The “Church” Christmas Card of The Week

<plug>

Christmas time is just around the corner. Sorry to point it out, but Christmas is nearly here. Have you brought Christmas Cards yet? If not, can I suggest* this card featuring Exeter Cathedral in a rare wintery moment.

As well as supporting a local Devon photographer, you’d also be helping to keep the Church Sofa running smoothly!

This card is available from redbubble.com

<end of plug>

*When I say suggest, what I mean is that I made a Christmas card**

**And this is a really blatant plug. (I think I’m) Sorry about that***.

***Well… not very sorry…

“Church” Christmas Card of The Week

Christmas time is just around the corner. Sorry to point it out, but Christmas is nearly here. Have you brought Christmas Cards yet? If not, can I suggest* this card featuring Exeter Cathedral in a rare wintery moment.

As well as supporting a local Devon photographer, you’d also be helping to keep the Church Sofa running smoothly!

This card is available from redbubble.com

<end of plug>

*When I say suggest, what I mean is that I made a Christmas card**

**And this is a really blatant plug. (I think I’m) Sorry about that. 

8 Signs You Go To Church In Devon

Here in Devon, there is an annual show called The Devon County Show. This is a celebration of all that is great about Devon, and the people who live here.

To join in with fun, here are 7 signs that you go to a Church in Devon.

You understand the relationship between Hay bales and seating.

HayBale

You go to Church in The Big City.

WelcomeToExeter

You’ve attended AMAZING Youth Group Events at Crealy Park!

crealy-park-big

Someone in Church is a farmer.

Devon-Farmer

Someone you know has been baptised in the sea.

ExmouthDuringApril-Web
It doesn’t always look this nice

You know someone, who knows someone, who has been involved with the Churches Together Tent at The Devon County Show.

Really-Big-Cross
Yes, It has a really big cross.

The Church car park looks something like this.

Car-Park

Your Church has hosted a Barn Dance

 

Any other tell tale signs?

The Rt Revd Robert Atwell – New Bishop of Exeter

In keeping with being culturally relevant, the Devon Church of England Diocese has announced their own football style transfer with the following tweet:

  For the curious the Chester diocese website had the following information about Exeters new bishop:

pictureThe Bishop of Stockport- The Rt Revd Robert Atwell I was born and brought up in Ilford, Essex, on the east side of London. After school I read theology at St John’s College, Durham, and trained for the ministry at Westcott House, Cambridge. During training I was privileged to be sent to study at the Venerable English College in Rome. Attending lectures with seminarians from around the world and exploring the Eternal City was an education in itself. After ordination and a curacy in north London I was appointed Chaplain of Trinity College, Cambridge. From there I took the unusual step of becoming a Benedictine monk at Burford Priory in the Cotswolds. My ten years in monastic life gave me an abiding love of contemplative prayer. Although no longer a monk I maintain my Benedictine vocation as an oblate of the Abbey of Le Bec in Normandy where I try to make an annual retreat. Before coming to Stockport I was for nine years Vicar of St Mary’s in Primrose Hill, north London.

The announcement was made on the website via the following youtube video:

The tweet following the above announcement is probably also worth noting

  Does this suggest a continued focus from the Exeter Diocese on social action issues? Hopefully so, but lets get him out of Plymouth soon shall we?*  

Update. For those paying attention, the above tweet has been corrected:

*Dear Plymouth, only joking we love you really.

Cardboard Box Memories

Well, around a year ago, a number of events were set in motion. A church notice here, a pub conversation there, and before we knew it, both Church Sofa lads found themselves at the Exeter YMCA Sleepeasy event. The YMCA sleepeasy events are to help fight against homelessness, by having the participants raise money by sleeping in cardboard boxes for a night. Whilst one of us didn’t bother trying to sleep, the other found themselves climbing inside a cardboard box for the night.

The following post from last year was started in a cardboard box:

It’s approaching two in the morning of the YMCA Sleepeasy event, and I’m tired. Yet I didn’t really fancy the idea of bed. Maybe it was the light, maybe the noise, perhaps it was the idea of trying to clamber into my “house” that you can see on the right hand side.

So, I kick off my boots, lean down, drag my sleeping bag out, just to see my loving crafted house fall to pieces on me. Leaving the bigger box standing, feeling uninspired to start again I wiggle into place. I lay down, very aware of the concrete underneath, shuffling around trying to blot out the light in front of me, leaning to my side… I’m aware of a church tower somewhere chiming that its two in the morning.It was at this point that I realised, that I was now more awake than I was when this whole box thing started. More photos were taken, tweets were read, web pages scanned, and I opened my eyes again.Before I knew it, that church tower was chiming for three o’clock.At somepoint after three I went back to sleep “properly”. At somepoint I closed my eyes, and drifted off.

It was at 4:49 when I woke up. Rain thundering down on the shelter over us, my nose well and truly blocked up, and very aware I was in a cardboard box.

Very awake, very aware I was in a cardboard box, and oddly angry at the injustice of people needing to wake up like this. As I was laying there wondering what to do between actually getting up, and having breakfast, I wondered how we all got into a state where we accepted the fact that people have no choice but sleep rough on our streets, scared and sleep deprived, simply existing from one moment to the next

It all made me wonder how long I could survive on naff all sleep, spending my time waiting for something to happen.

Look, I’m not going to say that the SleepEasy event was anything really like sleeping rough for any length of time: For starters we were secure, we had people awake and watching over us, bacon rolls, there was a shelter over our heads, and we knew that no matter how long the night was, we had a home to go back to.

If you get a chance, look out for SleepEasy events next year, and have a sample of what it’s like waking up in a box.

That was last year. This year its happening again! Can you join us to sleep under the stars and help raise funds to support Exeter YMCA’s work with young people?

According to the Exeter YMCA website: Music and other entertainment during the evening will make sure you have a great time and food and hot drinks will be available. All you need to do is make sure you’re well wrapped up!

We ask everybody to do their best to raise a minimum of £50 – most people raise much more. All funds raised will go towards Exeter YMCA’s vital work providing 15,000 nights’ accommodation and support each year to homeless young people in Devon. We don’t pretend this will give you a real rough sleeping experience (after all you will be entertained, fed and kept safe), but we do promise you a night you will remember for a long time. And your efforts will make a real difference to the lives of homeless young people in Devon.

So are you up for getting your own cardboard box memories?

Check out sleepeasyexeter.org.uk for more information

abseil1

Fancy Walking Down a Building?

Do you fancy enjoying a unique view of Exeter?

Do you like the idea of looking like Santa?

Do you want to help make a difference this Christmas?

Well, an opportunity has opened up for you to take in the beautiful sights of The River Exe in Exeter, Devon from 100ft up. Join dozens of Santas on Saturday 8th December as they abseil down the @Renslade offices in aid of helping Exeter YMCA tackle youth homelessness across Devon.

So. Are you up for helping to tackle youth homelessness in Exeter, while having a good laugh at the same time? Check out the Exeter YMCA website for more information.

ALSO, The Church Sofa Lads have decided to help out by doing the MAN thing and… deciding to sit back and watch “Mrs Sofa” (aka Anne) as she abseils down what to be honest… is a massive building. I’m sure if will encourage her more then we ever would if you could sponsor her over at her Just Giving page. Obviously if you wanted to keep her company on the jouney down, I’m sure that would also be amazing if you also signed up!

See you there?

Bishop Bob’s Prayers on Facebook

Now heres something a little bit cool for a Bishop.

Bishop Bob of Crediton has relaunched his prayer page on Facebook, encouraging people to leave prayer requests for him to say on the wall.

Bishop Evens said: “People really seemed to appreciate being able to send in their prayers to me during Lent, and to know that I would say them each day. As my role takes me all over Devon, I will stop what I am doing each day – pulling over in laybys if necessary – to pray for people.”

Source: Southwestbusiness.co.uk

While I do have slight concerns about people possibly looking at Bishops as having a better link to God then the rest of us*, I do feel he should be commended for trying to engage with people in this way.

 

*Could I be shot by the good old C of E for saying something like that?