David Cameron has a blog!
TRIF! For about 6 months in 2001 blogging was really trendy, now of course everyone is at it so its a bit passé so along comes the trendiest Tory leader for 30 years and starts blogging!
When David Cameron starts doing something it really is time to stop!
I really liked this it was just so amateur it made me smile...then I thought, oh hang on this is deliberate of course! How many takes did they have to do to come up with this home-spun not very professional half finished look. I bet they had an army of people working on that one.
Of course what has happened here is that someone has told Dave that Blogging is like youthy and not very Tory like. Blogging is the very anti-thesis of a coffee morning, so it'll convince people the Tory party has changed.
Over the summer I spoke to a number of chaplains at our little conference. Blogging, funnily enough came up in conversation.
"Oh I don't blog" said one chaplain "I stopped blogging when everyone else started" This made me smile a bit as he was doing a Cameron. If blogging was 'in' then because he was a University Chaplain he felt duty bound to do it. When it was 'out' he stopped. I explained to him that I had just started blogging but that blogging was actually crap.
You see what David Cameron and the other Chaplain have missed is that blogging to be trendy is even crappier. I don't want a Prime Minister who is trendy I want a PM who can do the job.
You see the key thing here is content. It doesn't matter whether it's a blog or a parish news letter people are only going to read it if it's worth reading.
It seems to me around the church we focus much too much energy on style and not enough on substance. Like when someone was asked about the Archbishop of Canterbury and he said "I hear too much of the modern world in what he says" The person interviewing him said "Isn't that a good thing to be in touch with the modern world?" he said "No, we use modern communication to get the message out but we don't allow it to pollute the message"
Now that is simplistic at best.
Its like Fresh Expressions this is something that came out of a report written by the Church entitled "Mission Shaped Church". I have long been critical of this book because it just misses out Chaplaincy.
In chaplaincy there is no church. Church happens in corridors in canteens in conversation. Its a fresh expression every second. As a chaplain I am shaped by the world in which I move I cannot be any other way. I am constantly re-thinking re-doing the faith. Constantly finding new ways to express good news. I completely lack any of the things that are associated with Church. I have absolutely no support mechanism and the only way I can be part of a Church is with God's help to bring one into existence. Which I do every day and every night it ceases to exist and must completely re-made the next day. The Community I am part of is never the same twice, people float in and out of it. Some times it exists on the internet in MSN occasionally it exists within the four walls of chaplaincy.
It is that, rather than the fact that I have blog, that makes me cutting edge. I can't be anything else.
But somewhere there will be a church all covered in drapes and with power-point projection of a rotating crucifix and that is the sort of thing that fresh expressions love. The trouble is it isn't new.
In fact worse than that, you can spend so much energy and effort into getting your projector set up and finding that video clip and getting the ambience of the service right that actually this ends up being more churchy not less.
Something that's really fresh happens whenever Christians just got on with living in their world. Fresh expressions happen spontaneously. Like the Charismatic movement in the 60s. No one sat down and said "Lets have a fresh expression of church" it just happened "The wind blows where it will"
Fresh Expressions has a very nice looking web site but despite the fact that I like to keep an open mind I have never seen anything before with absolutely nothing to teach me.
Blogging ladies and Gentlemen is shite. But its not nearly as shite as Fresh Expressions.
They've just turned a torch into a tree.
Church of England Chaplain University of Southampton Southampton University University Soton Uni Yellow Simon Stevens Fresh Expressions David Cameron Conservatives Tory Party British Politics