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May/Jun 2014







In partnership with


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Vol. 8 | No. 3 | May/Jun 2014




Military Matters with Flt Lt Jonny ‘JP’ Palmer


The Bear Facts with Bear Grylls


To the Heart of Sri Lanka and Back


Diamond Geezer with Ant Delaney


Your Will, Mott Mine with Alex Willmott



The Villains’ Vicar Dave Tomlinson on what it is like to take the funerals of master criminals.


Choosing Life From a life of crime to putting faith first, Mark Wahlberg talks to Sorted.


Fashion Making a Difference The Level Collective take on the challenge to use fashion for freedom.




We’re in Business with Charles Humphreys


Movies with Martin Leggatt


Relationology with Matt Bird


Television with Emily Russell


Bolder and Boulder with Martin Carter


Gaming with Jim Lockey


Collective Action with Martin Thomas


DVD & Blu Ray with Martin Leggatt


Books with Mark Anderson


Music with Sue Rinaldi


Blood, Sweat and Compassion Steve Legg climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and lived to share the story.


“I achieved things I never imagined I could.” Ricardo Kaka gets up close and personal.


“The pressure always comes from the inside.” Faith, football and being a father, Radamel Falcao talks to Stuart Weir.


Q&A with Dan Walker Exclusive world cup chats.


Fitness with Phil Baines


Healthy Cooking with Mike Darracott


Smart Talk


Big Questions with Jonathan Sherwin



Kneel‐Down Stand‐Up with Paul Kerensa


In Vino Veritas with Tony Vino


Cars with Tim Barnes‐Clay



Six of the Best… Camping Necessities


Money with Jon Cobb


Top Gear – Gadgets and gizmos galore


Family with Richard Hardy


Gadget Geek with Paul Hurst


Faith with Sam Gibb



Sixty Second Life Coach with Peter Horne


Politics with Lyndon Bowring


Lucas Aid with Jeff Lucas


Cut to the Chase with Lee and Baz


The Last Word with Carl Beech

Cover picture: REX/MediaPunch

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Up Front Founding Editor Steve Legg steve@sorted‐ Deputy Editor Stacey Hailes stacey@sorted‐ Sports Editor Stuart Weir Marketing & Advertising Rebekah Taylor rebekah@sorted‐ Duncan Williams Tel: 07960 829615 Design Andy Ashdown Design Print Halcyon Distribution Citipost © Sorted Magazine 2014 Sorted is published by Son Christian Media (SCM) Ltd. The acceptance of advertising does not indicate editorial endorsement. SCM holds names and addresses on computer for the purpose of mailing in accordance with the terms registered under the Data Protection Act 1984. Sorted is protected by copyright and nothing may be produced wholly or in part without prior permission.

The ABC combined print and digital publication distribution for Aug‐Dec 2013:

33,824 A member of the Audited Bureau of Circulations

Contact Sorted Magazine PO Box 3070, Littlehampton, West Sussex, BN17 6WX, UK Tel: 01903 732190 E‐mail: steve@sorted‐ Follow us on Twitter:

The REAL, Real Men!


ccording to the adverts I just watched, there are some things that real men do. Not just men – real men! Real men ride motorbikes, wield power tools and climb cliff faces with their bare hands. Real men canoe white water without screaming, camp on the side of a mountain during the winter without a tent and hunt bears with nothing but a steak knife. Real men know no fear and they certainly would never talk about it. In addition, according to the book I got sent to review today, real men never look at the instructions when assembling flat pack furniture, fear the telephone at all costs and have a pathological hatred of musical theatre.


but none of the roar. There’s one thing I can do though – I can talk about my emotions. Don’t get me wrong, my vocabulary is pretty limited – happy, excited, once or twice a year maybe blue. Nervous clearly would never feature in my lexicon neither would scared or apprehensive. Love however, that one I’m not too bad at. It’s taken some mastering but I’m pretty good at telling the people that matter that I love them. I think it matters. I think it matters more than power tools and bear fighting. I think the people I love need to know it, really know it. My wife needs to know beyond all doubt that I love her, and my kids – well they need to know they can put their roots down in that love. They need to know they can rely on my always being there, always loving them no matter what they do or where they go. You see real men come in all shapes and sizes and some of us simply can’t canoe, but this one thing unites all men – real men aren’t afraid to show they love someone and as Father’s Day approaches I challenge you to man up. Man up and tell your kids you love them. n

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I have to be honest – I’ve married into a family of real, bear fighting, mountain climbing, DIY hero men. But as for me, I’m more the kind of man who assembles a flat pack wardrobe backwards (true story), worships my 42‐inch plasma TV and breaks into a sweat in department stores. It’s a struggle not to feel inadequate – I’ve got all the incompetent bits


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Military Matters



his winter a battered Britain saw wave after wave of torrential rain, overrunning our lakes and rivers and driving a beleaguered people from their homes and businesses. In fact, England has just experienced the wettest January since records began in 1766 and as I’m writing, it’s looking like a strong contender for the wettest winter ever too! According to the Environment Agency, since the beginning of December, 5,800 homes and businesses have been flooded out causing catastrophic levels of damage currently racing towards the £1billion mark and untold misery to those who have seen their lives and livelihoods washed away. It’s in times like these that you need raw manpower to stem the tide, something that the UK Armed Forces offer in abundance. It’s times like these that you need to call in MACA. Military Aid to the Civilian Authorities (not Macca the

Liverpool FC legend) is the process by which the UK government can at no notice call up as many full time and reservist members of the military as it needs to support other government departments to manage a crisis. Having the manpower, equipment and command structure required to be able to help provide that extra resilience, the military is an obvious – although always last – option in the face of an overwhelming civil mission like we saw during the floods this winter.

“OPERATION PITCHPOLE” SAW THOUSANDS OF MILITARY PERSONNEL INVOLVED IN THE BIGGEST CIVIL DEPLOYMENT SINCE THE EAST COAST FLOODS OF 1953. Over 5000 service men and women from all branches of the military have been getting stuck into supporting efforts to resist further rain damage and starting in the recovery effort, with a number taking on specialist training to be able to work with the Environment Agency to fully assess the beating that Blighty has endured. At its peak what has been dubbed “Operation Pitchpole” saw almost 3500 soldiers delivering and building flood defences along the Itchen, Severn, Test and Thames, rivers alone. This has included Royal Engineers using


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© Crown copyright 2014

their huge earth moving vehicles to sure up shingle defences and constructing metal sheet barriers to redirect the flow away from population centres, Tactical boat teams using their W525 Workboat and Avon Redcrest two‐man patrol boats as floating taxi services for anyone trapped in their homes and RAF helicopters flying low‐ level reconnaissance sorties or working to deliver men and materials to where they were needed most. Where harassed homeowners have probably felt military might more than anywhere else though has been in the timely arrival of the simple sandbag. The backbreaking task of filling these humble water‐warriors has been felt by many a serviceman during the crisis, with people working non‐stop to get them filled, moved and built before the next storm arrives. Drawing most of the flood fighting military support from those bases and stations in the South of England, the vast importance of this painfully monotonous work was all too clear to those involved. 450 Royal Navy personnel lay over 10,000 sandbags in the Winchester area and an RAF team in Windsor discovered that using an upturned traffic cone as a funnel almost doubled their work rate to 6000 sandbags a day. But by far the most ingenious of the MACA intervention though was a decision by Air Chiefs to use the RAF’s inventory of spy planes and attack aircraft to gain a better understanding of just how widespread the flooding was. A Tornado GR4 from RAF Marham, whose current day to day role is in keeping our ground troops safe in Afghanistan and is designed primarily for long range assaults against enemy bunkers and military infrastructure, was used to take high resolution imagery of the worst hit areas. Using its Raptor (Reconnaissance Air Pod Tornado) electro‐optic camera, it delivered exactly what the Environment Agency were after and to such a high quality that even cabinet level officials tipped their hat to the kit’s flexibility. f

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ACTION Shortly thereafter a Sentinel R1 Airborne Stand Off Radar (ASTOR) from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire was used to map out vast swathes of the UK. Whilst usually employed to clear convoy routes from improvised explosive devices, this ASTOR got airborne with a mission to scan and downlink real time information about water levels and movement to army ground stations, enabling the Environment Agency to best direct the efforts of the military and emergency services on the ground. The combination of the Sentinel’s nine hour airborne endurance, a state of the art Duel Mode Radar Sensor and this instantaneous download of information to ground based crisis commanders, made it the perfect tool for the job. In all, “Operation Pitchpole” saw thousands of military personnel involved in the biggest civil deployment since the east coast floods of 1953. Thousands of sandbags were filled and distributed to the worst hit areas in order to protect homes and businesses from flooding or re‐ flooding and specialist teams of engineers worked to stop the flow in its tracks and redirect the worst away from towns and villages where it would only cause further damage and heartache. Now, with the waters starting to abate the Environment Agency is training over 200 servicemen and women, making it possible to conduct a rapid assessment of over 150,000 flood defences around the UK. So, whilst it is clear that any military involvement in civil matters will always be a last resort, when the call comes you can be sure that Her Majesty’s Armed Forces will be there to answer. n

© Crown copyright 2014

Flight Lieutenant Jonny ‘JP’ Palmer joined the RAF in 2006 and has since flown in support of operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Now a flying instructor, he lives with his wife and three children in Lincolnshire. He is a proud member of the Armed Forces Christian Union (AFCU) and loves making Jesus known in the military. Follow him on Twitter @FollowJonnyP.


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The Bear Facts That Little Bit Extra Mighty explorer, Bear Grylls, recently penned an excellent book entitled A Survival Guide. This issue’s excerpt looks at how going the extra mile sets champions apart.


ave a guess what the difference is between a £1 million racehorse and a £100 racehorse. Well, obviously the £1,000,000 one is 10,000 times faster than the £100 one. Right? That’s clearly ridiculous. Is it even ten times faster? No way. Twice as fast? Unlikely. At best, the difference is only ever going to be a few seconds. There is often just a nose between first and fourth place in a horse race. And it is the same in life. Champions and “might‐have‐beens” aren’t all that different: we all have one brain, one set of heaving lungs, a couple of eyes, ears and a mouth. Yet it is the little things that set champions apart. A lot of horses, and most people, have what it takes to get them to fourth place in life. But the winners are those who know that when things get really hard and others start to fall away, that is the time to dig deep and give that little bit extra.

“YOU GAVE MORE WHEN OTHERS GAVE UP. THAT’S THE DIFFERENCE.” I will never forget the day I finally passed SAS selection. At the end of the long, gruelling process of elimination, where 140 recruits had steadily been whittled down to only four of us, I finally found myself preparing to get “badged”. Yet it was the most low‐key event you could ever imagine. No fanfare, no bugler, no parade. Just the four of us that remained, standing in a small, nondescript outbuilding on the edge of the Hereford training camp; we were battered, exhausted, bruised and spent, yet our hearts were bursting with pride. The commanding officer of the regiment walked in, stood in front of us and said these words – I have never forgotten them: “From this day on, you are part of a family. I know what you have had to give to earn the right to be here. The

difference between the four of you and the rest of those who have failed is very simple: it is the ability to give that little bit extra when it hurts. You see, the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is often just that little word extra.” He then added: ‘The work I am going to ask you to do now will continue to be arduous, even more so, in fact, but what makes our work here special is your ability to give that little bit extra when most simply give up. “You gave more when others gave up. That’s the difference.” That short speech made a huge impact on me, and I never forgot it. The words were simple, yet for a young soldier, and one without a huge amount of confidence, they gave me something to hold on to. And I have done that ever since, through so many hard times in jungles, deserts, mountains and life. That little bit extra. Reaching our summits only requires us to hold on that little bit longer than most people are prepared to endure. Just that little bit extra, just that nose‐length more. n Bear Grylls is an adventurer, writer and television presenter. He is best known for his television series Born Survivor, known as Man Vs Wild in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Bear spent three years in the SAS and is one of the youngest Britons to climb Mount Everest, doing so at the age of 23. In July 2009, he became the youngest ever Chief Scout at the age of 35.

If you want to read on, we strongly recommend investing in a copy. It’s available from all good bookshops and online retailers, and it could just help you make the changes that you need to introduce in order to turn your life around.

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Family adventure traveller, Tim Winkworth, explores the delights of undiscovered Sri Lanka.


am a devout animal lover. With one cumbersome black labrador and a quirky fox terrier – who one morning become a surprise resident Winkworth due to my wife’s love of all things from the animal kingdom – it’s true I’ve had my fair share of memorable animal encounters. So, I found myself bare‐footed with the warm Sri Lankan ocean rippling across my toes, watching a handful of turtles strike out for safety into the waves, with only the early morning sun illuminating their heads as they bobbed up, a few breaks out. It was an early morning in February; the temperature hadn’t quite reached its intense maximum yet. I was among 12 others; parents and children who had taken to the beach of Seeduwa with our buckets. But this was no average sandcastle session; we about to release these quirky inhabitants into the glistening ocean – away from roaming stray dogs. I visited Sri Lanka last year as part of a small group, accompanied by my kids and two other families. When I thought of this flung destination as an option for a family adventure, it wasn’t really top of the list. With several wars and a number of tsunamis, it had slowly depleted in the sought after destinations list. But, this now peaceful, relatively small, country is full to the brim with ancient cities, quirky creatures at every turn, monumental ruins and much more, making stepping away from the all‐inclusive resorts of Colombo is a must. Not to mention it is home to eight incredible UNESCO World Heritage Listed Sites and a catalogue of beaches crafted with intricate care.


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“NEVER HAVE I BEEN QUITE AS HUMBLED AS STANDING STOCK STILL ON LION ROCK.” So, after acquainting ourselves with Sri Lanka’s intense climate with a refreshing dip in the pool, we set off on our journey around this magnificent country. Our tour took us to the town of Dambulla, and the kids only had one thing on their minds; visiting the infamous lion. I’ve witnessed some incredible vistas as rewards for gruelling climbs, but never have I been quite as humbled as standing stock still on Lion Rock. It’s not every day that you can say you’ve delved into the heart of the lion, even if just their paws remain. The sheer enormity of Sigiriya gives you a real indication of the majesty this place once was and the kids, and parents, were completely overwhelmed. From up there, anything is possible. We set off early the next morning in search of the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. Watching the mist rise heavily from Lake Parakarma was like watching a secret unfold in front of your eyes, the lake awakening from its deep slumber. Upon arrival, I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed my kids speechless, but the sheer enormity of the ancient architecture was dumbfounding. A labyrinth of reclining Buddhas and monumental ruins was nothing like I’ve ever seen. One of the many World Heritage Listed Sites, Polonnaruwa was once the royal district after the decline of Anuradhapura and has a preserved grandeur that could rival any former Kingdom. f

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Make It Happen Several airlines fly from the UK to Bandaranaike International Airport, including Etihad from London Heathrow and Emirates and British Airways from London Gatwick. Alternatively, book a tour package which includes return flights from the UK. The Family Adventure Company (0845 287 1198, has a 16 day tour of Sri Lanka. Elephant Paradise, which costs from £1,835 per child and £2,039 per adult. This includes accommodation, a selection of meals, private and traditional transport, international flights, most activities including game drives, village walks and visits to ancient sites and local tour leader throughout. Passengers holding a UK and IRL passport are required to obtain a visa before they enter Sri Lanka which can be applied for at Always check the requirements for visas when travelling with children as it differs from country to country.

We moved further into the lush Sri Lankan landscape, to the city of Kandy. Nestled in a valley between tropical tea plantations and rolling hills, Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka and most definitely my favourite. I spent a few hours perched on a rickety chair on a shaded side street, trying my hand at Carrom; a native Sri Lankan game which seemed to be an odd mix of draughts and pool, as far as I could make out. We loved scanning the treetops and canopy of Kandy for cheeky monkeys hiding up above, ready to pounce on unsupervised fizzy drinks. The children were intrigued watching the monkeys make a dash for the drinks and smuggling them away to their secret hideouts. Being this close to nature was an extraordinary experience. Aside from all the cultural delights, and they really are, the wildlife that we encountered on our journey through Sri Lanka was nothing I’ve seen before. Herds and herds of elephants roamed the grassy plains of UdaWalawe

USEFUL PHRASES Wow the locals with your knowledge of the Sri Lankan lingo and learn these five phrases before you go.

Get to Know Colombo

Ayubowan Greetings

Top 5 things to do that don’t include an all-inclusive hotel

Sama venna Excuse me

Sri Lanka’s capital is an eclectic mix of all things colourful, a labyrinth of lush gardens, ancient cum modern monuments and bustling markets scattered along a thin slice of paradise: the beach. There are so many things to do inside this city that gets you away from the tourist hot spots and into the culture.

Karuna kara Please Es thu thee Thank you Mage nama …  My name is …

1. Learn to cook hoppers. Head to one of Colombo’s many markets and pull up a pew at a hoppers stand. Both spicy and sweet, the native hoppers, are Sri Lankan pancakes made from rice flower, coconut milk and palm toddy and are accompanied by anything you fancy. Kids will love watching the ingredients come to life and it makes for a delicious change for dinner. 2. Embrace the beach life. Not many travellers head to Colombo for its beach, with Mirissa and Unawatuna beating it to the top 10 most sought after beaches in Sri Lanka, but if you find yourself with time to kill before your flight home, the single slice of yellow sand is the perfect waiting room. 3. Take a history lesson. Head down to the National Museum and immerse yourself in Sri Lanka’s colourful history. Wander through time, coming face to face with a 9th- century Buddha, guns from the colonial period and galleries dating back to 1877. It’s a fun and educational place for your kids to learn a little history. 4. Shop till you drop. Get happily lost in the maze of markets that snake across Colombo. From bananas to bracelets, fish to spices you’re bound to find something to bring home as a souvenir. If not, take some great pictures as family back home won’t believe the colours! 5. Catch a cricket game. Grab a hopper and some toddy and head down to the Cinnamon Garden suburb for a game of cricket. The most popular sport in Sri Lanka, get your tickets from the Oval and sit back to watch undoubtedly a nail biting game.


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ACTION National Park; from grandmothers to babies the sight was beautiful. We arrived just in time for feeding time at the Elephant Transit Home, which does extensive work rehabilitating elephants and releasing them back into the wild, where they belong. Taking a jeep and heading off into the wild to get closer to nature, I found myself surrounded by elephants in a perfect haven of animal kingdom bliss. Amongst other intriguing animals including wild boar, samba deer and the Red Faced Macaques, there’s even a chance to spot the elusive leopard roaming the grasslands, but unfortunately they weren’t to be seen on our adventure. Although many other factors added to this incredible country making it to the top of my must‐visit list, travelling in a small group was easily a highlight of the trip. My kids had ready made friends to share these special experiences with plus they learnt so much from each other. Sri Lanka is so culturally different that having a local tour leader accompany you every step of the way, who can share his passion and knowledge with you, truly brings Sri Lanka to life. It’s about making friends all over the world with other like‐minded families, plus you’ve always got somewhere to stay if you decide to travel to Canada, Australia, India etc., and I recommend you do. We’d spent the final day of our two week holiday at the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, scanning the beaches and marvelling at the growing eggs. It was a considerable way to Seeduwa, but nothing could beat the look of pure delight as my kids came across a turtle lumbering across the sand towards the sea. Bobbing away safely into the distance, that moment was magical. Sri Lanka’s true heart is a far cry from the resorts of Colombo, and the true magic lies deep within. n

RECOMMENDED READS The unexpected is always exciting, throwing in a mix of exceptional experiences and intriguing locals. But, if you like to be a little prepared, here’s a few good reads to give you an idea of travelling in Sri Lanka and experiencing it with your kids. Your Child Abroad: A Travel Health Guide Matthew Ellis & Jane Wilson-Howarth Travel with Children Maureen Wheeler Running in the Family Michael Ondaatje Monkfish Moon Romesh Gunesekera

Top Tips for Travelling with Kids Be equipped with plenty of games. Forget Gameboys and iPads, we’re talking good, old-fashioned I spy, hang man etc. Travelling through jungles and National Parks won’t have Wi-Fi, but they will have some amazing scenery to keep you guessing on the letter ‘S’ for hours. Prepare before you go. Think about some of the activities and places you are going to visit before you go and prepare a pack for kids to take with them. It could include a checklist of the animals they saw, how many statues of Buddha they saw lying down, how many were upright etc. It’s great engagement for kids. Take some healthy snacks. If you’re going abroad, pack some dry food, light crackers or biscuits in your suitcase. Foreign food can be difficult for kids to adjust too and sometimes it can be easier to stick to what they know! Plus, a hungry child is sometimes a grumpy child. Always pack the wet wipes. It’s best to be prepared and sometimes accidents happen. Neither you nor your child will be happy with sticky hands all day so a few wet wipes will do the trick. Remember your camera. Kids don’t stay kids for long, so it’s great to make those precious family memories together, before the teenager in them kicks in. Play the local way. Seek out local toys and games for your kids to play with. It’s a great way for locals to make friends with visitors plus it gives kids new games to take home to the playground. Make memories. Take a notepad or colouring book. They will keep your kids occupied on longer journeys plus, it’s never too early to start a travel journal. Always have a backup. In our technologically-advanced world, it may be best to have the fully charged iPod, just for those extra-long journeys.

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Diamond Geezer

The Living Years


.A. Robertson described for many the pain of the gap between ideals for his relationship with his father and the reality, in the song he co‐wrote for Mike and

the Mechanics: “Every generation blames the one before And all of their frustrations come beating on your door I know that I’m a prisoner to all my father held so dear I know that I’m a hostage to all his hopes and fears I just wish I could have told him in the living years.” No earthly father is perfect, but I was immensely privileged to be the son of Henry Gilmore Delaney. He went to be with his Lord some years ago now but I miss him every day. The onset of cancer too soon (it always is) made for a few months of late nightlong talks and nothing left unsaid between us. When the morphine had kept him silent for days I sat with him on his bed as he was dying, playing tapes of his favourite music with no discernable response. I sang along to Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”, the emotion cracking my voice – it sounded terrible. “Sorry Dad, not much of a singer.” “I love to hear you sing.” His last words to me 16

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– approval and love. “Paddy” was the funniest, toughest, kindest man. His love helped me understand the real God. When I was six, Dad was badly burnt all over his body by caustic soda at work. We couldn’t visit the hospital as he was away and I missed him terribly. Home from school one day I found him laying on the couch recovering. I was told not to touch him, it would hurt. I stood there, shuffling from foot to foot. He stretched out toward me. “Come on son, come for your hug.” I knew it hurt him to love me. He did too. I will never forget lying fully stretched out on his body. My ear on his chest, his heartbeat and words of affirmation as he stroked my hair. I was completely loved. I was a little boy, I had done nothing to deserve that kind of love, but I was so glad to just soak it all up. Love was defined for me that afternoon, so that when I found my way back home to God I knew it was real.

“PADDY” WAS THE FUNNIEST, TOUGHEST, KINDEST MAN. I’ve told that story and seen crowds of grown men cry. Many would do anything (some die or kill) for want of love like that from a father. I know how incredibly rare and precious that

kind of love is like from an earthly Dad. I want to love my kids like that. Whether your earthly dad was awesome, absent or awful – I have good news. You can be adopted by a perfect heavenly Father and he will love you. It has been terribly painful for him, but God has done everything necessary for you to be as close as a heartbeat, now and forever. n This is an excerpt produced with permission from the chapter ‘Father’ in Diamond Geezers by Anthony Delaney, available on Amazon, Kindle, or direct from Author and broadcaster Anthony Delaney regularly features on BBC radio. He is strategic leader of Ivy, a movement of new churches that meets in cinemas, a pub, a warehouse, homes and a church building. His book Diamond Geezers has just been released as an audio book and is available direct from Follow him on twitter @anthonydelaney.

Advertising Sales: Duncan Williams, Tel: 07960 829615

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Advertising Sales: Duncan Williams, Tel: 07960 829615

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Your Will, Mott Mine before any career ambition or great endeavour, I have been taught to ask myself whether I'm doing the right thing and not just merely pleasing others. But I'm also saddened. The sight of leaders who dictate both spiritual and secular media without a heightened sense of justice is littering the news.


The Moment


s the hourglass of my life turns over, seemingly faster than ever before, I am coming to a stark revelation. There comes a moment in every man's life when he must make a choice. It is not a choice about his career but his character. The moment usually arrives within the camouflage of conflict. It could be while witnessing the office bully dictating the emotional state of a quieter colleague. Or when a corporate giant submits plans to hack up your local playing fields. For every man, the scenario varies, but the moment is the same. “To raise one's head or nod one's head?” “To bound to the help of others or slink away into the depths of the thickets?” That is the moment. As Father's Day revisits us, I am more thankful than ever. I am thankful for my grandfather, Mr David Williams. He is a man who has a distinctly heightened sense of justice. His radar of right and wrong dwarfs anyone I've ever met. Though we may disagree 18

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on points of faith and politics, he is one, who unlike me, disagrees with spotless intention. A man of greater conviction I have yet to find. I am both humbled and saddened when thinking about my grandfather's immense conviction. I am humbled at the notion that

I guess as well as thankful, I am also nervous this Father's Day. I am nervous that our politicians are too polished and our vicars too vetted, leaving our nation without much needed father figures. Father figures with conviction skills as well as communication skills. But is there an answer to a lack of conviction? I believe there is. The answer is preparation. We need to be preparing younger men for that moment. That moment when the crowds around them stay silent and the thought of speaking up begins to flee from their developing minds. That moment when every voice whispers "walk away" but they know their relationship is worth fighting for. That moment when a new world order comes to their front door but deep within their soul they know it is the narrow path only that leads to life. So how is my character this Father's Day? Well, there's work to be done. I probably need a pint with my grandfather for a stock‐take. n

Alex Willmott penned the epic Selah trilogy. Former newspaper journalist, sports fanatic and local football manager, Alex took a vow to live life to the full after reading the book of John in the Bible aged 16. Visit for more information. Follow Alex on Twitter: @Alexinboxes.

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With Martin Leggatt

X-Men: Days of Future Past The latest instalment of the X�Men franchise combines two almighty battles for the price of one, with a time travelling twist that sees our heroes and villains sending their older incarnations to do battle in the past uniting with their younger selves. All the usual suspects are present with Patrick Stewart as

Professor Xavier alongside James McAvoy as his younger (and terribly unlikely handsome) self and Michael Fassbender and Ian McKellen as young and old Magneto. Everyone’s favourite mutant, Wolverine, is also in the fray, reassuringly played by Hugh Jackman ahead of a massively

talented ensemble cast including Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Paquin, Peter Dinklage and Nicholas Hoult. The screenwriting comes with no higher calibre than Simon Kinberg adapting his original efforts in partnership with Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman.


Marvellously X-citing 20

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Godzilla This is an epic rebirth to Toho’s iconic Godzilla as this spectacular adventure pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence. Director Gareth Edwards brings us another

The Art of the Steal This Jonathan Sobol heist movie sees Kurt Russell star as the aptly named Crunch Calhoun, a struggling and washed up motorcycle daredevil who, fallen on hard times, takes extra money to deliberately fail in his stunts, frequently seriously injuring himself in the process. Getting fed up with this life of pain and petty fraud, he reverts to his alternate career – that of master art criminal – where he teams up with his none

thriller of a remake of the classic radioactive mutant dinosaur rampaging through New York. I’m a big fan of the previous outing starring Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno and Hank Azaria and as regular readers will know I’m not the world’s biggest fan of remakes, so for me this reinterpretation had massive dinosaur footprints to fill. This latest

incarnation sees actor of the moment, Bryan Cranston, as Joe Brody a nuclear physicist leading an excellent cast including Aaron Taylor‐Johnson as his son Ford, a military commander, Elizabeth Olsen as Ford’s wife and Juliette Binoche as Joe’s wife. The CGI effects look awesome and Godzilla itself has come back even scarier than before.

too honest brother Nicky (Matt Dillon) to pull of the heist of the century. Jay Baruchel joins the crew as Francie, Crunch’s “apprentice”, as they attempt to steal an antique book of incalculable value. There are plenty of belly laughs along the way, but also more twists and turns than a country lane as each of the brothers follow their own private agendas. The added pleasure of an appearance by Terence Stamp as typically sinister Samuel Winter only adds to the enjoyment of what my wife would call “a typical boy

film” – there is no higher recommendation. I know what you’re thinking, “not another heist, haven’t we seen it all before”, but the supreme comic acting talents of Russell and Dillon make this a very compelling and enjoyable film. Martin Leggatt is married to Sue and father to Aaron, Sam, Hope and Paige. He’s a self‐ confessed movie geek, although his tastes run to an eclectic assortment of action, thriller, black and white, war and pretentious (as Sue would say) art house films. Martin’s favourite film is Powell and Pressburger’s A Matter of Life and Death.


A real monster of a movie


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TELEVISION With Emily Russell

© 2014 Tonto Films and Television Limited

The Untold da Vinci Story


he name Leonardo da Vinci likely conjures up images of his artistic masterpieces. But, he was also a true renaissance man, capable of imagining scientific and technological advancements that would actually occur years after his death. This vivid television series takes a fictionalised look at da Vinci as a young man, who sees the world as nobody else does, while being drawn into political and far‐ reaching plots that even he could never have foreseen.

“LEONARDO’S REVOLUTIONARY WAY OF VIEWING THE WORLD PRODUCES BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE OUTCOMES.” Da Vinci’s Demons is set in 15th century Florence, where Leonardo da Vinci (Tom Riley) is feverishly creating whatever his extraordinary and highly‐active mind conjures up. He’s estranged from his father and haunted by the fact that he remembers little of his mother. His talents catch the eye of Lorenzo 22

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Medici (Elliot Cowan) who commissions Leonardo to create weaponry to aid in Florence’s feud with Milan. Leonardo becomes swiftly entangled with Lorenzo’s mistress, Lucrezia (Laura Haddock), who is much more than she seems. He also becomes focused on searching for the powerful Book of Leaves at the behest of secret society The Sons of Mithras, who enable him to begin unlocking his memories and learn the truth about his mother. Leonardo’s revolutionary way of viewing the world produces both positive and negative outcomes. His enthusiasm and vast imagination is inspiring as there are no boundaries for him. He easily believes that the seemingly‐impossible can become reality and attempts to makes it happen. But Leonardo is also obsessive and insular; he’s thoughtlessly cruel, shutting everything and everybody out while he works. It’s all that matters to him. His world is full of wildly imaginative visions, but it’s a difficult, often painful, place for his friends. “There’s no sun in your world, no, there's only coldness and shadows,” Vanessa (Hera Hilmar) tells him. “You're so smart, you're so beautiful, but we're just toys to you.” There’s much lusty vibrancy on display, but also a great deal of moral rot. Lorenzo has affairs and the Pope

(James Faulkner) is violent and greedy. There’s selfishness, as well as vivid violence and sex. It’s also a steampunk version of history and not to everybody’s tastes, but it grasps how humanity, particularly those wielding power, can often behave and not just in the 15th century. “I believe man will fly. And I base this assumption on the fact that God has blessed us with minds that are capable of imagining it. Anything that can be dreamt of will eventually be built. Anyone who says otherwise is a fool,” claims Leonardo. He sees beyond the surface of the world and is always eager to see more, to document the beauty that he observes and to explore the vast creative possibilities that exist all around him. It’s a challenging way to live and can be very dangerous. He’s branded mad and heretical and he’s often laughed at, yet he continues his work and sometimes succeeds. It’s also clear though that balance is needed because obsession, no matter how positive its intent, can be damaging and cruel. n Emily Russell has a degree in Media and Film Studies and works part‐time for the University of Southampton. She wrote Culturewatch articles for the Damaris Trust website for eight years and watches far too much science‐fiction and fantasy, crime shows, and wrestling. She is married to Anthony. Her film articles can be read at

Series two of Da Vinci’s Demons recently began airing on FOX. Series one is available on DVD.

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GAMING With Jim Lockey

Homemade Bleeps and Bloops, Part 2


ast issue I told you about the stylish DIY Gamer Kit and described my experience assembling the physical components. That is only half the story of this super‐ pared down handheld. Next comes programming the unit and creating your own animations and games on its simple hardware. This is done using a simple and free program (PC/Mac) in which you write code that is then transferred to the Gamer via USB. Thanks to easy to follow video tutorials by the boffins at “Technology Will Save Us”, the complex world of coding becomes simple, even to a novice like me. I made a couple of simple animations to auto‐run on the small screen – one scrolling text and one little character sprite. There is a great sense of achievement that comes from seeing the fruits of your labour blink at you in all their tiny yellow LED glory. It is equally fun to go back and fix mistakes, as the coding isn’t so labyrinthine that problems cannot easily be traced. However, the process is time consuming and as much as I feel I enjoyed and learned from my experience with the DIY Gamer Kit, an incredible time investment

would be required to really wrap your head around creating something more complex like a game.

“THE RAW AND DIRECT WAY IN WHICH YOU ARE REQUIRED TO PROGRAM THE KIT IS PART OF ITS DRAW.” To create something meaningful on the Gamer Kit would be an impressive achievement. It presents a great hobbyists training ground for anyone interested in the games industry. But for this reviewer, though I am interested to peek behind the veil of the way games are made, a peek is all I need. I think were I still a teenager I would lose days, even weeks in the Gamer Kit. But as a married man with children, it is hard enough to find time to pick up a controller, let alone build the game you want to play from the ground up. One of the virtues of the DIY Gamer Kit though is its stripped down nature. The raw and direct way in which you are required to program the kit is part of its draw. It

might be possible to make the coding more user friendly, through a more graphical interface or library of preset commands to re‐arrange, but that would erode the DIY ethos of the product. The kit is impossibly simple, with the stress heavily on the word “impossibly”. There is depth and nuance to the kit. I can feel the limitations of my abilities when I use it. I feel as if I can chip away at the potential in the product with a blunt instrument but I lack the skills to pull something truly great from it. The Gamer Kit is more than just a product; it is punk for the silicone age. It doesn’t matter that it is hard to make something impressive with it, what matters is that it gives everybody the chance to make something. The kit does demand your time though. The more you put in to it the more you get out it. Therefore if you’re merely looking for distraction then it is not for you. However, if you spent your childhood perfecting your speed‐runs through Mega‐Man 2 then you probably have the patience and sensibility to get the maximum enjoyment out of this unique product. n Jim is a lifelong gamer and lives in Kent with his wife and children. He is also an artist and curator. His website is and his PSN name is tearfulminotaur.

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DVD & BLU RAY With Martin Leggatt

Nefarious: Merchant of Souls


his is an incredibly powerful and emotional documentary guaranteed to affect even the hardest of hearts. Nefarious closely examines the truth beneath the veneer of the sex trade with its no‐holds‐barred exposure of the heart‐breaking brutality of the ever‐growing human trafficking industry. It is a crime committed on a scale that eclipses all but the largest of international industries. Watching this will, I’m sure, break your heart as it did mine. It has already amassed several awards including Best Director (Benjamin Nolot) at 2012’s Kingdomwood Christian Film Festival. The DVD release will now take this very uncomfortable and challenging film to an even wider audience. The in‐depth reality exposed encompasses 19 different countries, many prosperous western countries, in which the global sex industry is shown as a terrifyingly efficient and determined criminal practice. The footage runs from the initial recruitment and ensnarement to the eventual liberation for a very small minority of those trafficked. The extremely foul and horrifying stages of the process are shown

without sanitisation for a sensitive viewer. It is a tough viewing of an even tougher subject matter. My recommendation would be to pay heed to the 18 and over warning. If I paint a bleak picture that makes you think, “why should I watch this” then my reply is that it is an exceptionally well made documentary about a subject matter that is so abhorrent and yet continues to grow and prosper. Nolot directs a film so wonderfully balanced with real footage linked to commentary from international humanitarian leaders and the ray of light given by the heartening real‐life

testimonies of those who have escaped and give hope for the future. Benjamin Nolot who directed, wrote and produced the film founded Exodus Cry, an international anti‐trafficking organisation that continues to fight against the crimes uncovered in the film. The DVD/Blu‐ray release is packed full of special features including scenes deleted from the original theatrical release and extended interviews. Whilst this is a diversion from the normal light‐ hearted fare that I normally review I would highly recommend watching this new release.

An exceptionally well made film documenting one of the biggest blights on humanity

supporting actors Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael K. Williams. In case you missed it on the big screen, Northrop is a free Afro‐American man living in pre Civil War New York who becomes duped and abducted from his life and is sold into cruel slavery working on a cotton plantation in the South. There he is subjected to incredible hardship and cruelty by his owner Edwin Epps (Fassbender), a man who justifies his ruthless oppression by twisting verses of the Bible to meet his needs. Northrop’s 12 years of incredible hardship come to end with an encounter with a Canadian abolitionist (played by a very credible and assured Brad Pitt). This film is one that will provoke a lot of emotion and will tug at your conscience and heartstrings.

Even if you’ve seen it at the cinema this is a film well worth watching again


12 Years a Slave Continuing in a similar, serious vein, 12 Years a Slave is another true story of man’s incredible capacity for cruelty and inhumanity. This film, directed by Steve McQueen, catalogues a more traditional form of slavery and saw an incredible


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amount of success and acclaim on its initial theatrical release. To date it has won a raft load of awards and nominations, including Best Picture at the Oscars earlier this year. It has an extensive cast led by Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northrop with


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With Mark Anderson Rattle and Roses by Steve Goddard

Every Man’s Bible


A very interesting read. I personally love short stories, especially ones about war, football and family. Steve Goddard has hit the mark here with this book based in 1912 and 2010. The book is essentially two stories in one, both with leading men dealing with similar issues, but the difference is one tale has the backdrop of the Great War looming for it's main character. I thoroughly enjoyed this effort and I bet you will too!

A Nearly Infallible History of Christianity

A Spring Read

by Nick Page Driven by Eternity


How to be a bad Christian… and a better human being by Dave Tomlinson This little book is a guide for someone who is dabbling in Christianity and may want to research more without any commitment. I think Dave has done brilliantly at aiming for a disaffected audience. Dave reassures the reader that no one is good. Priests, pastors, congregation… the lot! We are all bad. The chapters are great and the illustrations are sublime. Dave tries to put Jesus first and religion second. It’s a small book that packs a punch.




Every Man’s Bible

Driven by Eternity

New Living Translation

by John Bevere

When I first became a Christian I went on the hunt for a Bible. I researched blogs, Amazon and what my friends were reading. I eventually checked out two, one for on the go – the “Youversion Bible App” (which is fantastic) and the Every Man’s Bible. It is perfect as it has whole topic pages dedicated to work, sex, advice and study notes. It’s been my trusty companion for a couple of years and still feels as fresh as ever.

John Bevere is an American world‐ travelling preacher. He arrived in Belfast to give a few talks and was very inspiring. My brother‐in‐law bought this book for me and I was ecstatic to learn that it leads on where the preacher left off. John discusses in his book the fact that eternity should weigh heavy in our minds. If we truly believe in Jesus being our saviour then we should make our life count today and forever.

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Rattle and Roses

A Nearly Infallible History of Christianity


This book is a tongue in cheek look at Christianity through the ages – warts and all. Nick Page’s book is very witty and takes a very interesting look at how Christianity is, as the book says, “2000 years of saints, sinners, idiots and divinely‐inspired troublemakers.” Illustrations of medieval paintings are defaced with witty air bubbles on what the people in them are really thinking and mini‐biographies are littered throughout the book to keep the reader up to date with who is making real ground in the Christian world. Nick does not assume dummies are reading this text, however he does make it easier for someone like me who needs to brush up on 15th century Popes! I think this book is smashing and to use a cliché I could not put it down. The book starts with Jesus and leads on from his death and how his followers have eventually amassed to the billion or so believers on the planet today. I laughed throughout and was left with more than a few very interesting facts! Thanks Nick! n

Mark was born in Belfast and developed a book and football obsession at a young age. He and wife Lisa belong to Fishgate, a church plant in Newtownabbey. Read Mark’s musings at

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With Sue Rinaldi

Songs That Will Make You Smile!

Bombay Bicycle Club So Long, See You Tomorrow

size of Mount Everest! Prolific he may be, but that doesn’t mean he spends all his time locked up in a recording studio. In fact, his touring schedule is pretty intensive too. On “Rain Or Shine” Carrack opts for “Soul‐Town” – a warm blend of Motown and Soul – with classic covers of three Ray Charles’ songs, and superb versions of “If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Wanna Be Right)” and Brenda Lee’s bitter‐sweet “I’m Losing You”. Five new self‐penned songs accompany this respectful nostalgia, and provide a more upbeat vibe. Whatever the weather, this is a relaxing listen.

Bombay Bicycle Club Casting Crowns

So Long, See You Tomorrow It’s clear blue‐skies and fresh‐air all the way, as Bombay Bicycle Club take the scenic route through a landscape of infectious enthusiasm, earning a well deserved number one chart position for their fourth album. Shades of pop, electro and east‐meets‐west give way to soaring vocal lines and inter‐connecting rhythms. Opener “Overdone” and first single “Carry Me” break out in well‐timed explosions. “Feel” travels on Asian roads, “Eyes Off You” carries a charm that builds and falls and “Home By Now” highlights a lush duet. I’m sorry, but “So Long, See You Tomorrow” is far too long to wait for a re‐visit…this album is on repeat!


Paul Carrack Rain Or Shine

Gary Barlow Since I Saw You Last

Casting Crowns

Paul Carrack


Rain or Shine

A fifteen‐year career is considered a lifetime in the “make‐up to break‐up” music world, but Casting Crowns look poised to continue their path of ongoing success. With strong vocals and nutritious lyrical themes, sixth studio album “Thrive” reached number 1 in both UK and USA Christian album charts and is an honest window into their style and substance. The rock‐meter swings highest on “Heroes”. “Follow Me” and the title‐track radiate folk‐country vibes while “House Of Their Dreams” reveals a more vulnerable side.

The “man with the golden voice” is sounding better than ever on his latest addition to an album catalogue the

Gary Barlow Since I Saw You Last

Gary Barlow is pop music’s Clark Kent… mild‐mannered and dependable! This may be stretching the imagination, yet in the blink of an eye, he transforms into a superhero, rescuing boy‐band dreams from the celeb landfill and possessing powers of cross‐ generational charisma and song‐ writing dexterity. After writing for other artists, he finally releases his own album fourteen years after his last solo outing. High charting “Let Me Go” erupts into contagious folk, the brilliantly structured “God” asks “If you found God, would it be your secret?” and “Dying Inside” unlocks a vulnerable element to the Barlow voice, possibly referring to the tragedy of his stillborn fourth child. Overall the album is enjoyable and well crafted. n Sue Rinaldi travels internationally as a concert artist, worship co‐ordinator, speaker and creative consultant. A self‐confessed info junkie and movie enthusiast, her interest in culture, justice, technology and the future fuels her living and writing (

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Autobahn Aspirations

Audi RS 7 Sportback


ne of the benefits of being a motoring journalist is that most press cars come with a tank of fuel. This is necessary for the job. The thought of actually filling up a test vehicle and paying for it with your own wallet sends most hacks recoiling in horror. But very occasionally a car captivates you so much that you really don’t mind throwing fistfuls of cash at it when the free juice runs out. The Audi RS 7 Sportback is one such motor. Why did it seduce me? Well, the car is simply just extraordinary! It looks amazing, it delivers more thrills than the fastest rollercoaster you’ve ever been on, it sits four adults in total comfort and it’s made exquisitely. So let’s drill down a bit further into the very essence of this stunning car and look at the root of its monstrous muscle. With the help of its two turbochargers, the 4.0‐ litre TFSI petrol engine delivers its formidable peak power of 553bhp between 5,700 and 6,700 rpm, and top torque of 516lb/ft between 1,750


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FAST FACTS Max speed: 155 mph 0-62 mph: 3.9 secs Combined mpg: 28.8 Engine: 3993cc V8 24 valve twin turbo petrol Max. power (bhp): 553 at 3600 rpm Max. torque (lb/ft): 516 at 1750 rpm CO2: 229 g/km Price: £83,495

PROS ‘N’ CONS • Looks 3 • Performance 3 • Traction 3 • Seats four 3 • Cost 7 and 5,500 rpm. The turbochargers boost pressure, helping to generate incredible accelerative force. This gives the German goliath a phenomenal 0‐62mph acceleration time of just 3.9 seconds and a governed 155mph top speed. If you have Autobahn aspirations, then you can increase the maximum speed to 174mph by specifying the optional “Dynamic Package”, and enhance it even further with the “Dynamic Plus Package”, which calls a halt to acceleration at 189mph. Despite performance of this magnitude, the RS 7 Sportback nevertheless manages to keep a firm grip on reality where economy is concerned. Thanks partly to an engine start‐stop system it can cover up to 28.8mpg on an average run. In the RS 7, the Quattro permanent all‐wheel drive system enables you to tackle long journeys in all weather without fear of losing control. The

car is also pinned securely to the road by an electrically extending rear spoiler providing additional downforce. And when it comes to scrubbing off speed there’ll never be a problem, because behind the huge 20‐inch seven twin‐ spoke alloy wheels are four massive brakes which provide reassuring stopping power. The interior of the RS 7 Sportback conveys the sporting theme with subtlety, but leaves you in no doubt you’re travelling in a very special Audi flagship. RS logos appear in the dials with their white faces and red needles, on the flat‐ bottomed three‐spoke multifunction steering wheel, in the illuminated entry sills, in the rev counter and in the displays. RS logos are also punched into the front RS super sports seats with their pronounced bolsters, integrated head rests and honeycomb‐

quilted Valcona leather upholstery. The two‐seat rear bench, which is standard for UK models, also has well‐defined contours for optimum grip. And, as befits the ultimate incarnation of the A7 Sportback, the RS 7 features a list of standard equipment and it is possible to upgrade the inventory even further with a portfolio of driver assistance, driver entertainment and driver information systems, including adaptive cruise control, night vision, a Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with 15 speakers and 1,200 watts of total power. Awesome? I think so. n Tim is an experienced motoring writer with a background in radio and TV journalism. He puts his pedal to the metal each issue with his must‐read car reviews. Tweet Tim Barnes‐Clay @carwriteups

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SIX OF THE BEST Camping Necessities

Everything you need for camping, except the kitchen sink… oh wait, we’ve got that too!


Solar Tent


These amazing 400g tins of tastiness contain fully pre-prepared meals that heat up, as if by magic, in around 12 minutes when you crack ‘em open. No hob, campfire or washing up liquid required. When cooked food is this easy to prepare, the only hard bit is deciding which HotCan you fancy: Tortellini, Cheese and Tomato Raviolli, or Rice Pudding. Bon appétit!

Bang Bang offer a flashy alternative to boring camping gear – complete with brightly colored exteriors and integrated solar panels! Former MTV festival presenter Rob Bertucci was tired of losing his way in a sea of tents at festivals and wanted a way to stand out. His battery was also always dying and he needed a good home base to recharge both his phone and his body. So he started Bang Bang Tents, which generate enough electricity to power computers, phones, cameras and speakers to keep rockers rocking through festivals.






At last, a portable camp sink that really works. These sinks are great for the collection and carrying of water for purification, cooking, washing dishes or personal bathing. They’re ideal for backpacking or group camping and they make a great gift for the outdoors person who has everything.

When the sun goes down and the mossies are at their worst, stay comfortable and protected with this relaxed cotton-rich hooded jersey top complete with NosiLife permanent insect-repellent. The quick-drying fabric in this hooded jacket ensures moisture is wicked away from the body for constant cooling.

Craghoppers' NosiLife Avila Hooded Jacket

Kitchen Sink



Low-Love Camp Chair This has to be the ultimate relaxation for two. The chair can be reclined for increased comfort and includes two Kelty bottle openers, which are attached to the adjustable beverage holders built in to the adjustable arms. Designed to comfortably fit two adults, this chair is perfect for all-day summer festivals or for couples wanting to cosy up around the campfire.



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BOGS Men’s Ultra High boots The Bogs® Ultra High 15” boot was originally designed to help dairy farmers stay safe and comfy on slippery indoor and outdoor cement surfaces. Easy-on pull handles, durable hand-lasted rubber over 7mm waterproof Neo-Tech™ insulation. They’re even comfort-rated from temperate to -40°F. You don’t have to milk cows for a living to appreciate the every day comfort and durability of this boot.


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The greatest gear, gadgets and gizmos we could find DiamondClean Black Electric Toothbrush This is surely the ultimate sonic toothbrush that takes brushing to its most stylish and sophisticated level yet. DiamondClean Black is proven to remove up to seven times more plaque versus a manual toothbrush, improve gum health and whiten teeth. Its clean, sleek, black design makes it great for men who love a smart gadget.

Sorted. TOP BUY


Aqua Zinger

BookBook Travel Journal

With its built-in blender mechanism, and clever construction, you can avoid unwanted additives and sugars and keep it all natural thanks to this fruit-infusing water bottle from Aqua Zinger. Simply fill the bass cup with your favourite fruity combinations, replace the filter and screw it tight to get the juices flowing. Then just load up the bottle with water and give it a shake for fantastic, natural flavours all day long.

Inside this vintage book-style case you will find a soft-lined sleeve to store your iPad, plus a dozen adjustable elastic bands and pockets to neatly organize your power adaptor, cables, stylus, headphones and more. Compatible with iPad Air, iPad mini and all previous iPad models, it’s definitely the new classy way to travel with an iPad.

Around £65


Leaning Tower of Pasta

G-Paws Pet GPS Tracker

Tilting at an authentic 3.99° angle, this slanted piece of ceramic spaghetti storage can hold up to 1kg of the stuff and brings a Little Italy into your kitchen. Plus, beneath its chunky cork lid lays a very handy set of serving measurements so you can consistently dish out appropriate portion sizes time after time.

Robust and fully weatherproof, this miniature GPS tracker easily clips on to your pet's collar and records its position every five seconds for up to eight hours. Simply plug it into your computer via USB and amuse/horrify yourself and others with the eyeopening results. You can even view and share your pet’s activities using Google Maps.



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Marvel Collector’s Edition Cases for iPhone 5 With access to all plugs and ports, these cases are made from top quality materials and are satin grip coated, making them easy to hold and keeping them safe from danger. Featuring classic artwork for Spider-Man and Captain America, they even look like they’re made from classic comic book paper. Although there is one exception… Spidey's case features his stylish new emblem, while the Captain's case is emblazoned with the contemporary shield design from the latest movie (sadly they were out of vibranium).


Suunto Ambit2 GPS Watch Whether you’re walking, climbing or skiing you’ll now be able to enjoy having heart rate, altitude, pace, weather conditions and location at the tip of your fingers. This multifunctional watch incorporates a GPS navigation system and a 3D compass to help you find the right route, an altimeter, a barometer and all the functions of an electronic watch. It’s just perfect for outdoor adventures.


True Keys Piano Software Budding pianists who don’t have space for a grand piano should check out the True Keys piano. Available as a download, it provides stunningly realistic piano sounds. All you need is a PC or Mac computer and a piano-style keyboard with USB connector to trigger the notes. This is a brilliant piece of software that surpasses the competition and is truly inspirational to play.

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$149.99 (approx. £95)

Samurai Umbrella Ideal for ninjas, noble warriors and anyone who’s OD’d on badly-dubbed kung fu movies, this elegant nylon brolly features a realistic samurai sword-style handle. Simply withdraw this finely-crafted rain repeller from its shoulder-mounted nylon scabbard, depress the push button mechanism and you’re ready to do battle with the elements. You can even pull a few martial artsy moves in between downpours. Hi-Yaaa!


KitVision Edge HD30W Camera Budding There is no shortage of action cameras on the market today designed to record all sorts of things from motorsports to extreme sports, but our favourite has to be the new KitVision Edge HD30W. The camera has a 175-degree wide-angle lens and can record at 1080i resolution. The camera is also waterproof to a depth of 100 meters and has integrated WiFi, which allows the camera to transfer files to a PC or mobile device. You won’t find better in our humble opinion.


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Gadget Geek

Wearable Tech (providing you have an American accent) is somewhat dampened by it’s ugly, angular appearance. Apparently in California, cinemas and cafes have banned users from entering their premises while wearing “glass” which frankly surprises me, I’m shocked that people are considering venturing out in them at all! The problem is that the tech isn’t quite small enough to fit into eyeglasses yet, but by v3 there may just be a few more of us walking the streets muttering “Ok Google Glass…” My advice, they are best left to the uber‐trendy at this stage. You just run the risk of looking silly wearing Google Glass.



aybe your wardrobe looks like mine – a good few pairs of trusty jeans, one or two decent casual shirts and some comfortable, practical footwear (not a suit in sight!). There is, change afoot though. Wardrobes all over the land are getting a USB compatible makeover. Gone are the ill‐fitting cardigans and tank tops, instead they are replaced with wearable tech. Gadgets that promise to make us smarter, fitter and of course trendier but what should we make of this entire new tech that means there’s even more kit to charge up before leaving the house. I’ve worn them, so you don’t have to!

“Hello, is that the fashion police?” Some tech just looks good, the sleek lines of the retro styled digital cameras or the wonderful valved iPod speaker docks that ooze warm bass and cool sophistication, but some of the newer pieces of cutting edge hardware are too sharp for my liking. They appear to have fallen from the Johnny English gadget lab rather than the desk of Jony Ive. Chief offender? Google Glass! It’s quirky functionality and ability to follow spoken commands


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Lifestyle Trackers All is not lost though when it comes to wearable tech. Some of it is useful and sufficiently discreet. The newest batch of fitness bands and watches are pretty cool. Still leading the pack is the Nike+ Fuelband. Now in its second itineration, this tracker allows you to monitor activity levels using the web or an iPhone app (no Android support as yet though). The band will even give you a digital “nudge” if your activity levels are falling behind your pre‐set targets. There are other bands available too, each offering similar (and

sometimes more distinctive features) which aim to boost our healthy lifestyle using the science of “gamification”. This tech is both on trend and useful. Well worth checking out if you respond to progress bars, goals and social media “bragging rights” integration.

A smarter way of telling the time Remember your first “calculator watch”? I do! Remember the Casio watch that had a built in TV remote? I do! (Along with the puzzled / annoyed Sony Centre staff in the Galleries Arcade.) The latest wearable tech promises to combine some of the lifestyle functions of the fitness band and mix them with some smartphone features such as texting and emailing. Samsung have already released the second version of their “Gear 2” which both improves and adds functionality from their first attempt. However many tech‐watchers (no pun intended) are keeping an eye on Apple who are rumoured to be working on something “wearable and techy” (my quote not theirs). So as long as it is Jony Ive working on this one, then maybe if worn only by the Apple fan boys, we will see more wearable tech in the not‐too‐distant future which is great news as many of us always wanted a Dick Tracy watch when we were kids! n Owning most pieces of modern technology ever invented (from the late '80s onwards, at least), the Gadget Geek Paul Hurst should have been one of the richest men on the planet. Instead, he is incredibly well organised, always knows the exact time and can watch video and listen to music just about anywhere.

Got a question for the Gadget Geek? Send me an email at

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60 Second Life Coach

What Women Want From Men some preliminary research in the form of a quick straw poll amongst her Facebook friends to see if they had any insight into this intriguing question. Twenty women responded to Bekah’s Facebook post and in the space of a few short hours, some common themes emerged…


Listen – should any of us be surprised that women want us to listen to them? One comment vigorously expressed this saying: “Listen to us!!! REALLY listen and remember!!!” Another comment said about “being an attentive listener and being present”. When I saw these words, I realised my own guilt as an image quickly formed in my mind of those occasions when my eyes have glazed over and words have gone in one ear and quickly out the other!

ast week, on a sunny spring morning, my wife Jackie and I bumped into Sorted editor Steve Legg walking his dog along the beach. He looked bronzed as he entertained us with the story of his Mount Kilimanjaro climbing adventure, describing how his lungs had ached because the oxygen was so thin at the mountain’s summit. If I’d had a hat, I’d have taken it off to him for his noble effort in scaling such a mighty peak for a charitable cause.

Physical touch – many of our women‐folk like us to be tactile. As a BBC documentary from a few years ago showed, there are benefits to our happiness from having 15 meaningful touches each day. Finally, read the excellent book by best selling author Gary Chapman entitled “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts”. Make it your mission to discover your loved one’s preference, whether it’s words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service or physical touch. Go on, you know it makes sense! n

“ENCOURAGE OUR WOMEN TO FOLLOW THEIR DREAMS.” Our conversation quickly moved on to the Father’s Day theme for the current issue of Sorted, which is the biggest of the year. I was fascinated to hear Steve mention that, though aimed at a male audience, 10% of the Sorted readership is actually female. Jackie quickly piped up that she has more than a passing interest in the mag too, so I thought I’d let our female readers know that sometimes we do take note! When I got home and checked the ubiquitous Facebook tool, I noticed that Steve’s wife Bekah was scheduled to speak at a local men’s breakfast event on the subject “What Women Want From Men”. Being the studious person that she is, Bekah undertook

Accept – the women in our lives want us to accept them for who they are. Bekah Legg expressed this as: “Women want freedom to be who they want to be, not pressure to conform to other people’s expectations of them.” In today’s celebrity‐influenced and media‐ dominated culture, it’s easy to understand where these pressures come from. We can help the women in our lives to feel good about themselves rather than be drawn into becoming another celebrity clone. Encourage our women to follow their dreams. As a life coach, I love it when people can realise their full potential and pursue their dreams.

Peter Horne is a qualified life coach with a passion for helping people change things in their lives when they feel stuck. He works with individuals and organisations, and can be contacted at Peter is married with four children and attends St Peter’s Church in Brighton.

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THE VILLAINS’ VICAR Meet the reverend that has taken the funerals of some of the UK’s most famous criminals. BY STACEY HAILES


ave Tomlinson is a down to earth man. He is easy to talk to and makes you feel welcome no matter what path of life you have walked on. He believes in being a friend to all and is not afraid to cross what other Christians might see as boundaries. Being brought up in Liverpool with a family of believers, Dave became a Christian at the age of 13 in a Brethren church. However, reflecting back the now vicar of St Luke’s Holloway says growing up he felt his heart was elsewhere. “I was bought up in the 1960s,” he explains, “so it was music, Liverpool football club and girls that really was attracting me.” It was at the age of 17, when Dave was taken along to a house church, that he says his life turned around. By the time he was 22 he had left his job and worked full time for a church. The particular sort of church Dave was in had a very strong emphasis on holiness, to the point that nobody in that circle even touched alcohol. This didn’t sit right with Dave. “Really I think when it got to about the end of the 1980s, I was perhaps discovering who I was and who I was theologically and began to ask all of the questions and increasingly felt like I was a bit of a square peg in a round whole in all of this,” he explains. “I didn’t know where I belonged really.” In turn Dave gave up his job in the church and left with his wife. “It was a big deal at the time. We left not knowing where we belonged or fitted at all. We jokingly thought maybe we would buy a pub in the Yorkshire Dales, you know I quite fancied that,” he laughs. “It’s still waiting for me.” Although Dave didn’t buy a pub, he did set up a church in one. “This was partly to do with our own kids and where they were at in their late teens. They were rather disinfected, and their friends too, with church but


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we felt it wasn’t to do with God but it was a cultural thing. So we began a group in our house which became known as Holy Joes and then after a while, as a group, we moved into the upstairs room in a pub and in fact we moved around quite a few pubs in South London in the end for about ten years.” From breaking out of the norm and starting a church in a pub, Dave’s journey continued to be a great adventure. One of his latest ventures has been taking the funerals of criminal masterminds.


From Pub To Villians’ Funerals “The Great Train Robbery of 1963” is still a story talked about today. At the time it was the most money that had ever been stolen. With inside knowledge and careful planning, on Thursday 8th August 1963, a gang of 15 robbers attacked a Royal Mail train between Glasgow and London. The team, led by Bruce Reynolds, got away with over £2.6 million – the equivalent of £46 million in today’s money. With the men of this robbery being known for such a crime, some Vicars would shy away from having anything to do with them. Not Dave Tomlinson though. He willingly took the funeral of Bruce Reynolds at the beginning of 2013 and then earlier this year did the same for Reynolds’ partner in crime, Ronnie Biggs. Reynolds was the brains behind the robbery and spent five years on the run before being caught. In 1969 he was sentenced to 25 years behind bars. Dave took his f

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funeral in central London last year after the vicar who was first asked to conduct the service had reservations about the things they wanted to do in the service. “He felt that what they wanted was a bit like a cabaret,” Dave explains. They wanted several people speaking and Bruce’s son Nick – who is in a band called Alabama 3 – to sing the band’s song ‘Too Sick To Pray’, which was part of the theme music for the Sopranos, acoustically at the funeral. “So the funeral director said to the Vicar, ‘how does he feel about me coming in to take the funeral’? which I did.” Dave says this was a great experience. At the funeral Dave met Ronnie Biggs, who is known not only for his part in the Great Train Robbery, but also for escaping from prison and living as a fugitive for 36 years. During this time Biggs had plastic surgery to change his identity and lived in various countries. Although he returned to the United Kingdom in 2001 and was sent back to prison, when Biggs’ health rapidly declined he was released from prison in August 2009 on compassionate grounds. He died in his nursing home in North London at the end of 2013. It came as no shock to Dave when his family approached him to do his funeral too. “I got to know Nick, Bruce’s son, very well and so I think when it came to Ronnie Biggs dying his family knew me. I met Ronnie Biggs there. He was in a wheelchair and it was a bit difficult to communicate with him but I did meet him and talked with him briefly. I even read his tribute to Bruce Reynolds out at the funeral. So it wasn’t a surprise when the family said they would like me to take that funeral as well.”

The Funerals How did it compare to other funerals? “Well on one level it is very similar. I take funerals on most weeks of my life and you know, on one level you can almost do it on automatic pilot. But, on the other hand obviously you are under an enormous amount of attention. Ronnie Biggs’ [funeral] in particular had just the most amazing amount of media presence. It was difficult to even get into the crematorium, you know, for all the cameras, step ladders and big lenses and so on, plus an awful lot of, in some cases, quite scary looking people,” Dave laughs.


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“About a dozen hells angels’ bikes led his procession and in the crematorium itself it was, I mean it was just completely jammed out. Every single bit of space was taken, people were standing right up to the front of the aisle. I see my main job as being one of connecting pastorally with the family, with the people sitting on the front couple of rows, but obviously you can’t ignore the fact you’ve got all this other kind of crowd and media there.” Dave was very aware that whatever he said was likely to be reported, or mis‐reported as he joked. “I think it sort of felt like a big game,” he says. Dave had people question how he could take the funeral of such criminals. How did he respond? “Well I don’t really understand it at all to be honest,” Dave explains. “When I take the funerals of completely random unknown people from Holloway – I don’t do an interview to find out what there life was like or whether they meet some sort of criteria. A person’s funeral is not some kind of approval or affirmation of their life. You are commending this person into the hands of God, thankful that it is God and not you that has to sort of deal with that and make a judgment at them.” “That said, I think there is an awful lot of exaggerated stuff about people like Ronnie Biggs. It is widely reported that he was not repentant, but I don’t know exactly what constitutes in peoples minds as repentance, but certainly if you read his autobiography, he says it is completely untrue that he has no regrets.” After Dave took the funeral, he had contact with prison chaplains who said that they prayed with Biggs in prison. On top of this, the following week from the funeral Dave baptised Biggs’ granddaughter. He says: “So there was some really positive sort of life‐affirming side that came out of it and a very strong connection pastorally with the family, which I now look upon them as friends really.” Dave is adamant that vicars like him need to reach out more. It’s a philosophy that has even seen him befriend the leaders of The Sunday Assembly – a church for Atheists that has enjoyed widespread media attention of late. He may be the Villain’s Vicar, but it’s hard to imagine Dave calling anyone a “villain”. Dave’s inclusive outlook means even the most hardened criminals seem to be able to open up to him. n Stacey Hailes is the Deputy Editor of Sorted. She graduated last summer from a Magazine Journalism and Feature Writing degree and has written for a variety of publications. Stacey loves nothing more than spending time with her friends, family and husband. She will most often be found writing in a coffee shop.

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Choosing Life Hollywood film star, Mark Wahlberg, talks to Sorted about the crossroads he reached as a youngster and why current projects are helping him to continue taking the right path in life. BY JAMES BURROWS


hen Mark Wahlberg talks about the grace of God turning his life around, he’s not exaggerating. “Religion helped save me,” Mark says. There was a time when the 42‐ year‐old actor was toying with self‐destruction. Mark’s teenage rap sheet is longer than his filmography. By the age of 13, he was addicted to cocaine and had already experienced dozens of run‐ins with the local police department in Boston. At 16 he was convicted of assault and sentenced to two years in the city’s state prison, Deer Island House of Correction. Wahlberg only served 45 days of this sentence. If that seems a lifetime ago, it’s because it is. Wahlberg, a Catholic, expresses nothing but remorse for his younger years. “I did a lot of things that I regret and I have certainly paid for my mistakes,” he explains. “Everything I did wrong was my own fault. I was taught the difference between right and wrong at an early age. I take full responsibility.” It was a parish priest who helped wrestle him away from a life of crime. After some time he left his street gang and found fame as Marky Mark a rapper. He did this with a little help from his brother, Donnie Wahlberg, who made his name in New Kids on the Block.


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“I HAVE MY BELIEFS AND IT’S PART OF MY LIFE, BUT I’M NOT HANDING OUT PAMPHLETS ON THE SET!” “I overindulged for a period back in my twenties. I got caught up in living the big life but then I knew I had to quit partying and get serious about things,” he says. “I turned my life around. One of the most important people who helped me in life was Father Flavin, who has been in my life since I was 13. He helped set me straight and I feel the greatest respect and debt to him.” Father Flavin married Wahlberg and his wife, Rhea Durham, and baptised all of their four children. Faith has stayed with Mark to this day and keeps him strong. He visits church as often as once a day (filming restrictions pending) and says, “I have my beliefs and it’s part of my life, but I’m not handing out pamphlets on the set!” Describing a life a million miles away from his hedonistic youth he says: “When I’m in L.A. I’m usually in bed by 9pm and I’m up at 5am. I’ll work out for an hour and then help Rhea get the kids out of bed. I’ll drive them to school, and then I’ll go to church for an hour. I find it very refreshing to be able to pray to be a better man and do my best for my family and friends. It’s a great way to start the day. I feel it clears my head and gives me a f

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MARK WAHLBERG good feeling about whatever it is that I have to do.” Meeting Rhea was also a turning point in Mark’s life. “When I met her, I also felt I had to change things because I wanted it to work out between us. And when you’re raising children, you want to be the best father possible and make sure your kids grow up with respect for you and have a good grounding.” Mark is proud of the life he’s given his kids, adding that he “lives for them.”

From finding faith to a new career Mark has carved out a career he can be proud of too. After finding fame in the early 1990s, as frontman of the band Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, he branched into advertising, picking up work as a model in Calvin Klein underwear ads. He dropped the ‘Marky Mark’ and made his debut in the 1993 television movie The Substitute, before appearing on the big screen in Renaissance Man the following year. Starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Basketball Diaries was a part of his breakthrough, but it was Boogie Nights that made him famous. Three Kings, The Perfect Storm and The Fighter followed, as well as The Departed where he united with Vicario. For his part in The Departed he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 2007 Oscars but lost out to Little Miss Sunshine’s Alan Arkin. He worked as a producer on HBO’s comedy‐drama Entourage and is increasingly eager to get behind the camera, working on his latest movies The Fighter and Boardwalk Empire, as well as Lone Survivor, in which he also stars.

“I’M READY TO GO DIG DITCHES IF I HAVE TO. WHATEVER I’VE GOT TO DO TO PROVIDE FOR MY FAMILY.” He’s incredibly grateful of the opportunities he’s been given, especially as he realises he was heading down a path of life in prison or worse. Most of Mark’s gratitude goes to his wife and to God. Yet much of his success also rests on the hard work he has put into acting and his restless drive. “I always wake up with the feeling that it’s never enough. I feel like I have to keep moving forward and keep working as hard as I can or I’m going to lose it all. It’s crazy, I know, but I can’t seem to get away from that kind of compulsion,” he shares.

“My wife tries to convince me to slow down and not be so hard on myself and sometimes that advice sinks in. But then I get anxious and I’m back on the phone for five hours at a time working on a new deal, talking to producers, studios, actors. “I believe in working as hard as possible. Work is what keeps me focused and it’s just part of my nature to keep moving forward. I’m trying to do the right thing. I don’t want to let my guard down and feel too comfortable. If you become complacent, you start feeling entitled. I’m ready to go dig ditches if I have to. Whatever I’ve got to do to provide for my family. Whatever I’ve got to do to make sure that I do the best possible job at whatever wonderful opportunities I’ve been handed.” While Wahlberg may be a prolific actor, in recent years he’s chosen well, with The Fighter and The Departed – both of which triumphed at the Oscars – being the obvious examples. He says God plays a part in the roles he chooses and guides him to pick the right ones. “I drew on my faith to get me to where I am today,” he explains. “A certain part of me instinctively gravitates to redemption stories.” He’s referring to his most recent part in Lone Survivor, a true story of a US combat mission in Afghanistan that saw only one man, Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, come out alive.

Starring as a soldier “Marcus Luttrell has inspired me to try to be a better man, a better husband, a better father, a better friend and a better brother,” Wahlberg says. “Being around a special human being like that can either make you feel inadequate to the point where you let your tail go between your legs or you say, I’ve got to be better! I chose to take that route because of his ‘never give up’ and ‘never quit’ attitude. We have no idea about the kind of hell soldiers go through. This film honours the men who fight our battles.” Mark took enormous pride in being able to tell not only Lutterell’s story, but that of all the “courageous” soldiers that fought for their country, as well the brave Afghans who “risked their lives to save Marcus, simply because it was the right thing for them to do.” Warlberg continues: “The preparation for the movie was intense. We carried up equipment every day on the shoot and no‐one complained. There was a very special group of people that was put together. It was not for the weak or the faint of heart. “We wanted to make it as realistic as possible. It was our small way of showing solidarity with the real soldiers who go through hell and sometimes don’t get to f

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MARK WAHLBERG come back home. We also had Marcus on the set with us as an advisor, and you’re damn well not going to phone it in, in front of Marcus Luttrell,” he laughs. Mark says the film was an honour and easily the most important role he has played in his life. When asked what he most admires about Lutteral he says everything. “The man is the definition of pure courage, willingness to sacrifice, and defend his fellow soldiers. It was important to me to help tell Marcus’s story and help him carry the load of what he’s had to face during his time in Afghanistan and also coming back home after losing 19 of his friends in combat. “It’s the real face of war. I think people take for granted what soldiers do for us. The war has been going on for so long that we’ve almost forgotten about it but a lot of our soldiers are still losing their lives over there or coming home badly wounded. “And it’s such an amazing story, not just in paying tribute to Marcus but also paying tribute to the Afghan villagers and put a face on the Afghan people as opposed to the assumption that because we’re at war in Afghanistan that we are at war with Afghanistan. We’re not.” This is not his only forage into politics. Wahlberg is a long‐term supporter of the Democrat party and is involved in many charities close to his heart. Given his own difficulties as a youngster, his commendable work

with troubled youths and the homeless seems more genuine than some of Hollywood’s more positive PR‐ hungry celebs. The star is now on a break from acting duties; instead he is overseeing the final stages of work on his mansion in Beverly Hills where he lives with Rhea and their four children, Ella Rae, ten, Michael, seven, Brendan, five, and Grace, four.

“I DEVOTE MYSELF TO BEING A GOOD FATHER AND HUSBAND AND BEING ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY.” In the past he has spoken about retiring but says he must have been “tired” when he said that as he remains as focused and as eager as ever. Does he feel he still has something to prove? “There’s a part of me that feels that way,” he says. “I’m 42, but I don’t think I’ve got it made or accomplished half of what I think I can or would like to. I came from a working‐class family and I was living in the streets without a lot of hope and making a lot of mistakes. I’ve been given the chance to lead a good life in every sense of that expression. “I devote myself to being a good father and husband and being able to take care of my friends and family,” he says. “When does there ever come a point where you want to stop doing that?” n 46

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FASHION MAKING A DIFFERENCE Stacey Hailes caught up with Mark Musgrave, the founder of a new ethical clothing label, to talk about his vision to use fashion to bring independence and freedom.


ark Musgrave is an ordinary guy who has managed to start an extraordinary company. The 25‐year‐old has encountered numerous obstacles and even came close to giving up altogether, but in January 2014 Mark achieved his dream and launched The Level Collective – an independent ethical clothing company.

The Level Collective Fairness is built into the very fabric of the brand. Mark explains: “’Level’ is simply about fairness, which is one of our core values. We ensure that we are financially fair to everyone involved – the maker, the designers and of course our customers. We also seek to express this value of equality through the communication and relationships that we have with our designers, suppliers and customers alike.” Based in Sheffield where he lives with his wife Charley, Mark works as a graphic designer but dreams of one day being full‐time at The Level Collective. “‘Collective’ is the community aspect of our brand,” Mark explains. “We love the fact that our T‐shirts are designed by different designers, each with unique and distinct expressions of creativity, yet they all form part of the same collection.”

“ALTHOUGH IT REQUIRES SACRIFICE OF SOME PROFIT AND MORE EFFORT, IT IS SO WORTH IT.” The journey to launch this new clothing label started in 2010. Like many new businesses it wasn’t easy. Mark says: “To be honest there have been some very frustrating situations and several times where I have been very close to giving up. At those times I put the project aside for a few weeks, gave myself a bit of space, and then returned to it with some fresh perspective, direction and ideas. “Although it has changed name, concept and direction on several occasions, I am so pleased that I persevered and I firmly believe that this bumpy road has been so valuable in refining and defining exactly what The Level Collective is about.” The company has come to pride itself on being about design, adventure and change. Mark says as a founder of the company these are three things that he is passionate about and believes others to be too. “Design is because I love looking at design in all contexts across graphic design, photography, architecture, product design etc.,” he explains. “Adventure is because I love to be outside in natural


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Let’s Get Ethical Ethics is at the centre of The Level Collective. Why was it so important to Mark and the team to have an ethical business? “Because without wanting to sound at all like a candidate for Miss World, even at the most basic level it is an embarrassment that in 2014 we would accept anything less than what is fair to fellow human beings,” Mark explains. “It is important because it is possible and can be fair for everyone, including the end customer. Although it requires sacrifice of some profit and more effort, it is so worth it.” He adds: “A growing number of people are beginning to think much more carefully about how they spend their money as well as where and how things have been made. It’s great to think that when someone buys one of our garments, they not only get a great t‐shirt or beanie to wear, but they are also supporting sustainable and fair manufacturing, as well as the creative who designed the print.” These Romanian workers who hand make their beanie hats are paid above a minimum wage for their efforts. Mark says: “The charity personally knows the families in the community that they serve and so seek to recruit families who they know are in particularly difficult circumstances. At the start of their training, some don’t even have the ability to count, but patiently they are trained how to crochet to an excellent standard.” When Mark spent some time with the workers he was encouraged to see how their hard work was helping them have an independence and dignity they didn’t have before. It has given them hope. f

beauty on all occasions. Whether up a mountain, in a forest, in the sea or anywhere outdoors. Change is because I want my life to be about bringing positive change and seeing Gods Kingdom come in the world. It is the bigger picture and it is about the way in which our clothing is ethically and sustainably made.”

Inspiration There are several things that inspired Mark to start The Level Collective and influenced the different aspects that make up the brand as it is today. One of the main stimuli was Mark’s time working with NetWorks charity in Romania. “They are an amazing charity that have been bringing practical and sustainable hope to poor gypsy communities for over twenty years,” he beams. “One of their social micro‐enterprise projects, called Dece, involves training people within the communities how to crochet various items.” This led to The Level Collective beanie hats being hand‐made by that same Romanian company. They make them to custom sizes and colours for the brand. Mark says: “It was a privilege to meet some of the families who make our hats. In the context of extreme poverty they were some of the wealthiest in the community, in the sense that they could afford food, medicine and firewood. It was great to see the real and sustainable hope that this project is all about. It proves that fashion doesn’t have to be exploitative and benefit only a small minority of corporate middle‐men, but can actually be something fair and bring independence and freedom from a cycle of poverty experienced by generations.” Mark was also inspired by his own experience in fashion retail whilst at college and university. He had the opportunity once to spend time at a head office of one of the companies he worked for and was surprised and disappointed to find they were not concerned about ethical considerations of the company. “This served to inspire me further that clothing shouldn’t and doesn’t have to be made this way.”

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In addition to the hats, the T‐shirts are ethically made in India where the supplier is fully approved by the Fair Wear Foundation, an independent organisation that audits working conditions and pay. “They also achieved ‘The Global Organic Textile Standard’ ensuring their entire supply chain; from harvesting the raw materials, production, packaging and distribution are in a socially and environmentally ethical way,” Mark adds. “The cotton itself is ethically produced with farmers and agricultural works also being protected by stringent labour standards.”


Clothing Community With one look at The Level Collective’s clothes, it is clear to see unique designs are also at the heart of this company. They have a passion to not only create clothing to a high ethical standard, but also to be exceedingly visually pleasing. The brand partners with designers from various creative disciplines in order to create original designs. “We believe that attention to detail is an important aspect of any great design and we have sought to make our clothing range distinctive in this way. Our high quality screen‐printing has enabled us to capture the exceptional detail of each design,” Mark shares. “Each T‐ shirt also features a small pinecone on back‐bottom‐left in a colour relevant to the design on the front – we wanted to celebrate the uniqueness of each design yet give it the ‘family crest’ of being part of The Level Collective.”


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When you talk to Mark you can capture the real feel of community this company is rooted in. Their yearning to partner with a wide range of creatives is one of their many attractive qualities. Mark says: “My desire to partner with creatives in developing the designs for the t‐shirts was inspired by the buzz I felt at giving my time and energy into something that was so much bigger than me, that was seeking to create real positive change. I figured that if it excited me then it would probably excite other people too. “Although I work as a web designer and graphic designer, I am very aware that there are many more individuals far more creative and talented when it comes to creating great designs for t‐shirts.” In turn the company partners with creatives to select designs for their T‐shirts, which are then hand‐screen printed in England. “Our designers are really part of the family,” Mark smiles. “This is why we talk about them and introduce them on our blog. Designers like and share each other’s work on social media because they share the same values and want to support each other. We also want our customers to really feel part of something bigger than them and it’s not just to be some cold transactional thing. We don’t just make great clothing, we have values, we stand for something and customers who share these values are really part of something special.” Although this company has just begun, this is the start of an exciting adventure. In the upcoming months you can expect to see more exclusive T‐shirt designs and in time a range of jumpers introduced. You can join their adventure on Facebook and Twitter (@levelcollective) and see how fashion can make a real difference. n

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BLOOD, SWEAT & COMPASSION Sorted’s very own editor, Steve Legg, reached new heights (literally) as he took on the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro for charity. After living to tell the tale, here is the story of his great adventure…


here are some things you need to know about me before we go any further. I don’t camp, my sense of adventure doesn’t foray beyond food and, whilst I wouldn’t go so far as to admit that I’m scared of heights (and certainly not in such a public forum), they are not one of my favourite things. Climbing Kilimanjaro has never once featured on my bucket list, it’s never even been shortlisted for it, but there’s one more thing about me you must know – I find it hard to say no to a challenge. So when the child development charity, Compassion, approached me and asked if, as an Ambassador, I’d like to climb to the roof of Africa to raise money for the work they do, I was gob‐smacked to hear myself say, “Why not?” With that verbal betrayal, my life swiftly descended into lists of equipment, hours of googling and a training regime that made the dog threaten to leave me. If I was going to punish myself on a mountain, I was at least going to give it everything I had.

The Adventure Begins We flew into Nairobi Airport in Kenya and were swiftly assailed by the sights, smells and sounds of Africa. And, the heat. This trip was at the end of January – Britain was pretty much knee deep in water and we hadn’t seen the sun in what seemed like years. The heat quite frankly was so welcome that if it were possible and not deeply embarrassing, I would have got down on my knees and kissed it. I didn’t, but I breathed deep the smell of baked earth, took in the noise of the hustle and bustle of people going about their day and people‐watched to my heart’s content.

“IT’S THE KIND OF PLACE THAT MAKES YOU BELIEVE IN GOD.” From Nairobi we drove to Tanzania along a potholed highway that saw us shoot forwards in our seat every time the driver slammed his brakes on to save us from being swallowed into the craters that filled the road. The road slowly took us lower and lower and the heat soared as the landscape turned to classic Savannah with acacia trees and scrub bushes as far as the eye could see.


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With trepidation we spent our last night of comfort in a lodge at the foot of the mountain, took one last breath of Wi‐Fi to call home and attempted to sleep in the shadow of our challenge. If I’m honest, there was a moment when the deep blue pool, the live Premiership football on the TV and the sun loungers nearly won me over but, come morning, I faced the mountain, pulled on my boots and stepped forth into a whole new world.

“I HAVE NEVER DONE ANYTHING SO PHYSICALLY CHALLENGING IN MY LIFE.” It was an amazing world. There are a number of routes up Kilimanjaro, pioneered by various intrepid explorers who love this kind of thing. The route we took, the Rongai route, is meant to be the least scenic but it was impressive all the same. We traversed rain forest, moorland, alpine desert, snow fields and ice cliffs as we walked 22 miles and ascended to 20,000 feet over five days. Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and the highest free standing mountain known to man. It is majestic with its crown rising through the clouds. It’s the kind of place that makes you believe in God.

Pole Pole It was challenging from the start, not least because two of the keys to getting to the top in one piece (and according to our leader only 60% of people achieve that), are “pole‐pole” and hydration. Pole means slowly in Swahili and this was a hard pill to swallow. In training I had been walking nearly 5 miles an hour. The painstakingly slow ascent needed to combat the increase in altitude felt sluggish and slow. This hare was struggling to walk like a tortoise. And the water! We were advised to drink five litres a day – that is a lot of water and what goes in must come out. Let’s just put it this way, I’m a man who has to take a toilet break on a trip to the supermarket. We travelled with an astonishing team of 54 porters and guides who took care of our every need. It was embarrassing how easily they carried our gear and how far ahead of us they could get in such a f

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short amount of time, but they were our greatest encouragers. They woke us at 6.30am for “washy washy” and tea (I never drink tea, but this was ginger tea meant to help with the altitude so I closed my eyes, thought of England and drank up) and cooked the most amazing three course meals – a dazzling array of dishes to tempt our diminishing appetites. They were my heroes, these smiling capable men who cheered us as we struggled to do what came with ease to them. Each night we camped in a different terrain, each one bleaker and colder than the last until the night before our final ascent we went to sleep not just fully clothed but in our jackets, hats and gloves. We were woken just before midnight, forced some more food down ourselves and set off for the top. I have never done anything so physically challenging in my life. Impatience at the pace was a thing of the past, the lack of oxygen meant that every step took will power. Ten steps required a break to catch a breath. The whole team were stooping and stumbling like wizened old men and most, on top of that, were fighting the effects of altitude sickness. That final climb took eight hours. Eight hours of ten steps at a time. Eight hours to trek three miles and climb 4000 feet. Some didn’t make it and watching people be carried down put the whole expedition into focus. I’d underestimated this mountain, but I was determined to make it – ten steps at a time and ten steps at a time I did.

The view from the top Looking back, I’ve said I wouldn’t wish that last night’s summit climb on my worst enemy but the view from the top, the sun rising over the horizon revealing ice fields beauty as far as the eye could see, the elation of getting to the top, maybe it is worth it. It’s a memory that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life. My inability to say no to a challenge may well have taken me into my worst camping nightmare, but it also got me to the roof of Africa and that is something I’ll never forget. Sometimes, failure really isn’t an option.


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Doing it for the Dads But manly claims and bold statements are not really what got me to the top. It wasn’t a mystical combination of ginger tea and garlic that enabled me to sit atop the highest freestanding mountain in the world. The children of Limuru got me there. In Limuru we were still a long way from a flimsy tent amongst the rocks in the rarefied air of Kilimanjaro. We were in the hill lands of Kiambu, a lush green, tea growing area that sits in the hills above Nairobi. We were visiting a project, partnered with Compassion, called Ngecha. Here we met Miriam and her staff who are literally devoted to changing the lives of the children they work with.

“I WANTED TO EMPOWER THESE MEN TO BE THE FATHERS THEY WANT TO BE – GREAT FATHERS, FATHERS WHO RAISE AMAZING CHILDREN. AND THAT IS WHAT GOT ME UP THE MOUNTAIN.” It was a world away from the plush hotel we had just left; corrugated iron buildings, stained red from the ochre earth that surrounds them, housed children sitting squeezed three abreast on desks watching their teacher explain things on an old blackboard. It was old fashioned and basic but it worked – the smiles on the children’s faces spoke volumes. Here was an oasis for children, a place where they were deeply loved, and a place they could find food, receive medical attention, grow their minds and nurture their souls. It was a place which promised hope and a future. I’d brought along a few magic tricks and gave them a short show and as I watched their faces, saw their

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COMPASSION reactions and heard them giggle I realised again that these children were like my children. Their characters, their mischievousness, their dreams were just the same. And I knew that their dads would be just like me, probably not magicians in obscenely bright shirts pulling lights out of children’s ears, but men who deeply love their children. Men who desperately want to provide for them, to make them smile, to watch them grow, to see them reach their potential. I wanted to help them do that. I wanted to empower these men to be the fathers they want to be – great fathers, fathers who raise amazing children. And that is what got me up the mountain. Over the years, I’ve had my own times of struggle. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve never had to live in a corrugated hut watching my children starve, but I have had days when I didn’t know how I was going to buy the next meal, I have had days when I didn’t know if I was able to keep the roof over our head and I have had days when I quite simply didn’t know what do with my beautiful kids – didn’t know which decisions to make. And in those days I have had the great fortune to have some amazing people around me. People who gave me advice, people who took my kids under their wing, people who left bags of shopping on the doorstep, people who told me I could do it. I have belonged to a beautiful community; I want to bring more people in and have realised that by sponsoring a child through Compassion, I can do just that. When I sponsor a child I bring him into the community – him, his family, even his village and I share with him the goodness that that brings. It’s more than just sending a bit of money and providing a bit of food, it gives dignity, value and justice. It helps a man hold his head high again. We should be able to hold our heads high. So as I climbed this mountain, struggling for breath, shuffling like an old man, the thing that kept me going was knowing that I was doing it for the dads. It made the blood, sweat and blisters all worth it. n If you would like to take on your own challenge of a lifetime visit To find out more about the work of Compassion, visit


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We’re in Business

Part‐Time Work – A Release to a Higher Calling?

Around two million UK workers could also feel like Sandra Bullock on that doomed bus. This is the number of underemployed people in the UK, who are working part‐time but would rather be working full‐time and earning more. I have no doubt that God is using our employment as a way of deepening our levels of faith and trust in Him. Scripture never denies that life will sometimes be challenging, but it also promises that those who trust the Lord will not be disappointed. “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” (Psalm 37:3)

“MY JOB HAS MORPHED INTO A PART-TIME MIX OF SELF-EMPLOYMENT AND JUGGLING A DAILY 30-MILE ROUND TRIP SCHOOL RUN!” I can honestly say that, five years on from losing my job, God has provided for my family financially. If part‐time work is not paying your bills, then I would encourage you to press on and persevere in your prayers for a better paid job. God will not disappoint.

Could this also be an open door? However, before you rush off to pray for a full‐ time job, think about whether God could be calling you to part‐time work in order to release you into His purposes for your life. All of us are called by God to be many things such as an excellent dad, husband, football coach etc. Our career can be a calling but, on the other hand, the job that pays the bills can also facilitate our main calling. For example, the Apostle Paul was a tentmaker and Luke was a doctor but, for both men, their higher mission was to spread the gospel message. If you are currently in part‐time work, could this be your opportunity to ask God if He has placed you in this situation in order to release you into your higher calling? If this is so, He will provide for you in the same way He did for Paul (Acts 18:2‐3).

Different kinds of part-time work


hat is your current job situation? Are you working full‐time, looking for a job or even grabbing work on an ad‐hoc basis? Since being made redundant a few years ago my job has morphed into a part‐time mix of self‐ employment and juggling a daily 30‐mile round trip school run! As a guy it can be tough not to be the main breadwinner and to do the “mum” things. It can threaten our sense of what it means to be a man. Remember that scene from the film Speed? 58

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Sandra Bullock is travelling in a bus that will explode if it drops below 50mph, and to make things complicated it is also heading towards an incomplete section of highway that will plunge its occupants into a fiery grave. Despite our best efforts, our careers can appear to be just like that bus: on a highway to nowhere with limited opportunities.

Faith in God’s provision You have to go a long way nowadays to find a subject that will test our faith more in God’s provision than our employment situation. If you feel tested in this area, you’re not alone.

There are many different ways you can work on a part‐time basis. If you feel that God is calling you into this kind of work in order to release you into His particular calling for your life, then why not check out the link below for alternative ways in which you could work and walk in the fullness of God’s plans and purposes for you. /five‐alternative‐ways‐of‐working n Charles is an experienced careers coach and founder of Christian‐based careers coaching service Want2get on? (, which offers one‐on‐one careers counselling, workshops and seminars. He wrote The Christian Guide to Jobs and Careers (, is a busy dad of three young boys and husband to an overworked doctor. He also leads the men’s ministry at Oasis Church in Colliers Wood.

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Handling Interpersonal & Organisational Politics Therefore the second insight for handling interpersonal and organisational politics is to find truth in criticism. Even if the intent of the criticism is to harm you, it is possible to find a small nugget of truth that can help you become a better person.

“CRITICISM CONTAINS THE POWER TO CHANGE YOU INTO A BETTER VERSION OF YOURSELF.” How prepared are you to face your critics and to listen, understand and learn from their criticism. You probably won’t look forward to it, or enjoy it or want to repeat it again in a hurry, however criticism contains the power to change you into a better version of yourself.

Let Others Fight For You



t was the second course of dinner and the person I was sat next to had already gossiped, revealed secrets and betrayed confidences about half of the people in their organisation. By the time coffee was served there was not a single soul who stood unscathed. I was left thinking “I wonder what they say about me when I’m out of earshot!”

encouraging communication that is frequent, transparent and motivated by a positive intent can strengthen a culture of trust and speaking well of people. The people who go about their business criticising others are advertising the fact that they are untrustworthy. My advice is – leave them alone, “those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”

Speak Well Of People

Find Truth In Criticism

The first insight for handling interpersonal and organisational politics is to speak well of people. Talk to people, not about people. Only say about people what you have already said to them. An environment where gossip, rumour and criticism prevail is a low trust and low performance environment. Instead,

The old saying “there is rarely smoke without fire” rings true. If you are criticised for something there is normally, but not always, a small element of truth in what is being said. Whoever is to blame, there is personal learning enclosed which, if unwrapped, can make you better rather than bitter.

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The third insight for handling interpersonal and organisational politics is to let others fight for you. There are few things less winsome than self‐justification. So adopting a position of humility and allowing others to fight on your behalf is a much better way. This is easier if you have a network of trusted relationships within the organisation or community who will naturally want to defend you. So build relationships with people who you can look out for and who can also look out for you. One of the best ways to overcome interpersonal and organisational politics is exemplary behaviour and performance. Remember actions speak louder than words. If you are accused of something untrue, one of the most powerful responses is simply living the opposite truth n Matt Bird helps leaders and organisations build the relationships they need to achieve greater success. He is a keynote speaker, trainer and coach. Get Matt’s FREE ebook at

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Bolder & Boulder

Who Are You Running For?


It was sixty years ago, the 6th May 1954, that Bannister broke the record, crossing the line at Oxford’s Iffley road track in three minutes and 59.4 seconds. Once he’d recovered enough to speak, having literally collapsed across the finish line, Bannister immediately acknowledged the crucial role that his two friends Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway had played in his triumph. Both exceptional and successful runners in their own right acted as Bannister’s pacemakers for the race. Brasher led them off, setting the perfect pace for two laps before Chataway took over. He maintained the pace until, with 250 yards left, Bannister kicked for home and his place in the history books. It was an amazing, iconic achievement and as Bannister said, he couldn’t have done it without Brasher and Chataway. But it still seems strange that the obituary writers agreed that Chataway’s “headline” achievement was not one of his

many personal successes but his part in a race in which he ultimately finished a distant second. It contradicts society’s message that life’s a competition in which in the end each man will be judged by his winnings: the money he makes, the car he drives, the holidays he takes. Chataway was unapologetically competitive and undeniably a winner, yet his obituaries highlighted his selfless contribution to another man’s success, not his personal victories. It seems then that at the end of our days we will be judged not by our ability to win our own race, but rather by our willingness to help others win theirs.

Popperfoto/Getty Images

ir Chris Chataway died earlier this year, having crammed an astonishing number of achievements into his 82 years. He was, among other things, MP for Lewisham North, ITN’s first newsreader, Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority, Honorary Treasurer of ActionAid and President of the Commonwealth Games Council. He is best remembered however as an athlete. During a short but eventful career he ran in two Olympic finals, won a Commonwealth gold medal, held the three mile and 5,000m world records and was the first BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Yet despite his many achievements in politics, broadcasting, business and sport, his obituaries all identified him first and foremost as the man who helped Roger Bannister run the first sub‐ four minute mile.

“WE WILL BE JUDGED NOT BY OUR ABILITY TO WIN OUR OWN RACE, BUT RATHER BY OUR WILLINGNESS TO HELP OTHERS WIN THEIRS.” We blokes love to compete, we love to be in the race and most of all we love to win, whether it’s on the track, in the office or down the pub. There’s nothing wrong with competition and there’s no shame in winning. But if we want to win in life we need to make sure we keep asking ourselves the question written between the lines of Chataway’s obituary: who am I running for? P.s. Chataway won BBC Sports Personality of the year in 1954, the year Bannister ran the first sub‐ four minute mile. Who did he beat into second place? Yep, Roger Bannister… n Martin Carter has a wife, three children and a desire to become more like the bloke God made him to be. He starts each day vowing to be bolder in his faith and the rest of it tripping up on all the boulders that get in the way. Writing about it helps him remember where he buried them (the boulders, not the family!). You can contact him via

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Collective Action

From Instant to Artisan – Lessons from a Novice Barista


s a teenager growing up in north London, I liked things to be instant. Waiting was not a word or experience I was comfortable with. Once I had set my heart on something, I wanted it – yesterday! It was the 1970s and 80s, the time of the Pot Noodle, Loadsamoney, Kwik Fit and, the birth of the coffee advert soap opera – for a blend perhaps not quite as golden as the advert implied. I wasn’t a coffee geek then, but I was significantly influenced by the culture; an instant world that was often: n rushed: where speed was king n unsustainable: where wasteful practices were ignored n substandard: where quantity was valued over quality n tiring: where overwork became the norm


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The not‐for‐profit sector, in which I live and breathe, has sometimes been criticised for taking on this quick‐fit culture, promising instant results for very little money. We live in a world that is crying out for solutions to the questions and crises of our age. “How can I be a good dad?” and “how can we care for the thousands of children who have no dad?” are just two questions often on my mind. I know that there are no quick fixes. In Kampala, 85% of children in institutionalised care have at least one biological parent alive. Viva’s partner network is bringing together 22 children’s homes to seek safe and sustainable ways to bring children back home. The process is not instant – it takes time; with the crucial link in the process involving highly skilled caregivers. Their efforts have an immediate and long‐term impact on the child through their engagement with the whole family and wider community. The results are not instant either, but they are significant: n 136 children were placed back home safely within the first two years. n 400 more are expected to be reintegrated during the second phase of the programme. This type of work is not instant – it’s artisan; just like the coffee I now drink. As a novice barista I love taking the time to blend and brew coffee that I know has been sustainably sourced and adds economic and social value to the community. I also grind my own beans, tamp, brew, stretch and heat the milk to a perfect temperature, consistency and sweetness. I then enjoy the creativity in free‐ pouring latte art. Perhaps surprisingly I also drink less coffee

as I take time to savour the taste and enjoy sharing the experience with friends. I still don’t like waiting. But I have learned that an artisan life is definitely worth cultivating – with the results having a lasting value far beyond the next espresso macchiato. n Martin Thomas heads up Viva’s mobilisation offices in the UK, North America and Hong Kong ( He is a writer, a trustee of The Bless Network and a novice barista. He and his family live in Witney, Oxfordshire.

Viva – together for children Unit 8, The Gallery, 54 Marston Street, Oxford, OX4 1LF, UK Registered Charity No. 1053389 Registered in England No. 3162776

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With Dr Richard Scott, Jojo Meadows and Richard Taylor OUR EXPERTS

Sponsored by Christian Single Mix

Father Advice

Richard Scott has worked as a surgeon, GP and evangelist in England, India and parts of Africa. His wife Heather is also a doctor and the couple have three daughters. Sport is a passion for Richard, interspersed more recently with writing, which developed during treatment for bowel cancer.

Jojo Meadows is passionate about spreading God’s word in an original way. She trained as a counsellor and helped to run a crisis centre in Solihull before being headhunted by Connexions to develop courses for senior schools. Jojo has been through many life-changing experiences including anorexia, teenage pregnancy, rape and cervical cancer. This motivated her to help others who are struggling through difficult circumstances.

Founding pastor of Victory Church in Cwmbran, Richard Taylor is a church leader and author. For many years, Richard has been impacting lives with his down-to-earth humour, passion and genuine love for God and people. Along with his wife Jill and their four sons, Richard founded the church in January 2010 and it has since grown into a vibrant congregation.


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I am a dad of a 14-year-old son. I am struggling as he does not want to participate in fatherson activities. I know this sounds a little weak, but my father left when I was young so I treasure my time with my son. My son spends every minute spare on his Xbox and the rest of us just seem to disappear! What can I do to try and regain our Father-son time?

RS The ball remains in your court.

Teenagers can be pretty selfish and shortsighted, but don’t give up. Think back to what has worked in the past and develop it – thus playing sport might become attending a major sporting event, music may well become a concert or you could try cooking him a special meal of his choice. Eating humble pie and making a fuss of him, even though it doesn’t seem fair that you have to do all the leg‐work at this phase in his life, could really pay dividends. It’s in both of your interests.

RT Most teenage boys are the

same, they would prefer to play on their Xbox and be with their friends than be with their parents. We're not “cool” enough. As a parent, we have to learn to give them that time to do their thing. Do

something different on a weekend, go‐karting, football, fishing – something that would be an adventure for the both of you! There is a saying: “If you can't beat them then join them!” In this instance I would suggest that


My wife is nine months pregnant and I am terrified! I am so worried I will not be what is expected of me. My father died in my teenage years, leaving me to feel very vulnerable yet fiercely independent. I want to be the best dad that I can be, the best husband too. Having not had a man around growing up, I’m actually afraid I won't know what to be. Are there any tips you can give?

JM The fact you want to be the

best is the greatest starting point. I know not having a man figure around imparting into you will cause anxiety as you impart into your baby. Talking to your wife is crucial. Your wife is probably feeling similar being a first‐time mother. You have to work closely together, keeping all communication lines open; learning off each other and

you start doing what he likes, take time out and join in on the Xbox with him and get involved with his world. Whilst in his world, bring to his attention your feelings. Maybe suggest days out with him? It’s hard, I know, but as they grow up, we have to try to invest and fit in their world too.

bearing in mind this is an emotional and a huge change in the family dynamics.

RS Great news! Scarily, a first

pregnancy catches all of us massively unprepared, and your wife will also (perhaps silently) be concerned about doing her best. Fortunately, God designed us to cope and care well, but as you ask for tips… give her space to recover, not least sexually. And be prepared for the baby to need her more than you in the first few months. You’re not irrelevant, just less important at this point biologically. Support the two of them and as you grow into the role, your love for the little one will be reciprocated as he/she grows. I can guarantee your wife will be thinking: “I hope I can be the best mother for this child”. You will both be in similar situations, so I would encourage you both to make


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ADVICE JM Personally I think it is a

combination of the both. Panic attacks will be a result of unresolved circumstantial stress. I think visiting your GP is the first point of call, to offload the worries and concern. Clearly your wife's behaviour is causing you stress so you need to approach the situation with her. Boundaries need to be set and enforced for a healthier home life.

RS This needs tackling now.

I am a dad of four. I am so exhausted with work, as I do extremely long hours. Then I have to come back home and deal with a wife who is lazy during the day and therefore I have to compensate and do everything around the house. I am having panic attacks and am too embarrassed to share this with friends. Do you think it is sheer tiredness or stress related? I would say the first step is to talk to your wife. As you're working long hours she needs to know that coming home to a tidy house with dinner cooking and the children excited to see you would be far less stressful for you. Compromise with each other. Then if your stress levels and panic attacks continue seek medical advice from your GP.


sure you keep communicating with each other. The fact you're worried and scared is a good thing! I would be more concerned if you weren’t.

Stress leading to panic is surprisingly common, thus no need for embarrassment, but things do need to change. Firstly see your GP together as a preliminary to getting help from a counselor who can help you work through these issues. Equally important is your working situation. Exhaustion due to long hours is not sustainable, good for us or how God intended work to be. Even the man with the biggest workload in history (Jesus) took time off to be fresh for his next challenge. She must pull her weight, but you must adjust your lifestyle too.

CONTACT US: Got a problem and need an answer? Email: or write to: Smart Talk, Sorted Magazine, PO Box 3070, Littlehampton, West Sussex BN17 6WX

What has happened in your past will make you more determined to be a brilliant dad and husband.

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Big Questions

Homeland and the Moral Argument


recently started watching Homeland. I think it was the combination of Damian Lewis donning US military uniform again and the award nominations that provoked my curiosity. And wow! I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t what I found myself watching. Homeland is brutal. Sure, there’s the violence and the sex etc. but it was the uncertainty of the plot that was most assaulting. I wasn’t sure who to cheer for. But I kept watching, certain that at any moment Captain Winters would emerge and save the day. Stories surrounding military conflicts – be it Band of Brothers or Homeland – are gripping because they are stories of struggle. If truth, hope and beauty are lights that guide us then in wartime those things can become awfully dim. How people struggle to find that light through the chaos is something that inspires many authors and screenwriters. Those involved in war know they are not a neat thought experiment but rather a brutal testing ground of all that you believe and hold to be true. Perhaps this is why those that cling on to hope through turmoil provide us with some of the greatest film plots. But you don’t need to have been to war to know the struggle for the good and true is within us. Even in the day‐to‐day rhythm of life we can ask ourselves what the purpose of our existence is all about. War may present

these questions both suddenly and acutely, but equally the monotony of life can provoke the formation of unshakeable questions such as “Why?” And “What’s the point?” When we watch stories of triumph over despair on our screens we watch them actively looking for resolution. We want the hero to win, to overcome the odds, to persevere at all costs. Be it Batman, Oskar Schindler or Andy Dufresne – we long for the good to defeat the bad. There is something within us that agrees that it is right and noble to seek and strive for the good of a cause, a person or an ideal. That we all believe in a concept of goodness points us to a greater reality. The desire to cheer for a winner – “the good side” – makes perfect sense if there is ultimately a good side. It is a worthwhile thing to strive for the good and lament the wrong but the person of faith has an advantage here. For him, the entire framework of right and wrong makes sense being grounded in God. Without God as a moral standard‐setter we can cheer for a winner but how can we ever be sure we’re cheering for the right side? If there is no standard to judge by, no ultimate right and wrong, then is there really any such thing as a right side at all? Or, is our belief in goodness just a construct or perhaps based only on group consensus? Here’s hoping you’re in the right group (and the strongest and largest group) if

that’s the case, because history points out that the majority often get their way. The moral tensions teased out on our screens taps into a deep desire in all of us, a desire based on an understanding of some kind of moral code – an order. That these things resonate so strongly with us suggest that we are wired in such a way to know right from wrong, which in turn points to a standard beyond ourselves and our cultures.

“WITHOUT GOD AS A MORAL STANDARDSETTER WE CAN CHEER FOR A WINNER BUT HOW CAN WE EVER BE SURE WE’RE CHEERING FOR THE RIGHT SIDE?” God provides a grounding point for morality that makes sense of this world as we experience it. Our searches for meaning that come from within ultimately point us to look outside of ourselves and outside of this world. The moral clues in all of us serve as a signpost to the true nature of reality. And with morality secured, there is hope that the winning side may be found and known. Now, if only I could work out who is on that winning side in Homeland. But that will have to wait for another season or two I fear. n Jonathan lives in Oxford where he runs Latimers, a place for people to challenge and investigate the Christian faith. He graduated from the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and now works as an itinerant evangelist, which involves co‐leading CVM’s Demolition Squad. Join the conversation online at

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Life’s a Merry‐Go‐Round Turkey and then from the back of the room someone shouts, “Scotland?” Perhaps this was a prophecy? The right answer was South Africa. I guess I’m sort of paid to worry about this stuff and I have a professional duty to clients, but just like markets and economies, as individuals we also have cycles, ups and downs, times of stress, times when we’re skint and times when we’re first to get a round in at the bar.

“MARKETS GO BACK UP, JOBS ARE RE-CREATED, HOUSE PRICES START TO RISE AGAIN AND THE MERRY GO ROUND CONTINUES.” In a world where everything is changing, I draw comfort from ancient words that have never changed. A man named Paul once wrote (Philippians 4:11‐13): “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m glad God offers us strength in both the good times and the bad. n


cynic was once heard saying: “If you spend thirteen minutes analysing and mulling over economic data, you have spent ten minutes too long!” As someone who has an A Level in Economics, I can agree with that. (Anyone remember A levels?). It never ceases to amaze me just how wrong economists can get it. Every investment firm employs these people to give them the edge over their competitors, to pick the stocks that will benefit from an identified economic trend. At the time of writing, the situation regarding the Eurozone (Tapering, Gas prices, Ukraine, etc), is very different from what it will be when you read this. The world moves at a fast pace. It’s almost impossible to predict and invariably events don’t quite pan out as expected. Think back to the credit crunch of 2008. It seemed like it was the end of civilisation as we knew it. Markets tumbled, banks were bailed out or went bust and Investment bankers had


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to take on second identities at parties for fear of being shunned. Before then I had never given it a thought regarding what bonuses bankers got, but now it makes you smoulder as much as the thought of Wayne Rooney getting three hundred grand a week! (Did they get fourth spot by the way?) The knock on effect in the Eurozone gave us a new acronym for the countries most likely to default on their debt – PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece & Spain). But somehow the world has stumbled through it, lurching from one crisis to another admittedly, but markets go back up, jobs are re‐created, house prices start to rise again and the merry go round continues. PIIGS are replaced with BIITS as the next thing to worry about. These are the emerging economies, which were most at risk from currency depreciation if the Fed eased up on quantitive easing. I was at a seminar when this was first used and we had to guess which countries they were: Brazil, Indonesia, India,

Jon Cobb runs financial advisory business Trinity Wealth Management. He is a keen runner, ex‐white‐collar boxer, passionate Portsmouth supporter, speaker and writer. Check out Jon’s blog: and follow him on Twitter: @CobbyJon.

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A Day to Remember I don’t know what you make of Father’s Day? I could never see what all the fuss was about. That was until I realised that rather than wait to be thanked or appreciated, it was a day to stand back and take stock. A day to ask: Am I there for my kids? What’s getting in the way of what matters most? When was the last time I read them a bedtime story or was there at bath time? Do my kids need more stuff or more of my time? When did we last laugh together? What am I modelling before them? Do I love their mother and show it? Am I making memories? How do I show them I love them? What have I learnt this last year that makes me a better parent for the next season? I was listening to the radio recently and a dad who had been told that he had a terminal illness was being interviewed. Knowing he had little time and would not see his daughter grow to adulthood, he had begun to write a letter for her to read at the different stages of her life. What he wrote was deep, touching, practical and urgent. Imagine that this Dad’s Day was your last. What would you want to say to your kids? What would you want to do with your kids in the time you had left? Don’t wait. Make this Dad’s Day a day to remember, become the dad you were born to be. Give your kids the time and space they need to flourish. Give them the gift of your undivided attention n


ithout a shadow of a doubt the greatest, most demanding role that any man will ever undertake is to be a dad. Being a spouse comes close… Well almost! No job really comes close to the impact you can have by being there for your children. It’s not a role that you can clock in to or clock off from. It is a life’s work. You never retire. Even when you are asleep you are doing it. Whether you live in their home or your own home, no matter whether you see them every day or at agreed times – you’re their dad. Your blood runs through their veins, your DNA exists within their body and your influence, absent or present, will impact their lives. It is not a job you do, or a role you undertake, it is who you are. It is rich in its rewards and challenges. There is no greater task. There is no role that makes a greater difference than being a dad to your kids. You may not feel you had a good role model in your own father but that doesn’t stop you

starting from scratch because the truth is we all do. Each dad and each child is different, so while there are principles we can learn from organisations, such as Care for the Family, the plain and simple fact is that we are all making it up as we go along.

Richard Hardy is a Baptist minister and director of the Entheos Trust, which encourages leaders and enables churches to engage with their communities. Richard has spoken on community engagement, marriage and parenting at many national conferences. He has also written extensively on community and family issues (

“IT IS NOT A JOB YOU DO, OR A ROLE YOU UNDERTAKE, IT IS WHO YOU ARE.” If I am honest for the first 13+ years of my kids’ lives I didn’t really know what I was doing as a dad. I always felt like I was playing catch up, clinging on for dear life, hoping that one day it would all click into place and that at last I would get it. It’s not until recently that I have realised that by the time you “get it” they’re gone and you’re a grandparent! Someone once said, as a parent you make all the mistakes that you then correct with your grandchildren. Sorted. May/Jun 2014


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Truly Epic and Epically True


was catching the train from the delights of Newport back to the big smoke, when I spotted a man trying to get on the carriage of a train that I knew was going nowhere. Attempting to be helpful I explained the situation pointing out that if he followed me I would take him to the right train. He hugged me, which was the best response for my “helpfulness” I have ever received. It was at this point that I realised he was really quite drunk. So I was overjoyed when, despite an empty carriage, he sat himself down next to me and started to chat. I explained I worked for a

church, and he said he was a Jew, who didn’t believe in God but quite liked bagels. During the following three hours my bagel‐loving friend asked question after question about my views on the Bible, and he clearly knew his stuff. The hours at Sabbath School (I’m assuming that works?) had clearly done their job. Yet, he was incredibly shocked when I explained that I believe the Bible is true, that the events recorded literally happened. By the look on his face I might as well have told him that I believed in Hobbits and enjoyed the odd pint of bitter with a unicorn. I mean, no one really believes the entire

Bible is actually true, do they? What about all the wars, or the idea that the creation of the world was over quicker than a test match, and don’t even get me started on that bloke who “apparently” spent three days in the stomach of a whale! The view that this old book is anything more than a general moral code is one that seems to grind on so many. But the danger of denying this is far more worrying. You see it is in this book that God’s character comes alive. Limit it, and we limit Him, deny it and we deny Him. Accurately recorded, the Bible is a truly epic (and epically true) story, starting in a phenomenal garden, with a dreadful twist, yet an incredible plan. There are walk on parts for talking donkeys, giant killers, tiny tax collectors and a bunch of rough illiterate fishermen. But the main character of the Bible is its author, who writes Himself into every page; He is the world’s designer and bricklayer, the judge and the redeemer. He is the booming voice from the mountain and a small child born into a messed up world. He is a dying man on a chunk of wood and a resurrected one on a road trip.

“I MIGHT AS WELL HAVE TOLD HIM THAT I BELIEVED IN HOBBITS AND ENJOYED THE ODD PINT OF BITTER WITH A UNICORN.” Don’t get me wrong: the Bible doesn’t always sit comfortably, but God is not a “comfortable” God, and Jesus is God incarnate not God in‐ comfort. But my answer to any man on the train would be the same – read it yourself. As Spurgeon once proclaimed: “Defend the Bible? I would as soon defend a lion! Unchain it and it will defend itself”. n Sam Gibb is a twenty‐something currently living in London and working at All Souls, Langham Place. His passion is to present the message and teachings of Jesus to men in a way that makes sense to them. He has written a series of Bible studies aimed at lads on topics such as comedy, war and sport. Sam’s heroes are the apostle Paul, Alan Shearer and Garfield, though not necessarily in that order. You can follow him on Twitter at @samggibb.

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Live and Let Live!


n February 13th – by 86 votes to 44, with 12 abstentions – the Belgian Parliament voted to allow terminally ill children of any age to choose to have their lives ended by lethal injection. This is conditional on the patient being conscious of their decision, that it is approved by parents and medical teams, and that they are in great pain with no alleviating treatment available. A few days before this horrifying decision I listened to a BBC World Service “Assignment” programme on the subject. It was chilling to hear medics, paediatricians and young people suggesting that children as young as 10, who understand they have a terminal illness, could show sufficient maturity to decide whether to be given a lethal barbiturate.

THE CONCERN IS THAT SUCH A “RIGHT TO DIE” IS IN SERIOUS DANGER OF BECOMING FOR SOME “A DUTY TO DIE” Most of us will probably know of very ill children and adults who have had to endure extreme weakness, debilitation nearing the end of their lives, for whom there are no quick and easy answers. There are some who think that prematurely ending their lives is the most compassionate option and are campaigning for

the legalisation of assisted suicide, whilst dismissing us for our concern about “a slippery slope” to full‐blown euthanasia. It is only 12 years since Belgium legalised euthanasia for adults. Once assisted suicide for a few very tragic cases becomes acceptable, it is not long before this death culture is extended to others. In the UK the “Dignity in Dying” pro‐ euthanasia lobby knows that British society is not ready to legalise euthanasia – so they are adopting a “softly, softly” approach, starting with

“assisted dying” for terminally ill patients able to make a reasoned decision. To this end Lord Falconer in the Westminster Parliament, and Margo Macdonald in the Scottish Parliament, have both tabled Bills, which would permit this dangerous practice. It will probably be debated early this summer. The concern is that such a “right to die” is in serious danger of becoming for some “a duty to die” so as not to be a burden to others. Fortunately the British Medical Association has stood firmly against this and I hope other medical bodies will continue to do the same. The most positive alternative is to be found in the ever‐growing “Hospice Movement” and the successful development of palliative care for those nearing the end of life. Here we see love in action! Britain is renowned for pioneering and promoting palliative medicine and care that greatly relieves patients’ suffering, to the end of their natural lives. I will never forget visiting St Christopher's Hospice in Sydenham, the world’s first Christian hospice established by Dame Cicely Saunders. I felt the presence of the angels of God around the nurses caring for those who were dying. Along with other concerned organisations and individuals, the charity I work for – CARE (Christian Action Research Education) – will fight assisted suicide legislation every way it can. In the end everything comes back to the issue of human dignity – the precious value and welfare of men, women and children made in the image of God. n Lyndon Bowring was born in Wales and studied at London Bible College. He is an associate minister at Kensington Temple, and has been executive chairman of CARE for more than 25 years. His hobbies include watching rugby, exploring London’s restaurants and developing friendships. He lives in London with his wife Celia, and they have three children.

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Cut to the Chase

No Longer Fatherless healing into the hurting areas of my life through support and love from others, counselling, many tears and letting go of the hatred and pain, I have been able to receive God’s love for myself and other men’s love for me. This has then helped me to endeavour to be a positive male role model to others and be a father figure to those who need it.

“THE NEED FOR FATHERS IN OUR SOCIETY IS HUGE.” Criss Jami once said: “Listen to God with a broken heart. He is not only the doctor who mends it, but also the Father who wipes away the tears.” Two years ago I saw my father for the first time in over 20 years. He told me I was a mistake and that he never wanted to see me again. This is his decision, which I will respect. However his first statement is a big lie. I was not a mistake and neither are you. God knew you when you were in your mother’s womb. He was totally committed to you then just as He is now. Let the heavenly Father who loves you so much father you so you can father others. No longer will you be known as fatherless, but a precious son or daughter of the greatest Father there is. n Baz is married to Linda, and he lives and works in Sheffield. He is also one half of Lee and Baz. Together with his mate Lee Jackson, he writes down‐to‐earth men’s books and speaks at a host of men’s conferences.



n Father’s Day I have never had to worry about forgetting to send a card, as my father has never been around to receive one. When I was very young he abandoned my mother and I to live in Africa. I can still remember at junior school the taunts from other children in the playground. I always hoped and believed one day he would come home and I would have him back in my life. Sadly that was not to be. I am in no doubt that not having a father in my life affected me in many ways from being starved of love, affirmation and a male role model in my life. This had a huge impact on my developing years as a child, teenager and young man. Anger, mood swings, stealing, jealousy, hatred, bullying, loneliness, over‐indulging in alcohol and fighting (which I never won) was the regular diet of my life. Living at times in a single parent household and at times with my grandparents did have a huge effect..


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In the UK we have a massive percentage of people who have never experienced the love of a father for various reasons. The fatherless generation continues to increase. Over 1 million children in the UK have no contact with their father whilst they are growing up. In one area of Sheffield, where I live, 75% of households have a lone parent that is commonly a woman. The need for fathers in our society is huge. Pope John XXIII once said: “It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.” Can anything be done to turn this situation around? I believe it can and it can start with you and I. I am not a father biologically and this saddens me at times but I have tried not to let this disappointment stop me from being a father figure to others and giving them the love, support and encouragement that they need. This is not always easy. When I first heard that God wanted to be a father to me I struggled; when I realised He wanted me to be a father to others I struggled – my experience of fatherhood was terrible. However, as I have let God bring

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KAKA: “I achieved things I never imagined I could” As the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ looms, Sorted talks to legendary footballer Ricardo Kaka about the joy of playing “The Beautiful Game” in his hometown. KAKA WAS TALKING TO STUART WEIR


hen the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ finally starts there will be an explosion of excitement. Remember the last time Brazil hosted the World Cup was way back in 1950? Brazil is already in a state of constant excitement about hosting the World Cup. The Confederations Cup in 2013 was a good warm up – it got Brazilians even more pumped up about this years World Cup. And of course, Brazil is very optimistic and expecting another World Cup win!

“IT’S A PLEASURE TO BE BRAZILIAN, TO BE PART OF THIS NATION AND TO KNOW THAT THEY LOVE FOOTBALL THAT MUCH.” Growing up in Brazil I knew the stories of Brazilian football. It is part of our culture, part of society, part of the economy. Football is part of everything. Football is one of the engines which drive the country. Everybody likes football. Everybody roots for a football team, every child dreams of becoming a footballer. It’s a pleasure to be Brazilian, to be part of this nation and to know that they love football that much. Brazil is known throughout the world because of football. Brazil is famous for the carnival but that is not the real Brazil. The country has recently managed to rid itself of being seen as the “Country of Carnival”. It used to upset many Brazilians, that Brazil was seen as a country where people partied from morning to night. Now the image of Brazil has changed, and football helped with that. Today if you tell anyone you are Brazilian people will say: “Ah, Brazil,football, Ronaldo, Romario, Ronaldinho, Pele”, and they remember those football players. I think football has helped a lot in redefining the world’s image of Brazil.


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I think the country is going to gain a lot by hosting the next World Cup. Millions of people will visit Brazil, to watch the games, and just, somehow, be part of the World Cup. And for the players it will be a pleasure to play the World Cup in their own country. I think this is a unique experience. I don’t know how many generations had the privilege of playing a World Cup at home. And now Brazilians are having this opportunity. I think this is very important for the country and especially for the players. In any tournament that Brazil plays in, there are always huge expectations of winning and playing well (and I meant always!). So a player who makes it into the team already knows of these expectations and that responsibility. Yet what really matters is to win. If Brazil wins the 2014 World Cup, people won’t care how. Very few people will remember the specific games and how we played. In 1994, Brazil did not put on a show, but they won the World Cup and that is what matters, and it is what everyone remembers. People sometimes ask why Brazil is so good at football. I don’t know. I think that this has already been the topic of many studies, but in the research no one has ever come to a conclusion. The truth is that football stars are born in Brazil. Amazing players are discovered every season. Now we are all following Neymar, Lucas and Oscar who plays for Chelsea. It’s a new generation of great players, with excellent technique. But it is hard to explain why there are so many great players in Brazil. It is part of our culture and a Brazilian secret. Pele is regarded as the greatest ever player. He is special because he won three World Cups. Of course he is also special for his other achievements, like scoring more than 1,000 goals in his career, but what makes him a unique player is that he played in three World Cups that Brazil won. As a player the most you can achieve is being a World Cup winner just once. And the thrill of being the champion and being there is such a pleasure and a privilege. Since he was the star of those victories he was considered a player who was out of this world, beyond the norm and someone whom every Brazilian admires. And as a result the world has a special place in their heart for Pele. f

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“THE BIBLE SAYS THAT GOD HAS MUCH MORE FOR US THAN WHAT WE ASK OR THINK AND THAT HAS BEEN MY EXPERIENCE.” My first memory of the World Cup was 1994, I was 12 years old and I remember that we went to watch the World Cup at my mother’s uncle’s country house, nearby Minas Gerais. The game that I remember most is the final, especially the penalty shoot‐out when Brazil beat Italy. I remember the moment when Baggio missed his penalty kick and Brazil had won the World Cup. And of the images that stuck with me, one of them is of our goalkeeper Taffarel on his knees with his hands held up to the skies. He is a person I have always liked and admired – both as a player and a person. The experience of playing for Brazil is hard to put into words, because you go through so many emotions. You have such feelings. My childhood dream was to play even once for the Brazilian National team – to be a professional player for Sao Paulo, the football team where I was brought up and to play once Brazil. The Bible says that God has much more for us than what we ask or think and that has been my experience. I achieved things I never imagined I could. I have already played in three World Cups for Brazil. I was part of the 2002 World Cup winning team, which was very emotional – because of the importance of football in Brazil and because of the way Brazilians feel about the National team and the World Cup. Playing for Brazil


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brings a lot of happiness. There is pressure and you feel a weight of responsibility, but good things also come along with all of that. I have many great memories of my first World Cup in 2002. It was a key moment in my career and a real privilege. Getting to lift the Cup is a unique moment for any football player who has the opportunity to do it. I was 20 years old and I was chosen to play in a World Cup. I was the youngest player in that team. I had been playing as a professional for only a year and a half and it really was a gift from God, because I would never have imagined that at age 20 I would play in a World Cup and be a winner. I did not know if I would play at all or spend the whole World Cup on the bench but I played 30 minutes against Costa Rico. So I do consider myself part of the winning team. I’m in the picture and that will be recorded forever. And I had the privilege of raising the World Cup trophy. The atmosphere in the team was very good. I learned a great deal and gained a lot of experience. I nearly came on in the final. It was quite comical. With five minutes of the game left, the coach told me to get ready to go on. I put on my match shirt and waited for the ball to go out of play. In the last five minutes the ball did not go out of play and I did not get on.

“IN BRAZIL THERE IS A TRADITION OF PRAYING BEFORE THE GAME AND ALSO AT THE END OF THE GAME. AT THE END OF THE 2002 FINAL IT WAS A PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING.” Brazil were running down the clock, playing keep‐ball and I did not have the chance to go on. When the final whistle went, I was right by the touchline so I grabbed a flag and ran on to celebrate. I suppose I will always wish I had been able to play in that game but at least I got to celebrate with the others. In Brazil there is a tradition of praying before the game and also at the end of the game. At the end of the 2002 final it was a prayer of thanksgiving. We had already prayed before the game and at the end we made that big circle. Normally we would have prayed in the changing room but this time we did it on the field instead. It was a prayer of thanksgiving, with the coaches and everyone. And at one point Lucio, Edmilson and I were praying together. That was also a prayer of thanksgiving, for the opportunity that we had of winning the World Cup. That was a unique moment. 2014 would be my fourth time World Cup and and that would be a landmark. I don’t know if I would have another World Cup in me as I will be 36 in 2018. And to play in a World Cup in my own country would be incredible. And who knows, maybe winning the World Cup at home as well. That would be the pinnacle of my career. And I am going to fight to be there and to help Brazil to another victory. n Stuart Weir is passionate about Jesus Christ and about sport, and he spends his life trying to help people make the connection. He has written several books about sport and Christianity and has worked as a sports writer at Olympic, Paralympic and World Championship events. He has been to three football World Cups and was Togo’s Olympic attaché at the 2012 Olympics. Married to Lynne, he has two grown‐up children. He is a member of Kidlington Baptist Church and Frilford Heath Golf Club.

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2014 FIFA WORLD CUP ™ Up Close and Personal with Kaka! Sorted ask Kaka some of the tougher questions in life… “MY FOOTBALL ABILITY IS A GIFT FROM GOD AND I WORK VERY HARD EVERY DAY TO BE BETTER AT IT.”


My need of Jesus has nothing to do with money, fame or success. My ability to play football was just a gift, a talent that He gave me. I believe that Jesus is more than that. He wants us, ourselves, our hearts. I truly believe Jesus does not care much for Kaka the football player. He is more concerned about Ricardo: who I am and the person that I am. That’s what I’ve been working on every day – to become a better person. My football ability is a gift from God and I work very hard every day to be better at it, so that I am honouring and glorifying His name. So that every time I play a game I honour Jesus’ name. But honestly, I think that He has more concern with my personal life as Ricardo, than with the life of the footballer which will be over in 4 or 5 years. But I will still have the rest of my life to live. After I have stopped playing I will still have much of life left and I can still use my life to be a witness to the marvellous God we have. n

At Real Madrid you were in and out of the team, was that hard to deal with? I was a bit frustrated, because no one expects a move to a new club to be a negative experience. When I was transferred from AC Milan to Real Madrid, I had ambitions, to make a contribution and to do well – to build on what I had achieved at AC Milan and to be a successful player. But at Real Madrid I was injured and there were other issues. That all resulted in me not playing as much as I wanted. But what gives me peace is to know that I am working hard to obtain results. My role is to plant, and water, and to wait for the fruit God will give me.

How do you deal with your disappointments?

There is a lot of pressure playing for AC Milson, Real Madrid and Brazil. How do you handle pressure?

I see disappointments as part of God’s plan. Because I think God really has a purpose for everything, and there is a time for all things, that’s the way I deal with things that do not turn out as I planned. Man can make plans, but the realization comes from God. So I make plans and many times they do not turn out as I expected. From that I’ve been learning that whatever happens is what God wants for my life. God gives me everything I need. And that’s the assurance that I have. Everyday I have all I need for that day. And as far as my desires are concerned, God will grant them when He deems it right.

I always look at Bible passages, where Jesus – my greatest example – went through moments of pressure, like when the Pharisees questioned Him or when the crowds would press Him to perform a miracle. I always try to find situations where Jesus himself was going through a lot of pressure. I see that He always had the assurance in His heart of the convictions that He had and He prayed. He knew God was in control of everything. And that’s similar to what I do in moments of pressure. I continue to remind myself of the convictions of my faith, of the things I know, and to pray knowing God is in control.

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Martin Bateman/enigma‐

Martin Bateman/enigma‐

Some people would say: “You are rich and famous, why do you need Jesus?”

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FALCAO: “The pressure always comes from inside” World‐class striker Radamel Falcao explains how even the best job in football has its challenges. BASED ON AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH STUART WEIR


ith his father, Radamel Garcia, a professional footballer, it was natural for Radamel Falcao García Zárate to want to follow in his footsteps. “I watched him play, I went with him to training and matches and I knew that was what I wanted for my own life. I’ve been playing football for as long as I can remember. I think it was born and grew up with me as I can’t recall a time in my life when I didn’t play. I was always kicking a ball around as a child, whether on a pitch, in the house or on the street with friends. I never found football difficult”.


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Even the name Falcao was chosen with purpose. Radamel’s father so admired the style of play of the Brazilian player, Paulo Roberto Falcão, who played 28 times for Brazil (1976‐86) that he called his son “Falcao”. When he was young, Falcao’s mother attended a local church and took him to Sunday School. He was brought up in a home where principles were based on the Bible. “From an early age I attended church and when I could understand, I made the decision to follow Jesus Christ and let Him guide my life. I understood that He had a plan which I simply needed to obey because He would go on to fulfil the promises that He had made for my life.” Reflecting on this early life he now says: “To have been brought up in a Christian home was the best thing that could have happened to me; to know that God was in the midst of my family, that His love sustains us. Now my wife and I share the same principles of wanting to love, obey and please God. This means that we can grow together and walk towards the same goal – to please God in all that we do”.


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At the age of 13 Falcao played for Lanceros Boyaca, becoming the youngest ever player in the Colombian professional league. At the age of 15 he left Colombia to play for River Plate in Argentina where he stayed for nine years. Then his 34 goals in 90 games for River Plate opened a door for him to play in Europe for Porto. “To tell you the truth, Portugal didn’t figure as one of my career goals. I had little knowledge about the football played there. But I believe that God used this time for my growth and as a professional player I was able to learn a great deal. I had a lot of success and began to be recognised on a world scale, as it was there that I won my first International European title”. It is two seasons at Porto he scored 34 goals in 90 appearances; enough to help Porto win the League, the Portuguese Cup (twice) and the UEFA Europa League. It also resulted in a transfer to Atlético de Madrid. In the 2010‐11 Europa League he scored a record 15 goals in a single annual club football European competition. He spent two seasons in Madrid, scoring 52 league goals in 67 games. In his first season he helped Atlético win the UEFA Europa League, becoming the first player to win the Europa League in successive seasons with different clubs. In the second season, Athletico won the Copa del Ray (Spanish Cup) beating Real Madrid in the final. In the 2012 European Super Cup game Atlético beat Chelsea 4‐1 with Falcao scoring three times. Of that game, he says: “To go three‐nil up against a team which on paper was much stronger than Atlético was totally unthinkable. We were playing extremely well with great efficiency, and for me to score three goals in such a big game which was being watched all over the world was an incredible feeling”.

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Being with your child, loving him as he is, without expecting anything in return can be compared with the love that God has for us, a father’s love. I think it’s similar to the love that God has for us, loving us just as we are. He created us and wants to be in relationship with us.

In 2007 he played his first game for Columbia, “fulfilling my childhood dream of representing my country and in particular at senior level among the best players in the country. It was another stepping stone in my career. It was a friendly in Colombia against Uruguay and it was so extremely hot! My first goal for Colombia was during an international tournament in Japan against Serbia which we won one‐nil with my goal. As well as being my first goal for Colombia, I was particularly happy as it was the goal that practically secured victory”. Falcao is natural goalscorer with a rate of more that a goal every two games. For him goals are what football is all about. “I think I’m lucky to play up front because you could say it’s the best job in football, scoring goals! I have the chance to score goals on a regular basis, and the goal is the best expression of the game. Players and fans alike enjoy a special moment in football which is triggered by a goal and I feel truly blessed to have the opportunity to do this.” Being a goal scorer – and a highly paid player – puts pressure on him. Falcao recognizes that quite simply people expect him to score. He expects it too, adding: “the pressure always comes from inside.” Falcao has learned how to deal with that pressure: “I try to lean on God, knowing that He is always there to help me. God has helped me a lot to maintain composure and stay firm in certain moments, good and bad. “The Bible is a manual for us here on earth to live according to God’s will. It’s full of teaching about what’s best for us, what’s right or wrong, but above all about what God put in place so that we could live vigilantly and be blessed here on earth. I often read Proverbs, sayings of wisdom which produce discernment in me and encourage me to think about what is right or wrong. f

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“Disappointments are a learning curve. It’s been tough and through the experience of losses, defeats and failure, you realise that life goes on. You can’t afford to stay in past defeats. On the contrary, the opportunity is there to do things better is in the future.” People might think that as a successful, rich footballer, he has everything but Falcao is quick to point out that there is more to life than fame and fortune. “There is a material world but there is also a spiritual aspect to life. We can have everything but if we’re not satisfied spiritually then it’s as if we had nothing and we feel empty. With Jesus Christ, we can be assured that He will never leave us, He’ll always be there, something which I have experienced in my own life through His faithfulness, love and through showing me that Jesus paid a price for our lives”.

“WE CAN HAVE EVERYTHING BUT IF WE’RE NOT SATISFIED SPIRITUALLY THEN IT’S AS IF WE HAD NOTHING AND WE FEEL EMPTY.” When Falcao decided to leave Atlético de Madrid in the summer of 2013, he was linked with Chelsea, Manchester City and a host of other top clubs. This choice of AS Monaco was perhaps surprising. He sees Monaco as an exciting, long‐term project to take an average French League club and turn them into one of the top clubs in Europe. His plan is to “play an important role, which will enable me to grow as a player. It’s above all for those


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FALCAO ON… HIS MISSION I would like others to see what God can do in the life of a man who has accepted Jesus Christ into his heart, so that this is possible and for them to see the power of God at work in their life.

reasons that I chose Monaco”. Before his injury Falcao scored nine goals for AS Monaco who have been in second place in the French Ligue 1 table for most of the season. Colombia qualified for the 2014 World Cup finishing second in the South American table. With nine wins and three draws they were second to Argentina. It was the first time they had qualified for the World Cup finals since 1998. Falcao scored nine goals in the qualifying competition. Colombia has been drawn in group C with Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan. Falcao sees the World Cup as the pinnacle of any player’s career. “I always dreamed about playing in the World Cup, I think it’s the biggest event in football and perhaps in the world, and I always dreamed of being there, representing my country, I imagined myself winning or playing an important role. God knows the dream on my heart, of being able to play and leave a lasting mark for the future. “Colombia is not likely to be the favourites or the team with the strongest capacity but we have the chance to compete according to our strengths and weaknesses and in doing so, try to win. Anything is possible, I have faith that it could happen”. [Since this interview, Falcao sustained a serious knee injury and it is touch and go whether he will recover in time for the World Cup] “I try to place all areas of my life in God’s hands and this includes my football career. I pray for God to take control. We can have a constant, daily relationship with God through the Bible and through prayer, and know that He loved the world so much that He gave His Son so that we might be saved. He loves us despite our imperfections, mistakes and sin”. n

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Does England Have a Chance? Before the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ kicks off, Stuart Weir caught a few moments with BBC Sport presenter, Dan Walker, to find out what he is expecting from this years tournament.

Courtesy of BBC

What is your first memory of the World Cup?


My first memory of the World Cup would be 1986 and it is of the England Argentina, the “hand of God” game, but what I really remember is John Barnes’ cross for Gary Lineker, who somehow managed to miss from underneath the crossbar and England lost 2‐1. He scored 48 goals for his country, so he can’t be that bad but that was one that got away. That’s the first game I really remember but from 1990 on I can remember just about every game – chapter and verse, starting with Argentina against Cameroon and the red card [for Andre Biyick of Cameroon], Platt’s volley against Belgium and when Scifo hit the post,

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England’s game against Cameroon where we got two penalties. I think I remember every bit of that World Cup but 1986 was the first.

What is your best memory of World Cup games you have been to? It would be the 2010 World Cup, quarter‐final between Ghana and Uruguay in Soccer City. Now I’ve been to many sports events – covered them, commentated, reported on them – but that one had the highest state of emotion that I’ve ever experienced. It was the fact that not only Ghana wanted to win but all of Africa wanted Ghana to win and of course they were robbed by Suarez’s hand ball. Then Asamoah Gyan missed the penalty – scored one in the

shootout – but ultimately Ghana went out on penalties. I have never been at a sporting event, which was so emotionally charged, and with such a feeling of frustration and robbery at the end, not just for Ghana but for the whole of Africa.

What are you expecting from the 2014 World Cup? I’m expecting it to be a fantastic tournament. We always have a mild panic beforehand – will it be ready? Will the stadia be finished in time? Having been to Brazil a couple of times I know that there will be issues with the infrastructure. It may not be as smooth running as some previous World Cups and there is the concern

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SPORT Courtesy of BBC

about political unrest. I’m certain that Brazil will get behind this World Cup.

What will you be doing during the World Cup? A blend of things – highlights, some interviewing, presenting programmes for BBC World, doing some live games, pitch side with pundits and some radio as well. I’m based in Rio where the majority of the BBC production will come from. In 2010 I managed to get to all the other venues and will try to do the same this time.

What are your expectations of England? It is a very young side but with a captain in Steven Gerrard who is blossoming in a more defensive role for both club and country. Roy Hodgson is a keen tactician that the players like working for. If you look at the cold FIFA rankings, England are a top 8 team in Europe and top 16 in world football. It is very rare that a team outside the top four wins a major championship and I think it would be rather hard for England to reach the latter stages of the World Cup. England has a tough group (with Italy and Uruguay) but I fancy them to get out of the group but I don’t fancy them to win the World Cup. Of course, I’d love to be proved wrong. Reaching the quarter‐finals would be a great achievement for the current England team given the youth and strength in depth. I tend to be a pessimist at major tournaments because my hopes and dreams have been burnt many times in the past.

Who do you think will win the World Cup? I think the World Cup winners will come from one of the top nations. I cannot see anyone outside of Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Spain. I think those four are one or two levels up from the rest. If there is a surprise it could be Belgium and that wouldn’t be too much of a surprise when you think of the quality they have got.

What do you expect from the Brazil team? Brazil is the country with some incredibly gifted footballers. While some countries – like England – often wilt under the pressure, I think Brazil will embrace it. We saw that in the Confederations Cup when they played great football and won it. I see no reason why they cannot replicate that this summer and make the World Cup a memorable one for the host nation. The fact that it’s on home soil and that they not only have a talented team ‐but one which is defensively strong – may just give them the edge

What about the big European countries? I think Germany is right up there. What they have done brilliantly is that they have reconstructed the whole German way of doing things and worked out their philosophy of football. Since then they have had a good f

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2014 FIFA WORLD CUP ™ FIFA via Getty Images

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working relationship between their football association, clubs and academies which is paying dividends. And a lot of the current team are players who have come out of that generation which really helps because they all know each other and are all fighting for the same dreams and they all seem to love working with Joachim Löw. Germany are an incredibly strong team and have what American wrestlers call “intestinal fortitude” and dig it out when they have to. If you ask most people in the world: “Would you back a German player to score a penalty in a World Cup?” – 99% would say “yes”. And that gives them a psychological edge. I think Spain are not quite as good as they were in the past – in the same way that Barcelona is not as good as they were but Spain still have real genuine quality. You don’t win major tournaments without being a great side and I think they are more than capable of doing it again. And when you look at the players who cannot get in the Spanish team you could almost pick another team – call them Spain B – and they could be good enough to get to the final.


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Is the strength of Premier League a hindrance to England?

What role does Christian faith play in your life?

I was talking to Michael Owen about this and he is convinced that it’s impossible to have the England team we want while the Premier League remains as it is. And I tend to agree. We have a Premier league which is cosmopolitan and wonderfully talented but it does stifle English talent. So many young talented English players struggle to get into Premier League sides because of the overseas players who’ve been bought. I know the FA is trying to sort this out but it will take a generation. It may be that we will have to go down the draconian route of limiting the number of foreign players in the starting line‐ up or a squad. I am a strong believer that we have a Premier League that is the envy of the world. I was in Afghanistan recently and met a number of Afghanis who spoke not a word of English but who could name 50 Premier league players – that is the power of the Premier League around the world. And it will continue to grow, continue to sell and be watched by millions but I don’t think we can have that and an England team, which will challenge major tournaments because the two fight against each other.

My faith plays a very significant part of my life. I don’t take much seriously in life except for my faith and my family. I believe that if you have a strong faith in Jesus Christ it has to make a difference to how you live your life. It informs who I am and who I would like to be, where I’m going, the way I talk, the way I act, hopes, dreams, aspirations etc. It is a significant part of every day I live. It is the most important thing about me and I can’t imagine life without Jesus

How will you keep your faith strong in the pressure of WC? As I have done at previous major events I will get to as many church services as I can. Before I go I will make some phone calls, send some emails to see where I can go. And, of course, God is not just the God of the UK. He is the same God that the Brazilians, Costa Ricans, Uruguayans and Ghanaians worship. It’s not like he disappears when I fly out of British air space. n Dan Walker is part of the BBC’s World Cup line up. Across the BBC on TV, Radio and Online from Thursday 12 June.

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FITNESS With Phil Baines

Make the Most of Your Journey


e are always going from one destination to another. Our lives are full of journeys and pathways, whether it by road, rail, air or boat. Or walking, running, cycling or swimming, we are constantly on the move. Pathways govern our lives. Our bodies themselves are made up of intricate pathways. Our veins and arteries transport oxygen around the body and get rid of rubbish along the way. Neuromuscular pathways send messages to our muscles etc. and control the way we move so that without thinking we recruit just the right amount of motor units to pick up a piece of paper or a roll of lead. The skeleton has hundreds of bones linked together with tendons and ligaments, which in turn attach to muscles to form one amazing body, able to move in numerous different ways. Our bodies are truly remarkable and are capable of so much more that we give them credit. We really need to look after them. One of the ways we look after them is by exercising. This is becoming ever more

important in today’s society. More and more of us have sedentary careers, spending all our time in offices or driving to and from work, shops etc. We need to keep fit to counterbalance this. Exercise needn’t be in the gym; it could be walking along some of the ancient pathways littering our countryside. (Oddly many of these pathways were only rediscovered with the advent of air travel and photography from the air, revealing criss‐crossing pathways).

“THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO GET THREE OR FOUR SESSIONS OF FAIRLY HARD EXERCISE A WEEK.” A group of us are walking the Wessex Ridgeway from Marlborough to Lyme Regis one Saturday a month. These walks are between 12‐15 miles across some absolutely stunning paths. Now that’s exercise. If you prefer to travel faster and further though, a lot of these pathways are open to cyclists. Hill work is probably one of the best exercises there is. (Steve Legg can probably identify with this after his amazing effort climbing Kilimanjaro). 90

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Find a hill off road, preferably one that you can walk up at a good pace in about five minutes. Walk up as fast as you can, when you reach the top turn round and walk down. Do this four or five times and you have a tremendous workout! As you get used to this you can increase the number of reps and perhaps try a gentle jog on the downhill. The great thing about this exercise is it uses different muscles on the uphill to the downhill and once again you get to see beautiful surroundings. The important thing is to get three or four sessions of fairly hard exercise a week. You will know by now that I prefer the outdoors, but if you prefer the gym or even workouts at home that is just as good. Swimming is also very good and does not put so many loads on the joints. If you don’t mind looking a bit silly, running in the water is a very good workout! So get out there and as you walk, cycle or run along the byways and highways know that you are developing and enhancing the network of pathways in your own body. n Phil Baines is passionate about fitness and sport. He recently began a venture called Fit 4 The Challenge (, which offers a range of physical challenges for diverse abilities. Phil organises each challenge and trains individuals and teams to complete them, either for charity or for personal achievement or both. Phil is married with two teenage sons.

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HEALTHY COOKING With Chef Mike Darracott

Baguette Recipe Serves 6 (2 slices each)

INGREDIENTS 330g bread flour ½ tsp salt 1.5 tsp quick yeast 220ml water 1 medium beaten egg 1 tbsp caster sugar

METHOD 1 Grease a baking tray and preheat the oven to 200°c/400°f/gas mark 6 2 Place the flour, sugar, salt, quick yeast and 220ml of water into a bowl and mix them completely together. (For ease use an electric mixer or dough hook if you have one). 3 Put some cling film at the bottom of a clean bowl then place the dough inside and cover the top of the bowl with a tea towel. Leave the bowl like this for 25 minutes in a warm place to allow it to double in size. (Known as proving). 4 After the proving time has elapsed, place your dough onto a lightly floured worktop. Push your hand into the middle of the dough and roll it away from you a couple of times. 5 Cut the dough in half and roll each half into a 30cm long sausage shape with tapering ends. 6 Place your two baguettes onto your greased baking tray then diagonally slice across them with a knife every 5cm. 7 Take the beaten egg and glaze over the tops of your baguettes. 8 Cover them over again and leave in a warm place for another 30 minutes to allow them to double in size once more. 9 Finally uncover and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Michael J Darracott has been an executive chef at various large establishments. He has cooked for more than 200 people at a time, including a number of celebrities, and has published several books. For more information, visit

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Kneel-Down Stand-Up reminding me that in the Bible they fasted often, as a regular act of contrition. It didn’t make it easier though. They didn’t have Cadbury’s Twirls and Walker’s Sensations to taunt them. I’ve found it best to not be around anything edible while fasting, so I avoid passing sweet shops or pet shops. I’ve only once broken a fast day, while stupidly visiting the supermarket, trying to find low‐calorie‐ but‐filling items like seeds, Polo holes and bubble‐wrap. I arrived hungry and angry (“hangry”), and frustratedly tried to release a stubborn trolley in the rain. A woman came to my rescue and “sold” me hers; I paid her a pound and took her trolley. Only after my seed‐shop did I realise her trolley didn’t have a pound coin as such, but one of those tokens you can buy, for a pound, that are just trolley currency. Rude! She’d offloaded her token. I was in no mood to be trifled with, but I was in a mood to have a trifle, so I had one.

“I’VE FOUND IT BEST TO NOT BE AROUND ANYTHING EDIBLE WHILE FASTING, SO I AVOID PASSING SWEET SHOPS OR PET SHOPS.” It’s tricky. I start to see food in places I never used to, which becomes incrispingly difficult. After eight weeks you’d have thought it would get malteasier, but it’s just getting more & M&More of a probhobnoblem. It really takes the biscuit. Today I was back in that supermarket, still trying to get rid of my pound trolley token. “Wait. Am I hallucinating, hangry as I am? Is that her? It is! It’s the woman who offloaded her trolley to me weeks back. Do I say anything? Huff past?” Of course not. I had no nutritional energy. I was ravenous. Instead I sneakily sold my trolley to a student for a pound. In your face! And now in my face will go a cake, for I am the Mildly Peeved Hulk. n

“Not So Fast!”


’m dieting, so I’m writing this hungry. I don’t think I’m hugely overweight, just… cuddly. I’m only increasingly out of breath when climbing stairs or escalators or typing this. I’m gradually filling out my clothes more than I used to, like The Incredible Hulk getting angry very slowly. Right now, I’m like a Mildly Peeved Hulk. So I’m trying this fasting diet for two days


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every week. i.e. for two‐sevenths of the time, I’m slavering. On Mondays and Thursdays I eat just a handful of calories and on the other five days I make up for it with cake and pizza. I discovered I have to pick my fasting days carefully, after I found myself at a wedding, staring at a three‐course dinner and making small talk with a chef called McVities. I explained my lot and he “encouraged” by

Paul Kerensa is an award‐winning stand‐up comic and author of the book So a Comedian Walks Into a Church. He co‐won a British Comedy Award for writing on the BBC’s Miranda, and the Royal Television Society (RTS) Award for Not Going Out, as well as working on other shows that history has thankfully forgotten. Visit or follow Paul on Twitter @paulkerensa to find out more.

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In Vino Veritas

A Comedian Is Never Late

struggled to come to terms with the obligatory 15 minute "where the flip are you Vino?" window. I have tried to counsel him through the deficiency in his psychology by getting him to see it as a gift, some precious “me time'”, a chance for him to gather his thoughts and prepare for our humourless dialogue. He mistakenly thinks the answer is to set off earlier. However the problem (if we want to phrase it like that), isn't me, it is a technological issue. I have the weekly appointment scheduled in my smart phone “Andy Kebab Tuesday, remember the Gaviscon”. This flashes up on my phone at 12 noon, the time we are meant to be meeting. I then send Andy an SMS text saying "I'm on my way" which of course everyone knows actually means "I’m getting ready to leave the house". Then hey presto, I'm there in bang on 15 minutes, giving Andy enough time to build up an appetite and some acid reflux.



ellow comedian Andy Kind and I meet up 12 noon every Tuesday at Al‐Qudz Kebab house in Rusholme Manchester to chew the fat (as well as to talk). We call it “Kebab Tuesday” and are confident with the right amount of Arts Council funding this movement could go national. The conversation ranges from theology to politics to choice of Kebab. Andy has Chicken Tikka on a plain naan, I have the same but in Greek Flatbread, as in the words of BA Baracus "I Pitta The Fool!" We've agreed as a rule Doner Kebab is best not consumed pre watershed without the accompaniment of 5 beers and 2 Setlers Antacids, after what we entitled "Regret Wednesday". People assume as two comedians getting together we would be constantly cracking jokes. Not the case. Trying to make people laugh on stage is our job so we are not interested in procuring this result when conversing in our “time off'. The same is true for my friend Gavin who is a chef. He never wants to cook when he comes home, much to his wife's disappointment. Same also is true for my friend

Greg who is a Gynaecologist… Anyway… For these meet ups I am always 15 minutes late which invariably puts Andy in a bad mood (reason number two for general lack of humour). The conversation goes like this – Andy: "Vino your 15 minutes late, again." Me: "I know, but at least I'm consistent". Andy: "What the hell are you talking about?" Me: "Kindy, I don't think you quite appreciate the dependability of my tardiness. Every week I'm here exactly 15 minutes after our agreed arrival time. You could set your watch by my lateness." Andy: "OK then next week lets just meet at 12:15." Me: "Unfortunately that's not how it works, now I know the revised schedule I will be here at exactly 12.30." Andy: "Fine lets meet 12:30 then." Me: "Sure but I will arrive at 12:45" Andy: "Vino, you're an idiot. Buy me a Kebab immediately." Me: "Sure thing Kindy, do you want chill sauce" Andy shakes a box of Rennie’s conspiratorially: "Absolutely." Throughout our friendship Andy has

Giles Brandreth relates a lovely anecdote in his autobiography about Jeffrey Archer when meeting for lunch in Sloane Square. At 12.55 Brandreth saw from the restaurant Archers car circle the square three times before he entered the restaurant. When quizzed about this Archer pointed to the clock, which showed the time to be exactly 1pm, saying: "I am never early. I am never late. I am Jeffrey Archer." When challenged on my liberal time keeping I prefer to quote Gandalf: “A wizard is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.” So next time you have a gripe with someone who is a free‐flowing time bandit and you start to get all annoyed that he is not working within your exact schedule, think to yourself “who would I prefer to meet up with Jeffrey Archer or Gandalf?” If you want to join the Kebab Tuesday revolution, we are meeting at Al‐Qudz Rusholme Manchester next Tuesday 12 noon…ish. n Tony Vino is a professional comedian who straddles the world of comedy clubs, festivals and churches. For more information see

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Lucas Aid

The Ride


was beginning to feel that my happy little plan to take the family on a horse‐ride was a serious mistake. Earlier in the day, fancying myself as an evangelical John Wayne, the idea of saddling up and riding through the sun‐drenched Oregon trees had been appealing. I’d even taken to calling my wife “Pardner”, and suggested that we “mosey on down for a ride”, although I confess I do not know what it is to mosey. Now, as I bobbed up and down aboard this sweating brown monster that possessed neither a handbrake nor a safety belt, I was having second – and third – thoughts. How was one supposed to steer this thing? Did this animal have any intention of being directed anywhere anyway? I was tempted to abandon the reins and just hold on tight to Dobbins’ ears with a grip that would have turned his eyes bloodshot. I wanted the ride to be over, now. I tried chatting with the horse, but it was useless. I even tried a couple of horsey gags: 96

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“Say, horse, why the long face?” He ignored me and then broke wind at length and with great volume. Like most men who think that flatulence is the sport of kings, I was impressed. My friends looked over their shoulders back at me with accusing eyes, utterly appalled. “What? It’s the horse…” Twenty minutes later, my worst fears were realised. I was fifth in a line of about thirty tons of puffing horseflesh, when a cry went up. “Kelly has been thrown!” I imagined the horror of my then ten‐year‐old little girl, hurled like a rag doll into the air, landing with a disabling thud. I panicked, kicked Dobbin (who responded immediately) and cantered up to where my daughter was laying on the ground with our friends already down at her side. She was screaming in pain and her face was a mask of blood. I quite literally fell off my horse and ran to her side. Every parent knows that fear travels through the brain at lightning speed. I thought that her neck was broken and a speeded up film ran wildly before my eyes: scenes of wheelchairs, hospitals and surgeries. I was beside myself with panic. Dr. Chris, our friend, was already checking her prone body for serious damage. Thank God he was there. We were miles from the nearest hospital. Richard, our son, was kneeling beside his sister and he was crying too. “Why was he in tears?” I wondered. “I just love her, I just love her,” he sobbed out. I was momentarily distracted. This uncharacteristic display of brotherly/sisterly affection was a miracle something akin to the raising of Lazarus. My mind snapped back into focus as Kelly cried out again. Her back was in one piece, but she had broken an arm and separated her chin from her jawbone. Her face was smeared now with tear soaked mud mingling with bright red blood. Something snapped inside me. I know that I should have been the mature father, someone to bring a sense of calm spiritual order into the chaos that we were feeling at that moment. Perhaps I should have gathered the family to pray, or just whispered words of comfort and care. But I didn’t. Instead, I chose to vent my pent up panic by throwing my head back and yelling a swear word at the top of my voice. I’m not proud of my stupid reaction, but it’s the truth. And what happened next came as a complete surprise. Kelly stopped her screaming with pain and turned her attention to her swearing Christian father. “Dad! I can’t believe you just said that word. How dare you…. and you – a Christian leader! You should be ashamed of yourself!” And with that, her high velocity rebuke delivered to a now sheepish parent. She

turned her attention back to some more full‐ blooded screaming. A few hours later, after Kelly had sat bravely in the local casualty ward while they picked debris out of her lower lip, we laughed at the moment when she had given me a good telling off. But I learned a lesson that day; it dawned on me that for impressionable Kelly, a father acting in a manner contrary to his publicly stated beliefs (I think the short description is hypocrite) was more painful than a broken arm and a mashed chin. Parents – and leaders – are called to be an example. Children – and God’s people – are like wet cement. We who lead are blessed with the privilege and responsibility of this mysterious thing called influence. We have the power to bless or stain the lives of those around us. When Paul prodded Timothy with the pointed exhortation to “be an example”, he was reminding the young warrior that leadership is more than gifted oratory, or theological dexterity. It is not just about acquiring managerial skills or having the ability to motivate people to action. We are called to be examples – the greek word is “tupos” – which means to inscribe a wax tablet. Other lives are profoundly affected by our wise calligraphy or selfish scrawl.

“I CHOSE TO VENT MY PENT UP PANIC BY THROWING MY HEAD BACK AND YELLING A SWEAR WORD.” But example is not to be confused with projecting the right image. I often meet Christian leaders who are anxious about being truly human. Frightened of “letting the side down”, they step back from any reference to their own fears, doubts and sins and instead present a facsimile of virtue, which, ultimately, their very human followers fail to identify with. Even Jesus the sinless leader refused to present an unreal image to his friends, but begged them to watch and pray with him in his dark Gethsemane hour. And the intrepid Paul was willing to write to his contentious flock at Corinth and announce that he had been feeling the “sentence of death” in his heart. Imagine that in a prayer letter from an international ministry: “Greetings, prayer partners, hey! We’ve been feeling suicidal this week…” Our example is not in the suggestion that we are without fault, but rather in our determination to push ahead to follow Jesus, even though we struggle with the same things that beset those that we lead. Our commitment to holiness is expressed, not in the notion that we enjoy a false immunity to sin and temptation, but in the grace kissed choices that we actually make each day as we choose the right pathway. Hypocrisy is hurtful. Pretending helps no one. And I never want to be on Dobbins’ back again. Or indeed, standing behind him! n Jeff Lucas is an international speaker, broadcaster and author of 22 books. He loves to communicate using humour and storytelling. He is a monthly contributor to Christianity magazine and writes daily Bible reading notes, Life Every Day. Jeff holds a teaching position at Timberline Church in Colorado and is married to Kay.

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The Last Word

Patience is a Virtue…


fly about 28‐30 times a year and drive about 25‐30k miles. I also use trains and a motorbike. This means I spend a disproportionate amount of my life listening to announcements and crying babies, waiting in queues, traffic jams and slow moving everything and wrestling with wanting to stab myself in the eyeball with cocktail sticks to relieve the boredom. In the last two months my planes have occasionally developed technical faults. One turned back having left Cambodia a few hours earlier because of an air conditioning fault (turned out that was a minor cover story for the Avionics). Right now as I write this, I’m sitting in Lodz, pronounced Woodge, and I’ve been disembarked from the plane because

“rebooting it” didn't work and they are now flying in a 14‐year‐old boy from Hornchurch on work experience with some spanners and WD40 to try and fix it. I’m not joking. It’s Saturday morning and it’s a well‐known low cost airline. I may be sometime… Firstly, I’d like to give a message to the holy reader who is about to tell me that there must be someone in the airport for me to share my faith with. My message is this: “Go away.” (Post writing note… this happened three times). Secondly, here is a message to all those who know me who will be thinking that God is teaching me a lesson in patience. “You’re not helping the learning process by pointing that out… even though it is probably true!” Patience is indeed a virtue and a very

biblical one at that. But I think we need some balance here. I am on the whole a patient man. I can plug away for years in order to generate a result I may not ever see. That’s what my “ministry” at CVM is all about in fact. Building a legacy of mission. Also, I was a pastor for over a decade and spent many hours listening to problems and issues in people’s lives in the hope that I could help them navigate some stormy waters. I’ve trained for marathons and alpine cycling – both of which mean hours of pain and mind numbing exercise. All of the above took patience.

“PATIENCE IS INDEED A VIRTUE AND A VERY BIBLICAL ONE AT THAT. BUT I THINK WE NEED SOME BALANCE HERE.” I am however a fidget and I like to see things get done or at least progress being made. I get so called “impatient” in a queue when the person serving is dawdling for no reason or having a chinwag with their friend when they could be making the queue shorter. I’m impatient when people aren't honest with me or refuse to deal with something obviously and easily solved. I’m impatient with slow or no replies from people when I’ve emailed them (I’m being a hypocrite here) and with my dog when it only does what it’s told when I wave a lump of extra mature cheese in front of its nose. But, is this impatience or is it just a godly irritation. I’m an activist. I still believe we can change the world. If I wasn't a fidget and moderately/highly frustrated with the status quo, I wouldn't get things done. Or am I just making excuses? You decide. Let me just say though, that the frustrated irritants change the world and challenge the status quo. So get frustrated. Right, now I’ve just seen a bloke with a cocktail stick so I’m signing off. n Carl is married with two daughters. He heads up Christian Vision for Men (CVM) and founded Codelife. You can follow him on Twitter @carlfbeech and on Facebook.

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Sorted. May/Jun 2014

Sorted Issue 40 May_Jun 14_Layout 1 27/03/2014 16:09 Page 99

Sorted Issue 40 May_Jun 14_Layout 1 27/03/2014 16:09 Page 100

SORTED magazine : May / June 2014  

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