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Kitchen Complete and Upcoming Screenings

Kitchen Complete and Upcoming Screenings

It’s taken nearly a year, but our new kitchen has finally been completed!

With our busy weekly schedule and limited funds, it’s been difficult getting this project completed, but I’m so glad we now have a functioning, modern kitchen installed in the Church that will be able to keep our Church functioning for decades to come. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the handful of volunteers that have pitched in over the course of the last year. Although we may well have a somewhat ageing population here in Ayl’s Ham, it turns out that we have no shortage of handymen!

The completion of the kitchen renovation has come just in time too, as this week we started our series of screenings of World War II films.

With Remembrance services just round the corner, I felt that it was a good time to bring together the congregation to watch some movies depicting the tough times that the people of Great Britain had to get through during the World Wars. There are very few people alive now who lived through World War I, but a great many of our congregation have memories of the Second World War. Although I was initially concerned about the reaction of some of these members’ response to this new series of programming, I’ve been really encouraged by the amount of tickets that we’ve sold and I’m greatly looking forward to seeing the pews fill up for a different kind of evening service.

In recent years, there have been a handful of movies released based around the events of World War II that have really helped shine a light on the great sacrifices that were made by so many during these difficult times and whilst some have accused these movies of potentially glorifying these events for financial gain, I believe that the intentions of the majority of these productions was pure. In the last year alone we’ve had three such movies that have attempted to depict the events of the Second World War without resorting to the cloying kind of heroism that was so common in the past.

We’ll be kicking off our series with Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge – a film that has been criticised for it’s excessive violence (much like his controversial Passion of the Christ) but commended for it’s depiction of a pacifist character, struggling with his faith in the midst of War.

The next few weeks will offer my congregation a chance to get out of the house and experience some new cinema, as well as to jog some old memories and pay tribute to the friends and family members that they lost during the Second World War. As we approach Remembrance, I’ll be collecting together the experiences of the audiences and bringing together our thoughts, with the aim of summarising the general sentiment of the community.

I hope to see many of you in the upcoming weeks!

Jeremy

The 3 Top Grossing Christian Movies You Should Avoid (and 3 Alternatives which will Reaffirm your Faith)

The 3 Top Grossing Christian Movies You Should Avoid (and 3 Alternatives which will Reaffirm your Faith)

the-passion-of-the-christAvoid: The Passion of the Christ (2004)

Grossing over $611m, Mel Gibson’s 2-hour depiction of the last days of Christ caused an absolute outrage when it was released. Accusations of anti-Semitism were abound, with Gibson’s own inflammatory comments not helping matters, still thousands of devote Christians flocked to cinemas to see what all the fuss was about.

Although famed critic Roger Ebert awarded it his highest score, the film was mostly savaged by the critics with major outlets labelling it as a ‘pornographic bloodbath’, likening it to a horror moving. Unless you’re willing to sit through scenes of extended violence and torture, avoid it at all costs.

Instead watch: The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

Scorsese’s underrated gem is often overlooked when Christian films are considered. With a human performance from Willem Defoe at its heart, there may still be a little gore but it’s balanced with solid cinematography and a well told story.


narniaAvoid: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (2005)

Disney’s effort to revive C. S. Lewis’ proto-Christian fantasy novels ultimately failed after the disappointing performance of the third installment in 2010. Hot on the heels of the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Christians were excited to see a CG-filled parable that could entertain as well as educate.

Grossing a whopping $745m, the film was well received by critics for its visual effects and its young performers. However, the subtext of spiritual redemption, which was subtle in the books, was treated callously by the screenwriters giving the film an overly preachy tone.

Nausicaa_ARS_setup_3Instead watch: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

The breakthrough Miyazaki fantasy that led to the formation of Studio Ghibli, Nausicaa is a sci-fi mash-up that captured the imaginations of children and adults alike upon its release. Its themes of War, Sacrifice and positive environmental message make it a must-watch movie with enough depth to not feel like its pandering to anyone.


Avoid: God’s Not Dead (2014)

god deadDespite being universally panned by every major critic, distributor Freestyle Releasing somehow managed to score the biggest box-office success of their 10-year tenure. God’s Not Dead took nearly $60m, taking pretty much all its money at home in America.

God’s Not Dead patronised the demographic it was targeting and alienated anyone else. A sequel made on the back of its success was released this year, to similar critical reception, however it didn’t resonate as well with America’s Christians – so don’t expect another!

Instead watch: Magnolia (1999)

If you’re looking for a film that artfully balances moral dilemmas, and the consequences of our actions, then Magnolia is right up your street. This 90s ensemble piece features a stellar cast, playing characters all linked through varying forms of personal tragedy. Start it up early, as it runs up to 3 hours long but prepared for a faith-affirming conclusion!Magnolia