Festival Time And Poor Little Fishes

I spent my Bank Holiday Monday afternoon at Longsight Neighbourhood Festival, helping to run a stall. We were inviting people to attend our Church and highlighting the new gardens that the Church want to build (and open for the wider community to use). Work should be starting soon.

I found it a little daunting to hand out Christian literature, in an area that is 70% Muslim and where quite a few women even go so far as to wear the full veil. I didn’t want to upset or offend anybody. I need not have worried, as everyone was very open to our efforts and most tolerant and polite. Many Muslims came and looked at, or picked up, our flyers. In fact, most very religious Muslims embrace the opportunity to study other religions. I think if we had been doing the same thing in an area of similar economic deprivation but where people were of no religious inclination at all, we would have faired worse and possibly had a strong negative response to our presence.

Of course, most people in Longsight do not wear the full veil ( and I presume even those that do don’t wear it at home), so many of the stalls were selling absolutely beautiful dresses and scarves. There was a stilt-walker, the Mayor came to visit (with his wife) and our local MP, Gerald Kaufman, showed up. Kids were running around everywhere with goldfishes in plastic bags, which was a bit sad but they were thrilled to have won something so precious! I don’t know what they had to do to win them but it must have been quite easy. Tiny fish-tanks were on sale at the same stall for £4 each… I think I can see where the profit on letting kids win came in – many begged £4 from their parents as the bags got annoying to care for.

There was live music (of variable quality) and the queue for Face Painting grew so long that the man doing it seemingly fled – leaving a miffed crowd of parents and children. The kids that were painted looked amazing though and kept coming over to say “hello Sir!” to Father Stephen, as he preaches at the school.

I’d have liked a CHAIR but other than that, it was great fun. What?! I’m OLD.

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12 responses to “Festival Time And Poor Little Fishes

  1. Sounds like it was a fun day!
    You never have things like that on in our area, due to the fear that charvs will attack you ¬¬

    It’s nice to see different religions getting on with each other, it completely disregards all this nonsense that the BNP and other racists like to preach to the public! :)

    Great Blogging as always!

  2. How nice to see you getting so involved in your church. :) Most people take it much slower and take getting involved like that in baby steps – if at all. So I say good for you!

    I’m totally with you on the chair thing, too! LOL

    • When I do something, I jump right in. Usually because I’ve thought about it for so long first.

      They’d attended the Whit Walks in the morning (a parade thing), so I saved my energy and helped in the afternoon. :D

      No CHAIRS though, WTF? I shouldn’t have to stand up like that, it was against my Human Rights.

  3. I feel for the face painter guy! I did face painting at a school field day last week as a favor to my sister. It rained so “field” day became “stuff everyone into the cafeteria” day. The line for facepainting was sooo long I felt like sneaking out the back!
    Sounds like you live in a wonderfully diverse and open-minded community. Glad your festival was a success especially since you had reservations at first.

  4. My theory (which may be America centric, I’m not sure how it goes down in the UK) is: non-religious people have never been granted The Big Disclaimer. Nineteen buttheads fly airplanes into buildings and we need to spend the rest of our lives saying, “Oh…not ALL Muslims are bad.” But you have few communist revolutions and a bomb scare or two and atheists are the most hated people on the planet – no Big Disclaimer for you, godless boy.

    Honestly, whenever I see religious people approaching, I get automatically defensive. I figure it’s only a matter of time before they start nagging me and telling me that I’m a bad person. What gives them the right to say these things? So, you may be the victim of society’s lack of granting The Big Disclaimer to atheists and non-religious persons; the cold shoulder you’re receiving is the result of the defensiveness that comes from years of being hated and ostracized from the “diversity” hug fest.

    • Yeah, I’m sure you are right that non-religious people feel “judged”. Plus, religious people often come off like freaky, smiling zombies (I’ve noticed). My lot are very down-to-Earth though – Father Stephen is shockingly “normal”.

      • I wouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to religious people. When I was growing up, our priest rode his bicycle around town while wearing a Farrah Fawcett tee-shirt. He also kept a collection of wax skulls in his office. He was still a priest, but he had a little fun with it. I think that’s what I look for in a religious person. Oh, you’d have loved him!

  5. Sounds like a fun day. I love street fairs with live music, even if it is bad music.

    • One “singing” woman though… OMG. I said to Father Stephen, “I’ve had three kids but even *I* can’t tune that row out!”. He laughed his head off.

  6. Pingback: A Rare Picture Of Me « Blogmella's Handbag Of Wisdom

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