Blog December 8th Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp

I have supported Manchester United all my life and so have been most unhappy with the ways things have gone since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. The least said about the manner in which the present manager conducts himself the better. How much different Jurgen Klopp the manager of Liverpool. Now Liverpool have always been arch enemies of Man Utd but I have to say that with Mr Klopp as manager I would much prefer Liverpool to win the Championship than say Man City, Chelsea or Arsenal. Why -because Jurgen Klopp comes over as a warm, humorous, generous and likeable man.

Here is an extract from a newspaper article on him:

Jurgen Klopp is a popular figure in Germany because of his outspoken nature and the success he brought to former club Borussia Dortmund, where he won two league titles and got to the final of the European Champions League.

Car brand Opel has also credited him with turning around its fortunes in the country, saying his role as ambassador helped boost sales of its Insignia model by 35% in 2014.

He has even had pop songs written about him with eccentric media personality Matze Knop releasing a tribute titled ‘I Wanna Be Like Jurgen Klopp‘.

But what you might not know about him is that he is a committed Christian and is not afraid of making his faith known.

Prior to managing Borussia Dortmund, Klopp was in charge of another German club, Mainz, and after a defeat was known to have been asked by reporters if the ‘football god’ was against Mainz.

In an article about his faith, he wrote: ‘In order to answer this question once and for all: although there is no football God, I believe that there is a God who loves us humans, just as we are, with all our quirks, and that’s why I think he also loves football! But we have to score our own goals.’

But his piece for ( gets deeper.

‘All of these really likeable guys who I meet week in week out at matches or in some cases even in training, have one thing in common: they have noticed at some stage in their careers that there must be more to life than championship and relegation battles.

‘They relate how a relationship with God has changed their perspective.’

In an age in which each successful new manager is praised for his novel ‘football philosophy’, Klopp is adamant that his faith is more important to him than the game.

In an interview with, he said: ‘To be a believer, but not to want to talk about it – I do not know how it would work! If anyone asks me about my faith, I give information. Not because I have claim to be any sort of missionary. But when I look at me and my life – and I take time for that every day – then I feel I am in sensationally good hands.

Sounds like sensationally good advice to me.

Father Help Me Acknowledge You – featuring Lucy Stimpson- Maynard from the album ” I Look Up To The Heavens” recorded and produced by John Hodgkinson

Blog December 1st Cast screening of Risen!- The Musical

Enjoying Presecco before the cast screening of Risen! The Musical

On Sunday I travelled to the London College of Music in Ealing with my very good friend Dr Graham Giles MBE. We went to meet the cast of Risen! The Musical in order to watch, for the first time, the DVD of Risen! The Musical, filmed earlier this year at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth.

Global Fire Creative had most kindly taken on the enormous job of not only filming the one hour fifty minute show but also editing it. Well that is not entirely true, in fact the full burden of the visual edit fell on the shoulders of Ross Gill, a Global Fire Director and an ex Crofton student who for so long has been a integral part of Mustard Seed Songs. Ross played guitar and led the Mustard Seed Soul Band who featured in many Mustard Seed concerts and in our first musical His Story. He also recorded and produced numerous Mustard Seed CDs including the one dedicated to my mother “Precious.” Goodness knows how many hours Ross spent of his own personal time editing Risen! but the result is fabulous and we are very much in his debt. Thank you Ross!

The DVDs are about to be replicated through another ex- Crofton student, Tim Courtnell and should be available for purchase from December 17th via our website

The cast screening was a wonderful experience. There were over twenty members of the cast and technical team who, after enjoying a glass (or two) of Prosecco in the London College of Music bar, moved to another part of the building – the William Barry Theatre to watch the film.

Ross edited the visuals but Joffy Girling edited the audio- it was brilliant listening to the cast applaud one another’s performances and even more brilliant listening to their cries of joy when hearing the fabulous harmonies that Joffy had so skilfully mixed.

Yes it was a fantastic occasion and now we wait in anticipation for the DVDs to be produced and distributed so that others may enjoy hearing and seeing this life changing story of Christ’s Resurrection and how His followers’ lives were transformed.

“Do You Have Anything To Eat ” taken from the CD  “Risen! The Musical” featuring the Original Cast – recorded and produced by Joffy Girling

Blog November 24th Alex Knox

Alex Knox starring in the West End play “It Is Easy To Be Dead”

Family from the album Risen! The Musical featuring Alex Knox portraying the part of the disciple John recorded and produced by Joffy Girling

I am off to London in a minute to see Alex Knox star in a West End play entitled “It Is Easy To Be Dead.” Alex sang the part of the disciple John in the double album of Risen! The Musical. He also performed in the early Holy Rood Risen! concerts and stage production I thought it would nice to revisit the story of how we met, first told in the blog of August 21st 1014

When, at the age of nine  I moved from Gillingham in Kent to Portsmouth I went to the Northern Parade Junior Boys School. I have to say I did not like it at all – the teachers used the cane- something that I had not come across at all in the delightful Forge Lane Mixed School I attended in Gillingham.

Anyway one classroom teacher, Mr Thorpe was keen on amateur dramatics and each year would produce a show, usually one which he had written himself based on a Gilbert and Sullivan classic. I particularly remember “The Pirates of Portsmouth” in which I played a pirate “Mizzen Mast Martin”  (I’ll let you pick me out in the featured pic) The star was a guy called Martin Connor who was in my class and who had been one of the few people who had been nice to me when I first went to Northern Parade. Martin is stage centre in the pic with a hook for a right hand (only make believe!)

In those ancient times we had to sit the 11 + exam to determine whether you went on to Grammar School or Secondary Modern. In Portsmouth there was also a “half -way house” – the Portsmouth Technical High School.  Well to cut a long story short Martin and I found ourselves both at “The “halfway house”.  We were also in the same form, the infamous 1B.  Martin went on to become Head Boy – I did not.

I knew Martin had gone on from school to pursue a career in acting, but on leaving school I had lost contact with him. When I was looking to cast for the role of John I needed someone who could both act and sing. All of Risen! is sung and I particularly needed someone who was expert in  recitative as this  holds the storyline together. I decided to try to locate Martin to see if he was still in the world of acting so I googled his name (what else!) and there he was m Head of Acting at the Prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.  I knew it was the same Martin as there was a pic of him on the Guildhall’s website and he had not changed a bit. (spit!)

I emailed him and we met up at the “Coach and Horses” pub which is right opposite our old school. We talked and laughed non -stop for hours, picking up on all the old Tech School life as if it were yesterday. Anyway yes Martin did have someone in mind to play the part of John – Alex Knox. Alex had a degree in Music from Manchester University – he also had a Masters in Singing from Guildhall and was now taking the Guildhall’s Masters Acting Degree- he would be perfect. So I took the train up to London to meet him at the Guildhall. I sang Alex the John parts in one of the Guildhall’s studios, so I suppose it could be said that I have sung at the Guildhall School of Music and Theatre!  For a classical trained singer it would not have been normal to learn a part warbled by some PE teacher, but that is what happened and Alex has now played John brilliantly in three consecutive Risen! productions and, of course sings the part in our forthcoming Risen! CD. Alex has become a great friend  and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all his amazing efforts for Risen!

Blog November 17th – Risen! The Musical -Is there a conflict between Science and Christianity ?” Part 13

Surely not I Rabbi!  Taken from Risen! The Musical featuring the London Touring Cast filmed at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

“Out of the Depths” – featuring Lucy Stimpson-Maynard from the album “Love is the Way” recorded and produced by  Bob Ross

One last extract from the series “God Is” in “The Word for Today” written by Bob and Debbie Gass and published by United Christian Broadcasters (UCB)

Have you ever wondered why nowhere else in the universe do we find water in any abundance except here on earth? To date all our telescopes and space travellers confirm that. Water, the amazing solvent, dissolves almost everything upon this earth except those that are life sustaining. This amazing liquid which we take for granted exists as ice, breaks ups rocks and produces soil. As snow it stores up water in the valley. As rain, it waters and cleanses the earth. As vapour, it provides moisture for much of the arable land on earth. It exists as cloud cover in just the right amount. If it had clouds like Venus, the earth could not support life. But we have exactly 50% of the surface of the earth covered by clouds at any one time, allowing just the right amount of sunlight to filter through. As steam, for centuries water has run some of the most powerful machinery we have. Other than bismuth it is the only liquid heavier at four degrees Celsius than it is at freezing. If this were not so, life as we know it could not exist on this planet. Therefore when it freezes it is lighter and it rises. If this was not the case our lakes and rivers would freeze from the bottom up and kill all the fish: the algae would be destroyed, oxygen supply would cease and mankind would die. So when you think God doesn’t notice you or care about you (or when you think there is a conflict between science and Christianity – my insertion) drink a glass or water and say Thank you God!

Blog November 10th – Risen! The Musical -Is there a conflict between Science and Christianity ?” Part 12

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow” from Risen! The Musical featuring The London Touring Cast filmed at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

Still in Tears featuring Lucy Stimpson-Maynard from the albums Uplifted and His Story recorded by Bob Ross

This week I have another extract from the series “God Is” in “The Word for Today” written by Bob and Debbie Gass and published by United Christian Broadcasters (UCB)

Let’s look at another miracle of God’s creative genius; the nitrogen cycle. Nitrogen is extremely inert- if it wasn’t we would all be poisoned by different forms of nitrous combinations. However because of its inertness, it’s impossible for us to get nitrogen to combine naturally with other things. But it’s definitely needed for plants in the ground, so what provision does God make for getting it out of the air and into the soil? Lighting! A hundred thousand lightning bolts strike our planet daily, creating a hundred million tons of useable nitrogen plant food in the soil every year.

Forty miles up there is a thin layer of ozone. If compressed it would be only a quarter of an inch thick, yet without it life would not be sustainable. Eight killer rays continually fall on our planet from the sun; without ozone we would be burned, blinded or boiled. The ultraviolet waves come in two forms; longer rays which are deadly and are screened out and shorter rays which are necessary for life on earth and are administered through the ozone layer. Furthermore, the most deadly of these rays are allowed through the ozone layer in a very limited amount, just enough to kill the green algae which otherwise would grow to fill the lakes, rivers and oceans of the world, No doubt about it we are totally dependent on God’s goodness.

Should soon have news of the new DVD of Risen! The Musical filmed at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth.


Blog November 3rd – Risen! The Musical -Is there a conflict between Science and Christianity ?” Part 11

Jesus is welcomed as He enters Jerusalem – Risen! The Musical featuring the London Touring Cast – New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

Do I Need To Worship? featuring the Mustard Seed Soul Band from the albums “Heart and Soul” and “His Story” recorded by Ross Gill

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

Here’s an amazing thing: without the moon it would be impossible for us to live on this planet. And if anyone ever succeeded in deflecting the moon from its orbit, all life would cease. It acts like a maid to clean up the oceans and shores. Without the tides created by the moon our harbours and shores would become one big stench pool of rubbish and it would be impossible to live anywhere near them. Because of the tides continuous waves break upon the shores of the ocean, aerating the waters of the planet and providing oxygen for plankton, the very foundation of our food chain. Without plankton there would be no oxygen and all life would end. God is a creative genius isn’t He? He made the moon the right size and placed it the right distance from the earth to create the exact atmosphere we need. We live within a great ocean of air- 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen. These elements are continuously mixed by the tidal effect of the moon on the atmosphere. This has the same effect it has upon the seas and always provides the same proportion of oxygen. Though we keep dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere it’s absorbed into the ocean and we are able to continue to live. If the atmosphere wasn’t as thick as it is we’d be crushed by billions of pieces of cosmic debris and meteorites that fall continuously on our planet. Who takes good care of you – God and aren’t you glad He is on the job twenty four seven?

Instead of all this happening by chance, as I said last week surely it takes less faith to believe that our world was created for us by a loving and caring intelligent designer- God

Blog October 27th – Risen! The Musical -Is there a conflict between Science and Christianity ?” Part 10


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

Ever wonder why we have failed to find life on any other planet, yet ours is designed to sustain us and meet our most basic everyday needs? It makes you wonder doesn’t it? Do you think it’s just a coincidence? Not according to the Bible. In it God says “ I … made the earth and created mankind upon it.” Did you know that if the earth was 10% larger or 10% smaller, life as we know it would not be possible? Or that we’re just the right distance from the sun so we receive just the right amount of heat and light? If we were farther away we would freeze and if we were closer we would not be able to survive. Consider for a moment the amazing tilt of the axis of the earth. None of the other planets are tilted like ours at 23 degrees. This angle allows the sun’s rays to touch every part of the earth’s surface over the course of a year, as the earth circles the sun. If there was no tilt to the axis the poles would accumulate enormous masses of ice and the centre of the earth would become so hot that we couldn’t stand it. Like an excited parent designing a room for a newborn child, God made the earth specifically for us. That’s how much He cares for us.


Of course some might look at this from the other way round and say something along the lines of the universe and solar system and planet earth were formed by a cosmic accident and that life was created and developed according to the conditions prevalent on our planet. However to believe that would require a great deal of faith – as someone once said it would be like a hurricane hitting a scrap yard and all the flying pieces of junk ending up making a Boeing aeroplane. Surely it takes less faith to believe that our world was created for us by a loving and caring intelligent designer- God

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 !!