#Advent20 #WinchesterWaits

winchester-waits

I didn’t get online yesterday, as I was bobbing around Winchester, and checking out the Christmas Markets, taking time to stop off at #WinchesterWaits. Meantime, this note from Brian:

Don’t forget, too, to make space this weekend to stop, relax, breathe and smile. If you find yourself at the shops, practice this somewhere busy, and notice what happens within you.

#AdventBookClub: Day 10: Carrying the Vision

Durham Lumiere 2013, CC Bex Lewis

Durham Lumiere 2013, CC Bex Lewis

Interesting thoughts from Ron Glusenkamp – that Advent can be a season for spiritual U-turns, as we stop running away and head towards God… as we crash and burn without God… after some of the conversations that were inevitable whilst in Winchester (are you coming back? being the most frequent one) I still feel that I’m where God wants me to be, though it’s not always easy!

Maggi Dawn’s Beginnings and Endings also deals with a journey – a nomadic journey without any clear ending. For Isaac and his people “Their job was to pick up the vision, carry it on and then hand it over to the next generation.” Something which we may have to accept in a culture which threatens to subsume us.

Isaac might be able to teach us something here. He didn’t pick a fight with the surrounding culture, but neither did he allow it to subsume him. He continued to dig in all the places his father had taught him until he found a place that he could peacefully occupy, a place that his hostile neighbours did not steal from him.

Following on from yesterday, we get the sense of building upon the strong lessons from the past, rather than a feeling that we need to start from scratch (and I definitely feel that with the digital spaces) as we hold onto God’s promises. I also really like the idea that there is room in the world for those who have different points of view – and that we can disagree without becoming combative (oh, if only we could see more of this online!)

There’s a great challenge from @briandraper today – to stop trying to capture everything that is around us (through a camera) lens and just BE a part of something! That was certainly something that several of the exhibits at Lumber encouraged recently – especially within the Cathedral with “fireflies” – one just had to sit in a pew and be there!

Always Great on Twitter @WinchesterCity

Sarah, who’s behind the @WinchesterCity Twitter account, is always prompt and helpful in responding to Tweets. Last year I tried to report a dangerous path near me, uneven, with at least 2/4 lights not working, to fixmystreet. Because it’s a pedestrian walkway, rather than a road, they couldn’t get a GPS fix, so asked me to let me know the numbers on the posts… well, I can’t see them, as I only use that path in the dark, and it’s dark because half the lights don’t work… I tried to send an email describing which roads it was between, but this was a real case of  ‘the computer says no’. WinchesterCity tried to help… the other week it’s was finally bright when I walked down (I’ll stop getting the bus now, so won’t walk past again)… so I have sent it back into the system…

University of Winchester at Risk?

Below is University of Winchester’s Senior Management’s response to the Universities at Risk Report which was published yesterday.

The report, titled Universities at Risk, published on 8 December by the University and College Union (UCU) is deeply flawed. The report assesses likely financial difficulty or closure by crudely highlighting the level and proportion of public funding and the numbers of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, while crucially ignoring fundamental factors such as profitability, liquidity, student demand and the ability to replace the loss of funding with fees.

It is unacceptable and irresponsible of the UCU to publish this ill-informed report. The University of Winchester, like many of the institutions included on the list, is in strong financial health, is able to demonstrate high quality teaching and research and is continuing to attract high numbers of students. The report has the potential to be deeply damaging to the reputations of the universities identified and therefore their ability to recruit students under next year’s new fee regime.

The University shares UCU’s concern about the removal of HEFCE and TDA funding for large numbers of subjects and the disproportionate effect on particular institutions. However, higher education is about to be transformed by the new fee regime and it will be student demand that will determine the financial health of institutions. The University recognises the scale of the challenges ahead and is well-placed with a strong track record, a distinctive ethos and specialist reputation to compete in the market and ensure its future.

Supporting British Farmers

The supermarkets are now stocking more and more Organic, Fair Trade and Local items. Fair trade items include coffee, tea, chocolate, bananas, geobars. Keep your eyes peeled for other items! Also look at buying items locally at Farmers Markets (Hampshire) or through Organic Doorstop Delivery Schemes, including:

Check Big Barn for local producers.