Archives 2016

Saltram House – some pictures

All taken on my Huawei P9 Phone

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iPlayerGUI Version 2 – a nicer way to download and keep BBC TV from iPlayer

I love to use the get_iplayer app to record and keep my favourite Programmes, after all, my licence fee has paid for them.

Unfortunately, it’s interface is text only and that can be a little intimidating for some, so a couple of years ago, I wrote a GUI front end for it in the AutoIT scripting language, and now it was time to update that in a new language – Java.

If you don’t have Java installed, it should offer you the option to do so. Some people don’t like having Java on their PCs, muttering about security, but it is a very secure, sandboxed system.


  1. Download get_iplayer from here and install it.
  2. Download and install my GUI front end from here. Dropbox will say that .exe files can’t be previewed, but that is fine and to be expected, so then select to either “download” or “save to your (own) dropbpox”, if you have one.
  3. When you run the app, simply go to your iPlayer window in your browser and copy the address at the top. This is one:
  4. Go back to my App and paste it into the text box.
  5. If it is a Radio program, select Radio, otherwise the default is a TV programme
  6. Hit Download and a textbox will open up and do the downloading for you. Get_iPlayer has a folder on the Desktop called “iPlayer Recordings” and you will find all your TV programmes and Radio Shows there

I didn’t create get_iplayer, there are cleverer people who have done that, I certainly didn’t make Java, but I make this front end available to the world free-of-charge under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC License. All I ask you for is your prayers for my ministry here in Plymouth, call it PRAYERWARE if you like! I accept no responsibility for it, I made it for my own use and share it with you because I’m nice like that…

Carols in the Pub – A reflection for 2016

Who, I wonder, is hoping for a few presents this year? You do know he’s making a list… and checking it twice – Santa, it appears is signed up to the snooper’s charter!

But the best Christmas present I ever received was the model aeroplane my Dad made for me, out of balsa wood and tissue paper when I was about 7. I loved it, not least because it expressed the profound love that my Dad had for me: I think the best presents are the ones that come with love.

Despite the glossy adverts that come from our biggest retailers which suggest that it’s the gift itself which is the most important thing: it isn’t: really it is the thought that counts – the care and consideration which goes into just the right thing.

This year, the Amazon Ad with a Vicar and an Imam exchanging gifts has trumped all the others.


The best adverts tell stories and this one tells the story of friendship across faiths, of problems shared, of mutual respect and understanding. It’s a story of a shared humanity which underpins our glorious diversity, that flows on despite all the discord and conflicts which have made this year so difficult for so many.

Presents which express love, change lives. For me, they remind me of the greatest present of all: born on Christmas Day.

And God still reaches out to us across the centuries in this Christ-child. A gift which expresses God’s love of us poured out in human form: peace and unity in a small bundle.

So, why not welcome him this season, and be transformed this Christmas; as you express your love in gifts given and gifts received and gifts left by Santa Claus this year, may you see the gift given to all of us, wrapped in human flesh: Jesus Christ – God stepped into this earth for you, and for me, and for the whole world.

Merry Christmas everyone, and prayers for a blessed 2017, and may I give to you now, God’s blessing:

May the eagerness of the shepherds,
the joy of the angels,
the perseverance of the wise men,
the obedience of Mary and Joseph,
and the peace of the Christ child
be yours this Christmas.
And the blessing of God Almighty,
+Father, Son & Holy Spirit
be poured out upon you and those whom you love
this night, this Christmastide and Always.

O Antiphons


It is especially in the final week of Advent that our attention is fixed on the messianic promises proclaimed by the ancient prophets of Israel.  A distinctive feature of the Liturgy of the Hours in this week preceding the Christmas vigil is the antiphon sung at Vespers (evening prayer) before and after the recitation of the Magnificat.  Originally incorporated into the monastic office in the Middle Ages, these antiphons, often called the “Greater Antiphons” or the “O Antiphons”, are also echoed in the daily lectionary as the verse for the gospel acclamation during this week.  They add a mood of eager expectation to the liturgy that builds throughout these seven days and climaxes at Christmas.


The O Antiphons have been described as “a unique work of art and a special ornament of the pre-Christmas liturgy, filled with the Spirit of the Word of God”.  They “create a poetry that fills the liturgy with its splendour”, and their composer shows “a magnificent command of the Bible’s wealth of motifs”.  The antiphons are, in fact, a collage of Old Testament types of Christ.  Their predominant theme is messianic,  stressing the hope of the Saviour’s coming.  Jesus is invoked by various titles, mainly taken from the prophet Isaiah.  The sequence progresses historically, from the beginning, before creation, to the very gates of Bethlehem.

In their structure, each of the seven antiphons follows the same pattern, resembling a traditional liturgical prayer.  Each O Antiphon begins with an invocation of the expected Messiah, followed by praise of him under one of his particular titles.  Each ends with a petition for God’s people, relevant to the title by which he is addressed, and the cry for him to “Come”.

The seven titles attributed to Jesus in the antiphons are

Wisdom (Sapientia in Latin),


Ruler of the House of Israel (Adonai),


Root of Jesse (Radix),


Key of David (Clavis),


Rising Dawn (Oriens),


King of the Gentiles (Rex)


and Emmanuel.


In Latin the initials of the titles make an acrostic which, when read backwards. means: “Tomorrow I will be there” (“Ero cras”).  To the medieval mind this was clearly a reference to the approaching Christmas vigil.

Today the O Antiphons are most familiar to us in the hymn “O come, O come Emmanuel”.  Each verse of the hymn parallels one of the antiphons. In addition to their use in the Liturgy of the Hours and the gospel acclamation, they have been popularly incorporated into church devotions and family prayer.  An Advent prayer service for use at home, in school, or in the events of parish life can be built around the singing or recitation of the antiphons, accompanied by the related Scripture readings and prayers.  They can be prayed at family dinner times or with the lighting of the Advent wreath, with a short explanation of their biblical background.   The titles can also be depicted by simple symbols – for example, on banners and posters or in bulletin illustrations – to help us to reflect on these Advent themes.

Christingle 2016

This is the Prezi which supports this Christingle. You can copy, edit and modify it to suit your needs. The Well-good Nativity is from the Bible Society. Download here.

Access the Prezi hereprezi_horizontal

Christingle Kits and Grace, Candles & Tapers, Fire Extinguishers and Water Buckets in Chancel. Voile covers the big nativity
People gather in Nave; while

  • Music
  • CJMs “Heaven’s Final Word”
  • Children’s Version of the Nativity
  • Tom & Jerry’s “Twas the Night before Christmas”


(coming in from the back) 10..9..8..7..6..5..4..3..2..1…

Christmas starts… now!
Welcome to our Christingle Service

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

The Lord Be With You
And also with you

Now I won’t want to keep you long tonight as I know you all have to get back to your beds because some of you may be expecting something or someone later to call… but first

O Come All Ye Faithful (vs 1-3) ( Number 12 on Carol Sheets)

O come, all ye faithful,
joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
come and behold him,
born the King of angels:

O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!

God of God,
Light of light,
Lo, he abhors not the Virgin’s womb;
very God,
begotten, not created:

Sing, choirs of angels,
sing in exultation,
sing, all ye citizens of heaven above:
‘Glory to God
in the highest:’

And if you want to sing the last verse you will need to come to either:

Midnight Mass 11.30pm S. Mary’s Bickleigh
Mass of the Day tomorrow 10am S Edward Shaugh Prior

This is certainly an exciting time: and as we get all figitty with the sheer fun of seeing all our relatives, eating lots of scrummy food and may (if we’ve been good) opening the odd present or two! Sometimes, we can miss the reason for the season: sometimes amid the hustle and bustle, the noise, we can lose sight of the stillness, the pause.

God plan has been coming some time. A baby takes time to grow in their Mummy’s tummy and in the same way, Jesus grew inside Mary, slowly and over the past few weeks and months we have been looking forward to this wonderful thing which the prophets of old (like Isaiah) foretold.

Until God chooses to step into this world and become one of us,


God is here to be a part of our lives, not remote and distant, but here in time and history and to be present today in the Church, in his word and in his holy sacraments.

At the heart of Christmas (as you can see here) is the truth that, long predicted, long expected, A child is born, a son is given and his name will be Jesus – God saves!

Let us now sing The First Noel (Vs 1+6) as we get ready to hear this wonderful story…

The First Noel (Vs 1+6) (Number 5)

The first Nowell the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay:
In fields where they lay a-keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep:
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That hath made heaven and earth of nought,
And with his blood mankind hath bought:
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell,
Born is the King of Israel.


Every time you say the following words, I need you to join in by doing these actions and sounds:

Well good: Thumbs up say “Well Good!”

Shepherds: Hands out and bent forward, say ‘Baa’

Wise men: Stroke chin wisely and say ‘hmmm’

Mary: Hands up and shout ‘Mummy’

Joseph: Hands up and shout ‘Daddy’

Angel: Wave hands above head and sing a holy ‘ahhh’

So now we come to tell, our Tale… The Well Good Story of Christmas

Our story starts a really, really long time ago.
It was a time before

  • Toys
  • Trees
  • Birds
  • And animals…

Our story starts before humans like you and me…

Before shepherds Before wise men

Our story begins so long ago, it was even before Bruce Forsyth
A time before everything

God made the world.

And it was well good!

But.. .the humans he made, like you and like me,
said mean things and were really quite nasty.

In fact the humans didn’t listen to God.

They’d hurt each other and wouldn’t make amends

So God and humans could no longer be friends.

But to be friends again, God had a plan.

And his plan was to send a very special young man.

Many years later, there was a young lady called Mary.

From the Bible I mean Not the baker off the telly!

This one day, or maybe even night

an angel appeared suddenly

and gave Mary quite a fright.

The angel said:

I bring good news

It’s well good – honest!

There’ll be a baby born

Just as God promised

So Mary was going to have a baby,

just as God promised.

And the baby would be called, Jesus.

There was a man called Joseph and he was going to marry Mary.

But Joseph noticed, she had a bit of a belly.

He saw her big belly bump, and wondered how’d it got there.

And so he scratched his head and twizzled his hair.

But one night, when Joseph was sleeping, an angel came to visit.

The angel said:

Mary will give birth through the spirit.

I bring good news

It’s well good – honest

There’ll be a baby born

Just as God promised


So Mary and Joseph – both of them!
Set off together on a journey, all the way to Bethlehem.

When they arrived in Bethlehem Mary was ready to give birth to the baby who’ll be King

But guess what? There was no room for them at the inn!

Don’t be afraid

Don’t get uptight

Relax, take a breather

You’ll be all right!


So they managed to find somewhere to stay, in a stable,
In a place full of hay.

They stayed in the place where animals get fed.

And it was there that baby Jesus was born, with straw for a bed.

Now, in a field nearby, there were some shepherds.

They were just minding their own business,

Maybe cleaning their shoes

Maybe trying to scrape off the smelly sheep poos!

[React to a bad smell

But all of a sudden, something really weird happened.

Out of nowhere, an angel appeared!

Don’t be afraid
That’s what I say

Say hi to the baby

In a manger full of hay.


Then as the angel said that, something even weirder happened!

Suddenly, loads of angels appeared! And I mean LOADS!

We bring good news, they said

It’s well good – honest!

There’ll be a baby born

Just as God promised

So the shepherds, having listened to what the angels said,

hurried off to Bethlehem to find the baby Jesus.

And they found him there, lying in a manger of straw in a stable.

let us sing While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks.

While Shepherds Watched their flocks (Number 7)

While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
all seated on the ground,
the angel of the Lord came down,
and glory shone around.

‘Fear not,’ said he (for mighty dread
had seized their troubled mind);
‘glad tidings of great joy I bring
to you and all mankind.

‘To you in David’s town this day
is born of David’s line
a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord;
and this shall be the sign:

‘The heavenly babe you there shall find
to human view displayed,
all meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
and in a manger laid.’

Thus spake the seraph; and forthwith
appeared a shining throng
of angels praising God, who thus
addressed their joyful song;

‘All glory be to God on high,
and to the earth be peace;
good will henceforth from heaven to men
begin and never cease.’

There were also some wise people in the story.
They had been travelling a very long way.

But they didn’t use Google maps, or a sat nav – they followed a star!

They went to the King, King Herod,

and asked where baby Jesus was as they had seen his star.

So King Herod sent the wise men to Bethlehem,

which wasn’t all that far.

Then the wise men found Jesus

Next to animals with fur

And they brought him some Gold

Frankincense and Myrrh.

And the wise men bowed down and worshipped him.

The wise men remembered that King Herod

wanted them to report back to him.

But Herod wasn’t very nice,

and so they were warned in a dream

not to go back to him!

Don’t be afraid

Hear what I say!

Just don’t visit Herod

Go home another way.

Herod searched high

And Herod searched low,

but where was Jesus?

He just didn’t know.

An angel appeared to Mary and Joseph

to warn them to hide from Herod in a different country.

Don’t be afraid

Don’t get uptight

Relax, take a breather

You’ll be alright!

So they escaped to a different country,

until Herod was gone.

And then they were no longer afraid.

They travelled back home, and that’s where they stayed.

So Jesus grew up, from a baby, to a boy, to a man

Jesus grew up to be a carpenter man.

And he did amazing things

He healed the sick, he told great stories.

Was amazing all the time

He also walked on water

and even turned water into wine!

And do you remember that time, long, long ago, when humans like me and you

were mean and not very nice?

When we were nasty to each other

and we wouldn’t make amends?

And when God and humans could no longer be friends?

But then God had a plan to make us friends again?

Well Jesus the baby and Jesus the man;

Was the exact same Jesus and God’s rescue plan.

Jesus lived, then he died, for you and for me,

He did it to make our wrong, history.

To take on all the mean things that we’ve ever done.

But something amazing happened,

because he’s the most powerful one.

He came back to life!

And it’s worth a big high five

Because the well good news is Jesus is alive!

So don’t get scared, or jumpy
And don’t be afraid

‘I will be with you always’ – says Jesus

‘Not for a bit, but always.’


And that’s why Christmas is the well good news, honest!
When Jesus came, just as God promised.


This is a Christingle Service, which means I suppose that we should have some Christingles around here somewhere… Oh yes, you have them in kit form! I hope no-one has opened and eaten the sweets yet…

Because this year, I thought it would be a good idea for us to make our own, and you have the kit here

Can anyone tell me what a Christingle is?

The Christingle was invented by Saint Lucia in Scandanavia to explain symbolically God’s goodness to the world. As this is quite a large crowd, I’m going to scale up my Christingle a little bit, so everyone can see. It features:

An Orange, which represents the World that God made.

Four cocktail sticks, representing the four seasons, the four corners of the earth

… dried fruit, and sweets representing God’s gifts to the world.

A Red Ribbon tied around the Orange, representing the Blood of Christ

A Lighted Candle representing Jesus Christ, shining in the world today

Christingles not only signify the goodness of God to us, but also they can be a focus for Christmas.

If you can, replace the sweeties on the Christingle tonight, there are extra candles in the bags for you and place it alit on your Christmas table, so as you gather as a family, you can be reminded of the place that Jesus Christ has amongst your festivities.


Dear God,
May we whose faces shine from the light of your Christingle Candle be blessed this Christmas, be blessed this year. For family, for friends, for food and for all you do for us, We give you praise! Amen!

Say Grace before your meal, and thank God for bringing you together as a family. On the outside of the bag there is this special grace that you can say together when you have re-lit your Christingle.

If you want to film it and post it to me via the usual social media channels:

Twitter: @frsimon eMail: or Facebook


When you have completed your Christingle…

Candles are lit.

The children will sing the first verse of Away in a Manger in the candlelight and then for the next two verses we will all join in.

Light Christingles LIGHTS OUT

Away in a Manager (Number 6)

(in dark, Children first verse, 2nd/3rd verse, all)

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head;
the stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love thee, Lord Jesus! Look down from the sky,
and stay by my bedside till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus: I ask thee to stay
close by me for ever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
and fit us for heaven, to live with thee there.

Now, tomorrow is the birthday of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour, and all these candles make it look a bit like a birthday cake.

I don’t know if we have 2016 candles here, but we have quite a lot… What song do we sing at someone’s birthday? Why don’t we all sing “Happy Birthday Dear Jesus” to remind ourselves of why we celebrate Christmas – the birthday of the most special man ever in the history of the world!

Happy Birthday to you

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Jesus,
Happy birthday to you!

Blow Candles Out.


And that’s why we have Christmas and welcome the day
And sing and eat turkey and put on a play
And dress up like angels and get lots of toys
It’s not just because of that sweet baby boy
It’s because of the man he grew up to be
Who changed people’s lives and can change you and me
To live and to love just like God always planned
And turn what is sad into glad again
And turn what is sad


The Lord be with you
And also with you

May the humility of the shepherds,
the faith of the wise men,
the joy of the angels,
and the peace of the Christ Child,
be God’s gift to us and to all people this Christmas
and the blessing of God Almighty,
the +Father, Son and Holy Spirit
be upon you and remain with you, this night and always.


Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God.


Halloween – the Darkness runs from the Light

Vast armies undead do tread through the night and
In hordes march towards hapless victims to frighten.
They stumble in step with glass-eyes on the prizes;
Bunched hither, hunched over in monstrous disguises;
In sizes not lofty but numb’ring a throng;
To unleash on their prey the dreaded DING DONG.
Small faces with traces of mother’s eye-liner,
Peer up to the resident candy provider.

And there to intone ancient threats learnt verbatim;
They lisp “TRICK OR TREAT!” Tis their stark ultimatum.
Thus: region by region such legions take plunder.
Does this spector-full spectacle cause you to wonder?
Just how did our fair festive forebears conceive,
Of this primeval practice called All Hallows Eve?
The answer, if anyone cares to research,
Surprises, it rises from old mother church.

On the cusp of the customary All Saints Day
The Christ-i-an kinsfolk made mocking display.
These children of light both to tease and deride;
Don darkness, doll down as the sinister side.
In pre-post-er-ous pageants and dress diabolic,
They hand to the damned just one final frolick.
You see with the light of the dawn on the morrow,
The sunrise will swallow such darkness and sorrow.

The future is futile for forces of evil;
And so they did scorn them in times Medieval.
For this is the nature of shadow and gloom;
In the gleaming of glory there can be no room.
What force is resourced by the echoing black?
When the brightness ignites can the shadow push back?
These ‘powers’ of darkness, if such can be called,
Are banished by brilliance, by blazing enthralled.

So the bible begins with this fore-resolved fight;
For a moment the darkness…. then “Let there be Light!”
First grief in the gloom, then joy from the East.
First valley of shadow, then mountaintop feast.
First wait for Messiah, then long-promised Dawn.
First desolate Friday and then Easter Morn.
The armies of darkness when doing their worst,
Can never extinguish this Dazzling Sunburst.

So… ridicule rogues if you must play a role;
But beware getting lost in that bottomless hole.
The triumph is not with the forces of night.
It dawned with the One who said “I am the Light!”

This video is excellent, and I am clearly going to use it in my Collective Worship at the end of October. However, I’ve had a look at the website of it believes worship be about just singing songs, and puts Mark Driscoll and Penal Substitution at the heart of its book choices. It is not, regrettably, a place for objective Bible Commentary, so I’m afraid I cannot recommend it.  

Dwelling in the Word – Reflection & Meditation before a PCC or any other meeting at which we should hear God’s Voice…

I found this exercise very useful, and the two times I have done it, I have been drawn by different things. Here is the key difference between this and Lectio Divina:  you do the same passage each time. This means that new meanings arise in each context. Also, it is not about a personal reflection, as Lectio is, but is about listening to your partner, and listening is a key value to get into frame with at the beginning of a meeting.

How we Dwell in the Word

  • Listen to the passage read (below)
  • Consider where it “captures” you, speaks to you and/or what question(s) it raises for you
  • Find a person in the group you do not know or know less well, a ‘reasonably friendly-looking stranger’.
  • Listen to that person as he or she tells you what they heard in the passage. They may mention something they’d never heard before, something odd or something comforting, or something about which they’d like to ask a Bible scholar.
  • Listen well, because your job will be to report to the rest of the group what your partner has said, not what you yourself said. Some people take notes to help them focus and remember.

At the end:

A prayer as we Dwell in the Word

Loving God,
Though our destination is not yet clear,
May we trust in Your graceful promises;
Though we are uncertain of ourselves,
May we be rooted in Your loving regard;
Though our attention is inclined to wander,
May we hear the things You are saying;
Though we often neglect Your influence,
May we be convicted of Your power to change,
In Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

The Text: Luke 10:1-12   (NRSVA)

After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!” And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the labourer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house.

Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 “Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.” 12 I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town.

Animated / looping images inside Prezi


Prezi, thankfully, still supports animations, but not as we now know and love them. With one simple step, however, you can insert animated gifs and take other short movies and insert them into your Prezi presentation to liven them up.

Although Pregreen-right-arrow-moving-up-and-downzi does not support animated gifs (yet, hint, hint) you can easily convert these to Flash swf format files which will loop indefinitely in a Prezi.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, they dropped support for adding SWF into the latest Prezi Classic directly, so you might want to divert to this page: to see the latest update of this saga.

Here is how you do it.

  1. Find your animated gif through Google Images
  2. Enter a search term and then select “Search Tools” and under “Type” select “Animated”
  3. screenshot-www-google-com-2016-10-19-11-52-04This will limit the search to images that are moving. Download that image (Right-Click / Save As…)
  4. Visit the excellent Convertio online converter, drag and drop the downloaded file onto the page and select as output “Video/SWF”screenshot-convertio-co-2016-10-19-11-58-54
  5. Add as many files as you like and then convert them. There is a daily limit, but I can’t imagine you would exceed this for this purpose.
  6. Now in Prezi, you can drag and drop the new SWF file, or Insert it as a File. You can also insert it as a Background image, which is particularly good as an opener.giphy_champagne_wrong_rcs
  7. I would use it sparingly, especially as some animated gifts move very fast, but a gentle animation like the one above, or a subtle illustration can be effective.
  8. Beyond that, you can convert a (very) short and small movie from your video editing package into an swf. You can do this directly in some packages (NCH VideoPad) or export it from iMovies / Windows Movie Maker and convert it via Convertio. This could be, I imagine, a moving graph, or a quick clip.

nimbus-record-videoHave fun.

2017 Electric Ordo released FREE – all I ask for is your prayers (PRAYERWARE)


Download the Zip Files file (from my public dropbox folder)

Right click on the above link and select “SAVE AS..” or “SAVE TARGET AS…” or “SAVE LINK AS..”

screenshot-calendar-google-com-2016-09-29-19-57-162017: As the amount of data included continues to increase, the file is too large to import as a single year/file, so this year for the first time, the file has been broken down into MONTHLY files. Please follow the instructions for all 12 months.

This is my annual release of an Electronic Ordo or Church Calendar, containing daily information and readings for Mass each day according to both an Anglican or Roman lectionaries.

It is designed to be imported into electronic calendars which support the iCalendar format. I use it in Google Calendar but it has been proven to work within iCal on the Mac and Microsoft Outlook.

Once in Google Calendar, it will synchronise with your Smartphone or Tablet and give you a quick way to check the Colour, the Divine Office or the readings for Holy Communion.

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!

How to Import to Google

FIRSTLY, unzip the file by double-clicking on it and extracting the files.

Remember where you unzipped them because you will need to browse to pick up each file.

At the bottom left hand side of your Google Calendar

Select “Add”
Select “Import Calendar”
Browse to where you downloaded the data files. Repeat for all 12 files.
Google Calendar

You will see the file upload and import

It takes a few moments to import, and seems to be doing nothing. Worry not. It will then appear in your calendar and synchronise in the usual way. Enjoy!

Just A Common Sailor

by Anon (brought to my attention by Fr Andy, with much thanks and condolences)

He was getting old and paunchy, and his hair was falling fast,
He sat around the table telling stories of the past,
Of a war that he had fought in, and the deeds that he had done,
Of his exploits with his oppo’s, they were heroes every one.

And tho’ sometimes to his family his tales became a joke,
His wife she listened carefully, for she knew of what he spoke.
But we will hear those tales no longer for [name’s passed away,
And the worlds a little poorer for a sailor died today,

He’ll not be mourned by many, Just his family and his friends.
For he lived a ordinary, quiet , life. until the very end.
He worked to raise his family, till to old to earn his pay,
No the world won’t know his passing, tho’ a sailor died today.

When politicians leave this earth their bodies lie in state
While thousands note their passing and proclaim that were great.
The papers tell their histories from the time when they were young,
But the passing of a sailor goes unnoticed, go unsung.

Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land
Someone who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?

A politician’s stipend and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary sailor who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.

It’s so easy to forget them for it was so long ago,
That the old Jacks of our Country went to battle, but we know
It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer a sailor, who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?

He was just a common sailor and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the sailors part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honour while he’s here to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,

Our Country is in mourning, for a sailor died today.