Friday, August 31, 2007

Abused churchgoers’ forum

In response to the launch of an organisation called Churchgoer Support which has been set up to provide a forum for victims of mistreatment by the Church – be that physical or psychological – and to expose attempts by the Church to cover its tracks, the organisation’s website has been inundated with visitors.

The new website aimed at helping people who have suffered at the hands of their church or minister, which was launched last month by Patricia Davies, herself caused much distress and mental anguish by the actions of a woman priest, is proving extremely popular with many visitors during its first weeks.

The site provides a forum for anyone who has been mistreated in any way by the person to whom many people turn for help and comfort – their local priest/pastor/minister/etc – and it is alleged that the Methodist Church has attempted to close it down.

“While I am pleased that many people have been able to visit the site and gained some comfort in knowing they are not alone in facing such situations, it is sad that In this Christian country, in the 21st century, there are still so many people suffering at the hands of the Church,” says Patricia Davies.

The website initially details Mrs Davies’s own experiences of attempting to effect a reconciliation with her Methodist Minister, even though it was the woman priest’s actions when Mrs Davies fell prey to depression that pushed her over the edge into deep mental distress.

The matter has been exacerbated by the Methodist Church authorities threatening to bring defamation, harassment and libel charges against Mrs Davies who, since having her formal complaint against the minister rejected on disputed evidence, has sought to publicise her plight.

Despite everything, Mrs Davies is still seeking reconciliation, but both the minister concerned and the Church continue refusing to consider her pleas, and have instead threatened to have Mrs Davies arrested if she does not drop the matter.

“Whether we can assist in preventing these despicable occurrences ever happening to anyone else in the future is unlikely,” says Mrs Davies, “but at least by creating this forum and encouraging people to speak out, we can cut through the attempts by the Church to cover up its misdeeds and let its victims know that they are not alone in suffering the wrath of local ministers.”

The Churchgoer Support movement can be contacted by email: or writing to Help Project, PO Box 1026, Great Wakering, Southend on Sea SS3 OWX, or by visiting the website:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Welcome to Carnival of the Veil 26 August

Carnival of the Veil 26 August

Welcome to this issue of Carnival of the Veil dated August 26. First one edited and put together by me, Matt. Unusually here in the UK we are actually having some summer weather. And after I publish this, I will join my wife sitting in the sun, enjoying a glass of chilled cider. (That's the cider with alcohol, by the way.)

Thank you everyone who has submitted something for Carnival of the Veil for this issue. If you missed submitting something for this issue, do not worry! You can submit something for the next issue in two weeks time.

We start with something from Kita Kazoo

“I’m sitting on the couch and the dog barfs up something really nasty. Bad enough, but then I grab a paper towel and clean it up to find that the garbage can has no liner… AGAIN! I have a hand full of ick and no place to put it!

How many times has he taken out the garbage and forgotten the simple step of putting a fresh liner in? At least twice a week for the last 22 years… this would be 2288 times! How does one forget to do something 2288 times?”

(ED: Don’t you hate it when that happens?)

And paranoidfr33k submits the following:

The Doctrine of Polygamy

“What do you think a TBM Mormon would say if you asked them if they beleive in polygamy? They'll give you the standard "we don't practice polygamy any more" answer and leave it at that. The fact is that in order to be a TBM Mormon, you must beleive in it. You must beleive that polygamy is divine doctrine”

And Diane writes
Here are a couple to look at; I'm not sure which one would be good:

(ED: When faced with the choice I decided to bottled it (express cowardice!) and opt for all three!)

“No Mormon For President
Yes, Romney needs to answer questions about his religion

I think this article sums it up quite nicely. I personally don't want the guy giving the green light to a missile silo in North Dakota or Montana to say that he was going off of what 'the spirit' told him. That doesn't make me feel good!”

“Moving Out, Moving On
I've moved my blog. I suspected an ex-boyfriend was cyberstalking me, and I decided that it would be best to move my blog and excise any/all mention of him from its text. If you happen to be the bastard who I'm referring to, please leave me alone. I don't want you in my life and the next step for me is to quit blogging permanently”

“The Rise of the Internship
Service Learning

I didn't have any internships when I was in college.

Not that I tried. One year I refused an internship on principle (the company dicked around with my application, then wanted me to fill out an internship application after I had been interviewed), one year I didn't get any internship because I was busy with the Marines and when I was through with them it was too late to find any summer work, and one year I didn't get an internship because, well, no one wanted to hire me.”

It all began back in June, says Fiddley Gomme
Then in July...
Then culminating in trouble in August...

Thus proving that Mormonism and families do not mix…

And in closing, here is my conrtibution to the mix with tales of my idiot brother

My idiot brother.

My brother has decided to emigrate with his wife and kids to Canada. And unless my mother had not accidentally let it slip when I phoned her one day (she doesn’t phone me, however…) I would not know that they were leaving the country.

He spoke to me on the phone, but he seemed really pissed off that our mother had told me that he was emigrating to Canada.


It is, I fear, because I am a lost cause. The evil uncle. However, I know that my brother’s son is drinking spirits at friend’s houses. Some who are TBMs, too. My brother has not taught my nephew about safe drinking, so he has been running a little wild.

At a family party (the birthday of a nevermo aunt) I gave my nephew the kind of advice my stupid brother had not given him. I told him to steer clear of spirits and, if he was going to drink, to drink beer (real ale rather than lager) and to take into account how many units of alcohol he was drinking. He thanked me for my advice and revealed that he had never had a similar chat with his father. Which is sad, but only what I would have expected.

Sadly, my brother –who was a rebel as a youth- drills it into the head of his children that they must be perfect in all things, and, as a result, is driving them away from himself.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Some videos of steam trains and the like

I am a fan of steam trains and also of steam engines in general. I have posted these videos to share them with you. I hope you like them.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hobsons Mild ale voted best beer in the UK

Hobsons Mild from Hobsons Brewery in Shropshire was today judged to be the best beer in Britain by a panel of brewers, beer writers and journalists at the Great British Beer Festival at Earls Court.

The beer is described in the 2007 edition of CAMRA's Good Beer Guide as: “A classic mild. Complex layers of taste come from roasted malts that predominate and give lots of flavour.”

The Shropshire brewed beer was chosen as the overall winner from over fifty finalists in eight categories including beers from tiny micros to major regional brewers.

Roger Protz, one of the finalist judges and Editor of the Good Beer Guide said: “It’s a great victory for a traditional British beer. It’s bursting with flavour and, unusually for a Mild, it’s got plenty of hop character.

“It’s great to see a classic copper coloured beer take the top award.”

Nick Davis, Director of Hobsons said: “What a great surprise! It’s a nutty mild and despite being only 3.2% abv it’s packed full of flavour.

“I would like to thank all the team at Hobsons in Cleobory Mortimer for their outstanding work in achieving this prestigious award.”

The Silver award went to Mighty Oak brewery in Essex for their Maldon Gold. The Bronze was awarded to Green Jack brewery in Suffolk for Ripper.

CATEGORY WINNERS – Note: The winner of the Champion Winter Beer of Britain (“Ripper” from Green Jack Brewery in Suffolk) was already in the final after being entered in February at the National Winter Ales Festival.

Gold: Hobsons Mild (Cleobory Mortimer, Shropshire 01299 270 837)
Silver: Nottingham Rock Mild (Radford, Nottingham, 0115 942 2649)
Bronze: Brains Dark (Cardiff, 029 2040 2060)

Gold: Castle Rock Harvest Pale (Nottingham, 0115 985 1615)
Silver: Twickenham Crane Sundancer (Twickenham, Middlesex, 020 8241 1825)
Joint Bronze: Surrey Hills Ranmore Ale (Gilford, Surrey, 01483 212 812)
Joint Bronze: Fyne Piper's Gold (Cairndow, Argyll, 01499 600 238)

Best Bitters
Gold: Purple Moose Glaslyn Ale (Porthmadog, Gwynedd, 01766 515 571
Silver: George Wright Pipe Dream (Rainford, Merseyside, 01744 886 686)
Joint Bronze: Fuller's London Pride (London W4, 0208 996 2000)
Joint Bronze: Nethergate Suffolk County (Sudbury, Suffolk, 01787 283 220)
Joint Bronze: Station House Buzzin' (Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, 0151 356 3000)

Strong Bitters
Gold: York Centurion's Ghost (North Yorks, 01904 621 182)
Silver: Inveralmond Lia Fail (Inveralmond, Perth 01738 449 448)
Bronze: Brains SA Gold (Cardiff, 029 2040 2060)

Speciality Beers
Gold: Nethergate Umbel Magna, (Sudbury, Suffolk, 01787 283 220)
Silver: Little Valley Hebden Wheat, (Hendon, West Yorks 01422 883 888
Bronze: St Peter's Grapefruit, (Bungay, Suffolk, 01986 782 322)

Golden Ales
Gold: Mighty Oak Maldon Gold (Maldon, Essex 01621 843 713)
Silver: Oak Leaf Hole Hearted, Gosport, Hampshire, 023 9251 322
Bronze: Otley 01 (Pontypridd, Mid Glamorgan, 01443 480 555)

In CAMRA’s Champion Bottled Beer of Britain Competition, the awards went to:

Gold: O’Hanlon’s Port Stout (Devon 01404 822 412)

Joint Silver: Titanic Stout (Staffordshire 01782 823 447)

Joint Silver: Wye Valley Dorothy Goodbody’s Wholesome Stout (Herefordshire 01885 490 505)

Bronze: Wapping Baltic Gold (Merseyside, 0151 707 2242)

Judging at the Champion Beer of Britain finals is done on the morning of the first day of the Festival starting at 10.30am. Judging is carried out by panels of 6 tasters drawn from CAMRA trained tasters, brewers, licensees, beer writers, and a smattering of personalities, MPs etc who are beer drinkers. All tasting is done blind, in so far as the judges know which class of beer they are judging but do not know which are the particular beers.

Each panel judges about 6 or 7 beers from a class such as Bitter, Speciality Beers and Golden Ales and chooses a first, second and third. The winners of all the classes go on to the final judging panel where a new panel of judges taste the beers to judge the Champion Beer of Britain (typically, the bitter and best bitter classes include more entries, and therefore the gold and silver category winners go through to the final). The winner is then announced later in the day during the Trade Session at the Great British Beer Festival.