Saturday, 16 March 2013


Peter and Graham hoist the flag!

Edmund Crawford took this photo on the roof of the 12th Century Parish Church of St Oswalds Filey. I call it iconic for good reason: A thumbnail version is  our avatar for FileyParish Twitter @FileyParish  and Filey Parish UK Facebook page. 

I have been on 2 courses for those who do websites and the Social Media for their Christian Church.  I thought I knew plenty all ready , but I sure didn't. Trends change, but SEO (search engine optimisation) and good practice have to be learned, as do the protocols for the various interchanges  when using social media. I have blogged about this several times . One of the ways I had to be corrected was the way I perceived the actual graphical content of an icon. I was going to use a lovely thumbnail of St Os, and change it regularly with St Js and St Ts.
 Similarly I thought the header for the blog might be a view inside one of the churches, but stretched across the homepage witha beautiful bold font displaying FILEY PARISH BLOG.
I learned however that good avatars and blog headers should reflect the people they represent.

 Pete however got it just right in 2008 when the blog was first launched with his picture of the cliff top near the Golf Course, taken on one of his  dog walks.

Even since 2008 , headers and icons have to be frequently  re thought. It is now good practice to use pictures of people .The thinking is that Churches are people not buildings. In the West we might have skewed our thinking somewhat. As you know I am hoping that Edmund or I  can take a picture of Filey Parish People together standing on the sand at Royal Parade, near our chalet  (yes ,there will be drinks!) in the warmer weather , on a good fine day ,when the tide is out, and make headers from the pictures.

The flags themselves , flown from  St Oswalds tower are iconic. On  Sunday  we get some new ones . The Rural Dean will bless them before the HC service. People have been hoisting flags for years from our church tower. I have dozens of pictures taken by Edmund  of the graffiti etched on to the roof tiles. And flags-what is the history of that practice? Im not going to tell you about flags leading people into wars, that much you all know, flags where we can recognise our own icon. 

I'm going back further than the recent past to the ancient past , for it is all there in the story of Jehoshaphat  873 – 849 BC. The story of the battle in 2 Chronicles 20 is quite an amazing one. I can see it now with the appointed singers with their banners singing ahead of the army of Judah. But it is that little verse 17 in the middle 
 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see!

The flags that fly from St Oswalds announce to the world that we are standing under Gods banner.   Many churches and cathedrals use banners flying inside the churches to announce that the battle does indeed belong to Lord. Keith Powell on our  Parish Weekend at Wydale  2012 ,reminded us that the Sword of the Spirit which we can all use  is the word of God. 

Trish Wick has asked us as a Parish if we know anyone who is into banner making? She would love a banner (s) for South Sudan. 

Beverley Minster Banners*

*I have taken this image from the the blog of St Hildas Church Prestwich in Manchester

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