Tag Archives: Christians

I Need Your Advice Please

I’m thinking of doing/organising some fund-raising, for our pretty little (inner city) Anglican Church. The funds would be for boring things (we don’t need a new steeple, or something sexy like that), so we are going to have to inspire generosity from a pretty cold start. Also, the congregation are mostly old and poor and the surrounding population is 70% Muslim… This may turn out to be quite a challenge.

Apparently, jumble sales and the like do not make much money anymore. It seems the availability of cheaper brands of clothing and the work of charity shops has made “jumble” redundant. I’m not sorry really, I bloody hate jumble sales.

I looked into those wristbands that various  charities sell. They’re fun but quite expensive, unless you invest a fortune. Also, ordering more of those to be made just seems like yet another way to pollute the environment. Have you ever raised funds using them? Are they worth ignoring the negatives?

I’ve thought about sponsored events but I don’t really like the idea of bothering people for money, to see me sitting in a bath full of jelly for ten hours. Ugh. Also, we’ve only just had a sponsored hymn night.

People like food, don’t they? Maybe I could make some sweets (chocolates, candy etc.) to sell. Or get someone who can actually bake to make some cakes. Please could some of you share any simple recipes (for sweets/chocolates/candy) with me?

Also, if any of you can suggest any tried and tested craft ideas (of the small fund-raising variety), I would love to hear them. I’m willing to put in the effort, if you KNOW they are worth making.

I know I could Google all this… But I want to hear from REAL PEOPLE about what ACTUALLY WORKS. I trust people who have the good taste and intelligence to read my blog. I’m not so trusting of companies whose main motivation is to sell me “St. Agnes Church” key-rings.

I did have one more idea and that was the internet. Father Stephen already runs a pretty kick ass website. I thought maybe he should set up a page about needing funds and put up a PayPal button, or something? I will suggest it to him, if people think that might work. We are in rather a difficult place to raise funds, so more fortunate Christians might help… But whether or not Father Stephen would do that, I don’t know.

Am I missing anything else? I don’t think a fashion show would work, by the way, unless it was for Zimmer frames, or embroidered hankies.

Thanks in advance!


Manic Mormon Monday

A couple of nights ago I was out with Brandon, when I got a text from Dave (who was also out). It seems that he had been early for his bus and had struck up a conversation, with two American guys, at the bus stop. So anyway, I suddenly got a text, completely out of the blue, that said:

“I just invited some Mormons round on Monday evening”.

WHAT? That took me by surprise. I mean, I have nothing against Mormons, I love Donny Osmond… But why on EARTH would Dave invite them to our house? Talking to strange Mormons while you are waiting for a bus is  mental enough, without letting them know where you LIVE. Admittedly, a Mormon friend of mine (American) gave me the best advice a girl could ever get (“Clothes should be tight enough to show that you’re a woman but loose enough to show that you’re a LADY”) but still, I knew her on the internet – I didn’t invite her OVER.

When I got home, I took Dave to task.

“Why did you invite Mormons to come round?”

“They seemed nice and it’ll be funny”.

You’re an Atheist and I’ve just started going to the Anglican Church… They’ll be wasting their time. WE will be wasting their time.”

“No, they will be telling us about their religion and we will be learning something. You’re getting into religion, so you should be interested!”

“I’m NOT interested in being a Mormon, they wear magic underwear!”

“Stop being a bigot.”

So it looks as though we have Mormons coming to preach to us, on Monday night. Bloody hell – I can’t even offer them a cup of tea, because they might get too stimulated by it. I read up on their beliefs (on Wikipedia) and the whole thing sounds BIZARRE  but Dave wouldn’t listen – when I tried to tell him he called it a “Spoiler Alert” and put his hands over his ears.


EDIT: Hahaha! Just as I was proof-reading this, Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on the front door, with a leaflet. Thank goodness *I* answered it.

10 Reasons I Enjoy Going To Church (On Top Of The Obvious God And Jesus Ones)

Getting up early every Sunday morning may sound like a bit of a chore but, so far, I enjoy going to Church and find it worth the effort. I’m not going to bang on about God and Jesus specifically – you will have your own beliefs and frankly I’m still not sure about how to describe mine. I can, however, list some of the reasons that I find attending Church a positive thing to do, beyond the undoubtable spiritual benefits and comfort it gives me:

1) Getting ready: I don’t have many “smart” clothes (especially since I’ve lost a lot of weight) but I still manage to look “dressed up” (for me) on most Sundays.  I used to go to Church in jeans and a T-shirt but now I quite like making an effort to look nice – I even iron my blouse!

2) Walking to Church: I really like walking to Church, because everywhere is quite and peaceful. I often see other dressed up people, and I know they are going to their Churches (or mine) too. That makes me smile. I don’t know whether to thank God or pollution, but I’ve been very lucky with the weather, on Church mornings.

3) Holy Water: The whole idea of Holy Water really appeals to me and the Anglican Church are right up there with the Catholics, when it comes to using it. It is awesome – it kills vampires, it frightens off demons and it purifies us, or something. I love the little stoup of water that we cross ourselves with, before entering the Church. Sometimes the Priest flicks Holy Water over us during the service and I struggle to decide how long it is polite to wait, before cleaning it off the lenses of my glasses.

4) Crossing myself: I like doing this but I had to learn how. I’m left-handed and I’m suspicious that the first few times I did it I was summoning the Devil by mistake. Not only does crossing myself make me feel Holy, it also makes me feel like I’m in a film, or I’m a Nun, or I’m a competitive sports legend.

5) The Church interior and stained-glass windows: Our Church is really old and traditional and beautiful. I love that.

6) The service: The Anglican Church put on a really good service. Loads of ornate things to say and reply, lots of standing up and down – and more songs than the Eurovision Song Contest. Brilliant. And I like the whole “Peace be with you” bit, where we go around shaking hands with everyone – I deliberately choose grumpy old people, and disruptive little kids.

7) The sermon:  I have, so far, never been bored by a sermon. What more can I say? I love it when the Priest (or whoever) goes, “Yesterday I was mowing my lawn and it suddenly struck me that a lawn mower is very much like Jesus…”. Hilarious. Every sermon I’ve heard has been thought-provoking and intelligent though.

8) Holy Communion: I’m still not Confirmed but I like going up for a Blessing.

9) The wine/tea/cakes: Staying after Church, sharing refreshments and chatting, is great fun. We have had a celebration of some kind almost every week though and that means glasses of wine BEFORE lunch. I must say, the only times I have been tipsy, since Christmas, can all be blamed on drinking after Church, in the Church building. Scandalous.

10) The walk home: I like walking home from Church, looking fine, full of the Holy Spirit and possibly with a nice little boozy buzz on. I like seeing how the streets have got busy and I stop off at the Asda to buy milk and cat food.

 Going to Church is well worth the effort.

Forgiveness? It May Be Too Soon…

Today, the Archdeacon of Manchester visited our Church. He seemed like a very nice bloke and he gave quite a moving sermon, on forgiveness. I was with him right up to the point when he suggested somebody we might all consider showing forgiveness to at the moment…

Robert Green, the fumbling England goalie, who helped America to draw with us in our first World Cup match.

Lord, why must You test me like this?

A Rare Picture Of Me

Take a good look, because you won’t often see a picture of me on here! After posting yesterday about how often to blog, I’ve had an insanely busy Sunday with no time to write much. Added to that, I haven’t lined anything up from my old journal… So instead of being creative, I’m going to use a picture our Priest took at the Festival I told you about.

Despite the way the photo has come out, I DO have breasts and half my teeth are NOT missing. Oh and the guy in the T shirt really IS a trainee clergyman.

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.

Bible Bashing

In 2004 my family and I went to Florida, to do the Disney thing. Unfortunately my husband (now estranged) fell asleep at the wheel, whilst driving along a motorway. I was in the car at the time and so was my son Brandon (then 9). The car flipped, rolled a couple of times, flew along the ground (upside down) and then filled with smoke. I was trapped inside for a while, which was scary. Luckily none of us was really hurt – apart from me having a dreadful seatbelt burn and very bruised knees (it took about four years for them to stop being numb).

After the crash, Brandon and I returned to the Disney Hotel, by taxi (my ex had things to sort out back at the scene). We told the taxi driver about our crash and he asked me if we would be “going to Church tomorrow”. I said we wouldn’t, that we were British and that most Brits don’t really go to Church.  The taxi driver turned around to look at us (which freaked me out, I’d just been in one crash!).

“I think SOMEBODY needs to show a little GRATITUDE here!”, he said.

Wow. I mean, OK I was glad we were alive – but I wasn’t feeling very grateful that we had to crash IN THE FIRST PLACE. Our holiday vibe (along with Brandon’s birthday a couple of days later) suffered under the combined shadow of delayed shock and me having no skin left on my collar-bone. Our dream holiday wasn’t quite such a dream anymore.

The next day, an American lady saw my injuries and asked me what had happened. I told her.

“I think your Guardian Angel was in the car with you!” she cried delightedly, squeezing my arm and grinning like a maniac.

“Well I wish she’d woken my husband up instead of watching us crash!” I replied sarcastically, hobbling away as fast as my battered knees could carry me.

Am I just a horrible person, or is it a bit far-fetched to say I should be grateful for being in a car crash? Am I evil, when I think that a proper Guardian Angel would stop the crash, rather than just stop us dying? If I went to Church, would I be nicer and more cheerful about this kind of shit?