Is Britain a Christian Country? And what does that even mean?

By Heather Tomlinson
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A new poll has found that less than a third of visionaries believe that the UK is a ‘Christian country’. The latest data on whether the public considers the UK to be a ‘Christian nation’ doesn’t hold too many surprises. But I hope it can help us to think more deeply about what it really means to be a Christian.
The data, from a ComRes survey by the Faith Research Centre, showed that just 31% of young adults aged 18-24 considered Britain to be a Christian country, compared to 74% of those of pensionable age: 41% of the young adults thought Britain had no religious identity.
Whether or not you consider the UK to have a Christian identity depends somewhat on whether you consider the terms ‘Christian’ and ‘British’ to be a compliments or not. A militant atheist who considers the term Christian the same as ‘narrow-minded bigot’ is not likely to identify with it. So it’s not surprising to see that as atheism has become more popular in the younger generation, so has describing Britain as ‘Christian’.

(Full article via Premier Christianity Magazine)

👟Success, Love & All (a short play)👟



(11) 16-57-59
by Jennifer Valentine-Miller

This short play has a sports theme. It focuses on one woman’s determination to carve a career for herself as a tennis player; with all its disappointments and hard work. Her parents and friends are concerned that she wants to lead a single life of false dreams. Will good advice and guidance rescue her future in sport?

 

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Pastor: How prepared are you when you lose? Are you prepared to live a humbled life? Katherine, success should flow from character. The Psalms states “everything they do they will succeed”. Success is based more upon the quality of life rather than the skillfulness of their activities.

 

 

Christian ministries tackling mental health in prison

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by Jennifer Valentine-Miller

According to the head of an independent review into suicides in prisons, the HM Inspectorate paper has documented that the rate since the 2007 review has increased by more than 50%.  This percentage was drawn from over 220 new prisoners who completed the reception screening form (GHQ12) which indicates primary or secondary mental health needs.

The Labour peer Lord Harris was asked by the government to conduct a review on how to reduce self-inflicted deaths in custody.  The major question that will be asked is are there interventions that could have been done which could have saved the government money – by stopping mental health needs ending up in the criminal justice system in the first place?  The BBC reported recently that  “obviously there will always be a core of prisoners who do need to be in prison. But, if some of the others were not inside, there would be more resources to make sure those individuals were supported and prison achieved its objectives in terms of rehabilitation.”

The Ministry of Justice covers transfers from prison to hospitals under the Mental Health Act 1983. Their guidance also covers work with restricted patients detained in hospital and those discharged into the community.

The Orthodox Church (OC) in America claims that more than 2 million prisoners are being held in federal or state prisons or in local jails. Building and maintaining prisons is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. Yet many of us feel that prison ministry is better left to the “professionals,” prison chaplains, or those specially trained for this kind of work. The OC also went on to say that everyone is called to undertake prison ministry because firstly it is a biblical command.  Secondly, many jails and prisons have no full-time or even part-time chaplains or any religious services at all.  Even in prisons that have chaplains, they cannot possibly minister to more than a small percentage of inmates there. And thirdly, statistics tell us that for every person incarcerated, there are three to five other people affected:  families, loved ones, and children.

The national newspaper for prisoners and detainees in the UK which is named, InsideTime, raised an issue which emphasized and agreed that prison chaplains should have keen interest and concern for all inmates.  Every prisoner should have the opportunity to speak with a chaplain. The article also went on to say that “a majority of prisoners may not wish to avail themselves of the opportunity, but at least people should be given the choice to yes or no thanks to the offer of a listening ear”.

Kingdom Keys is a Bible teaching ministry, passionate about teaching the truth of God’s Word in a clear, practical and effective way. They have found through the many people they met in prisons, “many genuinely want to change, some  convert to Christianity for the first time and others return from backsliding into a criminal lifestyle.”  The team  deliver a 4-week course within a national HMS prison; the theme for the weekend is entitled Battle of the Mind.  Satan never plays fair. And the reason why it is so intense is that your greatest asset is the mind. I know what it is like when you unable to hear God. My mind is distracted and I cannot seem to connect with God even when I want to connect to God. And I know whatever gets your mind gets me. So one of the most important things we need to be learnt and teach others is how to guard, strengthen, and renew our minds, because the battle for sin always starts in the mind.

However,  from within the prison walls of  HMP Brixton they are more than willing to announce that their prisoners are given access to faith-based services within the prison’s establishment.  ‘Faith in the Future’ is a six-week, full-time resettlement course.  It runs for 30 men, five times a year and covers victim awareness, budgeting, parenting, communication skills and employability. They discuss moral issues and have a module called Christianity Explored.  HMP Brixton went on to say that the course is open to men of any faith who are willing to explore from a Christian perspective the resettlement issues that might bind their minds or infect their conscience.

New Year! New You in 2014

New Year! New You

January 2014

“Hi, this Jennifer @ Healing Relations TV, Are you confident about entering 2014? I hear many say that they are sick and tired of dealing with problems on their own including debt. We need to be conquerors this year, because more problems will come. We will never become competent until we understand God’s working power; don’t let your mistakes affect this New Year. In January work will be even more tiresome and disliked. And there is always that temptation to see it as a burden. Productive work is a gift from God. In 2014 our problems will not be a problem for Christ who loves us. Thanks for listening”.

February
Hello, this Jennifer @ Healing Relations TV I must say that I’ve had a few tussles over the years and it must be said that some of the worse confrontations have been with Christians. There are at least three things we can do when being confronted or attacked we can stand there and be insulted, move away from the situation, or defend yourself.
In 1 Timothy 6:12, we are told to Fight the good fight of Faith. That sounds great but, what exactly is the Fight of Faith? It is very difficult to overcome when you are feeling alone, therefore remember when in a battle YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Others are also fighting too, and in that we are not the sad deceived soul who needs to get a life. It appears that our enemy wants us to think we are the odd one out and keep us isolated. So, prove them wrong and have Happy Valentines Day. Thank you.

Mandy’s story…

by Mandy Fenn-StoneMandy Stone

Hi,  you are probably thinking to yourself, “what is all this about?” – well stop thinking and let me explain. Well to start with, my name is Mandy (but most people call me Dee for short). I am a member of St. Margaret’s Parish Church and due to the help and support from the Church and finding my faith I am now a survivor of Self-Harming. The reason why I am trying to raise awareness within the Churches about Self-Harming is because I was a Self-Harmer for 14 years. It started when I was about 14 years old and I stopped 4 years ago. A lot of people tried to help me but couldn’t stop me from hurting myself.

Seeing me trying to kill myself bit by bit was hurting many people around me. It was a long hard road for the people because I started going to Church with my foster brother and it took a lot of prayer from a lot of people. On the 20th January 2002, I was christened and shortly after I took part in an Alpha Course and was later Confirmed.

For many reasons I rebelled against Christianity and the Church for about 9 months.

MandyF
I had reached rock bottom when I let Jesus into my life and have not self-harmed for 4 years, so for 14 years of self-harming and with all the help that obviously failed around me, the night that I asked Jesus into my life and to take over, he did and my life was just tops. I still had my ups and downs but I never felt the need to hurt myself any more. I knew that Jesus was me every day.

To me, if it wasn’t for the Church, their prayers and for telling me about Jesus, I wouldn’t be here telling you all about this. So that is why I feel that that Churches can help self-harmer’s to come out of it and to have a life beyond their belief. I have been doing a lot of research on Self-Harming and this is what we have come up with:

Approximately 142,000 Hospital admissions each year in England and Wales are the result of Self-Harming (Mental Health Foundation, 1999). Some of the reasons that they have come up with for this happening are;

CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES: Sexual Abuse 40% Bullying 30% Neglect 25% Emotional Abuse 25% Parental Divorce 20%

ADULT EXPERIENCES:  Rape/Sexually Abusive Experience 25% Lack of Support 25% Abusive Relationship 15% Even children as young as seven years old deliberately cut, bruise and burn themselves in secret. The Mental Health Foundation say that each year some 24,000 teenagers self-harm so badly that they are admitted to Hospital. In the last month, Childline has seen an alarming increase of almost 30% a year in the number of callers who injure their own bodies according to the National Inquiry into self-harming.

The Charity received 4,300 such calls in 2003/4. More than 60% cut, bruised, banged their heads against walls, pulled their hair out or burnt themselves. Many children harm themselves up to 10 times a day and some say it is the only way they can deal with the pressure that daily life triggers – these pressures include Bullying, Abusive Parents, and Parental Divorce.

There is also some evidence that self-harm is part of a group activity and children are being pressurised into doing so. Self-Harming behaviour does not necessarily mean the person has been abused. It could be because somewhere along the line they did not learn good ways of coping with overwhelming thoughts or feelings. It does not mean that the person is sick or disgusting or as some people say – “sick in the head”. It is just that they have never learned positive ways to deal with their thoughts/feelings. Most people who self-harm tend to be perfectionists, who are unable to handle intense feelings, are unable to express their emotions verbally, have dislike for themselves and their bodies and can experience severe mood swings. They may turn to self-harming as a way to express their feelings and emotions, or as a way to punish themselves. You may be wondering why someone would intentionally harm themselves.

Self-harming can help someone relieve intense feelings such as anger, sadness, loneliness, shame, guilt and emotional pain. It has been proven scientifically that the body releases a chemical called Seratonin which when released, leaves the body feeling calm. Many people who cut themselves do this in an attempt to try and release all the emotions they are feeling internally. Others may feel so numb that when they see their own blood when they cut, it makes them feel alive because they usually feel so dead inside.

Some people find that dealing with physical pain is easier than dealing with emotional pain. Self-harming is also used as a way to punish themselves. If they were abused they may feel ashamed, guilty and blame themselves for the abuse, which in turn causes them to feel the need to punish themselves by inflicting pain on their bodies. Some people have such hatred for themselves and their bodies that they will carve demeaning names into their skin as a way of reminding them of how terrible they are. It is like when I think back to my self-harming and the way that I would be feeling. It is like the anxiety of my inner battle was becoming unbearable, I wanted to let something out. The anxiety would have been so easy to give in to, whereby then I would again lose all awareness of my surroundings and myself.

I would cry and look desperately into my eyes reflected in the mirror, wanting to know the answers to the way out of my mental prison. I began to cut myself in anger and hate my own body. I was sure that I had feelings but they didn’t seem to show. I became very violent towards myself. The world around me was becoming as unforgiving and intolerant as I was to myself. I would lay down after a violent outburst and fall asleep, very drunk. Sometimes I would wake up in another part of the room, hiding from something in the room which only my sleeping mind had seen, so I would get up, have more drink and drugs and cut again to stop the feelings. Then I would lie there in silence until it was light. There was so much silence in my head and everything else seemed a thousand miles away. My energy was gone, I would stare at the ceiling of my bedroom, the silence inside my head was so loud. The more I kept to myself, or kept others at a distance, the clearer things become. I would return to this state and would only then feel I was being true to myself.

Having Jesus in my life now has made me look at things in a very different light. You see, to be an anybody, anywhere is to look into the eyes of someone who matters to you and know that they don’t care what or who you are, where you have been or what you have achieved. To be an anybody, anywhere is to look into those eyes and know that if you see love there, then you have earned it. Not for being a walking achievement or an interesting case or a social inspiration or a charity case, but just for being you. That is the gift of the Lord Jesus Christ. A loving and understanding heart, not someone that is looking at what you did, He looks at what you will become. I have now found the best friendship and a sense of belonging and the love that I have always longed for. The mask that I had hidden behind for so long has now gone and I am no longer a label but a child of God. 1 John 4.18: – There is no fear in love, perfect love drives out all fear. So then love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment. We love because God first loved us.

JESUS HEALED ONE MAN WHO’S NAME WAS MOB ( MARK 5:2,5 )

If you look at it from a Christian side you will see that self-harming was going on 2000 years ago when Jesus healed Mob. Mark ( 5:2,5 ).  As soon as Jesus got out of the boat, he was met by a man who come out of the burial caves, there this man had an evil spirit in him and lived among the tombs. Nobody could keep him chained up any more; many time’s his feet and hands had been chained but every time he broke the chains and smashed the irons on his feet he was too strong for anyone to control him. Day and night he wandered among the tombs and through the hills screaming and CUTTING HIMSELF WITH STONES. You see even then, people didn’t understand and found it frightening.

Cross Rhythms Radio interviews Jen and Andrew Polfer from the band Lovelite

Transcriber: Jennifer Valentine-Miller

Lovelite brings an energetic infusion of euro-pop sensibility and lyrical depth to the congregational worship scene. Led by the husband and wife team of Andrew Polfer  and Jen Polfer, two worship leaders inspired by the thought of reshaping the mundane, the band’s anthem, and atmospheric style. There lies a foundation for its heartbeat: to share in the character of God’s creativity. Other members of the band are Brandon Burr and Jonathan Hall.

I: Joining us on the programme today is Jen Polfer from the band Lovelite.  Welcome to the programme  Jen.

JP:“Thank you.”

I:The band are based in California, did you grow up in California?

JP:“Yes, I grew up in the Los Angeles area and Andrew in San Obisto in the California cities/ We both now live in San Diego.”

I:We should talk about your growing up, were you brought up in a Christian home?

JP:“I did. Both my parents are worship leaders. I grew up around a lot of music in the Church. I spent a lot of my time hanging around church while my parents played worship.”

I:It was pretty obvious that you were going to be a worship leader?

JP:“I think so. I definitely had music around the house and was encouraged to do that.”

I: Who else inspired you apart from your parents in terms of worship? What type of stuff were you listening to?

JP:“I grew listening to Christian music although the first album I bought was the Cranberries. So that singer definitely influenced me in my start. Also I really enjoyed some Christian artists like Jennifer Knapp in the 90s; I listened in to True Rock which was a Californian radio rock station. In the 90s that is the style I based myself upon and I took that style into my youth worship group.”

I:Was that ok to do? Or did you cause some controversy by trying to do that?

JP:“Ah no, it was ok. I had a pretty good youth group and youth pastor who wanted to encourage everyone to be who they are. And with my style of music he said I want you to lead with personality and what you do.  Over the time I found my voice with that Cranberries-esque type and style and the voice is what got me started today.”

I:So in terms of meeting Andrew that happened at High School, did it not?

JP:Yes, we met very young when I was a junior.  We started off as friends playing music together and the romance budded from there.”

I: I love a good love story, what did you think of him when you first met him?

JP:“I really enjoyed his personality first off.  Our first conversation was talking about guitars, music and worship.  We actually met for a conference called ‘True Love Waits’ geared towards young people who were saving themselves for marriage and that’s how we met so that was perfect, He really has a good sense of humour really funny. I love being around his quirkiness. “

I:You and Andrew are co-leaders of this band. You met at High School, got married and formed a band that seems which seemed an eminently sensible thing to do. How did the band form from marriage?

JP:“Originally we used to do a lot of  folk-style music, they were not necessarily worship songs but they did have Christian-style themes.  After driving back from a venue we both said we had a really good time but what we really enjoyed the most was worship music.  We prefer the vain of the music where the lyrics are horizontal rather that vertical.   We figured that we love music that is from our heart and directed straight to God.  Andrew was at college at the time when we wrote our first worship song together.  The worship leader from the Christian college at Azusa South Pacific University started playing the song in chapel and people caught onto it straight away.  It was such an exciting and moving moment, we got together with some friends and producing songs from Andrew’s arrangements.  I don’t think we sat down and said let’s call this band Lovelite, it just came into being.  That was eight years ago and we are still going today.”

I:Why did you call the band Lovelite?

JP:“It came from the book of Ephesians where the passage talks about you were once darkness, but now you are light ….. And walk in love. We had to rearrange and change the spelling in order to come out up with Lovelite.

I:Did your popularity grow organically with all the immense support at college?

JP :“It started off as fun.  However there was a time when we shifted with more intention. We used to get together once a week and just play songs. Our keyboard player had a tiny one bedroom apartment.  We set up everything in there including all the Amps and drums; he nearly got kicked out. When we started out we were playing people living rooms then we went onto performing in Church’s.  Now we are more focused and still very happy at what it is becoming.”

I: Andrew Polfer from the band Lovelite is my guest today, we at Cross Rhythms have been playing “Hearts Start Beating” quite a lot.  I would like to know about the song writing process within the band itself.  Because of you and your wife Jen the whole collaboration started before you were married because you were writing songs together.

AP: “Often at times when we were working on a song I would have a melodic idea, the chord structure and just the general flow of the song. Jen often works as an editor and helps bring my thoughts to a much stronger point where it is clearer to every listener and not just me.  So she has been very helpful in making songs with the ability for all to hear and the lyrics easier to grasp.”

I:So tell me about the process of ’Hearts Start Beating’.

AP:”We have been staying at a camp for the past two years so this was directed towards high-schools. We really just wanted an energetic song that was a collaboration of what God has done and that amazing idea was around the death of Christ which brings us to life and outside the church that very interesting idea doesn’tmake a lot of sense. One of the best truths of our faith is that sacrifice brought us to a point where we can celebrate and where we can have freedom.”

I:So is this a big song for you? Is it a significant song out of all the songs you have written?

AP:”It seems to be catching on and it doing well as far as gaining listeners. It is a lot of fun to play inside the church when we lead it in our worship serviced. The band love playing it and love singing it within the Church.”

I:What is the future like for Lovelite? What do you want to try and achieve next?

AP: “The immediate future is we have a baby on the way in about a month and a half, so we’re excited for that and excited to see where the next stages lead for us in that area.  We have some new songs which we are working on and finally, we thank you for playing our song.”

I:Why use Euro-pop as a style, that’s not really the normal way making working music, is it?

AP:“For me there is something emotional and nostalgic about that style.  I am a child of the 80s.  I like John Huhges films like ’Sixteen Candles’ and the ’Breakfast Club’ were an influence to me as a child.  I liked bands from the UK like ’Tears for Fears’, ‘Elbow’ and ‘Doves’.  These bands speak to me more from an artistic point of view rather that the stuff here in the USA.  It has always excited me and I connected to it emotionally just like a lover of music would be.  This music I connect with is based upon love and hope and not necessarily in the eternal form.  . I thought that it would be an incredible thing to marry those emotive and dynamic musical styles and to bring it to an internal mind set.”

I:But isn’t there a danger that if you are to create worship music like this that the music you are creating is too creative for that scene for you to succeed in that scene because it is too good in that scene.

AP:“Thank you! Thanks very kind.  Hopefully our music is from the too-good stand `point.”

I:When it comes to style of music there is a lot of worship music out there which is pretty banal and generic.

AP:”Benign worship music can often create broad strokes as opposed to the finer points and details; I know that the generation that I am from desires us to bring a little more artistry and creativity into the church because we have a very creative God.”

I:How creative are you being?  You are obviously sucking up a lot of European influences and re-hashing them for worship. In the same way people have re-hashed U2 and Coldplay over the last 10 years or so.

AP:“You can water down lemonade so that it becomes a watery form of water and sugar. For analogy sake that source of mixture is the purest and strongest form.  Our hope is to take these influences that are often sub conscious and by putting them together this will make a unique expression.  Lovelite are not sitting there  in the studio saying here is a Tears For Fears or Shakers sound lets create it right here for the next song. When in the studio we say to ourselves, ‘where does this song need to go?  For us as artists, hopefully, it’s honest.  We do not want to be puppets or just mimicking what others have done before us.  However it is hard not to let those aspects show and shine because they have become a part of us.”

Cross Rhythms City Radio, broadcasting across Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme on 101.8FM

Tony Cummings interviews Calum MacDonald (The Band from Rockall)

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Transcribed by Jennifer Valentine-Miller

Cross Rhythms is impacting youth and the wider community for good through FM radio, training, contemporary Christian music and a globally influential website. Tony Cummings is the music editor of the magazine Cross Rhythms  via Cross Rhythms Radio, Stoke (101.8 FM)

I:             Calum,  I am sure you have been asked this question  before. Why have an  iProject, why do it?

Calum:   “This is something we wanted to do for many years; to do a solo.  Because of our work and run rate we’ve never got the time to do it.  So we took two years off last year. This was an ideal time.  Everyone was doing projects and things they wanted to do.   This was a good diversion from the band and to recharge batteries, and to fulfil and ambition for us.”

I:            There were things that The Band From Rockall was doing that would have been completely different with Runrig.

Calum:   “It is completely different.  For us it was a case because we are songwriters.  We always wanted to do a solo which reflected songs from early contents.  We didn’t want the album to be polished or even over produced or to give a massive sound.  We wanted it to be just about the songs.  We recorded this album more or less in home studios.  This was done to give it that home demo feel to retain the heart of the song.”

I:             You say it took a long time to put together, was that through the song writing process?

Calum:   “No, not really it was because we had the time off from the band and we were doing other things.  But we just took our time to do it over that duration.  We didn’t rush it.  It was a real labour of love. We really enjoyed it.”

I:              Can you tell me one or two inspirations behind the songs?

Calum:    “Well, the inspiration for the whole album musically and a lot of the songs too was to go back to a time when the Rockall idea came in.  Rockall is a rock in the Atlantic half way between Scotland and America.  America and the Western Isles is where we grew up.  It became a symbolism for us because growing up in the late ’50s and ‘60s in the Western Isles was a fantastic place to be because musically we grew up with a strong Gaelic language.  Rock n Roll was coming through the on the radio and the pop revolution was static.  Growing up with those things was really exciting, pop and rock was something we never heard before. So we wanted to retain on our album something of that freshness we heard for the first time.”

I:             I  was talking to a musician from the band Iona, they are a British band.  They were hugely inspired by a visit to Iona.  Most of the members of the band are Christians.  When they visited the place it really fed on their spirituality.

Calum:   “I have never actually visited Iona, to my shame. But I have heard many people say that about it.  But I get that feeling from many Islands and places.”

I:             Theologians say that natural theology is when you get close to beautiful places it does inspire you spiritually.

Calum:   “Absolutely, there is a song from album When I Walk Among The Hills that it is indeed all about that.”

I:               You have had years and years of touring with Runrig and that has effectively taken you around the world, has it not?

Calum:    “Yes, in recent years we have tended to stay in Europe and the UK.”

I:               It seems to me that your natural feelings are a long way from staying in Holiday Inns and living a Rock-n-Roll lifestyle?

Calum:   “Believe me when I say there is not much of a Rock-n-Roll lifestyle, and is Holiday Inn, well, that is just a by product of a necessary evil. Touring can be tedious and boring and really you could do without it at this stage. But the important thing is when you arrive somewhere for at least two hours every night it really is worth it and that is a fresher thought than it has always been.  Holiday Inn is not the natural habitat.”

I:             A professional musician once told me that there are only a small percentage of all the hundreds of concerts that he genuinely said he enjoyed.  The difficulty is after a while it becomes a job.  Is that a feeling you have been able to always resist?

Calum:   “It is a feeling that I have always enjoyed.  I think that the fact is it is our job. We never had the mentality that you arrived in the rock music business thinking we were there for our two albums and 5 minutes of fame. This was something we wanted to do with our lives. You cast it and work at it and like any other worker you go through phases. We are very grateful it is our job and it is a wonderful way to spend your working life.”

I:               It is pretty impressive for the band to keep going as you have. Has the success and popularity of the band sustained you some difficult time?

Calum:    “Yes, absolutely. It has been a long journey with a lot of ups and downs.  There have been times when it has been more of a struggle and you have to see these things through. Last year has been fantastic.  We’re not with a record label or with agents, we can relax more.  We are very much our own bosses.”

I:               That’s how you first started.

Calum:   “Yes, until things got a bit bigger and there was the desire to step up a gear and to step in the music industry in a bigger sense. We did that and experienced that for better and for worse.  Now we are back to some aspects of decision making, I don’t think we’ll give that up now.”

I:              You are perceived, rightly or wrongly, here in England as being a mouth piece for Scottish Nationalism. Is that a fair observation?

Calum:   “No, it is not a fair observation. There was a political tag to the band.  Donny Munroe our singer left the band 15 years ago to stand as a Labour representative.  He stood for Election twice and was unsuccessful. Peter was a member of the SNP and still is an MP. So that is where our aspect of politics came but not from a Party Political sense.”

I:              Your music has always found resonance with Christians because a spirituality comes through in some of your songs.  Some of your band members are Christians.

Calum:   “Yeah, the common denominator is in our content it is a sense of a spiritual one, I would definitely endorse that.”

I:                Presumably you go to church, what kind of church do you go to?

Calum:   “I live in an old barn and the church is right beside me, I have no option but to attend.  I have never been one to bother about denomination so this is my local church in a tiny village on the Island.”

I:             Presumably because of the community you live in you have people who have done little or no travelling outside their immediate environment. How do you perceive being a one time Rock n Roll musician in their midst?

Calum:    “I do not perceive myself in that way.  You just do a job and that’s it.  Unfortunately the area in which God has led you down has hundreds of musicians with egos as big as houses.”

I:              I am sure you have met quite a few of them?”

Calum:   Yes, you see human nature in its worse excessive.

I:              Presumably it is our faith in the Lord which has curbed the tendency in us?

Calum:   Yes.  I think in life when you confront stuff like that you see the imperfections of what human nature is and I suppose it stems from your desire to seek spiritual answers and to see another way.

I:              Getting back to the Band of Rockall, you have got some interesting on the project.  Can you tell me a bit about those?

Calum:   “To be honest most of the music was done with Ronnie who did all the guitars and keyboards. I did the vocals and drums.  Backing vocals was Sheila Laurenson from Denmark we made minimal use of our guest session singer.  We used a couple of jazz brass players in a saxophonist and trumpet player. “

I:             One of the themes coming from the album is a deep perfection for family.  You haven’t told me yet about your family.

Calum:   “The most difficult thing about this project was finding songs.  We wanted to write new songs but we had decades of stuff sitting on the shelves, which was difficult to tie to a CD of 10 to 12 songs.  Certain songs had personal attachments and influences from the wider family as well.  Yes, a lot of the songs have a sense of family.”

I:               What does the immediate family think of the album?

Calum:   “Oh, they love it.  We have filmed the process and it will be shown on the BBC in November.  It will be called ‘The Band From Rockall’. The film allowed us to broaden the perspective.”

I:              There are also instrumentals on the project?

Calum:    “Yes, the opening track is mainly instrumental influenced by the elevators of the electric guitar, Hank Marvin and Duane Eddy. It most definitely has that flava to it.”