Tag Archives: Sports

Luton Town wins 5-1! All smiles @ All Saints with St. Peter, Luton ~ CMS Link Visit with goals galore!


Collins bags a hat-trick as five star Luton destroy Plymouth” ~ “Plymouth Argyle thrashed 5-1 by rampant Luton Town after defensive shocker” ~ “Striker James Collins netted a hat-trick as Luton hammered Plymouth“…

Yes, it was all happening in Luton this past weekend, starting on Saturday afternoon as Luton Town Football Club ‘destroyed’, ‘hammered’ and ‘thrashed’ poor old Plymouth Argyle in League One, the third tier of the English Football League, by 5 goals to 1.  Five-One!  Incredible.  There were so many goals, it was impossible to get bored.  Never a dull moment in the whole match.  And as 4 of the goals came in the first half, and as we were sitting near that goal, wow, we had a great view.  It was all non-stop action.  What a game. What a day!  It all went Luton’s way.  And I was there to see it all, along with a huge crowd of 10,000+ others.  My first ever game of Professional Football too.  Yippee!  A fine start to my CMS Link Visit to All Saints with St. Peter, Luton, Beds – about 50 km NW of London in the Diocese of St. Albans.


All Saints Church is in Bury Park, Luton, and in the same parish is Kenilworth Road, the home ground of Luton Town FC.  The vicar of All Saints, Rev. David Kesterton, is also the chaplain to Luton Town FC ~ the team is nicknamed ‘The Hatters’.  He likes to go along to all the home games, where possible, and he kindly invited me to go with him this past Saturday.  YES please!


And so it was that I was there to witness the best result in the whole of League One this past Saturday, a huge win of 5-1.  Everyone told me afterwards that when Luton wins, the whole atmosphere of the town is changed, everyone is happy, smiling away.  It’s true, I know, I saw them all at the beetle drive on Saturday night and on Sunday at the church services at All Saints (see photo below) and then at St. Peter’s.  There was definitely a really positive feeling, having won the day before.  And not just won, it was a massive five-one!


Yes, the Saturday night beetle drive in the All Saints church hall was great.  It was in aid of the guides, who are planning a trip to Switzerland.  Most of the girls come from the Muslim community, and it was good to take part. The food was yummy and I learned how to play a fast-paced beetle game.  It was almost as fast as Luton Town plays football!  I met Nicholas, originally from Spain, who knew everything possible about Taiwan’s history. He even came to church on the Sunday to hear my sermon.  In fact quite a few people came forward to share their knowledge about Taiwan, I was most impressed.   These are some of my good friends!

On Sunday I spoke at the 9:30 am service at All Saints.  I have been linked with this parish for years and years; my previous visit to them was in January 2015 (see that blog post here), and if you compare the then-and-now photos, you’ll see that nobody seems to have changed at all ~ still all lovely and smiling away. These were taken at the Sunday service….

I also visited St. Peter’s Church to speak at their 11:15 am service, and later to attend their Godly Play / Messy Church event in the afternoon.   I watched Jo, the curate, telling the parable of the Good Shepherd, and learned so much.  Really inspiring.


The 2 clergy, David and Jo are amazing.  They get on really well with everyone, of whatever background, and are very committed to finding new ways to reach out to people from all communities in this very multicultural and multi-faith area of Luton.  David’s wife Susan was in non-stop action all weekend too and so hospitable, and the vicarage dog was delightful and very friendly.  I stayed at the vicarage with the family, and had a great time, learning so much about the area and all that’s going on.  I presented David and Jo with an artillery shell cross each, most appropriate as they and the church congregation seek to be peacemakers in this very diverse and challenging parish.


And I must mention the lovely couple in the photos below, Ronald – aged 81, and Pauline – aged 74, who are getting married at All Saints this Wednesday.  Here they are ~ bless ’em, and do pray for them!

Thank you to David & Susan and family, Jo, the church leaders and congregation members, beetle-players, guides and all who made this weekend so special.  Some of these people I have known since 1989, when a group of us from Heighington, Co. Durham first visited All Saints in a north-south / rural-urban link established through the former rector of All Saints, Rev. Sam Prasadam.  I’ve been visiting ever since.  It’s wonderful to keep the CMS link going until now, and so much fun that I could also attend the Luton Town match.  Thanks be to God for a great weekend and this wonderful community of faithful Christians.

Go The Hatters!  Go Luton!  Go All Saints!  Go St. Peter’s!  Yes, it’s all go go go in Bury Park, Luton!

Taipei Transforms Subway Cars to Mimic Sporting Venues for Upcoming Summer Universiade | Colossal

To spark interest for the upcoming 2017 Summer Universiade, the city of Taipei has employed a fantastic marketing strategy that sees the city’s subway cars turned into realistic backdrops of several popular sporting venues. The floors of each car have been replaced by laminate overlays of track lane, grass turf, basketball courts, and baseball fields—though by far the most popular car is the swimming pool. The Universiade begins August 19th and involves 22 different sports across 70 venues. ….

Source: Taipei Transforms Subway Cars to Mimic Sporting Venues for Upcoming Summer Universiade | Colossal

Update on July 24, 2017:  I found this train today (greatly helped by staff at one of the stations) and here we are!

Fun eh?!

2016 為聖約翰而跑 Running for SJU!

St. John’s University Annual Fun Run ~ and we were there ~ YES!


Yesterday afternoon, 3:00 pm, and there we all were, hundreds of students (including all the first years), and maybe 30-40 faculty and staff all being launched forth by SJU President Chen, accompanied by at least 2 drones flying up above ~ while down below we had students dressed as animals, cartoon characters and in all sorts of other fun costumes, and off we set.  Our student fellowship group were kind of mostly in yellow and led by Yu-lin from our chaplaincy staff.

3.5km ~ but it felt like a hundred!  Almost 30°C and no wind.  Hot hot hot!

Around the block we went, past a funeral wake, past the junior high school main gate, down by the old fish farm, along by the sea, up the steep hill, round the back of SJU, in through the main gate, down the banyan avenue, and around the playing field.

I stopped a zillion times to take photos, drink water, and, let’s face it, mostly walked ~ but still came in at #10 for the faculty / staff runners lol ~ and the last one to get a T-shirt!  Yu-lin came in at #6.  There were prizes for everyone, if no T-shirt, then there were towels or water pouches.

And red faces all round of course with heat and exhaustion.  You’d have thought we’d run a marathon. Sadly not. Only 3.5km lol!

And today we’re all staggering around stiff and aching ha ha ~ but, yep, it was certainly a fun run ~ YES lol!

And this is the video made by the drone on the day – I’m waving to the drone at 1:30 minutes in!

Fun eh?!

Bowling her way around the world ~ welcoming Catherine to Taiwan!

Yes, a very big big welcome to my good-friend-with-the-same-name, Catherine!  We met in Dodoma, Tanzania many years ago when she was there with her family through the New Zealand Church Mission Society NZCMS.  Now she’s retired in Tauranga, New Zealand and a member of Holy Trinity Church ~ where there’s lots of outreach among the Chinese community, so the first time Catherine came to Taiwan 6 years ago was actually with her Taiwan friend Shu, who took her to visit lots of wonderful places in Taiwan, and she spent a few days then with me too.  Ah, great memories!

Now Catherine’s back in Taiwan for her second visit, and at the grand age of 82 this time playing for New Zealand in an International Senior Ten-Pin Bowling Tournament which was held in Taipei all last week, for 250 people from 14 different countries.  Amazing what she’s achieved in her retirement, and Catherine was the oldest female player in the tournament ~ she just is one incredible lady!  I went down to the tournament on Tuesday last week to check it all out….

Now the tournament’s over, and Catherine’s stayed on in Taiwan to visit me for 5 days – including my birthday and 2 extra days off mainly for Tomb-Sweeping Festival weekend. Everywhere we’ve gone and everyone we’ve met are astounded ~ after all, there’s not many people quite so active at 82!  So, we’ve been for tea-drinking and ten-pin bowling conversation with Bishop Lai – who has his own bowling shoes and special bowling ball, and we’ve been to church and outings and meals all over – ever grateful to David Tan for driving us all around Taipei, meeting his friends and family, including his sister Janet for dinner and of course meeting the family horses!  Also Victor and his lovely parents Rev. and Mrs. Hsu for a very yummy Japanese lunch today.

Yesterday we went to the famous ceramics town of Yingge, about 30 minutes by train south of Taipei to visit all the pottery places, ceramic museum and park.  Two of our students, Mark – who lives in Yingge, and Calvin – from Malaysia – took us around the town, carried all our bags and purchases, and gave a great guided tour ~ with frequent stops for coffee, tea, cake – and noodles, and Mark’s mother even turned up at the end to drive us to the station! The weather was grey, but, ah, it was such a fun day!

Catherine leaves tomorrow, all set for another Ten-Pin Bowling Tournament in Auckland. Traveling around the world with 2 bowling balls is not exactly traveling light, ha ha, but we’ve had such a good time!  Thanks for coming Catherine, for being such a great inspiration to us all, and for all the fun we’ve had ~ YES!

Tour de Taiwan 2016 ~ Go Go Go!

IMG_7279Today is the second stage of the Tour de Taiwan, a round-Taiwan international cycle race that started yesterday in Taipei. It’s a bit grey out there this morning, but probably ideal for cycling.  Today they’re doing 114.67 km, from Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf around the northern coast, up Yang-Ming Shan a little, and finishing at Baishawan Visitors Centre around lunch time.

Much excitement outside St. John’s University this morning as a whole crowd of students and staff gathered to cheer the cyclists on their way, we had flags, a big drum and lion dancers too!  The procession of course started with police motorbikes, cars, VIPs ~ and finally a whole crowd of cyclists, who zoomed past in a great big blur ~ in about one second flat!

加油,  加油,  加油! Jia-yo, jia-yo, jia-yo!  Go go go!  Come on, come on, come on!  YEAH!

Hillsborough, Sheffield

Almost 7 hours on the M1 yesterday to get to Sheffield, long delays of hours for 2 separate accidents in the middle of 2 separate sets of roadworks, plus of course the roadworks themselves.  Groan, groan!  But finally got here, following the postcode to find that the place I’m staying in turns out to be in the Hillsborough area of Sheffield.

Sadly the name ‘Hillsborough’ is synonymous with the Hillsborough Disaster of 1989, when 96 Liverpool football fans were crushed to death during a match at the Hillsborough Stadium during a FA Cup Semi-final match.  There’s a memorial to those who died at the front of the stadium, plus banners and notices appealing for justice for the victims.



wpid-img_20150228_080833_1425116134319.jpgHillsborough Stadium is actually the home of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, also known by their nickname The Owls, and just a few minutes walk from where I’m staying ~ so a few photos before I get out of here quick, as there’s a match here in a few hours time, and the traffic will be huge!

PS later.  Y’know something? Sheffield has really good signposts, so it’s one of the only cities that I haven’t got lost in, at all.  AT ALL!  Congratulations Sheffield!