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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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31 Responses to 577

  1. i know how he feels.

  2. doctor ruth says:

    It’s obviously not CofE – the buildings are always far too cold to be stifling!

  3. JF says:

    or “Kenny Rogers finds God in nature”

  4. During August, instead of meeting in our usual venue, our church organises outside activities such as barbeques and walks. It’s good to get out.

  5. I often think about this. There are times during Mass when the presence of God is almost tangible, and other times when His absence is so blatantly obvious that it is depressing. So I guess somedays He is busy elsewhere. Or there were just one too many mispronunciations in the Old Testament reading. Or the candles were slightly to the left.

  6. jonbirch says:

    it is indeed ‘good to get out’ david. :-)

    you’re not wrong doctor ruth… the times i’ve sat through a service only to be rendered incapable of movement by the end due to my muscles having completely seized up with the cold. :-( i guess it’s a good way to keep people in church! :-)

    christine… me too. :-(

    jf… haha! kenny rogers in a kaftan! :-)

  7. jonbirch says:

    many times i have been in church… the sun was shining outside… i left the church to be outside… i live in england and find it hard to waste the good weather. give me a garden any day.

  8. jonbirch says:

    hi christopher… i never really trust my own interpretation of whether god was in a meeting or not. all i know is that sometimes i can’t stand it… sometimes i find it beautiful.

  9. andy amoss says:

    Hi Jon,
    Been waiting to leave this message for a while – I would have this cartoon on a t-shirt!
    You should do that, produce ASBO t-shirts of most demanded cartoons!

  10. Gesundheit! I’ve just put a brilliant poem about God by Nicola Slee on the blog — whilst the ecclesiastical topiarists have fun snip snipping, God goes for a walk, gently whistling… ! Goes well with this picture, anyway

  11. jonbirch says:

    it is indeed a good poem bishop alan. beautiful and sad.

  12. clare says:

    I always loved going to the orthodox church in Bath and one of the reasons was the enormous plain glass window beyond the iconostasis through which I could see the blue sky and trees…

  13. jonbirch says:

    hi darling… i’m afraid i had to go outside into the garden… but the sound of the choir coming through that window was amazing. :-)

  14. janetp says:

    Clare & Jon: I guess that just illustrates that stone (or indeed any other) walls are no barrier to God :)

    I’m off for a much-needed break tomorrow. Will try to keep up with ASBO, but if not, I’ll see you all in a week’s time. :)

  15. Johanna says:

    I have always loved the story of the person leading an assembly on God in nature on a brilliant sunny day and becoming increasingly exasperated at pupils daydreaming and staring out the window. Finally they exploded “When I am talking about the beauty of God’s creation you do not look out the window – you look at me”
    (I love it especially because of the truth that we are all, regardless of our shape and size, beatiful examples of God’s creation)

  16. coldfire says:

    that is an awesome comic.

  17. Pat says:

    Jon – love the cartoon.
    Clare, Johanna, there’s also a wonderful poem by the welsh priest-poet Euros Bowen about this. In it,he recalls a celebration of the Eucharist in a chapel in Anglesey, where a glass window behind the altar, giving views over the Menai Straits to Snowden, allows a very visible connection between the Eucharist and a sacramentally charged creation:


    The reredos was not
    An ecclesiastical adornment
    Of symbols
    But plain glass
    With the danger
    Of distracting the celebrant
    The properties of the communion table

    In the translucence
    The green earth
    Budded in the morning view
    The river was in bloom
    The air a joyous flight
    And the sunshine
    Set the clouds ablaze

    And I noticed
    The priest’s eyes
    As it were unconsciously
    Placing his hand
    On these gifts
    As though these
    The bread and wine

    Euros Bowen

  18. janetp says:

    Wonderful poem, Pat. Thanks for sharing it.

  19. subo says:

    how wierd to find this cartoon after feeling challenged to take a break from getting stuck in church tooooooo much

    I despise dualism, and yet it creeps in, I find church stuff sapping a huge amount of energy – now I’m hearing God saying ‘what are you doing?’, ‘there’s stuff to get stuck into and your off to church again!’

  20. soniamain says:

    love this one Jon, nearly always more likely to experience God outside, very rarely in a church building. Def caught glimpses while in cornwall this week on wind swept beaches!

  21. jonbirch says:

    brrrrrrrr… ‘windswept beaches’… s s sounds c c cold… :-?

  22. Ros says:

    Didn’t realise that God looks like Gandalf!

  23. libelula says:

    Actually, I think he is seldom inside there. The people inside don’t want him there you see.

  24. ED... says:

    I went outside the church to get a heat today. I’m not saying it was cold but there were shivering polar bears in the next pew…

  25. jonbirch says:

    hi ros… i don’t suppose god does look much like gandalf. i’m afraid i’ve drawn a very poor stereotype god handed down to me from the likes of michelangelo. :-) next time i’ll do god as a female.

  26. Robb says:


    Be gone from me foul beast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Pingback: Stifling God | Seven whole days

  28. subo says:

    he does look like Gandalf, but he’s so comfortable in the garden, I love those tales of the special bond between St Columba and his horse.

  29. We are a prison for him, often.

  30. jonbirch says:

    aren’t we just.

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