Saturday, December 17, 2005

Wishing you a happy


January 2007
3 MADRID: Asociación de Educadores Evangélicos de Madrid - Christmas dinner.
9-19 CASTELLDEFELS (Barcelona): Lecturing on 'Children's Ministry' at IBSTE (Spanish Bible Institute & Theological Seminary).
13 CASTELLDEFELS (Barcelona): Godly Play Introduction Day, in partnership with IBSTE.

February 2007
3 BARAKALDO (Vizcaya): Godly Play Workshop ('Parables'), in partnership with the Barakaldo Evangelical Church.
9-10 BARCELONA: National Committee & Council meetings, Unión Bíblica (Scripture Union in Spain).
16-18 LOS NEGRALES (Madrid): 'Working with Children Today' - weekend residential training for children's workers & Sunday school teachers, in partnership with Asociación de Educadores Evangélicos de Madrid (Madrid Evangelical Educators' Association).

March 2007
17 SALOU (Tarragona): Godly Play Workshop ('Liturgical Action'), in partnership with the Salou Protestant Church.
24 MADRID: Asociación de Educadores Evangélicos - AGM.
25- 1 April ENGLAND & WALES: Holiday & preaching.

April 2007
1 SOUTH HARROW (England): Preaching & Godly Play at Roxeth Green Free Evangelical Church. Palm Sunday... and April Fools' Day!

May 2007
12 EL ESCORIAL (Madrid): Asociación de Educadores Evangélicos - 'Christian Educators' Day'.

June 2007
1-3 LOS NEGRALES (Madrid): 'Working with Children Today' - weekend residential training for children's workers & Sunday school teachers, in partnership with Asociación de Educadores Evangélicos de Madrid (Madrid Evangelical Educators' Association). Coincides with the World Weekend of Prayer for Children at Risk (Viva Network).

September 2007
25-28 LOS NEGRALES (Madrid): Meetings with the planning group for the 2008 Godly Play European Conference.
28-30 LOS NEGRALES (Madrid): Godly Play Workshop - weekend residential training for children's workers & Sunday school teachers, in partnership with Asociación de Educadores Evangélicos de Madrid (Madrid Evangelical Educators' Association).

September 2008
19-22 LOS NEGRALES (Madrid): Godly Play European Conference.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

UK Visit: Family Time

Our recent visit to the UK was also a time to spend with our daughter, Lorna, and her family. They have recently moved to Thatcham, near Newbury, in Berkshire, so Cilla and I obviously made the most of the chance to stay at their new home.

We also took advantage of the November sales to bring early Christmas (and birthday!) presents to the girls - a couple of bikes. Our granddaughters were clearly delighted by these gifts and were soon riding off on them.

Here are Cilla, Lorna and little Raúl in a picturesque spot in Newbury.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

UK Visit: Godly Play at Roxeth Green Free Church

I have just completed an 18-day visit to the UK (3-21 November). Cilla was able to be with me for the first 10 days, but then had to return to Madrid to resume her work as an English teacher. One of the aims of the trip was to spend time at our 'home' church, Roxeth Green Free Church, in South Harrow (north-west London).

Cilla and I were based at the Roxeth 'manse' (church house), where new core leadership team members, David and Caroline Herbert, live. It was a special joy to get to know David and Caroline - and their hospitality - during our stay with them.

David & Caroline Herbert at a meal out

There were plenty of opportunities to meet new members of the congregation and to renew our friendship with older ones: by sharing meal times, attending and participating in cell groups, mums & toddlers, ladies' meetings...

...children's & youth groups, etc., as well as the more formal invitations to preach and to tell Godly Play stories.

Godly Play was new to Roxeth Green Free Church, and this imaginative approach to being with children and telling Bible stories was clearly the latest development in my own ministry since my last visit to the UK. So, I took advantage of quite a few opportunities to tell Godly Play parables and sacred stories to different church groups: children, teenagers, adults, and all-age groups... first, because the stories are wonderful in themselves, and, second, so that different members of this local congregation could get to know the method and discover why it has lately become important in my work in Spain.

An all-age Godly Play morning at Roxeth Green Free Church

Many of the Godly Play materials were kindly made available to me by the Church of England London Diocesan Children's Advisor, Mary Hawes. I have known Mary for a number of years, as she used to be a Scripture Union children's worker. But it has been in the last couple of years, since my involvement with Godly Play, that we have maintained fairly regular communication. It was good to spend a short time with Mary at London Diocesan House when I went to pick up and later return the Godly Play materials.

Mary Hawes at her office in London Diocesan House

Now, I wonder if Roxeth Green Free Church will itself in time use Godly Play in its own ministry with children. There was certainly great interest in this approach from most of the participants in the Godly Play sessions I was able to lead - especially from parents and Sunday School teachers. At the moment, this local church is facing certain problems with recruitment of leaders to help in its children's work. Perhaps it will be felt that a thorough evaluation of this vital area of ministry is long overdue in the church... and it may be that Godly Play is seen as a way forward. If 'Roxeth' does decide to take it up, it will be one of the first churches in the UK outside the Anglican and Methodist denominations to do so.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Agenda October, November & December

I'll be involved in the following activities over the next three months.

21-22 Madrid: Godly Play workshops ('Liturgical Action': Advent), in partnership with Mountainview International Church. Sessions in English.
29 Madrid: Godly Play workshops ('Liturgical Action': Advent), in partnership with 'El Shaddai' Evangelical Church. Sessions in Spanish.

3-21 London: Visit to UK which will focus mainly on our 'home' church (Roxeth Green Free Evangelical Church, South Harrow) and visits to our daughter, Lorna, and family, who have recently moved house to Thatcham (near Reading).
4-5 Thatcham: Family time.
6 Roxeth: Welcome from the church & Godly Play combined event for 3-11 year olds.
7 London: Morning - meeting with Mary Hawes, the Anglican Children's Adviser for the London Diocesis. Mary used to be a Scripture Union children's worker and is now deeply involved with Godly Play as an accredited teacher and a presenter of the method.
Evening - Meal with the Roxeth Leadership Team.
8 Roxeth: Afternoon - Godly Play at an afternoon cell group.
Evening - Meal with the Roxeth Missionary Action Group (MAG).
9 Roxeth: Evening - Godly Play at a joint cell meeting.
10-11 Thatcham: Family time.
12 Roxeth: All-age Godly Play event.
13 Roxeth: Preaching at morning service.
Afternoon - Cilla leaves for Spain.
15 Rayners Lane: Morning - event at the Harvest charity shop.
London: Afternoon - Visit to the London Diocesan House.
16 Roxeth: Evening - Cell groups.
17 Roxeth: Thursday Group.
18 Roxeth: Evening - 'God slot' at the Xtreme youth group.
20 Roxeth: Morning - Godly Play at the JCB group (12-18 years).
21 Afternoon - Return to Spain.
24-27 Madrid: Attendance at I Protestant Congress.

3 Zaragoza: Godly Play presentations.

Friday, August 19, 2005

'Holidays' in Galicia

This summer, Cilla and I spent a working holiday in Galicia, northwest Spain. We were helping our son, John Paul, and his family move house and begin their preparations for establishing a rural guest house.

We hired a truck to take personal belongings and new furniture. Here are John Paul and his wife, Mari Angeles, unloading stuff.

While John Paul and Mari Angeles worked inside the house, laying floors and getting the guest bedrooms ready...

I spent most of my time outside, attempting to drive back the jungle and working to restore the original gardens.

Cilla joined us later. She had a reduced number of English classes which she was able to continue imparting by internet and telephone tuition from her new location in Galicia.

As the final results reveal, the effort was well worth it. However, this is just the first stage of the 'rural hotel' project. Although, the house is already open to guests, further stages include building an extension to the main building so that accommodation for customers can be increased from four double bedrooms to six, each with en suite bathrooms. So... there are likely to be more 'holidays' in Galicia in the near future! If you are interested in using these facitilies for your own holiday in Spain (or you would like to come and help!!!), please follow this link for further information: Hotel Rural Andanzas.

By the way, there was time to get away from all the work and relax! Here we are visiting Finisterre (Spain's 'Land's End').

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Agenda July, August & Semptember

I'll be involved in the following activities over the next three months.

2 Madrid: Godly Play introduction day, in partnership with St. George's Anglican Church. Sessions in both English & Spanish.
15, 16 El Escorial (Madrid): Summer seminar: Children's spirituality and how to develop it. I'll be taking one of the talks and offering the participants a full introduction to Godly Play. Organized by: SEUT (United Evangelical Seminary of Theology), Asociación de Educadores Evangélicos de Madrid (Madrid Association of Evangelical Educators), y Unión Bíblica (Scripture Union in Spain).


3 Madrid: Godly Play workshop (Parables), in partnership with Iglesia Catedral El Redentor (Spanish Anglican Church).
17 Madrid: Godly Play workshop (Parables), in partnership with St. George's Anglican Church.
23-25 La Moraleja (Madrid): Training weekend for children's workers, Sunday School teachers, etc, in partnership with Asociación de Educadores Evangélicos de Madrid (Madrid Association of Evangelical Educators).

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

EurECA Conference

Last week, from Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th May, I attended the annual EurECA (European Educators' Christian Association) conference, which took place this year at Scripture Union's Le Rimlishof centre, in the Alsace region of France. There were about 60 educators present, from many countries in Europe. Most of them were teachers in either state schools or private Christian schools. A few, like me, work in non-formal education. I was representing the Asociación de Educadores Evangélicos de Madrid, who are members of EurECA. The conference theme was 'Love in the Curriculum'.

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A view of the nearest village to the conference centre, Buhl, and the beautiful surrounding region of Alsace.
Apart from the programmed sessions at the conference, time was spent profitably between sessions just getting to know other European educators. It was especially interesting to meet Isabel Pinto Pinheiro from Portugal. Isabel is the chair of an association which groups together about 150 Evangelical Protestant RE teachers who work in state schools in Portugal.

I was asked to present Godly Play during one of the optional afternoon sessions. About 20 people attended the presentation, representing a good number of countries, and several of them asked for further information about the method.

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David with Isabel Pinto Pinheiro, from Portugal.

BBC radio programme on Godly Play

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If you wish to learn a little more about what I am up to in Spain regarding Godly Play presentations and training, a five-minute BBC programme about the method in the UK is available online. The programme was broadcast last Sunday 8th May on Radio4's Sunday magazine. Click here for a direct link to the programme. You will need to have RealPlayer installed.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Agenda April - June 2005

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Here's my agenda for the coming months.

2 - Madrid ('El Shaddai' Evangelical Church): Godly Play workshop for teachers & children's workers.
3 - Madrid ('El Shaddai' Evangelical Church): Godly Play class with Sunday School children.
8 - Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid): Rainbows of Hope AOG.
9 - Madrid (Aluche Evangelical Church): Godly Play presentation.
16 - Jaén: Godly Play presentation.
17 - Jaén: Preaching at Jaén Baptist church.
18 - Madrid: Association of Christian Educators' board meeting.
23 - Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid): Godly Play workshop for teachers & children's workers, at Rainbows of Hope community centre.
24 - Madrid ('El Shaddai' Evangelical Church): Godly Play children's class.

5-8 - France (Le Rimlishof centre): EurECA (European Educators Christian Association) conference and general assembly.
16-18 - Toral de los Guzmanes (León): Godly Play stories at a Christian retreat for elderly citizens.
20, 21 - Las Matas (Madrid): Godly Play workshop for teachers & children's workers, at Mountainview International Church.
22 - Madrid ('El Shaddai' Evangelical Church): Godly Play children's class.

- La Moraleja (Madrid): Training weekend for Sunday school teachers and children's workers.
12 - Madrid ('El Shaddai' Evangelical Church): Godly Play children's class.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Godly Play... again!

Mountainview International Church is one of the Christian communities in Madrid who are just embarking on the adventure of using Godly Play with their children. I am involved with them in this initial stage by providing practical training in Godly Play techniques, as well as helping them think through the underlying philosophy of the method and advising them about the materials they need to obtain. You can read a short illustrated report of the beginnings of this community's experience of Godly Play in the latest newsletter from two of the leaders at Mountainview.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Godly Play training

For the last ten months or so, David has been involved in leading introductory days and training sessions in the Godly Play method of working with children. Here is a link to a website which shows some of the results of a recent workshop organized for the Mountainview International Church leaders and members in Madrid.

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Seppo, one of the participants in the workshop, told the parable of the Good Shepherd to the rest of the group

Here is a comment from one of the leaders of Mountainview Church:
Hi David, I just wanted to say thanks again for your great help in training us in the parables and helping us to create the materials. Everyone is once again very, very excited about implementing Godly Play in our church. I think Seppo has a done a story for the kids (and adults) at every Bible study meeting since that day. We are hoping to start at our services this month. Thanks so much! Keep up the good work. ~April
You can find many more pictures of Godly Play presentations and workshops at the Godly Play Spain blog.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Car crash!

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Last Saturday afternoon, my son, John Paul, and his family (Mari Angeles, Andrea, Zaret and Daniel) were travelling by car to Galicia, the north-west region of Spain. They were planning to spend a week redecorating their new house. Near the town of Santiago de Compostela, they were involved in a near-fatal car accident. While overtaking another vehicle on a bend on the motorway at 120 km/hour (70 mph), they suddenly found themselves approaching a third vehicle which had just been abandoned by its driver and passengers... and was lying right across the fast lane! It was impossible to avoid a full frontal collision. John Paul's car is now a complete write-off (cf. photo above). However, thankfully, both he and the rest of the family managed to survive the accident with only minor cuts and bruises. Mari Angeles was the worst affected with blows to her chest and legs, mainly through the impact of the air-bag, and the children also had grazes from the seat-belts. None of the occupants of the other vehicles suffered casualties. Finally, all the witnesses, police officers, hospital staff and garage mechanics, who were either at the accident scene itself or saw the subsequent state of the vehicle, agreed that it had been a sheer "miracle" that the whole family had not been killed outright!
I was able to visit John Paul and his family in Galicia the day after the accident and I spent a few days with them at their new house. Eventually I left my own car with them and returned by air to Madrid, as they are at a loss without transport in that rural setting.

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There was also the opportunity to share some Godly Play parables with the children. The one about the Good Shepherd who sometimes leads his sheep through 'dark, dangerous places' seemed particularly relevant. Zaret's drawing above of the wolf pouncing on a very frightened sheep was her way of responding to the parable. "I wonder if that poor sheep got killed?", I asked her. "No", she replied. "The Good Shepherd was able to save her in the nick of time!"

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Andrea's drawing was much more explicit of the actual danger ('peligro') they had just experienced as a family: a before ('antes') and after ('después') view of the car crash. The 'dangerous places' in the Godly Play parable are represented by black shapes, while the 'good pastures' are depicted by green felt. Note the black and green lines in Andrea's picture above. Godly Play is such a rich and wonderful way of helping children work through existential issues and important personal experiences.

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John Paul and family plan to turn the new property into a rural guest-house. In the photo above, they are standing in front of the main building. There are also stables and grassy land around. It is in a beautiful part of Galicia, between Santiago and Finisterre ('Lands End').

This picture was taken a few days after the accident at an idyllic spot just 5 or 10 minutes away from their new house. Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 03, 2005


I'd like to introduce to you the newest member of the Pritchard clan. Cilla and I are proud to announce the birth of our 9th grandchild. Claudia came into the world this morning, 3rd February 2005, weighing 3kg 200gr. At this rate, we grandparents should be well into double figures (i.e. regarding the number of our grandchildren) by the the time we reach 60!

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Claudia... welcome to the world!

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Baby and Mum (our daughter, Miriam) are doing just fine!