Aussie 5 August enculturalisation

A second keynote today while Paul (my husband) and Arthur (my son) prowled round Adelaide. It's fun to spot the cultural changes. To my astonishment, the 'Stone the crows!' line in my version of The Sower got a huge cheer. I hadn't twigged the Crows are the local footie team. Very serendipitous. And I did proudly manage to make Zacchaeus climb the tree 'like a possum' instead of 'like a squirrel', while Mrs Littlebottom earned dollars and cents when she went busking, not pounds and pence.

Aussie 4 August: Adelaide

As the Uniting Church's 'Church &...' conference began with a rerun of last night's Messy Church, hosted by the Lefevre team, we felt simply part of the team, which was perfect. Alas, I had been given the activity of the Smelly Plague Pots (rotten fish, old socks, blue cheese - you get the picture), so, far from having the chance to chat to people, I noticed they got as far from me as possible. At least I hope that was the reason.

Aussie 3 August

The last half of the journey to Adelaide across big big countryside between Mt Gambier and South Australia (SA): a moment of panic seeing threatening signs up wanting us to get rid of all fruit into quarantine bins before we hit the state. We dutifully disposed of an orange, feeling rather silly and 'surely it can't mean an orange'-ish. But as, when I later reported the incident during one of my talks, it got a resounding cheer, we obviously did the right thing.

Aussie blog ctd

A pause in our Odyssey round Oz to reflect a little on what’s been happening. We’ve been in this vast and amazing country a week now – unbelievable as it’s shot past so quickly. The Melbourne leg of our trip finished yesterday and we’re in a sort of no-man’s land between Melbourne and Adelaide, having driven along the Great Ocean Road as far as Mt Gambier, where we have just settled into a very fine b&b complete with Guard Lambs, a King Charles spaniel, a herd of cows and assorted ducks and chickens. And a guinea pig but I haven’t yet made its acquaintance.

Aussie 2 August onwards and upwards

 Chris Barnett wowing the crowd in Melbourne

An Australia Hoorah!

We've had a really great day doing a full day of Messy Church for the 155 people, who had come from all over Oz - folk have FLOWN here from Western Australia and from the Northern Territory! It all feels very surreal and humbling. They were a lovely, warm, generous crowd, who gave a huge amount of support and positive vibes, and it does feel as if lots will happen as a result of their hearing for themselves what Messy Church is and can be.


First confirmed sightings of a Messy Church starting up in Australia! I'm very excited. Jane and I met Karen Mitchell-Lambert back in the summer in a series of coffee shops on the Strand (unintentionally - the one we planned online to meet at had no seats, so Spooks-like, armed with mobile phones, we bolted from cafe to cafe in search of each other).