Blog October 21st – Risen! The Musical -Is there a conflict between Science and Christianity ?” Part 9

“Give Us Your Heart Lord” – featuring The London Touring Cast – Risen! The Musical – New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

“Don’t be ashamed of Jesus” – featuring the Mustard Seed Soul Band from the album ” His Story.”  Recorded by Ross Gill

I would like to continue to address the question of whether or not there is a conflict between Science and Christianity via the series “God Is” in “The Word for Today” written by Bob and Debbie Gass and published by United Christian Broadcasters (UCB.)

Contrary to what we have been led to believe science and Scripture aren’t necessarily opposed. The ranks of Bible believing scientists have grown rapidly since the discovery of quantum physics, which demonstrates the amazing symmetry and order that make up the universe. Did you realise that one of the most brilliant scientific books or our time was written by no less than sixty notable scientists including twenty four Nobel Prize winners? The book’s title is Cosmos, Bios, Theos which means Universe, Life and God. And one of the contributing authors, Yale physicist Professor Henry Margenau concludes . “There’s only one convincing answer for the intricate laws that exist in nature. And what does this brilliant man think it is? Evolution? Coincidence? Happenstance? No? Margenau believes that “creation is by an omnipotent God” So to believe in God is to believe in science and the infallible Word of God.”

Well its half term for many people so “Happy Holidays” from all at Mustard Seed Songs and Risen! The Musical



Blog October 13th – Risen! The Musical -Is there a conflict between Science and Christianity ?” Part 8

Max Panks of the London Touring Cast playing the part of Jesus in Risen! The Musical- New Theatre Royal Portsmouth

Be Set Free – from Risen! The Musical featuring The Original Cast – recorded and produced by Joffy Girling

Returning to the question of whether or not there is a conflict between Science and Christianity I recently read a series entitled “God Is” in “The Word for Today” written by Bob and Debbie Gass and published by United Christian Broadcasters (UCB.) In the next few weeks I would like to take some extracts .

“Many of the world’s greatest thinkers believe that God not only exists but that He created the universe and its inhabitants, So the next time someone tells you that only simple, uneducated people believe in God don’t buy it. Dr Robert Jastrow, founder and director of the Goddard Institute of Space Studies at NASA writes in his blockbuster book “God and the Astronomers”: “The astronomical evidence supports the biblical view of the origin of the world … the details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same…………… Science has proved that the universe exploded into being at a certain moment … What cause produced this effect? Who or what put the matter or energy into the universe? Science cannot answer these questions ….

Pierre – Simon Laplace another of the world’s great astronomers said that proof in favour of an intelligent God was infinitely more probable than that a set of writing implements thrown promiscuously against parchment would produce Homer’s “Iliad.” The evidence for God as opposed to the evidence against Him is infinity to one- it can’t even be measured.

Next week Yale physicist, Professor Henry Margenau makes the startling statement “To believe in God is to believe in science.

Blog October 6th – Risen! The Musical Arts Council Application Part 3

reed-mcilroy rory-and-patrick-reed
Rory Mcilroy and Patrick Reed – Ryder Cup 2016

“There’s More Than One Way Of Saying I Love You” featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album “Uplifted” recorded by Bob Ross

I love seeing examples of sportsmanship. Not long ago I talked about the incident with cricketers Andrew “Freddie Flintoff” and Brett Lee and I wonder how many of you saw what happened in the Ryder Cup singles golf competition between Rory McIlroy of Europe and Patrick Reed of USA? The partisan American crowd were going too far and after Rory holed a monster 50 foot birdie putt on the 8th hole he mocked the crowd (fairly playfully- saying he could not hear them – he also put his finger to his lips as if to shut up his opponent who had been “stirring the crowd up”) Patrick then sunk his own 20 foot putt for birdie. Instead of storming off Rory smiled and waited just off the green for Patrick. They then shared a “fist pump” and went off to the next hole arm in arm – a great sporting moment.

At long last after countless hours sat at my computer the application for Arts Council funding has been submitted.

The questions asked included:

Please give a concise description of the activity you are asking us to support: 600 characters

Please provide a brief summary of your (or your organisation’s) recent relevant artistic work, experience and achievements: 1500 characters

What is your proposed artistic activity, and what do you want to achieve by doing it: 3000 characters

Who will engage with this activity? Tell us about the target audiences or people taking part, and how they will engage with the activity: 1500 words

Please describe how you will reach your target audience or participants, in the short or long term, and give details of your proposed marketing activities where appropriate: 3000 characters

What will be the wider impact of the project? Please include reference to sector development, art form impact and legacy where appropriate: 1500 characters


Please describe your approach to raising as much money as you can from other sources. Identify which other sources of funding you have applied to, and the progress of any other applications you have made (including the date you will know the outcome): 1500 characters

Briefly tell us about your experience in managing budgets, and describe how you will manage the budget: 1500 characters

Please describe how any fees, rates and purchases have been calculated: 1500 characters

Please use this box to explain your support in kind in more detail, if necessary: 1500



Please provide a brief summary of your and your partners’ recent experience in managing similar types of activity: 1500 characters.


We report to local and national government on where funded activity takes place. To help us to do this we ask you to give us information on where your activity will take place.

Please tell us what category your activity falls into, then click ‘Save and Next’ to tell us where it happens.

Please briefly identify the main stages of any planning and preparation activity completed to date. Please note this work should not be included in your budget, as we cannot fund any part of an activity that has already taken place:
1500 characters


Please briefly describe your plans to evaluate this activity: 1500 characters


Also required was an audience development plan a detailed budget plan and a cash flow projection


Well we are asking for over £83,000 !!

Blog September 29th – Risen! The Musical Arts Council Application Part 2

“How Great Are His Signs” Featuring the London Touring Cast at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth April 2016

“I Will Tell” featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album ” I Look Up To The Heavens” recorded and produced by John Hodgkinson

I am at last getting close to finishing an application for Arts Council funding for a UK tour of Risen! The Musical. Last blog I shared the section in which I had 3000 characters to answer “What is your proposed artistic activity and what do you want to achieve by doing it?”

This week I will share another section this time having 1500 characters to answer “Who will engage with this activity? Tell us about the target audiences or people taking part, and how they will engage with the activity.

Centring on the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth a UK tour of Risen! The Musical will be particularly attractive to His followers, especially at a time of the Easter celebrations. However evaluation of previous performances has shown that Risen! The Musical engages enthusiasts of musical theatre irrespective of their personal beliefs and philosophies, age and economic circumstance. Our target audience will, therefore be wide ranging and inclusive.


Risen! The Musical is an historical account but one underpinned by a desire to explore arguably the most fundamental question most will ask, namely “If someone dies will they live again?” Audiences of Risen! The Musical will, therefore be informed and challenged as well as entertained. They will witness love, betrayal, sacrifice, anguish, disbelief, hope, joy and anticipation. For some it is possible that Risen! The Musical will be life changing.

Members of the Risen! cast visiting 20 schools to perform in assemblies and to deliver musical theatre workshops is a wonderful mechanism for audience development. It will promote Risen! The Musical and also strive to generate further interest and enthusiasm for musical theatre. Schools will be encouraged to organise school trips to see a Risen! production and in addition over 15000 pupils will be audience members of the school assembly performances. (average school assembly audience of 750 x 20 schools) The musical theatre workshops will also involve over 4000 pupils as participants.(e.g. 200 pupils per school x 20 schools ) Our vision is for some schools to continue to be engaged producing Risen! The Musical themselves.

DVDs and CDs of Risen! The Musical will be available, thus allowing more opportunities for public engagement.

Blog September 22nd – Risen! The Musical Arts Council Application

One Day A Crown – featuring the London Touring Cast at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

Against Jesus Pilate Can Find No Charge To Stand – One Day A Crown- featuring The Original Cast from the album “Risen! The Musical recorded and produced by Joffy Girling

Last blog I explained I have been working on a submission to the Arts Council to help fund a short tour of Risen! The Musical. The Arts Council wanted a 600 character outline of the project which I shared with you last week. They also want a more detailed explanation including what we want to achieve- all in 3000 characters which is below:

What is your proposed artistic activity, and what do you want to achieve by doing it

In order to engage a larger and more eclectic audience our proposed artistic activity is a UK Tour of Risen! The Musical. The following venues are provisionally booked: The Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, The Point Theatre, Eastleigh, The Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, The Corn Exchange Theatre, Cambridge, the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth and The Redgrave Theatre, Bristol,

Marketing and audience development will be in association with partner charities and agencies local to the various venues. Examples are Wellspring Counselling Ltd of Nailsea, Bristol, Faith and Football of Portsmouth and Churches Together in Eastleigh.

An integral part of the project will be for members of the cast and technical team to visit three partner secondary schools local to the venues with one from a disadvantaged community. They will perform extracts from Risen! The Musical in assemblies and deliver musical theatre workshops. Our aim will be to promote Risen! The Musical and to stimulate interest in musical theatre amongst young people; some of whom will perhaps be engaged for the first time. Partner schools will be encouraged to organise trips for pupils and families to see a performance of Risen! The Musical and also produce the show themselves at some point in the future. We already have a written reduced piano score for this purpose. We are in the process of contacting appropriate schools identified by our partner agencies and the enthusiasm and commitment of the Portsmouth schools of Portsmouth Grammar, Portsmouth 6th Form College, Crofton School and Brune Park School is indicative of the support we expect to receive.

Theatrical productions normally focus on the Passion of Christ concluding with His crucifixion. Risen! The Musical however does not stop there but continues with a faithful synopsis of the Gospel accounts portraying Christ’s resurrection appearances and the impact on His followers. From this perspective Risen! The Musical addresses the question pondered by humankind since life began “If someone dies will they live again?”

C.S Lewis makes the point that if Christianity, founded on belief in Christ’s resurrection, is false then it is of no importance and if true is of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is of moderate importance. Taking this view the Risen! storyline cannot be of moderate importance and is, therefore worthy of considered thought and exploration. Through a compelling script, top quality songs, acting and dance Risen! The Musical entertains, informs, challenges, moves and inspires those of all ages, personal beliefs and philosophies. This view is supported by such comments from audiences such as “You brought so much joy to everyone” “A wonderful show which brought many of us to tears” “A couple from a background of alcohol abuse and violence were greatly impacted”

Our intention is to achieve a live theatre audience of over 4400 with a further 15,000 reached through the school visits. We expect in excess of 1000 also benefiting from hearing and viewing the Risen! DVDs and CDs.

Another important aim is to help the cast and technical team develop their careers. Most cast members have not long graduated and so the experience of this project will be invaluable.

Although the acclaim for Risen! The Musical has been a great encouragement we realise that it is still a work in progress. We sincerely believe that preparing and delivering a UK tour will enable Risen! to develop into an artistic production worthy of widespread exposure leading to further and more ambitious productions

Blog September 15th Risen! The Musical UK Tour 2017


Risen! featuring The Original Cast from the album Risen! The Musical – recorded and produced by Joffy Girling

So for the last month or so I have been working on a submission to the Arts Council to help fund a short tour of Risen! The Musical in seven towns in England within two hours of London which is the headquarters of the 19 strong London Touring Cast who star in the show. The application is massive but that is understandable as we are asking for in the region of £70K.

I will tell you more of the tour in the next couple of blogs but in the meantime here is the opening statement of our application.

Please give a concise description of the activity you are asking us to support.

600 characters

We are asking for support for a UK tour of Risen! The Musical, an original 2 hour stage production written by our charity’s Director Ken Shearsmith and featuring a cast of 20 alumni from the London College of Music and The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Risen! The Musical explores the Gospel accounts of Christ’s death and resurrection to address the age old question “If someone dies will they live again?”
14 performances in 7 theatres are scheduled for weekends April 29th – June 4th 2017. Integral to the project are visits by cast members to 3 schools local to each venue performing in assemblies and delivering musical theatre workshops. One of the 3 schools will be from a disadvantaged community.


Blog September 8th Stephen Fry rant

Stephen Fry rant

This is not heaven featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard -from the album Uplifted – recorded by Bob Ross

A friend posted this clip of Stephen Fry being interviewed on Facebook and asked for my comments, which I share below.

The God that Stephen Fry describes is not the God that I know. The God that I know is full of compassion, care, grace, forgiveness and love. Mr Fry blames God for numerous bad things that occur in this imperfect world and I am sure he could have named a lot more. However by blaming God, at least he would appear to acknowledge God’s existence or as least accept the possibility that God exists. If God is to blame for all the bad stuff in the world then who is to be thanked for all the good stuff? Logic would suggest someone or something in direct opposition to God…….. the devil? ?!! So is Mr Fry suggesting that the Devil is in charge of good stuff and God in charge of bad? Or is Mr Fry just getting his deity roles mixed up? Still he was very good (or was it bad) in Blackadder.

So that was my comment, but may I continue?

Jesus never said “Follow me and your life will be problem free thereafter.” What He did say was “I will never leave or forsake you.” If He was to take all the problems and suffering out of this world He would have to destroy it and create a heaven like place – well He has already created heaven and this world is certainly not it. Heaven is where God resides and where His will is done – a place of joy with no suffering and no evil.

Jesus’ promise for His followers here on earth is to give us His peace- He promises to draw close to us in our times of trouble – to be our comfort and our strength. God the Father did not exclude Jesus from pain and suffering when He was on earth – problems come to mankind as surely as sparks fly upwards- however because Jesus suffered just about everything – betrayal ,rejection, bereavement, excruciating pain and much worse complete separation from the Father- because Jesus suffered all these things He knows how we feel when we suffer – that is why He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother – that is why His Holy Spirit is our wonderful counsellor, advocate and helper. That is why in the final verses of St Matthew’s Gospel s Jesus says “I will be with you always even to the end of the age.”

By the way the words of Jesus in John’s Gospel chapter 3 verse 16 show the way in which one day we can enjoy heaven “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”


Jesus miracle one Parting%20of%20the%20Red%20Sea

“I Sing This Song Of Love For You” featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album “Love Is The Way.” recorded and produced by Bob Ross and John Hodgkinson

So at last I am returning to the discussion of whether or not there is a conflict between Christianity and Science. Surely there has to be a conflict as miracles contravene the laws of science and the Bible is full of accounts of miracles, including 37 performed by Jesus.

I know that there are some Christians who are scientists who look for answers to this issue by producing theories of how, for example the Red Sea parted- one explanation being connected to tides. Apparently in certain places in the world, the tide can leave the sea bottom dry for hours and then come roaring back. In fact, in 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte and a small group of soldiers on horseback were crossing the Gulf of Suez, the northern end of the Red Sea, roughly where Moses and the Israelites are said to have crossed. On a mile-long expanse of dry sea bottom exposed at low water, the tide suddenly rushed in, almost drowning them. Even with a scientific explanation it can be believed that a miracle has taken place but a miracle of timing in that all the natural, if unusual conditions, necessary for the crossing of the Red Sea took place at exactly the right time.

For myself l I believe in the laws of science – I would be daft not too as I live on a planet in which they are clearly manifest. Each day I witness in action, for example Newton’s laws of motion, his law of gravity and Archimedes’ principle. However, I also believe that God created the universe and, therefore all the laws which govern its existence. If He wishes at any time to suspend the laws He has created then that is His prerogative.

The question may be asked why God would wish to suspend the laws of nature that He has created. Well one reason would, of course be to show His power. The story of the Exodus was long remembered and celebrated by the Israelites and came as a reminder of God’s love and provision for them. And Jesus’ miracles, which were many and diverse – turning water into wine, feeding 5000, walking on water, calming storms, healing people of such conditions as blindness, paralysis and leprosy etc – were these performed to show His power, His compassion and His love? Yes but more to show the world that, in suspending the laws of nature, He was showing that the Kingdom of God in Him had come.  As John the beloved disciple of Jesus says in his Gospel 20: 31

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name

And what is the greatest miracle? Surely raising Jesus from the dead, which is a great plug for Risen! The Musical! which I hope to update you on very soon.

Blog August 25th “Sportsmanship”

Flintoff and lee Olympics sportsmanship

“Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled” featuring Ben Morris from the album Risen! The Musical recorded and produced by Joffy Girling

The next instalment of “Is there a conflict between Christianity and Science?” is on hold yet again as this week I want to refer to these pictures that show how sport can be a wonderful means of bringing people together in friendship; giving great opportunities for the expression of compassion and care.

For example the true Olympic spirit shone out when New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D”Agostino of the USA helped each other out after colliding in their heat of the women’s 5000m. D’Agostino tore her anterior cruciate knee ligament in the incident but both runners insisted on completing their race. They were both handed places in the final but the injury prevented the American taking part.

The four recent test matches between England and Pakistan were really hard fought with the two teams winning two matches each. I thought this was a lovely picture of Alastair Cook, the England captain and Misbah-ul- Haq, the Pakistan captain expressing warmth and mutual respect.

I have long admired Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand cricket captain and the sporting way in which he ensured his country played. However my favourite sportsmanship picture and story is that of Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff of England and Brett Lee of Australia. This picture held pride of place for many years on the Crofton School PE Notice board. The story has been told a thousand times but in the Ashes series of 2005 Flintoff had just been pounding Lee with 90 mph deliveries as Lee was holding out in the Australian last wicket partnership. With just a few balls left Lee’s batting partner was controversially given out and all the English team went mad celebrating their win – all except for England fast bowler Steve Harmison who was apparently first to go to Lee as he slumped to the turf, distraught, after  unsuccessfully working so hard to avoid defeat. Harmison’s  generous gesture was  followed , as captured in this great photograph, by Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff kneeling down  to console Lee.

Next week “Is there a conflict between Christianity and Science?” will definitely continue!

Blog August 18th 2016 – Usain St Leo Bolt

Bolt-Farrah usain-bolt 2

You Are The Shepherd Of My Soul featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album “Love Is The Way” recorded and produced by Bob Ross

On July 23rd 2015 I wrote that Zach Johnson the winner of the 2015 Golf Open, is a Christian and on December 17th I wrote that Bear Gyrills is a Christian. I did this just to make the point that people you might not necessarily expect to be Christian actually are. This week I am again delaying addressing the question of is there a conflict between Christianity and Science by bringing to your attention another person who is a Christian which might possibly surprise you- Usain Bolt.

I thought that he might well be a Christian when I saw him look up to heaven and also make the sign of a cross on his chest. So I googled it and yes he is most definitely a Christian – One source states:

Bolt is a Catholic and his middle name was given to him in honor of one of the Catholic Church’s earliest Popes.1 Bolt is devout in his faith. He makes the sign of the cross before beginning a competition and, according to his public relations people, he is a “Bible-believing, God-honoring, Jesus-worshiping Christian.” It’s not something he talks much about. Though he does occasionally tweet things like: With God anything is possible… I demolish training today #thankuGod

His faith and his celebrity inspired the Vatican to invite him to speak at a conference on global religious liberty.

Here are some other examples of his tweets:

I want to thank God for everything He has done for me for without Him none of this would be possible.

Never forget the true meaning of the day – Good Friday

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will feel no evil for thou art with me.

The fabulous Gold medal winning Fijian Seven a Side Rugby team who beat Great Britain in the recent Olympic Final are also Christians as can be seen from their rendition of “We Shall Overcome.”

Yes I know Mo Farrah is a Muslim and what a lovely pic of him with Usain Bolt, hopefully symbolizing that the two faiths can live side by side in this world.