Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Church Matters

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Church Matters

Article excerpt

Byline: By Francis Wood

It's BIZARRE!

Every Church needs one major event each month. It doesn't have to be a worshipping event. It may be social, musical, educational or a charitable effort. But with one major event there's a chance of getting all members working together. Two or three events can split the active force making for unhealthy competition.

Judging from my postbag, it's clear that the one event for November is the annual Christmas Bazaar! This gets everyone involved. It's as if the future of the Church depends on its financial outcome.

I get more letters saying, "Please mention our Christmas Fair," than any other Church Matter. Yes, I welcome the letters and I try to include them all. But I think, is the Church doing nothing else you'd like me to know about? Has the Vicar never said anything from the pulpit you might think deserves a wider airing? Maybe not, but come November and everything stops for the day when the working party produces the result of the year's work. That's when Santa sits with his little workers in his Grotto and the Church Hall is converted into a mini-casino. Even when the Church denounces the Lottery there'll always be room for the Tombola, the Wheel of Fortune, a Bottle Stall and the Giant Hamper Draw.

And why not? This is the Church Fair! I know a man who met his future wife at a Christmas Fair and you can't say fairer than that. But afterwards, when they ask you: "Was it a success?" Just remember not to look at the financial balance sheet for your answer. Look for social success. Were friendships renewed? Were feuds ended? Was there understanding and did the Church grow as a family? That's a far more lasting balance sheet.

DEAL THE CARDS OUT

WHY all this fuss about identity cards? The idea that we can hide our secrets is widespread and foolish. We all live in glass houses and our neighbours know far more about us than we like to admit.

In the Church too, we should have no worries. …

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