A passion for for photography and digital communication with a background at the BBC and ITV.
Currently director at the School Media Club making cinema films for schools and working for Oblong Leeds a community development organisation. Also a member of All Saints Church in Ilkley and involved with communications in the parish.
This blog features posts about photography including some of my photos, while the media posts will include thoughts about filmmaking and online media - particularly to do with PR activities.
School Media Club
Category Archives: Oblong
I’ve been having a number of conversations about the way the church communicates. There is undoubtedly an urgent need for the church to get a few key messages across more clearly.
If you set aside (difficult to do), the central thing of Christ dying for our sins, non church goers are even then confused about what the church is or does.
I work part time for Oblong Leeds, a secular community development charity. Oblong runs Woodhouse Community Centre. We let out rooms to organisations at two rates – the normal commercial rate and a discounted rate for non profit organisations. The values of Oblong are around support for the poor and poor in spirit, equality, celebration of gifts, respect and care towards one another and so on. We have collectively decided to charge political and religious organisations the higher commercial rate. I don’t fully agree with this but we are a flat management and out of respect I go along with it. Here are two arguments:
- Churches are rich and so can afford the higher rate (a local church is spending a few million pounds on refurbishments)
- Churches are only open to those who believe or are prepared to be converted.
Any argument for the lower rate is undermined by the perception that the church is both rich and powerful. The finances in the voluntary sector are shockingly fragile. Some unemployed volunteers would struggle to get to the centre if we didn’t give them bus tickets. We literally have to count the pennies ourselves. We can hardly afford cleaning but we figure everyone cleaning the toilets keeps us grounded and equal. I heard a story about an unemployed man in Chapeltown who complained that all the jobs were in Leeds. Chapeltown is only a few minutes by bus from Leeds centre.
There are many churches in poor areas that are struggling and attending to the poor, yet it is often the richest churches we hear about first. The focus in the press is often on conflict, division, power and money.
On the issue of being open to all. I feel strongly that the church should make it clear who it is for and open its doors a little wider to people who are struggling physically, mentally and spiritually regardless of their place on the journey.
I remember attending a big church service in Birmingham during which a vagrant entered at the rear. A group of stewards flocked round and “encouraged” him out. “We get a lot of this but we have a system for spotting them and moving them out” one of the stewards told me. I remember the words clearly.
There will always, of course, be a distinction between those who believe, those who want to believe and those who reject, but actually there may be less clarity on this than we are prepared to accept. I am open to welcoming anyone and not make up my mind until I get to know them, and even then understand that we are enriched by our differences. Failing to engage with people who are “not like us”, make us feel uncomfortable or cause trouble is a curse of modern life – perhaps it is driven by the media and advertising in particular?
Let’s see some evidence of how poor and open to trouble makes the church can be. Making a difference perhaps begins with accepting a difference.
Help me to make a case for the lower rate.
If you know of anyone in Leeds who would like to take advantage of a superb video story telling course, please pass on the information.
The course will run for 10 weeks from the 7th of November and will be a script to screen practical guide. It’s aimed at beginners so all you need is to be interested. The course is FREE for some applicants, so please ask about this.
Video Story Telling begins Wednesday the 7th November at the Woodhouse Community Centre, Leeds LS6 2NY. email firstname.lastname@example.org
There are still places left but because it’s a valuable course offered free to some people we expect it to be over subscribed.
Here’s a heads up on a course we’re running at the Woodhouse Community Centre in Leeds. Please alert anyone you think might be interested.
On Wednesday the 7th of November we will begin a new 10 week filmmaking course to be run at the Woodhouse Community Centre in Leeds. The sessions will run between 4pm and 6pm
The tutor on the course will be Abdul Rahman Al-Marsumi formerly of the BBC and with many years experience of teaching.
The course will cover
- The language of film and video
- How to understand the theme
- Story boards and story telling
There will be a strong practical element with student creating their own film sequences.
The course is likely to be over subscribed, but if you would like to express and interest in this course we can send you more information.
Use my Oblong email address email@example.com
Thought I’d update you in the media projects I’m involved with through Oblong in Leeds
Oblong is a community development charity based at the Woodhouse Community Centre in Leeds. The charity manages the newly refurbished centre, runs community development projects and supports the personal development of volunteers. As part of this we are steadily growing the Media Collective which provides learning and development opportunities for volunteers interested in various aspects of media.
In the coming weeks we are starting a number of courses which are aimed at giving small organisations and individuals the tools to communicate in the digital environment. The courses include an introduction to WordPress websites, photoshop and photography and video production.
An introduction to Photoshop
This is a new ten week introductory course in Adobe Photoshop
Mondays from 3.30pm to 5.30pm starting 1st October.
An introduction to WordPress
This is a new two week introductory course for WordPress blogs and websites.
Two Wednesdays from 4.00pm to 6.00pm from 10th October and the following week.
This is an eight week course starting early November and will be a script to screen cover the essential techniques involved in making short films.
If you live in the Woodhouse area of Leeds and know of anyone who would benefit please get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org