Archives October 2014

Fr. Simon’s Electric Ordo


I have just finished my first app running on Android: a conversion of my Electric Ordo. You can find it here on Google Play.

This is my annual release of an Electronic Ordo or Church Calendar, containing daily information and readings for Mass each day according to both the Roman Lectionary and an alternative Anglican/Episcopal Lectionary*. The app provides links for most bible references to the NRSV provided by the Oremus Bible Browser. You can also share the data for a given day to eMail or Evernote or any other of your favourite Apps.

* Why? You’re not allowed to use the copyrighted Common Worship Lectionary.

This version runs from Advent 2014 to Advent 2015

I compile this for myself, and as such it may contain errors or omissions, but if the data is wrong, you won’t be the only one making a mistake, I’ll be making it too! This is released FREE, all I ask is your prayers for my ministry and the ministry of the Roborough Team Ministry here in Plymouth: call it prayerware if you like!


2014-10-26 22.55.19 2014-10-26 22.55.27 2014-10-26 22.55.46 2014-10-26 22.55.53 2014-10-26 22.56.24 2014-10-26 23.00.04

Fr Simon’s Electric Ordo on Android NO LONGER on Google Play

No,  you can’t have it. The Common Worship lectionary is copyright. That bunch of bible verses is not mine to give away, for prayers or anything. I have withdrawn it from Google Play, which is a pity because a) It was a good way to learn Android App development because I  compile the data each year for my own use and b) I would have found it useful. Oh well.

I will probably take out that bit and resubmit it.


ordoicon512x512I have just finished my first app running on Android: a conversion of my Electric Ordo. You can find it very shortly here on Google Play (it takes time to publish and verify).

Now, this is my very first attempt at developing an Android App, and might be a bit flaky but it works, and I hope it is handy. It has taught me much about Android Development. I apologise if it doesn’t meet your expectations. In case you ask,  I will not be developing an iOS version ever because Apple expect you to develop the code on a Mac and charge a fortune for the Developer license. The Android tools are effectively free and I can use my Windows and Linux tools.

This is my annual release of an Electronic Ordo or Church Calendar, containing daily information and readings for Mass each day according to both the Anglican (Common Worship) or Roman lectionaries.  I compile this for myself, and as such it may contain errors or omissions, but if the data is wrong, you won’t be the only one making a mistake, I’ll be making it too! This is released FREE, all I ask is your prayers for my ministry and the ministry of the Roborough Team Ministry here in Plymouth: call it prayerware if you like!





2014-10-23 14.11.28 2014-10-23 14.11.14 2014-10-23 14.11.06 2014-10-23 14.10.14


A Traditional View on Marriage

First Gay Wedding Show In ParisI have a traditional view of marriage.

I believe it to be a life-long commitment of one to another.

I believe it calls the married to commitment, fidelity and honesty, sharing and mutual respect.

That’s traditional.

I believe that marriage is important for society: it builds community and places relationships and love at the centre of community.

I believe that marriage is essential for the upbringing of children because it provides a framework of security, love & support.

That’s traditional.

I believe that marriage does not abuse or belittle, but upholds the dignity of the individual in the unity of holy matrimony.

That’s traditional.

I also believe that the gender of those committing to holy matrimony is immaterial, because love is the core of this sacrament and not gender, childbearing, race or class.

When the homophobes use the phrase “traditional” to describe their prejudices, it only serves to undermine what I want to see enshrined in equal marriage… or as I like to think of it: “marriage”:

A traditional view of marriage should be solely about values, not genitalia. I want us to reclaim the word “traditional”.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”.


If Jesus was born today…

A poem by Steve Turner

If Jesus was born today

If Jesus was born today
it would be in a downtown motel
marked by a helicopter’s flashing bulb.
A traffic warden, working late,
would be the first upon the scene.
Later, at the expense of a TV network,
an eminent sociologist,
the host of a chat show
and a controversial author
would arrive with their good wishes
-the whole occasion to be filmed as part of the
‘Is This The Son Of God?’ one hour special.
Childhood would be a blur of photographs and speculation
dwindling by his late teens into
‘Where Is He Now?’ features in Sunday magazines.

If Jesus was thirty today
they wouldn’t really care about the public ministry,
they’d be too busy investigating His finances
and trying to prove He had Church or Mafia connections.
The miracles would be explained by
an eminent and controversial magician,
His claims to be God’s Son recognised as
excellent examples of Spoken English
and immediately incorporated into
the O-Level syllabus,
His sinless perfection considered by moral philosophers
as, OK, but a bit repressive.

If Jesus was thirty-one today
He’d be the fly in everyone’s ointment-
the sort of controversial person who
stands no chance of eminence.
Communists would expel Him, capitalists
would exploit Him or have Him
smeared by people who know a thing or two about God.
Doctors would accuse Him of quackery,
soldiers would accuse Him of cowardice,
theologians would take Him aside and try
to persuade Him of His non-existence.

If Jesus was thirty-two today we’d have to
end it all. Heretic, fundamentalist, literalist,
puritan, pacifist, non-conformist, we’d take Him
away and quietly end the argument.
But the argument would rumble in the ground
at the end of three days and would break out
and walk around as though death was some bug,
saying ‘I am the resurrection and the life…
No man cometh to the Father but by me’.
While the magicians researched new explanations
and the semanticists wondered exactly what
He meant by ‘I’ and ‘No man’ there would be those
who stand around amused, asking for something
called proof.


Steve Turner

Family Communion: 19th October 2014 to the Nursery Rhyme Mass

Family Communion: 19th October 2014 – other texts may be found in a similar vein at

Gathering Song (Here we go round the Mulberry Bush)

We gather round in this holy space
Holy Space, filled with grace
We gather round in this holy space
To do what Jesus taught us

We hear the stories of our King
Eternal life, for us he’ll win
We share his meal and pray with him
And do what Jesus taught us.

In the name of the +Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

The Lord be with you
and also with you

Penitential Rite (Ba Ba Blacksheep)

Just like lost sheep we have gone astray
Done bad things and run away
So we come to say sorry
Make things better as you see
Loving Jesus make anew
Our lives so we can be like you.

Absolution (If you’re happy…)

You’re forgiven and you know it, so clap your hands
You’re forgiven and you know, so you really ought to show it,
You’re forgiven and you know it, so clap your hands

Jesus loves you and you know it, so stamp your feet
Jesus loves you and you know it, so you really ought to show it
Jesus loves you and you know it, so stamp your feet

If you believe that God forgives you, say “We do” “We do”
When you say that you are sorry, you no longer have to worry
God takes away your sin, so say “Amen”. Amen!

Gloria (Old Macdonald)

Glory be to God on high
To all on earth be peace
Lord God, Heavenly King
For you we praise and sing

O Lord God,
Lamb of God,
You take away
the sin of the world
Have mercy on us

You alone are the holy one
You alone are the Lord
You alone are the mo-ost high
Jesus Christ

In the Glory of God,
the Fa-a-ather
ever one
Always three



Let us pray…

Father God
We come together to share your special meal
And share in the love you have for us
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and the Holy Spirit
One God, for ever and ever


Daniel in the Lions’ Den (taken from Creative Ideas for Children’s Worship Year A p267 by Sarah Lenton)

Once upon a time there was great King . . .

His name was Darius – and he was so rich and famous that one day he made a new law. He said that in future his people were not to worship God any more but worship him instead.

So his people bowed down in front of Darius and prayed to him. But there was a Jew living in his country – his name was Daniel.

And he refused to bow down to Darius, he shook his head and folded his arms . . . And he said – ‘No, I will serve you, O King, but I will not worship you. I only worship God.’ And every day Daniel bowed down three
times to God.

Well, the Persians went and told on him. They whispered in the King’s ear . . . And the King had to punish Daniel. He was sorry to do so, because he liked him – but he wasn’t going to be disobeyed.

He had a huge den of lions . . . They were very fierce and they roared . . .

And he threw Daniel to the lions . . .

The King stood outside and called out: ‘I hope your God saves you, Daniel!’And then he closed up the den with a stone.

And that night the King couldn’t sleep – he just walked up anddown. And, as soon as it was light, he rushed to the den and shouted out. ‘Daniel, are you OK?’

And Daniel called back, ‘Certainly! God sent me an Angel . . .and His Angel stopped the mouth of the lions . . . and I’m fine!’

So the King took away the stone and let Daniel out.

He realized that he had made a silly law and he stopped pretending to be God; he allowed his people to worship God properly, and he just went on being King. And who was the person he trusted most in his whole country?
Yup, Daniel.

This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God

Blessed be God
King of the Universe
Who reigns for ever and ever. Amen

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning, is now and shall be for ever. World without end. Amen

Creed (to the tune of frere Jacques)

God our Father, God our Mother [or above all other
We believe, we believe
who created all things, who created all things
Earth and sea, stars and me.

Christ our Saviour, Christ our Saviour
We believe, we believe
Lived and died and risen, lived and died and risen
You and me, set us free.

Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit
We believe, we believe
Moving here among us, moving here among us
God right here, near as near.

Three in one, three in one
One in three, one in three
God revealing all things, God revealing all things
Dancing free, trinity.

Prayers (to the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down)

We thank you Lord for all we have
All we have, all we have
We thank you Lord for all we have
Which you give us

We pray to you for all our friends,
all our friends, all our friends
And all those who need our prayer
Come and help them

We pray for those who are sick or ill
sick or ill, sick or ill
sad or lonely, stressed or ill
Come and help them

Hail Mary full of grace
full of grace, full of grace
The Lord is with you, pray for us
Now and always

And to God we give our prayers
give our prayers, give our prayers
Hear us Lord and help us on
Now and always


Here we are
One in Christ
Gathered here
Ain’t this nice?
So let us share a sign of peace
A kiss or hug before the feast…

The peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you

Let us offer one another a sign of peace

Pray, my brothers and sisters, that this our sacrifice may be acceptable to God the almighty Father.
May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his Church.

Prayer over the gifts

Heavenly Father, we thank you for these gifts,
Bread and Wine, fruit of the earth
We pray you will change them
as you change us
by the power of your Holy Spirit

Preface (Kum By Yah)

The Lord is here right now
His spirit with us

Lift up your hearts to him
We lift them up

It’s the right thing to do
Yes Jesus, O yes, we come in prayer

Lord of all life,
you created the universe,
where all living things reflect your glory.
You give us this great and beautiful earth,
to discover and to cherish.

You give us sun and moon and star-lit sky,
everything that gives us light,
light for our eyes, our hearts, our minds.

You made us all,
each wonderfully different,
to join with the angels
and sing your praise:

Sanctus (Kum By Yah)

Holy, Holy Lord, O Holy God
Our prayers are joined
By the Saints
Blessed is the one
Who comes in peace
Blessed is the Prince of Peace

Eucharistic Prayer 2 for Children

Father, on the night before he died,
Jesus shared a meal with his friends.
He took the bread, and thanked you.
He broke it, and gave it to them, saying:

Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.
Do this to remember me.

After the meal, Jesus took the cup of wine.
He thanked you, and gave it to them, saying:

Drink this, all of you.
This is my blood,
the new promise of God’s unfailing love.
Do this to remember me.

Memorial Acclamation (Kum By Yah)

Let us proclaim Of our faith

“Christ has died
And has arisen
Christ will come
To us again
O yes, he will return”

Father, as we offer this bread and wine,
and remember his death and resurrection,
send your +Holy Spirit,
that we who share these gifts
may be fed by Christ’s body and his blood.

Pour your Spirit on us
that we may love one another,
work for the healing of the earth,
and share the good news of Jesus,
as we wait for his coming in glory.

For honour and praise belong to you, Father,
with Jesus your Son, and the Holy Spirit:
one God, for ever and ever.

Great Amen (Kum By Yah)

Amen, Amen
Let it be so,
Amen, Amen
Let it be so,
Amen, Amen
We say this now,
Amen, O yes, Amen!

Lord’s Prayer (Pop Goes the Weasel)

Our Father, who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy na-a-ame.
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us all our si-i-ns
As we forgive
all those us who sin
or trespass against us

Let us not be drawn into
Any kind of temptation
Deliver us
from the evil one
Amen, Amen, Amen.

Agnus Dei (3 blind mice)

Lamb of God, Lamb of God
You take away, the sin of the world
Have mercy on us, Lamb of God
Don’t let us stray away from the flock
You take away the sin of the world
So grant us peace

Come and eat, come and drink
You’re welcome here, come quite near
Share in his body and blood with us
It tastes like wine and bread but just
Know that inside it’s not quite thus
Share the food of God.

Communion Antiphon

Taste and see that the Lord is good

Prayer after Communion (Polly put the kettle on)

Thank you for the meal we eat
Thank you for the meal we eat
Thank you for the meal we eat
Christ brings us life

Now let us go from this place
Now let us go from this place
Now let us go from this place
To do his work

Blessing (Sing a Song of Sixpence)

The Lord be with you
And also with you

Bow your heads and pray for God’s blessing

May the Lord now +bless you
And keep you all safe
Send you out from here
In a state of grace
Take what we have learned
About Jesus our King
And do what he has taught us
To make the world a better thing.

Go, the Mass has ended
But our service has begun
We heard it straight from Jesus
What it means to live as one
With him now up in heaven
Looking from above
Blessing us in all our work
Let’s go and share his love.

The Mass is ended. Go in the Peace of Christ.
Thanks be to God

Mounting Samba / CIFS Shares from an NAS successfully in Linux

Please excuse this necessarily techy post – there’ll be something about the Church along in a minute…

I have  all my key data on a number of Network Attached Storage devices: hard disks which are directly wired to the network rather than another PC. This all gets backed up on the cloud and so (hopefully) data loss is kept to a minimum. They are available across the network (both wired and wifi) as CIFS (Common Internet Filing System) aka Samba shares.

On windows you simply link to these things by opening up the “My Computer” and selecting “Map Network Drive”

[caption id=”attachment_5231″ align=”aligncenter” width=”784″My PC You can see 5 mapped drives in Windows 8 from 3 different servers here.[/caption

On a linux machine, you can map each drive as you need them, but they tend to get lost each time you restart, so you need to add the correct configuration.

I use the Debian branch of linux (a mix of Debian, Ubuntu and Mint), so all my commands are prefixed with the sudo command. You could also do this as root.

cd /mnt
sudo mkdir X [the name of the mount you want to call this. I match the Windows drive letters
cd /etc
sudo nano fstab

Screen Capture (1)

I then add the following to this configuration table at the bottom

// /mnt/X cifs username=guest,password=,sec=ntlm 0 0


//<server ip>/<sharename> /<location of mount> cifs username=guest,password=,sec=ntlm 0 0

The key command appears to be the security option


(I’m assuming NT Lan Manager), it has taken ages to figure out that this is the key command. I have found that using the IP address of the server to be much more reliable than the Server name. NAS devices should have static IP addresses anyway.

I hope this is useful to someone.

Recording your Sermons or Homilies for posterity or for the housebound

I had a colleague who was most against the recording of homilies/sermons what is the difference between them? I understand homilies to be preached by those in holy orders and sermons can be preached by lay or ordained. Whether accurate or not, I suspect homilies are shorter as well… 🙂 but I thought there was some merit in it.

  • I don’t write my homilies out, but preach from the heart – it makes it more dynamic and lively and immediate. I don’t do academic theology, so the Gospel has to be heartfelt. This means that what I plan to say and what I actually say may vary; and thankfully it varies for the better.
  • It is good to rehear what you have preached in order to improve on your delivery style and tone. The best homily delivered in a dull monotone is useless. Always develop. Always learn.
  • I have been desperate for ideas sometimes and just hearing another preacher on the subject has given me new insights or learning. This is my small drop in that big ocean and I pray that someone elsewhere might be inpsired (or revolted – for any response positive or negative is sometimes helpful).
  • I have heard of people in Church returning to rehear what has been preached to reflect on it. This is a good thing surely.
  • I have also heard of others, many of whom are housebound, many local and many more from further afield, draw comfort or inspiration from my preaching. That is outreach.
  • It also provides for people a clear indicator of the style of your Church, and potential visitors might be enticed to hear and then come and hear it live!

$_12I record my homilies on my phone using a microphone extender (without the headphones plugged in, see left) which you can order from EBay for just a few quid, so it works just like a tie-clip microphone. This is the kind of adaptor used to plug in your high-performance headphones and still use the phone. You could also use your phone’s headset and just not put the earbuds in so again,it works like a tie-clip, but the disadvantage of that is that you have the earbugs dangling down inside your alb.

By 2017 there are proper tie-clip mics on eBay see this search:


To record the audio, most smartphones have a “Voice Memo” app and this can be used to record a fairly rudimentary  quality recording. I have tried several free apps (for my Android phone) and my current preferred App is ASR ( Others are available (for both Android and iOS) just play with the free ones until you find one that is right for you. I like the simple “big button” interface associated with ASR.

[caption id=”attachment_5226″ align=”alignright” width=”168″2014-10-04 11.14.29 ASR: Simple Interface. Great integration with Dropbox.[/caption

You can record in quite high quality, which is a good place to start even though you will need to drop the quality before you upload. ASR integrates with the cloud so you can configure it to automatically upload to  Dropbox or Google Drive. I have unlimited data, so it uploads as soon as I finish, but you can set it to upload only over WiFi and save data charges, so that by the time I have got back to the Vicarage, the audio files are ready and waiting to be edited into completed files.

I usually record the whole service  and just cut out the bits which I don’t need. Because  I have access to them, I use Sony Vegas which is a big boy’s toy for both video and audio editing, but the best solution is to use the free Audacity program available for PC, Mac or Linux . I usually only trim the small gap between “In the name of the Father…” and the actual start, just because it contains a bit of clattering but otherwise, it is as I preached – mistakes and all (but hopefully, little heresy!) as this isn’t a showreel, but an actual sermon.

2017 Update

I usually add a little graphic in Vegas and save it as an MP4 Video

and then upload it to YouTube or more commonly Vimeo

You can then simply add it to your website, or tweet it, or link to it in Facebook. This makes it a lasting record and a useful teaching aid.


I save or export the trimmed down homily as a new file in a less high-resolution format: usually 96k MP3 which is a little better than FM radio quality but short of CD quality – this has to be quick to download or stream and it is an in-situ recording after all,and not a studio production.

So, you can then add it directly to a webpage and have people download it to listen, or better you can upload it to a streaming service. You could use the popular Soundcloud but that is more for music and you can quickly use up your space with a few 10 minute homilies, so I recommend Chirbit  which is free, unlimited in space and you can either post a link to their page:

Chirbit roboroughteamministry home - Record, Upload and Share Audio Easily - Social Audio


or embed it within your own web:

Sermons Roborough Team Ministry




See here for the archive of my homilies.

Urgent Request: Crowdsourced Recording of Psalm 139 (a fuller explanation)

Dear Internet,

I need your help to make a new video meditation…2014-10-03 13.57.56


  1. If you have a phone like an iPhone or an Android, there is usually an app to record your voice – often called “Voice Memo” or some thing similar. I use a free Android App called ASR which can be installed for free from
  2. Read (nicely and in the highest possible quality) Psalm 139 in this version (NRSV)
  3. After recording select “Share” (or similar) and email it to me at
  4. I will cut it up with all the others and make a Psalm reading using the multiplicity of voices, accents, genders etc.

Thank you.

If anyone can help out with some similarly simple instructions for iPhone, then can they forward them to me and I’ll add them.

I need at least a dozen voices and so far I have:

1  2  3  4  5  6  7   8  9  10  11  12  All Done. Thank You.


This is the result. I could decide whether the Foetus or the Space one was more suitable, so I made both.

[vimeo 108127171

[vimeo 108127170