Fr. Matthew Cashmore

Deacon in the Church of England. Trustee SPCK. Father, husband, son. "Small acts of Good change the world."

Category: Uncategorized

Welcome to the personal home of Father Matthew Cashmore.

I write here about a range of things; a loose collection of posts and reviews about things that I am passionate about. For the most part that means you’ll see lots of posts about my faith and about Jesus’ ministry through me here in the West Hereford Team Ministry. You can also find any sermons or broadcasts I may have delivered (although I’m not entirely consistent in posting them).

Continue reading


Setting up Skype with a desktop phone

img_2497What did I want? I wanted a Skype virtual number that worked with the Skype client on my iPhone, my laptop and importantly – with a desktop phone that would function without the need to be plugged into my computer.

Easy. Google Skype desktop phone and you’re presented with an array of options. But here’s the rub. They don’t work. Skype – the consumer version – is just not wired to work properly with a stand alone desktop phone (VoIP) – so you’re going to have to try something else. I now have a virtual Skype number that calls through on my various devices as well as a desktop phone – this is how I managed it – it took me the better part of two weeks of on-and-off work to get this up and running – there is so much contrary information on various websites that I hope this offers a clear path for new users.

1 – Skype wont work for you.

The personal version of Skype is not up to this task. Yes, you can buy a USB phone for your computer but it’s barely better than a bluetooth headset and it still requires your computer to be up and running and signed in. You need Skype For Business. It’s designed to work with more robust VoIP systems and will integrate with a number of desktop phones – most easily with this range from Polycom. Be aware you need a very specific version of the Polycom phones that come with the relevant firmware pre-installed. This is important. Without that firmware the upgrade process for these devices is a pain – a REAL pain. I know.

2 – It wont work with JUST Skype for Business

Skype for Business is an awesome stand-alone tool. It’ll ring your devices, is far more robust than the personal version and offers good value for money. You could stop right here with a simple subscription and forget the desktop phone idea.

3 – I really want a desktop phone

This is where things get hugely confusing. In order to use a desktop phone you are going to need a full-on VoIP server, a PBX server and a phone plan of some kind. What does that mean in practice? It means you need a Microsoft Office Enterprise Licence. The easiest way to get up and running is to sign up for an Office 365 E5 Licence. This gives you everything you need to be up and running with a desktop phone – including the Cloud PBX service for Skype For Business. You’ll just need to add a domestic calling plan. So now you have:

  • Office Enterprise Licence
  • Cloud PBX (included in E5, needs to be added for other enterprise licences)
  • Calling plan

You are set to go – you need ALL of these things. Skype For Business will not work on a desktop phone without this set up.

4 – What’s the cost?

An office E5 licence sets you back £25 per month. But for that you get the entire Office suite of apps and a bunch of other things that made it worth while for me.

Cloud PBX is £5 per month (but is included in the E5 licence)

Domestic call plan is about £7 per month – but can vary depending on your Office Licence.

You can chop and change these licences depending on your needs as long as you have the three items listed above in some form or another.

5 – Setting up the phone

Buy a Polycom phone. It arrives with the firmware installed and you just log in via the web interface, insert your Skype For Business credentials and it just works – honestly, this was the easiest part of the whole thing. There’s a bunch of help online if you get stuck – but it really is straight forward. My phone calls just like a real phone, it receives calls easily and as Skype For Business becomes more integrated into the Office suite of tools it becomes ever more useful as a desktop device – contacts, calendar, diverting and transferring to other members of my team etc.

6 – Do you really need a desktop phone?

If you really need a desktop phone this painful path is worth it – because you’re essentially setting up a small commercial set up with Microsoft. It works really well once set up but a lot of it is for IT pros and not for the likes of you and me. If you don’t really need a phone, you may well find the cost and set up just too much – stick with your iPhone and a bluetooth hand-held for your desk.

7 – It works REALLY well

Now I’m set up I have incredibly robust email, access to Microsofts Office Enterprise tools and software and integration across all of those tools. I can easily manage my own email server and my own phone server. This is such a good tool.



Leaving Blackwell’s & next steps

Leaving Blackwell's Bookseller Article GrabWell what a week. We announced  that I was leaving Blackwell’s to train as a Priest. Those of you who follow this blog will not be surprised, especially if you followed my posts on this recently.

It’s been an amazing journey – I’ve only been at Blackwell’s for two years but in that time we’ve managed to get a huge amount done. Turning up at a company with a blank sheet is an awesome opportunity and I can’t recall the last time I’ve had so much fun professionally.

It was a tough decision to leave, but when God calls you answer and… here I am.

I will be taking up some small consultancy work in the new year to supplement my tiny new income and if you’re interested in working with me you can email me or contact me on Skype on matthewcashmore. I have a very special day-rate for charities and faith organisations.

I’ll be taking some time over Christmas to give this blog a bit of a facelift and re-introduce the God Blog to the central theme and perhaps also taking the opportunity to write about bookselling the publishing world as well.


Lots of news

It’s been very quiet here of late – that’s because there’s lots of news – lots of things going on that I can’t wait to tell you about… but for the moment need to remain on the QT.

The biggest news of course is that Catherine and I are expecting our first baby – Edmund, for that is his name – will be joining the world on or around December 31st later this year. That means that Kazakhstan is off the cards and that I’m going to start posting a lot of irritating stuff about Children, the role of fathers and doing video reviews of baby monitors rather than tents.

First off though… is now live – it’s my new blog – dedicated to re-posting the most inspirational stories of fathers from around the world. Enjoy.


Budapest – The City

Budapest CityToby 2 ready for the offFully loaded and ready to goWaiting to boardNot long to goBikes last
Bikes lastWaiting to boardA whole carrage to myself!I'll be in France in no timeNot the brighest start to the dayOverloaded bike
A typical organised camp CashmoreDecathlon - home of cheap camping gearAustria - I had about an hour of dry roads - then rain all day.Replacement sleeping mat and sleeping bag + coversBudapest CityBudapest City
Budapest CityBudapest CityBudapest CityBudapest CityBudapest CityBudapest City

Budapest, a set on Flickr.

It’s been a blast getting this far – I’m holed up in a hotel for the day whilst a tummy irritation sorts itself out so I’ve taken the opportunity to get all the photos of the journey so far together – here they all are!