Being homeless…easy? #sleepeasyexeter

A while ago the other Andy put up a post about people watching (apparently it’s like a cool version of train spotting?!). Annoyingly the other day I found myself doing the same thing. It wasn’t so much people watching but watching an event unfold. I was waiting for a bus one evening a few weeks ago and saw a man walking up and down the street outside a well known pizza takeaway kind of place. It soon became apparent that this man was homeless, that was the first thing I heard him say. He was after some food to eat and he wanted something hot, I can’t blame him for that, it was a fairly late evening and it was freezing.

I watched for a while as he would approach people walking past, and ask if they were going to the pizza shop as he had a buy one get one free voucher he was happy to share but he only had half the money. Some people would walk past and ignore him, some saw him a little way back while he was talking to someone else and would cross the street and some would shout at him.

After a little while he came up to me and asked if I could give him some money, feeling really bad that I couldn’t help him out I had to explain that I didn’t have any spare money on me. But I did chat with him and tried to understand his situation more. I’ll be honest unless you go through the same thing you can never understand what it’s like to be homeless but hearing his story helped me see a bit of the bigger picture. He’d been homeless for over 15 years, since he was a teenager.

This car park was where he’d been sleeping and where he’d be sleeping that night. He said it made him sad that he had to break into somewhere just to be able to sleep somewhere dry. It might be drier than outside but it’s still freezing cold.

I kept talking to him and listening to his story until someone else came by, and he went off to see if they wanted to split the cost of a pizza.

It’s people like this man, that inspire in the work I do for Exeter YMCA and the church sofa lads this year are taking part in Sleepeasy 2012 to raise money for the work of Exeter YMCA with the homeless.



10 Ways to get your Church Website Talking

So. You have a Church website.

Fantastic. This means you have information about your Church, where people look for it.

Question for you. Does your website feel a little bit like an online brochure? That might be fine for what you’re trying to achieve, and if your website serves your church and the community it serves, then fantastic.

If you’re been pondering ways to get your website talking, your churches story shared online, and maybe some two way discussion started; then this list is for you:

  1. Blog. Like this. It can be a place to share  news, local stories, videos, weblinks etc…
  2. Video. Video can get reactions from people, who may not be interested in reading a written article.  Just dont fall into the trap of putting a powerful video online, and expecting lives to be changed because of it. Give your visitors the chance to ask questions / follow up on the video.
  3. Contact. Make it easy for people to get in touch with someone from the church. In fact make it really easy for people, to get in touch with you. Try having a form that people can type directly into.
  4. Do you have a Facebook Page?  Is your church on Twitter?  As well as linking to these pages, its also possible to embed your Facebook / Twitter updates into your website. This gives your website some fresh content each time you update Facebook, giving your site a fresher feel.
  5. A number of charities are starting to look more seriously at Google Plus, with some interest in the “Search plus Your World” feature, which links your Google search results in with what people you know are talking about on Google Plus.
  6. Diaspora… you could host a private hub… (maybe for the adventurous types)
  7. Local news / Local Information. Is there any way that you could provide information for the local community?
  8. Run a poll. See what people think. Ask a question during the service, and encourage people to answer it online. In fact, could you encourage people to answer the poll on their smart phones during the service?
  9. On that note, could the preacher encourage questions via Twitter?  Possibly using your churches own #hashtag?

These points are in no particular order, and some are a little more…out there then others.

  • How does your church share its story online?
  • Do you have a tenth tip to share?

Originally posted on The Big Bible

Weekly Round Up: The ahplA Edition

Welcome to the Weekly round up – back on Saturdays!!!


Your Last Journey

Its amazing what you can find at a “Christian Resources Exhibition”, if you’re into cycling this would be perfect for your last trip to Church:


Prefer your bike to have an engine, theres something here for you as well…

How Are You?

It was a simple question, but it was lingering in the air as I read it.

A simple question, but I was stumped for an answer.

Maybe it’s because I’m English.
Maybe it’s because I ask the question almost all the time at work.
Perhaps customers ask me at work.. And I know how many I them are really interested in my answer.
Maybe it’s because, even when its people who (I know) really care about me ask, the busyness of life means the subject is moved on quickly enough.
Maybe it’s because i’ve known him for years.
Perhaps its just all those nights at the pub.
Or maybe it’s because I know I can’t fool him…

He simply asked;

How are you?

I wanted to say, “same as normal”… But how is that?

Weekly Roundup: The Atheism 2.0 Edition

Welcome to the last Sunday edition of The Weekly Roundup (for now at least):