features a pictorial advertisement
with several smiling people wearing Santa hats. Emblazoned on the
advert is the slogan, which believers in non-theism say hinges on
the axiom that people do not need God in order to be, and to do,
good. Thanksgiving like Christmas stems from a religious feast
and many believe it began as a harvest festival celebrated by
Christian puritans who fled to America from religious persecution
in Europe. Ecumenical News International. 25 Nov. 2009.
Irish Bishops covered up priests' child abuse.
Now Read Uncle Monty’s: Letterfrack: The Irish Gulag.
LETTERFRACK: The Irish Gulag. By Uncle Monty -
22 Apr 2009 ... By Uncle Monty. LETTERFRACK: The Irish Gulag.
Letterfrack Story By Uncle Monty. Letterfrack Photos By Alex Albion.
Part One of Two. thebiggerissueorg.blogspot.com/
letterfrack-irish-gulag-by-uncle-monty.html -
Swiss minaret vote (to ban) unlikely to be copied in Europe.
By Tom Heneghanm, Reuter’s Religion Editor.
NB. Known Atheistic/Scientology/New Age/Humanistic
groups will not knowingly be listed and will, therefore,
be refused a listing - period!!
By Uncle Monty.


Nibbling on Homelessness. By Uncle Monty.

Bob Dylan Brings Christmas Cheer To Those Without Homes
By Angus MacSwan.

Nibbling on Homelessness.
By Uncle Monty.
Photos By Alex Albion.
Everybody was still waiting for the arrival of the mayor
as some 260 delegates sipped on white wine and tast-
ing Hors d'Oeuvres at last night’s sponsored meeting
on “Tackling Homelessness, Changing Lives” that was
held at London’s renowned Westminster Central Hall.
They, the delegates, were also and ironically, "nibbling
on homelessness" as they filled their bellies with delight-
ful and free light refreshments at The Aldergate Room.
While such a meeting is well-intented, the major
drawback was that the vast majority of delegates at the
CRISIS/Housing Justice event had neither experienced
homelessness nor actually been at anytime homeless
on the grim city streets of the British capital.
For the cynic, all one sees is the ever-growing "homeless
cottage industry," despite all the public rhetoric to elimi-
nate national homelesssness and city rough sleeping. Such
is much like what London’s dapper and talented Tory
Mayor Boris Johnson stated when he finally arrived late
before the assembled delegates – “By 2012, the aim is to
bring an end to rough sleeping in London,” he sincerely
declared and to which was greeted with a solid round of
applause from most of the gleeful delegates. Of course,
there were no rough sleepers there to hear the de-
bonair mayor’s open declaration at Central Hall.
Standing Room Only To Hear & See The Mayor!
One thing, however, that Boris Johnson has is a keen
understanding and appreciation for the volunteer. No
politician of his standing could fail to do so since volunteers
of whatever kind are oftentimes the lifeblood for such liv-
ing politicians of his political success. The same principle is
applied to volunteers who help and work with the homeless.
And the mayor reinforced that with his unequivocal stand
to do whatever he can to actively support such volunteers
among the network of homeless charities and street agencies.
Indeed, Boris Joihnson is pro-homeless people and who sees
it to be his moral and mayoral duty to do whatever he can
to reduce and eliminate the scourge of homelessness
inside London. Good for him and good for us!
Susan Simmonds & Canon Bruce Saunders.
Among the delegates were Habitat for Humanity’s
Susan Simmonds with Anglican Southwark Cathedral’s Canon
Bruce Saunders, who came over as rather aloof and almost
punctilious in his glaring manners. When asked his age, he re-
fused to give it!! Later, however, he was found to be age 62
and rapidly graying. He also came over much like the Cath-
edral’s Dean Colin Slee, who ban the beloved British hymn
Jerusalem” that rightly created a uproar against him.
What an Anglican clergy bitch, was he, called Slee!!
Ban The Dean Who Banned Jerusalem -
Good Grief, He's Francois Greeff.
Not listed as a delegate at the meeting, Francois
Andre Greeff, a disgruntled ex-Big Issue vendor,
was there to represent himself and his registered
charity called "Good4you."
Francois Greeff's website is parked at bluehost.com
that displays no webpages or front page regarding, if
you will, his perhaps elusive charity, although his listing
at the GuideStar shows some fancy footwork that also
lands-up at bluehost.com with no stated information
whatsoever presented from the good4you charity or
what it is actually doing on a day-to-day basis. Some-
thing strange is going on or something seems amiss,
so one sense's with Francois Andre Greeff's
"managing directorship" of his registered
Thus the following is stated by "Good4you."
The only trustee listed for good4you was a Mr. David John Devine,
LL.B., (Hons) MA, ACIS. A google web search found no mention of
him or his name. Perhaps, he’s a retired lawyer or solicitor? As for
the letters "ACIS," that both him and Francois carry after their
names, another google web search resulted in ACIS as an asso-
ciate degree title in "Accounting and Information Systems."
Plus, Francios Greeff also carries an M.A. after his name.
Is that a “legit” Master’s degree or what? Whatever,
he didn't have any kind words for Big Issue co-founder
A. John Bird or for The Big Issue itself as the dis-
gruntled ex-Big Issue vendor that Francois is. He's
best summed-up as ADEBIV, so some would say!
A Life in the Day: Francois Greeff,
with bipolar disorder and homeless.
By Ria Higgins.
Francois Greeff.
Francois Greeff Author of
Now back to more of the meeting ... that saw the
classy lady Leslie Morphy (who is shown above in the
story caption photo with Boris Johnson) officially open-
ing the meeting of delegates as the Chief Executive of
CRISIS. Housing Justice's Alastair Murray was also a
keynote speaker at Westminster Central Hall. While
Terry Drummond represented the Bishop of Southwark,
Allison Curcio represented the Medicins de Monde.
They were among so many others at the CRISIS/
Housing Justice meeting with a few more listed ...
Some of the 260 delegates listening to
London Mayor Boris Johnson last night.
The lengthy list of delegates was truly diverse has
seen with the presence of The Church Army's Maria
Hagi-Pavli, Cardinal Hume Centre's Emily Hynes,
Jacqueline Mair of CARIS, Lucy Martin of Cardborad
Citizens, Ellie Raymont of The Streetwise Opera, Nadia
Nadia of The Methodist Church, Lorna Hawthorne of
Emmaus, Jessica Veltman of Foodworks, Kate Gunn of
St. Mungo's, Carlita McKnight of Drugscope, and Lucy
Fraser-MacNamara of The Big Issue Foundation. They
are only a small sampling of names and charities that
are "nibbling on homelessness," if the truth be known.
Though "Tackling Homelessness, Changing Lives"
sounds wonderful, mind you.
Nameless Homeless Man Getting Mayor's Autograph.
I may add more comments later and any feedback
on the CRISIS/Housing Justice Meeting of last night.
I am tied-up today with a couple of other invitations
and so I'm rounding out my story right now called:
"Nibbling on Homelessness."
Whatever stay tuned, Uncle Monty.
Wednesday before Advent, 2oo9.
Eve of America's Thanksgiving.
Another photoshot of Uncle Monty with Boris Johnson.
What I saw of Westminster Abbey just last night
as I left the CRISIS/Housing Justice Meeting
at Westminster Central Hall that is a just a
stone's throw from the world-famous abbey.
{Click on any image to Enlarge}



Two Nobodies. By Uncle Monty.

Two Nobodies.
By Uncle Monty.
Graphics By Alex Albion.
The European Union's Insult &
Farce To The People of Europe.
Nobody said it in actual spoken words, but Britain’s
money-crazy and self-promoting ex-PM Anthony Blair
was more or less told “to go jump in the lake” in his
failed attempt to become the first president of the
all-devouring European Union (EU). He's walking
and talking now with his tail between his two legs.
In place of the self-conceited and useless ding-dong that
Anthony Blair truly is, the EU elite had the strange notion
to then pick a Belgium guy that few, if any, of the forced and
captive 500 million EU “citizens” had ever heard of until he
was picked, behind-closed door, last week as the unelected
first president of the EU.
He’ll also now get himself a grand salary of almost half
million US dollars per annum. I call him "The Belgium
Chocolate Man,” I do, although his legal name is
Herman Van Rompuy. Some bloggers are declaring
that he is a European Jew, too!! That will matter to
some people, but not to me. As long as he’s not a
jihad Muslim - like is found in the murderous U.S.
Major Nidal Hasan, M.D. of Fort Hood, as shown
about - then that’s okay with me personally whether
or not Van Rompuy is a Jew or not! As for him, being
the first EU president, however, I'm not impressed
with him nor the EU one little bit. He comes over
as a little nobody for most of the people of Europe.
Aside from that, I am ecstatic that Anthony Blair
was stopped dead in his self-centred tracks and
his all-consuming ambition to be seen on the
world stage that is largely to blame for him
being who he is and who he shouldn't be.
But even still worse was the last-minute pick by the EU
elite of British New Labour's Cathy Ashton for the post
of the tongue twisting title of High Representative of the
EU. She, like Van Rompuy, is yet again another unelected
EU politico, who jackass Labour PM Gordon Brown
peddled in place of hideous Anthony Blair. Two wrongs
don't make a right, right? But they do make a good
left for New Labour, right?
Tragically for the UK, New Labour will still now have a
socialist foothold with their Cathy Ashton now fixed in
Europe, even when Labour will probably be given the
big boot by the British people come the next 2010
General Election that will hopefully end the leftist
political and mass immigration tyranny and socialist
nightmare of New Labour for at least the next couple
of decades after they're finally ousted out of power
in upcoming 2010. My major worry for 2010 is
wondering who will be in charge of counting the
vote, especially if New Labour should get in for
a fourth term or we're told we suddenly have
an hung parliament. Hell, no!!
If Time Magazine called the new EU pair "the
bland leading the bland,” I would prefer to call

the bland pair “Two Nobodies,” who Europe is now
stuck with for the next 2½ years in their unelected
position of power that they and we neither deserve.

Nor whether we like it or not. For an avowed euro-
spectics like me, it is evidence yet again of the
mindless panoply of the EU that needs to be
stopped dead in its self-serving tracks and
emerging ultafederalist yoke of the kind never
before seen in all the history of all Europe.
While Obama's US welcomed Van Rompuy and
Ashton, the all but quasi-disenfanchised people of
Europe mostly didn't since they had no vote in the
oddball selection of Van Rompuy and Ashton nor did
the elected members of the European Parliament. In fact,
picking the two nobodies that they are, is just another one
of the
EU’s typical insults and farces that it has already in-
flicted on the European people. The political and judicial
yoke of the EU will surely grow to poison the people even
more as the years go by to openly dictate, without elected
mandate from the masses, like a re-born Sovietique hege-
mony in Europe. And, the economic gravy train of the
European Union will find the feeding troughs getting bigger
and bigger for all Members of the European Parliament
(MEPs) to feed on like ever growing fat pigs. So,
I say "NO" to the two nobodies and the EU!
So then, what about you?
Down With The EU, Uncle Monty.
+Sunday before Advent, 2oo9.
New EU President Confirms New World Order.
The E.U.'s New Top Leaders: Bland Leading the Bland.
By Leo Cendrowicz in Brussels.
Khaleej Times Editorial:
Europe’s Face-lifting.
Herman Van Rompuy and Baroness Ashton:
2010 World Faith & Church Events.
Compiled By Uncle Monty.
Coming shortly ...

$350,000 for a glove from yet another nobody?
By Chris Michaud.

{Click on any image to Enlarge}



Strictly, Romantic Ballet. By Uncle Monty.

Strictly, Romantic Ballet.
By Uncle Monty.
Cuba Photos By Alex Albion.
Browsing thru a rundown old bookshop while visiting Cuba’s
Old Havana last May, I came by accident across Sacheverell
Sitwell’s 1948 book entitled “The Romantic Ballet” with 16
beautiful coloured 8” x 11” engraved plates of noted ballet
dancers and famous ballets. I wasn’t looking particularly for
old ballet books, but when I flipped thru Sitwell’s classy book
I just couldn’t turn it down for the equlivent of one US dollar
or about 85 English pence! So I bought the book, of course.
My lovely and dear friend Bronwyn Curry, a former English
ballerina herself at The Royal Ballet, also thought the book was
lovely when I showed it her during her last visit in September
to London with her Italian artist partner Franco Benini.
Please don’t tell her, I now plan to give the book
to Bronwyn for this Christmas.
But in the meantime, I thought it would be nice to present
just a few of the magnificent plates I found in “The Romantic
Ballet” published - and now long out of print - by B. T.
Batsford Ltd of Malvern Wells, and printed in The Netherlands
by L. van Leer & Co. Bronwyn also told me that classical ballet
has always been fondly supported in Cuba for donkeys' ages
despite the 50 year-old Castro Revolution and its communist
tyranny it then replaced of the old rightist Fulgencio Batista
regime. I suspect Sitwell's gem was brought to Cuba either
from England or America by some Anglo affectionado -of
European ballet after perhaps the Second War World.
Plate 15.
Madame Celeste as The Arab Boy.
Plate 7.
Carlotta Grisi and Jules Perrot in La Polka.
Plate 14.
Flora Fabbri in Le Diable A Quatre.
There is nothing like abit of culture, now and again,
that something like ballet can bring to us all even to
those of us who aren’t particularly into ballet per se
or professional dance. Years ago, when I worked as
a teenager as the scullery boy after school for the
wonderful English baritone Francis Loring and his
endearing wife Gloria at their cultured-filled St.
John's Wood mansion house, I can recall how I was
taken to The Royal Ballet by them. Years later, I
was to also meet British choreographer Sir Frederick
Ashton; the Queen's gay dress designer Hardy Amies;
the prima ballerina herself Margot Fonteyn and her
wheelchair-bound Panamanian husband and diplomat
Roberto de Arias. And with Dame Margot, I also met
Rudolf Nureyev twice, who later blamed his own co-
dancers when he himself had made dance missteps
or key mistakes as he grew older and became less
agile and more clumsy as the world's foremost male
ballet dancer of the 20th century. He had earlier sought
political exile in England after he fled from the rigid and
cruel communist rule of the USSR. Rudolf Nureyev
came over to me as a prig, quite frankly!!
Sir Sacheverell Sitwell Dies at 90,
Last of Trio of Literary Eccentrics.
Prima Ballerina Absoluta -Dame Margot Fonteyn.
Her husband Roberto de Arias and her famous
dance partner Russian exile Rudolf Nureyev.
Plate 5.
Shown above, as my story caption image,
is that of Carlotta Grisi and Jules Perrot in
La Esmeralda. Sitwell's book also include plates
showing ballerinas Fanny Elssler, Marie Taglioni,
Fanny Cerrito, Lucile Grahn, Marie Guy
Stephan, and Anne Fairbrother Hill.
Do have yourself a good day, Uncle Monty.
+Eve of St. Edmund, 2oo9.
Uncle Monty with some "Cuban fans" of his!!
{Click on any image to Enlarge}



Foreigners Galore Among London Homeless Dead Named At St. Martin's Service. Blog Edited By Uncle Monty.

Foreigners Galore Among
London Homeless Dead Named
At St. Martin's Service.
News Report By Independent
Catholic News - ICN.
Blog Edited By Uncle Monty.
Page Design By Alex Albion.
Many of the homeless people who died on the streets of London over the past year came from Poland and other countries in Eastern Europe. Their names were among more than 200 read out at the Annual Service of Commemoration at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields on Thursday, 12th November. The service is organised by the Connection at St. Martins and Housing Justice annually during Remembrance Week.
It brings together the agencies and churches working to assist people who are homeless and vulnerable, as well as homeless people themselves, to remember those who have died over the year, whether still on the streets, in hostels or in their own accommodation. Volunteers and staff who have died are also commemorated. Rev'd Richard Carter of St Martin's-in-the-Fields led the service and read out the first set of names. Also reading out names were Jo Nurse of the Simon Community, Bandi Mbubi of the Manna Centre and Kaz Mayes of the Connection at St Martins. Following the names each reader gave a short personal reflection on the life of someone they knew who had died, remembering and paying respect to people with often troubled and shortened lives. All who were present were then invited to write a name on leaves to attach to a hand painted vine, representing the scripture 'I am the vine you are the branches'. The vine with all the names was then lifted up in front of the altar. The vine was painted by artistic director Rosemary Cockayne and a team of volunteers from her art group at Chelsea Methodist Church. Musical contributions were made by "The Choir with No Name" and "Streetwise Opera", including the hymn 'Dear Lord and Father of mankind', 'Bridge over Troubled Water' and "There's a place for us" from West Side story. Other music was provided by a trio leading the congregation in Taize singing, and during the symbolic lifting up of the vine. Poems, prayers and the Gospel reading were given by people representing many of the different churches and agencies working to help homeless people in London, including Major Valerie Mercer of the Salvation Army. The Right Rev'd David Walker, Anglican Bishop of Dudley and former Chair of Housing Justice, gave a reflection. He said: "Today is about remembering those who have died without a home or on the edges of our society. We remember and give thanks to God for their lives and for the ways in which they have touched and enriched our lives. In life many may have passed them by, but today their names ring out across this city". Rev'd Richard Carter of St Martin's-in-the-Fields commented: "This is one of the most moving and important services which takes place in this church each year. It is also one of the most disturbing. This year the list of those who have died is longer than ever and today we remembered 200 people who have died in the last year. The theme "I am the vine, you are the branches," recognises that we belong to one another and belong to God, each person deserving human dignity love and respect. " Recognising that if one part of our society suffers we all must feel it and that a society will be judged by the way it treats it's most vulnerable members. Today's list of names includes those who came from overseas seeking sanctuary, work and hope, the fact that we are reading out their names today and the names of many others shows that they did not find it and it confronts us with the urgency of the need which exists for those living on our streets who are often treated with suspicion and intolerance and even hate. " Alastair Murray of Christian campaigning charity Housing Justice said: "The service is always an attempt to solemnly remember those who have died, but also to celebrate people who have lived life on their own terms. When the hand painted vine with all the names was raised up in front of the altar it was a powerful symbol of shared hope, even in the midst of struggle and suffering".
:: UPDATE ::
Peggy Marshall, R.N. said...
"I have a serious query for you. Who counts the homeless people that have died since the last service to them at St. Martin in the Fields? The numbers are reported to be "more than 200" this year. According to those numbers one homeless person has died at least every other day in London during the past 1 year. I am sure that too many homeless people die for one reason or another on the streets. But 200 or more of them seems a wild figure to me to be honest about it. If another group of people were dying at the rate of 200 or more each year then there would be alarm bells going off all over the place. I seriously suspect that reporting a homeless person to be dead is not verified by public death records. I wonder if the organisers of the service includes the name of whoever it is that is given to them without wondering if the death in question is real or bogus or just made up or simply surmised? Can you or someone answer my query? I have been only to one service a few years ago. It was sad to hear those names being read out. I think the number of homeless dead was about 75 read out then. It seemed alot to me even then. But now more than 200 people in the year have died as homeless. That I find so hard to believe.
Are the death figures true? Some how I doubt it."
Peggy Marshall, R.N. 11/14/2009 09:03:00 AM.
Response From Jo Siedlecka of
Independent Catholic News - ICN.
Re: was there really 200 or more homeless dead?
Hi - The number has been around 200 plus for several years now.
I think that is homeless people who have died around the country -
although a high number of those are in London. You can check
with the Simon Community who do a regular street count.
Jo Siedlecka ICN. 16 Nov 2009 05:20:33 -0000 (GMT).
Then, St. Martin's Roger Shaljean states:
Dear Monty,
Thanks for this. I'm not sure who Peggy Marshall is nor why
she thinks our figure is 'wild'. The names represent individual
people who had been homeless and were known personally to any
one of the thirty agencies who responded from the Housing Justice
network. If anyone chose to fabricate a name we may not have
noticed but at such a juncture that seems unlikely. The service is
what it says.....a Commemoration. It does not pretend to contribute
to social policy nor to collect statistics....... though as the numbers
involved and our concern for the human beings who died often
sadly and the encouragement given to homeless performers
speaks volumes. As the Bishop of Dudley said in spite of
their suffering..... they have enriched our lives.
Could I ask, Monty where the photographs came from that
were attached to the report on our service? They appeared
to be stereotyped individuals and not too representative
of folk who came to our service!
Roger Shaljean. 16 Nov 2009 16:37:48 -0000.
Uncle Monty Replies ...
no fabrication, roger!!!
hello dear roger: so good to hear from you as usual. i
don't think peggy marshall is suggesting in any way that
the names may have been fabricated. i think she was so
shocked to read so many names of the homeless dead that
she wondered if there had been an error in the numbers
or the names given. i myself was shocked, too, at the
huge numbers when i first read the independent
catholic news report for this year's service.
i agree wholeheartedly with bishop david walker that such
lives have indeed enriched us all. when peggy raised the
fact that based on the 200+ numbers that had been listed as
the homeless dead for 2oo9, she figured that by those numbers
alone some homeless person had died every other day. certainly,
200 dead homeless persons over a span of 365 days, is truly stag-
gering, roger, by any account!! you are right to state that the ser-
vice is not in the business of collecting statistics of whatever kind.
as for the photos used of homeless persons in my blog piece
on st. martin's, they are from my own archives of photos of the
homeless spanning the world. i did not, however, include any
of my own images of the many homeless i have photographed
around the globe. after your insightful comment on the photos
used, i regret to say that you're right since they are stereotypical
images that do not represent those persons seen at st. martin's
commemoration services, that like you, i have also attended. in
future, i will use my own homeless images in such a future report
on st. martin's. sadly, i was unable again to attend this year since
i was on call as a sworn court witness at blackfrairs crown court
after being robbed by four thugz on the bus of almost two years
ago. ironically, i was then on my way to attend the interfaith ser-
vice at st. andrew's that saw there bishops christopher chessun,
bernard longley and augustus basil. and last year, i was unable
again to attend since i was personally invited to st. clement
danes royal air force service that saw, among others,
general sir richard and lady pippa dannett in
attendence as important military guests.
as you know roger, i have quite a busy schedule of things
planned months ahead, so if i'm not invited to attend some
other event beforehand then it is likely i'll be unable to attend
something else like the worthy commemoration service.
i should point out, too, that i have not yet heard back from
alastair murray himself on the peggy marshall matter ...
in any event, i do hope my reply here to you is cogent
and proper! incidentally, i'm off next to vancouver ...
{this just in} peggy marshall tells me she is now just so sorry
for being perhaps blunt and suspecting of the numbers. she
tells me, too, she'll make an extra donation this christmastide
to one of the charities involved with the service. i think that is
quite decent of her. i am not privy to tell you much about her
since i have only met her briefly about five years ago.
faithfully, monty. +margaret, queen of scotland (bcp), 2oo9.
11/16/09 10:53 PM EST.
Alastair Murray Now Further Explains:
Dear Monty
I could not reply as I have not been in the office between
Friday and lunchtime today, and my blackberry is not
yet in synch with our new server.
The press release I prepared, which you copied onto your
blog, makes clear that the names that were read were not
just those people who had died homeless on the street, but
also includes people in hostels and those in their own
The post from Peggy indicates that she has misunderstood this.
All the different agencies - hostels, churches, day centres, outreach
teams, health services – send the names of those known to them who
have died over the year, as even when formerly homeless people have
been housed many often continue to use homelessness services. This
is the rationale for the inclusion of their names in this service.
I did receive names from other parts of the country, but did not
include them. I hope however to compile a list which will include
those names, to post on our website, when I can.
I’m copying this to all on your Cc list for info, and hope this
helps clarify the misunderstanding. Best wishes Alastair
17 Nov 2009 13:58:19 +0000.
Uncle Monty's Reply To Alastair:
and now the death count includes the ex-homeless, right?
while you certainly did state such in your press release, i didn’t
understand it to mean you were also including and counting
the ex-homeless dead among this year’s commemoration
service. of the half-dozen or so online news reports i read, a
day or so after the service itself, there was no mention in such
news reports of the ex-homeless dead among the count of
200 or more listed names for 2oo9.
Such then is a new dimension, it seems to me, for the annual
st. martin’s service, if it now includes the ex-homeless dead,
too. the problem with that is that someone like say the big
issue co-founder john bird could be listed as an ex-homeless
dead person upon his death even though he hasn’t actually
been homeless for 30 years or more! what this also means is
once you start including the ex-homeless among the annual
dead, then the figures soon become almost mind-boggling in
sheer numbers that could include thousands of ex-homeless
from both the present and the long past. also, if you have say
thirty different agencies giving out names or nicknames of
the dead at what point is the person then listed as home-
less or ex-homeless dead by one or more agencies?
one agency may declare the person is “homeless dead”
under one name, while another may declare the person is
“ex-homelesss dead” under say a known nickname. thus,
the death figures can soon become horribly distorted
instead of a true figure of strictly the homeless dead.
so if you are planning in future to formally include the
deaths of the ex-homeless, then the st. martin’s service
should clearly state that – “the commemoration service
is both to the homeless and ex-homeless dead.” That will
then, alastair, help to openly explain to the good and car-
ing folkz like peggy marshall, and others, why the home-
less death numbers seem so terribly high. and, also
why such is getting sadder by each passing year ...
out of all of this, however, i think it is right and proper to
also publicly express our many humble thankz to such fine
and shining Christian folkz like you, and our beloved roger
shaljean of anglican st. martin’s, for bringing the annual
commemoration service that marks one of the best of the
English Church’s ecumenical endeavours of today. Bravo!!
truly, monty. +lord, hide me in the shadow of your
wings, 2oo9. cc: peggy marshall, et al.
11-18-2009 EST
Re: and now the death count includes the ex-homeless, right?
Monty - Why write such a sarcastic note? With what authority?
The service was for homeless people who have died. Some of
them died in hostels, or even hospital, so technically they had a
roof over theirheads but not a home. As a journalist who has
worked on London papers for more than 20 years I find the figure
of 200 totally believable. Often on a Monday morning police call we
are told about people found dead - either on the street, in parks or
in a homeless shelter. Many more die in hospital. Police determine
that they are homeless from the state of their clothes - shoes
particularly, and the fact that they have no address - except
perhaps details of a night shelter. Unfortunately some aren't
discovered for along time. It is so common it is not 'news'.
Jo Siedlecka editor Independent Catholic News.
18 Nov 2009 10:06:41 -0000 (GMT)
To Jo Siedlecka From Uncle Monty.
hardly sarcastic, jo!!
hello jo: my intention wasn't to write a sarcastic note, but
rather to ask (pragmatically) if the death count now includes
the ex-homeless and not just the current homeless dead.
i feel this whole matter is getting me cross! i still think the
death figure of 200+ is a staggering number no matter what.
i think, too, that peggy marshall was right to first raise the
issue of the numbers listed as dead for 2oo9. i am aware,
along with you, that the appalling homeless circumstances
of many found dead is not news worthy since
"it is so common it is not 'news'."
when i myself was homeless on the streets of washington, d.c.,
it was not uncommon to find homeless men and women literally
frozen to death at dupont circle with the city copz and morticians
collecting such human bodies right next to me!! in one instance,
george bush himself rode by in his bullet-proof presidential limo
just moments after they'd collected yet another homeless
dead body (in the bleak american mid-winter)! so there!!
while i was at melbourne, australia, last year for the sixth homeless
world cup, i happened upon a rubbish heap that i had been told was
where some of the local homeless folk sometimes slept. there i found
one dead homeless man in his late 30's just left there like he was
garbage. i cried inside! it was not news reported, either. nor did i
report such on my oz story nor publish the photos i took of the grisly
scene. as a news photographer by profession, and now retired, death
always knocks at the most unlikely place and many are oftentimes
those folkz who are homeless and marginalized. i was also later told
that the local australian had been there dead for perhaps 10 days
or more. the body strench was what made me first discover him.
after such first-hand and upfront experiences, jo, i could
hardly be "sarcastic," despite what you say of me!!
truthly, monty. +do not be afriad of those
who kill the body, 2oo9.
11-18-2009 10:51 59.00 AM CST.
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