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Calvin and Hobbes: The End ?

emoticon:firefox One of my favourite cartoons has long been Calvin & Hobbes. These (just on the vague chance that you've never heard of them) are the tales of the incorrigible boy Calvin, and his imaginary tiger.

Unfortunately the series ended a long time ago, and I thought I'd seen all of them. At least until I stumbled across the cartoon shown below. It claims to be the last ever Calvin & Hobbes cartoon.

Calvin & Hobbes, the end ?

So is it genuine ?

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-12-01 17:44:30 | |


Jesus Centre in the Newspaper

emoticon:ghostradio As part of celebrating the Northampton Jesus Centre being open to the public for two years, the Chronicle and Echo came and interviewed three of us about the centre and our "It's for You" open day on Saturday.

The Jesus Fellowship has had an 'interesting' history with the Chron. In the past they have been antagonistic. Hopefully, as well as marking two difficult but successful years for the Jesus Centre, this article heralds a better relationship with the newspaper. Smile

TWO years ago the Jesus Fellowship Church finally finished converting an Art Deco cinema and opened the Jesus Centre in Northampton's Abington Square.

The church, famous for its brightly-coloured buses and Jesus Army evangelism, was started in Bugbrooke in 1969 by pastor Noel Stanton and has always suffered something of an image problem. In recent years the church has found acceptance with churches both locally and nationally and even with the government. Some representatives were recently invited to an award ceremony at the Houses of Parliament.

With around 600 of some 2,500 church members living in community houses around the UK, they have attracted criticism for their modus operandi of establishing common purses and a central Trust Fund, through which community members sell their possessions and share their wealth. But they've also spent more than 30 years working to help people with backgrounds of addiction, poverty and homelessness, as well as holding regular worship events which attract thousands of people.

By converting the 1936 Grade II listed former Savoy cinema, the Jesus Army has created a huge public profile for itself in Northampton and, as the centre approaches its second anniversary, the managers told the Chron how they?re fighting to alter their public image and reach out to even more sectors of the community.

Manager Steve Jones said they wanted to stress that the Jesus Centre, which is financially supported by the Jesus Army Charitable Trust and costs an estimated 400,000 to run each year, was not meant to be just for the use of the Jesus Army.

"We've always said it, but we really do want to offer something for all sections of the community, and I think that's something that has grown over the last two years", he said.

"A typical thing for me is to meet very different sorts of people who I wouldn't otherwise come into contact with.

We have people who come here for working lunches, or for our businessman's breakfast, or community groups who meet in the cafe; and at the same time there's people from the streets coming in to our Step-up Scheme, where they can get a free cup of coffee or tea, have a shower or just sit and talk.

We have creative groups, learning groups and multi-cultural events, because about 30 per cent of our visitors are not from the UK, which we want to encourage."

The charitable trust receives donations and there are currently about 150 people volunteering their time to help run the centre's activities and outlets. Mr Jones said there had been misunderstanding about the way the church is run and said he hoped people would make their own minds up.

"Things like our community houses and common purses have been a bit of a problem in terms of the way we are perceived, and perhaps always will be, but all we can do is welcome people and try to be as open as possible", he said.

"We are faith-based but you don't have to be Christian to come to the centre.

Our volunteers work here because they want to do it; they have a great desire to do something practical and to serve, and they do an amazing job.

Their motives are pure and it's a real blessing to me to see them finding their role."

There are currently about 40 or 50 groups using the centre, and community liaison worker Paul Veitch is actively trying to get more groups to make the most of the building. He said a key part of their ethos was to try to serve people.

"As Christians we want to love and serve the people of Northampton in any way we can; no matter what the persons faith (or lack of it), background, race, class, age, sexuality, disability or ability. Every person will be valued at the Jesus Centre. Some visitors make enquiries about the Christian faith and come to our "Heart" church service on a Sunday night. Many others are just happy to receive the services we have available including Skills classes, Creative Groups, the Circle Cafe and much else. We want the Jesus Centre to be of real benefit to the people of the town."

The team said many people had taken enthusiastically to the centre and were actively involved in putting on events such as art exhibitions, live music, and themed evenings

Service development worker Michael Foord said part of his role was to work with other local groups, and he had been surprised by the positive response.

"What surprised me was how much support we got from other groups in the area", he said.

"A lot of groups, like CAN and the Doddridge centre, are all trying to achieve the same thing, just in slightly different ways.

There has been quite a lot of history with the Jesus Army in Northampton but I think that we are changing people's views as they find out more what we actually do.

We don't just work with the most disadvantaged groups; we have an enormous range of groups from all kinds of backgrounds.

We have Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs coming here to learn English, and our cultural nights are some of the best things we have done."

Mr Foord said his own wife, who is Romanian, had started off helping out with a class teaching English.

"She is now doing a college course and working towards becoming a teacher of those classes herself", he said.

"She found a lot of confidence doing something she wouldn't even have considered getting involved in before.

"Getting people to cross over the threshold is a battle, but over the last year people have come in and they see that we're alright really!

"The building is a very good part of helping our public profile because it makes our work very visible and public."

Mr Jones said one of the biggest challenges in establishing the centre had been expressing their message to a broad cross-section of people.

"We want to show that God?s love is real and practical, and to break down any preconceived ideas that are a barrier to that", he said.

"There is a lot of potential here and we want to use it to the max.

We are trying to use all of the spaces because it is such a great building. In the evenings the vestibule becomes a bit like a lounge for a friendship event for people passing by, and it's that kind of atmosphere that we want.

The centre has been a groundbreaking thing for us, as well as for the town and I think that, slowly and surely, our message is getting across."

On Saturday December 2 the Jesus Centre is holding an Open Day from 10am until 4pm to celebrate their second anniversary. The free event, which has the theme "It's For You", will include live drumming, music and artwork, and taster sessions for some of the groups.

Anyone who would like to be e-mailed the Jesus Centre newsletter, or is interested in holding a group event there, should contact Paul Veitch, either by e-mail on, or on 07999 327384.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-12-01 17:21:24 | |


Jesus Centre Open Day

emoticon:file1 On Saturday December 2nd the Northampton Jesus Centre has an Open Day. Working at the Jesus Centre is my 'other job'. For four days a week I work for Resolver as a programmer. For one day a week I do community liaison and service development for the Northampton Jesus Centre. It is completely different from anything else I have done before, but the Jesus Centre genuinely serves the people of Northampton and does a lot of good. It is great to be involved with it.

The Jesus Centre "It's for You" Open Day celebrates two years of being open. We are open from 10.00am to 4.00pm, with lots of things going on.

In the Cafe

Special offers all day in the Circle Cafe.

Art display by local artist Gerald Porter. In the afternoon Gerald will be here to talk about his artwork and doing some painting.

Free internet access.

In the Foyer

Live Music: 11.30am and 1.30pm
Drumming Team: 12.30pm and 2.30pm

Taster Sessions in the Skills Suite

Come and watch what is happening, talk to group leaders or have a try.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-12-01 17:09:00 | |


The Old Blog Archives

There was so much ancient wisdom distilled into my old blog, that I couldn't let it just creep ignominiously into the pages of cyber-history. More to the point I'm still getting some hits from google with the old entries. Here are the archives of my previous Blogger based blog.

The Old Voidspace BlogThe Old Techie Blog

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