Monday, September 21, 2009

CEN June 2009

After a couple of months off, the Church of England Newspaper have reinstated the web-watching column. September's will be in this week's issue so here is June's, for the archive.

I'm just back from a great holiday. On the back of each aircraft seat was a different guide to English usage with some tips and rules. It linked to ECEnglish, a website for English Language Centres and Schools. If you want to improve your English, or know someone who does, this site will give a quick assessment and recommend your next step. It also had a free e-newsletter to which you can subscribe.

One of my holiday books was Tom Perrotta's excellent novel The Abstinence Teacher. It got me thinking about the way we teach sexual matters today and I looked at a few sites he recommends that might have a view. Sex and intimacy for married Christians is discussed at The Marriage Bed. Christian Nymphos (hold those complaints a moment) is a site for '...women with excessive sexual desire for our husbands.' They explain their choice of name in some detail. Finally he points us to my spoof site of the month, no, not the previous one but the Landover Baptists. It '...offers THE cheapest Plan of Salvation and assurance of Eternal Security, ANYWHERE on the internet! We dare you to find someone offering this package for a lower price WITHOUT ANY STRINGS ATTACHED!' Careful research tells me that only 1 in 200 Church of England Newspaper readers will find it amusing.

If you want to check out reviews before plunging into holiday reading try Book Army. Full of helpful information.

It's always a worry when eating out that tips will find their way to the waiting staff and not the proprietor. Fairtips lists those establishments that guarantee the gratuities go to the staff and are not docked from their pay.

If you've spent too much on your holidays, or things are tight, here are a few money-saving sites.

For instance, if you have ever wondered what happened to all those samples made up for fashion shows or exhibitions, visit Sample Sales in London. You will find '...the latest insider tips on all the hottest sample sales. From sample sales of loved high street brands to secret sample sales of your favourite designers.' Sign up for a free news letter and never miss a sale. It's London only at the moment but the Designer Sales site is less parochial. Daily Candy offers a similar service (again London based) although the emphasis is on trendy rather than bargain.

Buy My Wardrobe is '...a fashion recycling event launched in Feb 2008. The initiative sees a number of carefully selected uber-fashionistas gathering for one day events to sell the contents of their fabulous designer wardrobes to discerning members of the public.' If your wardrobe has contents that might be politely known as vintage then visit Covert Candy and swap your togs. If it is vintage and you like it that way then be of good cheer, Clothkits is up and running again - kit clothes for little people.

I was in a chair storage cupboard when I heard a voice calling me into the ministry. Rona was in St Paul's Cathedral. Maybe she is headed for great things. Follow her journey at the blog Iwanttobeavicar.

Childline is a wonderful service for children in need. Achance2talk is part of its web presence. In addition to the phone, children can now email, get involved in a message board or on-line discussion and partake in a number of informative games and activities to help come to terms with difficult situations.

St Aiden to Abbey Manor is the home of David Keen, a vicar in Yeovil with a Fresh Expressions brief. He has surveyed all the diocesan web-sites for missional material and has published his results. A substantial piece of work.

Bishop David Thomson has joined the small, but growing army of blogging bishops. Being a wordpress blog it's technically excellent although the content I reviewed was more info-mercial than opinion.

TRNTV (serving your Spirit – Mind – Body) ' an Internet Media Community for Faith and Family audiences who in addition to attending worship on Sunday or Saturday, also enjoy music, live entertainment, movies and more.

'TRNTV acquires Faith, Family, Friendly and Educational TV and radio content from Churches, Organizations, Producers, Distributors and Artists all around the world.'

Mustard Seed Shavings has an archive of previous columns.

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