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Mr. EB Green "ebgreen4" (UK)

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Britain's Holiest Places
Britain's Holiest Places
by Nick Mayhew Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: 15.99

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual and Practical, 5 Aug 2011
At over 500 full colour pages, a labour of love over a five year journey, Britain's Holiest Places covers a huge range of sites from inspiring cathedrals, through Quaker meeting houses to hidden holy wells. Each holy place is described, photographed and rated from both a practical and ecumenical spiritual perspective. Clear directions are provided as well as useful details like GPS coordinates, very handy for the more obscure spots.

This is more than a simple guide book; Nick's style draws the reader in. The descriptions of each location weave together the historical and numinous preparing the visitor not so much for an interesting architectural diversion, but an experience of the spiritual essence of the place:

"The hard black walls of the nave, worn smooth by the passing of centuries, have echoed with the voices of a Christian community each Sunday for the past 1,000 years. And the huge oaks themselves would have been around 1,000 years old when they were felled. They might have been acorns and saplings at the time Jesus was born ... Much has been added and modified at Greensted's church during a millennium of worship - but the heart of oak continues to beat."

St. Andrew's church in Greensted (9 Stars), resting place of St. Edmund, and now an irresistible pilgrimage destination. 'There is no sanitisation of Christianity's troubled history. Oxford's Martyrs' monument is here (5 Stars), but Hugh Latimer's own complicity in the death of John Forrest is acknowledged. It is the puritan bullet holes in the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary which are described as `her wounds, the most eloquent monument of all in Oxford'.

A respectful realism that permeates the text; origin and authenticity are both carefully weighed, especially of the relics of saints. There is both joy and sadness at times, but little sign of the over romanticism that can plague popullar British church history.

Sitting on a coffee table it is tempting to pick up the book, open at a random page and make a new discovery. You might then miss the appendix which offers guidelines for the spiritual encounter, reflections on the communion of saints and spiritual exercises for pilgrims at shrines and wells. Churched or un-churched, I would not hesitate to buy this book for anyone, whatever their spirituality. The only wish for a second edition might be the inclusion of more maps, but a good GPS device or basic smartphone is all that is needed to find your way.

NET Bible First Edition (with notes)
NET Bible First Edition (with notes)
Price: 2.49

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value and a good translation, 28 Mar 2011
The NET bible brings together a wide range of biblical scholars for a translation in the NRSV style of reading. The extra notes in this version are extremely useful for study and the navigation is top notch.

The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament
The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament
Price: 9.19

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for sacramental and apostolical Christians, 20 Jan 2011
If the Apostolic Fathers are your first call rather than the latest christian self help best seller than this is the Study New Testament to buy. Easy to navigate with insightful notes that reveal the full faith of the Christian Scriptures. Honestly Roman but Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran and Methodist sacramental Christians will find it a useful resource.

Ascend: The Catholic Faith for a New Generation
Ascend: The Catholic Faith for a New Generation
by Eric Stoltz
Edition: Paperback
Price: 19.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Warm and Ecumenical, 11 Feb 2010
Extremely well presented and from a gently progressive RC perspective.

Genuine warmth is expressed to Anglicans, Orthodox and Protestants alike, without compromising the Catholic faith. Some contentious issues are not dealt with, whilst others such as contraception are sensitively handled with the voice of a pastor.

Certainly suitable for Anglican adult confirmation and teaching for the more Catholic minded.

When All is Said and Done [7" VINYL]
When All is Said and Done [7" VINYL]
Price: 14.16

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Approaching Glam-Goth perfection ..., 5 May 2008
The Screaming Banshee Aircrew have always been one of those bands, not uncommon in the Goth scene, that work better live than in the studio. Hey, there is a long tradition of this going back to late 70's. 'Fishnet Messiah' was a good broad album with some great songs on, but just didn't sound right at times. Maybe a lot of that was to do with the drum machine, which always seems to be so hard to get sorted. But the Aircrew have got themselves a drummer, and trust me it makes all the difference.

Yes there are line up changes but let's not focus on the past. We have Mister Ed on Vocals (& Clowning), Jo Violet contributes Violin and distinctive operatic Vocals, Chris Banshee on Guitar and also Vocals, Neal Unreal on Synths and Guitar, the lovely Tori Pink (from Rome Burns) on Bass and Vocals and the aforementioned Donnie Blue on the Bangie Things.

At the heart of the Aircrew sound is the combination of Mister Ed's and Jo's vox. Now I have to be honest with you, I tend to like vocalists on the punkier side rather on the swoopy side, but listening to this album the combination has been growing on me. Some songs it seems to work better than other tracks. The band's style has matured since the last album, they sit somewhere between the punkier and glam-rockier ends of Goth with some some post-punky leanings. I guess that will be Deathrock / Batcave this week then.

'When All is Said and Done' bursts open with the storming 'Happy People' a tongue in cheek take on the scene: driving, danceable and a hell of lot of fun with a punk structure. 'Shallow' slides in with a simple piano line and mopey dreampop guitars. The vocalists only just work together as rockier guitars slide in, but love the dream pop aspect. 'In Flames' has synthipated punk feel, and a strong drum line overlaid with some really nice folky violins. A real spirit lifter that is wonderfully unique and edging towards psycho-ceilidh. 'Razor Blades' comes in with a synthy strap line and great bass work, the female vocals are perfect on this track as is the production, but although I love the song it could be considered a little bit cheesy - I just keep thinking Bladerunner. 'Never Be' is a solid post-punk piece overlaid with the operatic vocals which I struggle a bit with, the rest of the song is neat and to the point. Although definitely one of the strongest songs on the album, it is just that in this case I am not sure about that vocal aspect of it. 'Clackety-Clack' however seems a better showcase for the distinctive Banshee vocal mix, almost Synth-pop and cleverly twee.

'Peachy Clean' has everything and everything just works together perfectly. Punky with almost nu-rave synths and now Jo's voice makes me want to take her vocal chords out to dinner and make a proposal. Oh and the lyrics are great. 'Peachy Clean' oozes appeal, no zombies or creatures of the night are needed. This is what I want to dress up in fishnets and dance to.

'Cold Caffeine' is softer with acoustic guitars and a lovely trad-folk fiddle line. The track is lifted by the drumming, building up with the bass guitar line half way through and the strings over the top. But hang on this is so folk rock! It's a good job I have collection of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and Pentangle. 'Two Step' has a good combination of drumming, Jo's vocals and a great bass line that has me wondering if proposing to a set of strings and a set of vocal chords counts as bigamy. The guitars and synth work don't work quite so well for me on this track; very conflicting! 'Rosalie' is back to folk territory, mournful strings here working with the synths combined with some post-punk leanings, kind of like a Gothier Wonder Stuff. 'Glorious' sounds like the soundtrack to a cheap '80's movie. Everytime I listen to it I get a montage in my head of the hero preparing for some romantic moment. Which is funny because the song seems to be about a midnight picnic.

'When All is Said is Done' builds up great. Drums, Bass, Synths are spot on, and then a nice Lead Guitar piece with the vocals working together great. Weaving together into a post-punky rock piece, a good track, but maybe a bit slow for dancing. Oh hang on this is Goth, they will dance! Nope, the track is pretty much perfect. Last up is 'Crazy Cats'. Hang on this sounds like Voltaire - but better to my mind. A really fun way to end the album and absolutely filthy.

Overall this is a fine album, a real step forward for the band and far more listenable than the last, although some of the tracks are far stronger than others. I truly hope that in the future they can continue in a positive creative direction. However Screaming Banshee Aircrew haven't quite got to the point of RealGoth perfection that the best European and American bands have reached. Not far off, but the next Album should be a stormer. The more musical perfectionist side of me would tend towards giving 'When All is Said and Done' a very respectable three out of five. But, when all is said and done, there is so much joy, humour and pleasure to be had from this work that it deserves better.

Saint Augustine
Saint Augustine
by Serge Lancel
Edition: Paperback
Price: 25.00

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent single volume exploration of the man behind the, 19 Oct 2002
This review is from: Saint Augustine (Paperback)
Augustine is a controversial figure, is he the Politiciser of the New Testament faith, or respected saint and founder of Western Christianity? Lancel's biography certainly presents Augustine as a polemicist, but also helps paint a picture of the man himself by drawing heavily on historical knowledge of the Mediterranean theological and cultural sphere in which he operated. This Augustine is neither the manipulating politician of Rees' "Pelagius" or the gleaming saint of Catholic, or even Calvinist tradition. Instead Augustine is a real man, one who makes mistakes and is presented with doubts and regrets, although the biography is in general sympathetic. The chapter on Pelagius does seem to make more excuses for Augustine rather than Pelagius, but one is left feeling that Augustine did the best he could for a poor misguided soul. This is in stark contrast to other authors who suspect that Augustine quite simply 'stitched him up'. The text is certainly aimed at an educated audience (and at 25 an educated pocket) but the translation is clear and readable. The aversion to full stops found in some academic theology from certain British universities is also absent. Unsurprisingly the book offers an excellent bibliography and comprehensive indexes by subject and of Augustine's writings themselves. Ultimately I am not completely convinced by Lancel's Augustine, but this work is certainly and excellent single volume exploration of the man behind the saint.

Palm IIIc
Palm IIIc

5.0 out of 5 stars Best of both Worlds, 22 Dec 2000
This review is from: Palm IIIc (Electronics)
So you want the ease of use of a Palm handheld, access to the 1000's of games, applications and hacks available for the Palm OS, but you also want a dash of colour, like the larger and more expensive PocketPC devices. The Palm 3c delivers, and with the new Palm Mobile Internet Kit getting netted is childsplay. I own two.

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