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Stocki
Belfast
I am the minister of Fitzroy Presbyterian Church in Belfast, N. Ireland, author of Walk On; The Spiritual Journey of U2, and blog on where my faith and culture meets...
Interests: Jesus, where art and faith inter connect, music, peace and reconciliation, social justice, sport...
Recent Activity
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Caitlin's 22nd birthday. This poem was written on hospital paper towels in the early hours of the morning, as we sat in the maternity ward waiting for her to appear. It later had a chorus added about Jasmine's birth and... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at SOUL SURMISE
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Tomorrow morning (11am) in Fitzroy and I will do what I have been threatening for many years. I am going to preach on the television series West Wing's two part episode Two Cathedrals. It is a remarkable piece of television... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Bernie Brown Dear 4 Corners Festival Goers, We would like to thank you for your incredible support at this year’s Festival events. We were overwhelmed by the attendances, day after day. Ten days is a lengthy Festival and we... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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The film Lost Lives, based on the book of the same name by David McKittrick et al that dispassionately catalogued 3,700 lives lost in the Northern Ireland Troubles, is a dissonant, disconcerting, disturbing, piece of beauty. I struggle to type... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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Not once but twice at this year’s 4 Corners Festival we were called to reflect on Paul Brady’s powerful peace anthem, The Island. Firstly, Jim Deeds placed a raw unrehearsed version when Tommy Sands had got the date wrong and... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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(this is my Pause For Thought on BBC Radio 2 on February 18, 2020... the theme for the week was Messaging God...) I hate telephones. Yes, here I am on the line from Belfast even though I hate telephones. Almost... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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A Be Kind hashtag posted by Caroline Flack just weeks before her tragic suicide has become the protest statement against the cruel world of the media and social media that is destroying the soul of our society and individuals within... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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Tomorrow morning (11am) in Fitzroy we will be looking at how Jesus kind of deconstructed the objective outer law not by getting rid of it but by reconstructing an inner subjective way to live that would actually fulfil the law.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE
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A few texts tipped me off. People were concerned about me. I wasn’t up to speed but I picked up enough to figure out that Manchester City had been banned from Europe! I was delighted. I hate Europe. Liverpool have... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Gerry McNally Introducing Martyn Joseph in Fitzroy I realised that I fell in love with his music the same year that I fell in love with my wife Janice. It was Greenbelt 1989 and his live acoustic record An... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE
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I have been following the photographic career of Bradley Quinn for almost as long as I have been his drumming brother Jonny. I remember him putting a portfolio together of photos of Belfast’s finest mid 90s artists like Iain Archer,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE
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Thirty years ago today Nelson Mandela was released from prison. I remember it so well. I had been going out with Janice for only about six months and had no idea how much South Africa and Robben Island would become... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE
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This was my Pause For Thought on Vanessa (BBC Radio 2) for February 11th 2020... The theme was LOVE... for Valentine's week...) A few years ago, my wife Janice had a dream. She was about to marry someone else but…... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Bernie Brown I imagine you will be reading a good few surmises about the 2020 4 Corners Festival over the next while. This year’s Festival was 10 days filled with amazing content. I am not joking when I say... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE
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(I wrote this poem about then years ago to get across the potency of the lifeblood of Jesus and why wine and not grape juice (The Presbyterian heresy) is the best symbol as of course Jesus told us. I believe... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE
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(At the 4 Corners Festival 2020 we listened to the 4 Chairmen of the Belfast Football Clubs. It was quite an evening. I promised at the end of the night that I would pray for the 4 Chairmen on Sunday.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE
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Tomorrow morning (11am) in Fitzroy we will be looking at what it means to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We will be seeing the follow through from the Old Testament in that the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE
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4 Corners Festival are excited to be launching our very first publication - Building A City of Grace; Poems From 4 Corners Festival - February 2020. On the first morning of the 2020 Festival, Six Form students from all over... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Philip McCrea (This is the prayer I prayed at the 4 Corners Festival Broadcast Service on BBC Radio Ulster on Feb 2, 2020. It includes some of the poem Building A City Of Grace that appears in this years... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Paramo (So, I am sitting calmly at a 4 Corners Festival event last evening listening to the amazing poetry of Damian Gorman and the songwriting of Anthony Toner and I get a text to remind me what I had... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE
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Tomorrow I will be on the radio even before I get to Fitzroy! The 4 Corners Festival Sunday Service will be coming live from Cliftonville Moravian Church, 424 Oldpark Road, Belfast, BT14 6QF. It will be a service full of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Bernie Brown What can I say? What an utter privilege. It was like the thrill of my life but I was so in the zone of “I don’t need to be rubbish here” that it probably flew past too... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE
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Building A City Of Grace, The 8th Annual 4 Corners Festival kicked off this morning at the University of Ulster, York Street campus with Sixth Formers from schools across Belfast coming together to imagine what a City of Grace would... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE
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Building A City Of Grace, The 8th Annual 4 Corners Festival kicked off this morning at the University of Ulster, York Street campus with Sixth Formers from schools across Belfast coming together to imagine what a City of Grace would... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE
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“It’s a mess It’s a start It’s a flawed work of art Your city, your call Every crack, every wall” At the launch of the 2016 4 Corners Festival, Hannah McPhillimy took Snow Patrol’s Take Back The City in an... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2020 at SOUL SURMISE