Monday 5 October 2009

Look What He Found

The Unitarian service Sunday morning (4 October) was Harvest Festival based. Very secular, and with none of the 'traditional' hymns, the wife and husband's presentation ended with a reproduced sermon.

The widow, Mrs Penn, of the long serving minister had returned to the church after an injury, particularly to hear the discovery made and placed as part of this service.

The husband presenter said he looked for material and entered 'Unitarian harvest festival service' in to a search engine, and first on the list, he was amazed to find, was a service from a young minister Ernest Penn as given in Poole in Dorset before ever coming to Hull. This was read out. It was his harvest festival service from then - 1949.

Well of course I smiled. I said, "You don't think it magicked its way on to the Internet?" Of course I had gone through the bits of paper with handwriting and crossings out and arrows and reconstructed the sermon. The re-preacher had no idea it had come from me (despite the link at the bottom, to take anyone from such a searched webpage to the website as a whole).

The reason it was first on the list, I said, was because it is within an 1800 pages website that the spider software finds and a blog with a link assists the frequency of the spidering. Plus, I said, the archiving is of the whole text, not just the meta tags. The text gets stored and can be reproduced rapidly when a search is made. I would add now that the fit between the search and the text is very close, though not exact. Google also spiders its blogs very rapidly, and it will not be long before this one is ready for searches made. The website index page also contains:

<script type="text/javascript">

var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www.");

document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));


<script type="text/javascript">

var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-229963-18");




<meta http-equiv="pragma" content="no-cache">

There are, apparently, boxes of papers that will include lots of Ernest's handwritten sermons. The amazing thing was that these bits of paper and crossings out produced perfectly delivered sermons every time whereas, reading them, I get lost in all the crossings out and instructions to go elsewhere in the meantime. Yes indeed, I said, I had typed the ones I received (that I could follow) and thus began, for now, a small archive. I'll do some more when I receive more too.

Mrs Penn thought he had changed somewhat after that time, broadening out his God view (rather heavy those days) and less in tradition. Actually I thought his explanations were rather good and substantial, but then recently I have become rather used to hearing a lot of 'interventionist' God talk even though I don't believe that myself and doubt that some who say it do so much either.

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