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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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54 Responses to 469

  1. anita says:

    Honest to blog, this looks like the final night at every church youth camp I went to throughout my adolescence.

  2. becky says:

    Were they slain in the spirit or bored to death?

  3. Erik says:


    you be the judge ;)

  4. shelly says:

    Maybe they were just asleep? ;)

    But where are the little cloth thingies to cover the womens’ legs? (I don’t if churches in England do that sort of thing; but the ones I’ve been to Stateside do.)

  5. ben says:

    did the 2 bald guys land on there faces? i cant tell

  6. dadube says:

    Lol – I look at this one and think its a scene from ‘Shaun of the Dead’. I love the idea of Simon Clegg helping the vicar get rid of all the zombie parishoners :)

  7. Laura says:

    Are they levitating???

  8. unable to take the back-biting and vying for position on the PCC, the vicar prayed for a miracle?

  9. I am used to this kind of thing but the Church I attend has never seen it before, last week a Girl did this very thing ( I am not sure what the proper term is)and the FIRST aider said shall I call an ambulance!

  10. Joe says:

    This reminds me of one of the mantras often spouted during ‘Toronto': ‘It’s not about the manifestations!’

    Of course it isn’t ^^

  11. I think that you might like this article on this subject by a friend of mine: http://www.deemat.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/sogcatchmen.htm

  12. Robb says:

    Can’t recall ever seeing anyone in a dog collar do this….

  13. Jonathan says:

    13 – it’s happened, Toronto blessing stuff in the CofE in the mid/late 90’s.

    Jon, i love this. I wonder if he’s happy because he didn’t have to preach..?

    But then, as I look again, it reminds me a bit of the Heaven’s Gate folks, scary.

  14. Is that Heavens Gates Hells Flames?

  15. Robb says:

    I obviously don’t get out enough. Was Toronto Anglican?

    I guess I spend too much time in the North of England. The idea of an Anglican doing that up here is hillarious!!

    Mid/late 90’s is when I was just starting to follow JC. I guess I missed it. I also missed out on Kendrick. Praise Jesus! Hallelujah!!

    Better go and search the www for toronto.

  16. sarah says:

    Jesus, can you please STOP chasing after God’s gifts and putting them higher than the giver?

    Want them yes, brilliant, don’t make them God though. Pretty soon you’ll be God yourself.

  17. Jonathan says:

    Robb, I’m talking Lancaster mate, thet’s pretty north….

    Missing Kendrick – now THAT’S a blessing!

  18. Robb says:

    Sorry, my mistake. I thought you were talking about Toronto.

    Lancaster? Lacaster Ohio? Or do you mean those weirdos on the other side of the hill? All sorts of strange stuff happens over there. That’s why we write “here be dragons” on the map.

    I have to admit I don’t do that side of the hill. I have been in anglican churches throughout the north east and yorkshire and haven’t come across it. That could also be down to the time factor. Only been around the church for 11 years.

    Missing Kendrick – now THAT’S a blessing!

    It is the yorkshire blessing. Come to me my people!! Come and experience the world of no kendrick. It is a transferable blessing that you can take back to your home church and radically change the worship you experience in that place*.

    *Yes I did go to the TACF website.

  19. An outbreak of the TB infection occurred in Sheffield (Yorkshire, Old England (“very ‘ard times”)) in the mid-nineties.

    The large, reasonably influential Anglican/Baptist L.E.P we were attending even funded some of our ministers on jollies over the the Airport church in Toronto (Canada) to expose themselves to the source.

    The way the leadership promoted/handled partially informed our decision to leave for a smaller, middle-of-the-road CofE congregation round the corner from us.

    Some seemed to be genuinely blessed by the whole thing, but care for those un-affected was somewhat lacking.

  20. Robb says:

    I exposed myself to the source once. I was cautioned and bound over.

    I thought we inoculated people against TB infection.

    Sheffield doesn’t really count. There are three ridings of York, North, East and West :P . Modern messing to win elections doesn’t really count. ;) :lol:

    I went down south once to see Slash’s Snakepit at some club in Sheffield.

    I know very little about Sheffield. I met a charismatic anglican vicar who used to be in Sheffield as a curate and then vicar. He came from a charismatic anglican church there. Is that the big church in Sheffield the one with the NOS? he didn’t strike me as being a TB survivor.

    Like I say, I wasn’t in church until ’98 and then I was a novice.

  21. janetp says:

    Most of the churches I know couldn’t have done this – there are too many pews/chairs …. ;0)

  22. John(spurgeons) says:

    It’s sad that some pastor’s idea of success is giving people an emotional high or sending them into an altered state of consciousness thru repetitious music so that they ‘fall’ over. Success is no longer about spiritual growth but numerics and theatrics. Even those who say it’s spiritual growth mean something like they tithe more etc. Nonsense! Great blog and cartoon Jon.

  23. jonbirch says:

    robb… you should have been given an asbo! :-)

    thank you john :-) … are you a spurgeons college personage?

    graham kendrick… nice bloke though. or at least he seemed it. humble.

    jonathan (beardie)… “care for those un-affected was somewhat lacking.” often the way it seems. :-(

    janetp… it’s a good reason to re-install the pews if you ask me! :-)

    botticelliwoman…”unable to take the back-biting and vying for position on the PCC, the vicar prayed for a miracle?”
    slaying the pcc… there’s a radical idea. :-)

    i think it’s still mainly referred to as ‘slaying in the spirit’ dennis.

  24. Joe says:

    I’ve just heard from a friend that a ‘move of the Holy Spirit’ has started at a church in Watford.

    I have no idea whether this is a ‘transfer’ from Lakeland, Florida, or not. If it is, then considering the comments regarding Dudley, I guess it could be Toronto all over again…

    Still, think of the all money saved on the airfare ;-)

  25. John(spurgeons) says:

    I am a first year Spurgeon’s student for my sins sir!

  26. jonbirch says:

    david derbyshire. thanks for the link. :-) a very thoughtful and well written article. only takes a couple of minutes and well worth the read.


  27. jonbirch says:

    my goodness john… what crimes you must have committed! :-) only joking. so, is the plan to be a bap min? my bro is a bap min.

  28. DrNick says:

    I’m not sure Yorkshire is 100% Kendrick free Robb, over in West Yorkshire we have one of Mr Kendrick’s guitarists in the worship band, along with a David Crowder look-a-like. Its quite amusing to tell people that David Crowder and Graham Kendrick led the worship!

  29. TyTe says:

    Your cartoon reminds me of a story…

    I was once leading a teen/youth group evening of worship and teaching in our little Anglican church hall. Half the kids were church kids and half the kids were street kids. During the closing worship, about six or seven of the kids fell down unconscious. No-one had touched them.

    I had heard of this sort of thing and after ruling out a gas leak, I was still pretty freaked out. a) I was leading the service/worship and I am an Anglican – certainly no hype, pressure or wierdness from me, and b) my experience of such things was that this was if anything, this was demonic – people being thrown to the floor, etc.

    Some of the kids who were out cold were not even church kids! The youth leader had to to assure me that it was okay and that ‘God was ministering to them’. I have to admit that I needed some convincing!

    The parents were arriving at the door and I was saying, “(cough) erm, someone’s just praying with your child at the moment”, and then I’d go back and shake them trying to get them to wake up! This would have been mid 1990s and TB time.

    I often wonder what it was all about. Soon after, the youth leader had an affair with another youth helper and she left the church. Her ministry collapsed and the kids dispersed. Such a shame. I wonder what those non-Christian kids make of it now?

  30. kim says:

    So helpful reading all your comments, aswell as a great cartoon – thanks. I went up to Dudley this week as I usually want to see things for myself. Quite bizarre, but the healings that took place certainly seemed genuine. Its just when it takes on a life of its own, outside of the Creator, that it gets dangerous perhaps?

  31. Dave says:

    wish they played skittles at my church!! dave ;)

  32. TyTy: Back in the early nineties when I was still living down south (Portsmouth, so properly dahn sarf Robb!) my boss (double glazing telesales no less) took us out to a Full Gospel Businessmens Fellowship revival meeting at the local Hilton super-motel.

    We all trooped down the front for getting “slain in the spirit”, that being why we were there and a couple of my (agnostic) colleagues went down-and-out for several minutes. One reported: “Poopsurb! Better than drugs!”

    No idea of the long term effects – I was really crap at cold-calling, so that summer job didn’t last all that long {8¬{)}

  33. Dave: you reckon they’ve been bowled over then? :P

  34. Carole says:

    I remember when the local church was wooing me and my hubbie. After our ‘Alpha sappa’ (Gumbelesque for alpha supper), a chap from the church, that I am very fond of, invited us back to his house for coffee and to meet his wife. She was somewhat taken by surprise by the arrival of unexpected visitors and hastily dragged her dressing gown over her already modest, good Christian woman wincyette nightie. Like a good Christian, the kettle had barely boiled when she launched into her testimony. She had been a non-Christian at a ‘Women aglow’ meeting. Gradually, as she told her story, I figured our that this was not a self-help group for menopausal women but a Christian women’s group. She regaled us with her experience of being slain in the Spirit. We discretely checked which exits were available to us, just in case we needed to vacate the premises at short notice. She was clearly the warm-up act for Holy Spirit Day (coming from the provinces, we can’t generally justify the expense of a weekend). She then went on to tell us how God had spoken to her when she was cooking the chips one evening and told her to leave her husband. Fortunately, said husband was able to convince her that it was unlikely that God would do this. Sweet woman, love her to bits, but ever so slightly whacky… :)

  35. sarah says:


  36. Dave says:

    Jonathan – well done – was ‘pinning’ my hopes on someone getting the joke! ;)

  37. 9 more frames and you’ve got a perfect game……..

  38. Carole says:

    Come on Dave, spare us the dodgy bowling puns! ;)

  39. drewman says:

    Hello all, I’m not sure what there is to contribute that has not already been said. I’ve been on the deck just twice – in one evening and was preparing to analyse what the obviously fake prayer chap was doing. I consciously planted my feet in a good balanced stance and then just as promptly came to – on my back- in a fuzzy haze that felt simply uba chilled and peaceful some time later. It felt like God had decided to poke me between the eyes and say ‘Analyse that’. That said was discussing this with some of the youth work today who told me that Derren ‘He used to be a christian’ Brown had done/replicated/whatever exactly this on some TV show or another.
    Taking a quote from John Wesley from the 1700’s after a meeting that the then mainstream church thought was simply weird and OTT (surely that does not happen anymore)
    “From this time on, I trust we shall all suffer God to do his own work in the way that pleaseth him” and I’m not even a methodist!

  40. Yeah Jon (25) but that whole term just makes me feel qweezy! I mean “Slain in the Spirit” it just sounds plain weird. Why not something simple and biblical like a Pentecost experience.

    Wiki says that “Slain” is described as a religious phenomenon which I guess is right but the word just makes me cringe.

  41. Dave says:

    sorry Carole – your rebuke just proves you are a good friend and ‘alley’ !! dave ;)

  42. John(spurgeons) says:

    I don’t really believe in formal ministry as it makes everyone else passive, just want to grow spiritually, see what bible colleges teach, maybe lecture in church and general history. How does your bro find the ministry?

  43. jonbirch says:

    he finds it hard work i think john. i have no doubt he’s good at it… he’s very conscientious and certainly is no fool. but i reckon it’s one of those impossible jobs to be honest. that last bit’s just my take on it.
    interesting that you’re choosing lecturing and history… two things he also does.

  44. jonbirch says:

    dave… if you don’t stop with the puns i shall go on ‘strike’! :-)

  45. sarah says:

    TyTe-sounds like God but your youth worker should have grown up not stayed immature.

    Partly our rationalistic culture doesn’t help us deal with stuff like this, when in fact it’s entirely normal, happened around Jesus all the time.

    Sas x

  46. James says:

    Yeah the problem is how people assess success. Is it going to start getting like hospitals with targets.

    Graham Kendrick played over eater (last year I think) for an event for all the local churches. I didn’t go but it turns out that a member of the youth group we have is his nephew.

  47. jonbirch says:

    does his nephew have a beard too?

  48. Robb says:

    The venerable one stayed at Dr Ruth’s house when she was growing up. It is her biggest claim to holy fame.

    I once sang with the drifters (sounds better than it was)…

  49. Carole says:

    I’ve often been known to sing with the Drifters, usually when I’m doing the housework… :)

  50. James says:

    no he doesn’t lol [have a beard]

  51. Robb says:

    Watch the video. Click donate.


  52. Pingback: Slaying « nathan the alien

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