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This is just a quick update to publicise a new venture that I’ve become involved with. As some will know, I’ve been helping to produce a weekly bulletin for our Archbishopric for the last few years. This has now been expanded to include a daily reflection on the Gospel of the day (revised Julian calendar), which is available electronically on the website, Facebook page, or by email (see the website) or Twitter. If you are interested in knowing more, please follow the link below.

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I wrote previously about having moved to Pietermaritzburg last year to take responsibility for Saint Mark’s Orthodox Mission in Edendale, at the request of His Eminence Archbishop Sergios. This has been a slightly rocky journey and, while some of the challenges were expected, there have been others that were less expected. One of these was that we discovered that the old house at the mission was in a worse condition than anyone realized, but there have not been sufficient funds to adequately repair or secure it. Things finally reached crisis point when it was broken into a couple of weeks ago, making the necessary repairs an urgent matter.

We are presently working on finding funding to secure and maintain the property. We hope to soon get going with mission activities, including a food garden and children’s literacy activities, in addition to regular Liturgy, prayer, and catechetical activities. However, to do this effectively we also need to find ongoing support.

I am therefore appealing to any readers of this blog who may able and willing to partner with us to support the work of the mission. You can either do this by contributing to our urgent You Caring appeal for building repairs, or you can commit yourself to pledging a set amount each month by following the links at the bottom of this page. Of course, you can also do both if you are so moved!

Most of these links are on a new website that I have just set up. To keep in touch with the work of the mission, you can also subscribe to our periodical newsletter and/or like and follow our Facebook page.

Above all, please also continue to keep us in your prayers.

Just to note that I have re-launched my bookbinding shop on Etsy, where I am selling some rather uniquely-bound Bibles. I hope to standardise both the Bibles and Kindle covers available in the near future once I’ve got more leather, but in the meantime I really need to sell these, so please feel free to share if you know anyone interested…

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After a break of some years, I have decided to try and start selling prayer ropes again, and have opened a shop on Etsy. My life is still rather in transition, but I need to find ways of supporting myself (and the work of the mission) and I find making prayer ropes more conducive to a life of prayer than editing theses! I’m also planning to reopen my bookbinding shop (which has been closed since moving) in the near future.

This blog has continued to be neglected, but I hope to get on a more even keel before too long. In the meantime, if you know of people who are looking for prayer ropes, please direct them to my shop! (I’ve also put a link in the side bar).

P.S. On the topic of prayer ropes, I have discovered that there are very helpful resources on the Jesus Prayer here. (Actually, the whole site is very good).

 

This post is much overdue, and I am afraid that I have not been very good at keeping in touch with all sorts of people, much less doing much on this blog. There are various reasons for this, which I won’t go into here, but it may be good to give a brief update on where I am now.

Just before Christmas last year, His Eminence Archbishop Sergios asked me to consider moving to Pietermaritzburg to take responsibility for Saint Mark’s Orthodox Mission in Edendale. This was totally unexpected to me (we had been discussing a possible move, but Pietermaritzburg had not crossed my mind), but the more I considered it, the more I couldn’t shake off the feeling that this was what God asking me, despite being aware that it would be quite a challenging situation.

This is an old photo from the Archbishopric website - I still need to take some good current photos...

This is an old photo of the mission from the Archbishopric website – I still need to take some good current photos…

I moved here at the beginning of May, and it has indeed proved rather challenging, but also hopeful. The original plan was that I should live at the mission, where there is a church and a house. However, that turned out to not really be viable and instead I have found a hermitage at the bottom of someone’s garden that overlooks a forest and is quite idyllic! I am continuing to support myself and hope to continue selling books (and possibly other things) on Etsy once I am more settled. And I have gradually been making contacts with people in the area. Lots of things are going to have to develop slowly, but there are hopeful signs and I have met some wonderful people. I’ll post more news about some developments in due course.

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I am planning to do a website that will give more information about the mission, provide a contact point for people around here who search for information about Orthodoxy, and also enable people to support us if they would like to do so. I am also seriously hoping to revive this blog, and possibly do some other things online, so watch this space. But I would also value your prayers for the whole situation – it is challenging, but it also has much potential.

This blog has been horribly neglected – what’s new? – and all my good intentions of writing have of yet come to nothing. But, despite feeling decidedly uncomfortable about self-promotion, I need to share some of my recent bookbinding work that I have just put up on my Etsy shop, not least because some of it is geared at a rather niche market that I need to find ways of reaching. And it’s possible that some of this blog’s readers – if it still has any readers! – may be interested in it.

Some time last year I finally betrayed Luddites worldwide and acquired a Kindle – but nevertheless decided that I wanted a Kindle cover that looks like a real book. One thing led to another and I started making them to sell on Etsy. Here are some examples – if you click on the photo, you will see more details and photos of the inside.

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But my most recent work involves the addition of specially rebound Bibles that I have just added to the shop, and there will be more to come. This one, in particular, is a project that I have been wanting to do for some time. It is a copy of the St Cuthbert Gospel, the oldest book that exists in its original binding, which was found in St Cuthbert’s tomb and dates from the seventh century.

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Here is the back cover, which in some ways I prefer to the front cover:

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And there is also a nice little New Jerusalem Bible pocket edition, as well as a variety of journals and notebooks.

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I realise that this blog is sadly neglected, and I had hoped that I would have written something serious by now, but I’m afraid that life has been pressured. I hope that that happens soon, but, in the meantime, I wanted to mention – and this is one of the reasons things have been pressured – that I have just set up a shop on Etsy selling hand-bound journals and notebooks online. I started exploring selling such things last year, but it became apparent that selling to gift shops in South Africa was not really viable and the online shop that I started with was also not such a good idea. However, I’ve been researching things recently and it seems that Etsy is the place to be. There are other bookbinders there and it seems that they do sell books, and at prices that could make it worth my while. However, it will take quite a bit of work promoting it – and I am really not in to self-promotion! But if you know of anyone who may be interested in these books, please pass it on.

I’m also trying to revive my Langeberg Bookbinding Facebook Page, so if you’d like to “like” it that would be greatly appreciated!

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