The Bristol Festival of Literature – 14th – 23rd October, 2011.

by Geoff Hall on 21 September 2011 with comments

From October 14th to 23rd Bristol is to hold its first Festival of Literature. Being a writer, I was excited by this and thought the City Council must have had an epiphany about developing the Creative Economy in Bristol. I eagerly got a shot of hypertext markup language and visited their site to confirm my expectations. I clicked on numerous links and tried various searches to tease out the information from their site and came up with…nothing!

This was not particularly surprising, considering Bristol for all its swagger and self-imaging as a radical city, has a very conservative, provincial mindset. As far as a distinctive policy for developing the Creative Economy, Bristol isn’t even a member of the Dance Consortium, whereas radical cities like Bradford and Milton Keynes are! Figure that one out. Bristol seems to get its radical self-image from rioting, which isn’t radical, but misplaced self-indulgence. Go figure! If you are working-class or black in Bristol you will experience a greater sense of marginalisation, this doesn’t mean the power of the place is radical, (unless radical = tense?) it informs us of a city which is diverse in its cultural makeup, but which doesn’t embrace difference too well, as diversity threatens the conservative well-being of Bristol. Read the rest of this entry »

The Upside-Down Kingdom of Releasing

by Chris Lorensson on 10 September 2011 with comments

My wife Ruth brought an interesting principle to my attention a few years ago. She was in the middle of co-leading our community, LoveBristol, and as a group we were keenly studying the various principles of The Upside-Down Kingdom (of God). You know— the way things just seem to work so differently.

This principle was the principle of releasing others. Standing on the shoulders of giants, if you will. It’s the concept that, from your own favour and accomplishments, you can exercise that favour by giving it to others. Giving them a leg up, so to speak, so they might get a bit further than if they hadn’t received a little help. For example, Ruth has been preaching & teaching at our church for years. She’s become quite well-known throughout the city and wider because of it. She’s built a reputation on it, and that reputation gets her a lot more speaking engagements. But often if Ruth gets a call asking her to speak, she’ll suggest someone else—perhaps someone who hasn’t had so much opportunity, and often they’ll go for it. Someone else gets to speak and share their what God has put on their heart, they build a reputation and the cycle continues. It’s an interesting way to do things when you consider that, without these types of opportunities—people giving you a bit of their favour—you might not be as far ahead. It’s an uncommon break in daily terms.

This was a concept that fascinated me.

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