Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Reading International Festival
We're currently in the middle of the Reading International Festival. The day that the programme for this was handed out with our service sheets in church it so happened that three of us were standing up to advertise events in it anyway (including last week's Tearfund Climate Change Evening). Inevitably we've found ourselves bumping into other congregation members at these events, particularly at Ann Pettifor's talk at the university last week "Chasing the Moneylenders from the Temple of our Democracy: Credit, usury, political power and the Millenium Development Goals" - since my husband was organising this I was at home with the boys but it will eventually be possible to watch a video of it on the university website so I'll put a link up when that's possible. I've heard a lot about how impressive this was.
This evening Hamish and I were both at RISC where one of our Eco-congregation assessors, John Madeley, was launching his first novel after many years of writing factually on development issues: Beyond Reach?. It's set in the Make Poverty History campaign of 2005 and he explained that he'd turned to fiction in the hope of spreading his message to a wider audience, emphasising that if ordinary people really understood what poverty means they would find a way to stop it, despite the apathy of governments. He encouraged us to buy a second copy at half price to give to a friend who was not involved in the campaign - good Christmas present potential. It so happens that one of the endorsements on the back is from Ann Pettifor: 'Be warned, this book could change your life'. Carl Rayer wrote: 'In the tradition of Saturday, this outstanding novel weaves together the world of public events with the private world of individual lives'.
I took the opportunity to hand out posters for our forthcoming showing of Age of Stupid - yes, despite my reservations about its angry tone there has been such interest in the congregation that I have decided to organise a proper public showing. It'll be at the church on Thursday 19 November, doors open 7.30, show starts 8pm. Entrance will be free but with a retiring collection in the hope of recouping some of the licence fee. Hopefully there'll be plenty of info there for people to be inspired to go out and act upon afterwards.