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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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15 Responses to 893

  1. Jael says:

    you Have been hanging out at my bus stop haven’t you? Listening in on my conversations with my Maker?

  2. magicroundabout says:

    …wondeful people, often unnecessarily trodden down and beaten up by the world. People with potential, spirit, and remarkable strength and resiliency. People who are generous and kind. Yes, they deserve so much better and they put me to shame.

  3. Laura says:

    My experience exactly

  4. Forrest says:

    from God’s point of view everywhere is full of people who matter.

    come to think of it, haven’t ever heard him give the name of anyone who doesn’t.

  5. Mark says:

    When did I lose sight of this basis truth?

  6. chris says:

    I grew up on one… and yes, I do. But when you leave the council estate it’s amazing how quickly you forget.

    I find myself on that same hill now and with a choice to stay there with my revelation, or go down there into the council estate and do something about it.

  7. No! Please don’t get all snotty and patronising about ‘council estates’. Enough.

    I’ve not commented on this series of cartoons because I find most of the themes too stereotyped for belief and get too angry about the crap image that youth work gets from this type of patronising evangelicalism.
    But the council estate thing is a comment too far. Yes I grew up on one, I’m still living on one, and only recently slapped down an idiot who was telling us all how he was going ‘to bring God onto the estate’. He wasn’t very happy when I suggested that might upset the one already present. Live and minister where you like, but please don’t do martyr or missionary.

  8. Laura says:


    I can understand the “don’t try to bring God where he already is” plea in your comment. What I do feel compelled to point out however, is that no one on the thread, nor the cartoon itself is saying that. You’ve imposed that understanding on the cartoon and then got upset at others even though they weren’t saying that.
    I do it too, I’m sure we all do when we look at an image. It’s part of what makes this blog interesting.

    For me this cartoon is a visual representation of what I’ve been experiencing over the last year and 1/2 in my own neighborhood, city and in 2 other countries I’ve visited. It’s more about an attitude of “people matter” than one about where those people are that matters.

    I think this cartoon could just as well have said “Since meeting God, the board room looks different. It’s full of people who matter”
    It would be just as true.

  9. I am as capable of reading into things as much as anyone else Laura and have frequently put my foot in my mouth on numerous occasions. I’m fresh out of hospital and feeling angry about all sorts of things so I apoogise if you find my comment unjust.

    It could just as easily be ‘the boad room’, ‘the kitchen’, ‘the country’ my point is that it frequently isn’t. If it is the case that ‘people matter’ why is the example not one of these, other than the perjorative use of ‘council estate’?

  10. jonbirch says:

    hey there, themethatisme… sounds like you’ve had an ordeal… i hope you’re doing okay.
    re. the cartoon (recent cartoons)… these are illustrations from a book. this, as the rest, is part of a person’s story. on meeting god, he experienced a different feeling towards the council estate he lived in. so it is a specific illustration to it’s context and i completely relate to your line about the ‘council estate’ seeming pejorative out of that context. very interesting what happens to the picture in a different setting. so, you are right. it probably applies to other cartoons in this series too. hmmm.

    laura’s comment is how the cartoon was meant to be read, although i see how the image also reads the way you say. a good lesson for me.
    rest assured, i haven’t changed… i hope. i feel uncomfortable with many of the same things you do, i think… but hope i’m able to learn a lesson.

    thanks for being honest in your response. it’s helpful.

  11. Learning is the only reason Jon, it’s what keeps me going… that and the NHS which is simply the most indisputable evidence for the existence of God.

  12. Pat says:

    themethatisme: I’m a council estate kid too :-)

    I like what you said about the NHS. Some years ago, a Consultant aquaintance described the NHS to me as ‘an instrument of God’s grace’ – which I found a really interesting way of thinking about it.

    Hope you’re soon recovered and back to full health.

  13. Dave says:

    Dear themethatisme – quick comment from ‘the author’ – I get your reacton to the cartoon completely!! and agree with your comments and sentiment totally.

    Seen out of the context of the book there is a risk that the cartoons convey things that neither Jon nor I intended… I guess that may sound like a cheap plea to buy a copy of the book… sorry!! Any way – I still live on the edge of the estate (50 years now) in a private house (!!!) and you will be glad to know that I believe God was here long before I got here and that he will be here long after I am gone!! My ‘take’ on the cartoon is that my conversion changed my perspective and I decided to join in with what God was already up to!

    Do hope your convalescence is going well

    Dave :)

  14. Hello Dave, part of my current frustrations is that just a few short years ago I would probably have been given a copy of your book to comment on. We have met previously, albeit briefly although wouldn’t expect you to remember. One brief redundancy, diagnosis with a couple of chronic diseases and its like 20 years of youth work experience doesn’t matter to anyone anymore outside of my local community so I am very defensive of it at the moment.

  15. Dave says:

    Would say ‘I understand’ but sounds too trite!

    If you can e-mail me your address(get mine via FYT web site contact details) bI would love to send you a copy of the book … hopefully to help with convalescence – on FYT of course … but don’t tell any one!! shalom – Dave :)

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