Had a quick chance for a nose around Dulverton in Somerset on Friday. This is one of the paths leading up to The Church Of All Saints.
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 Dad 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.
Something to remember tomorrow if you’re trying to get to Church on time.
We all have times when sitting through a Church service isn’t straightforward. It could be because of that curry you had last night, the contact lens not behaving, or just wanting to get home in time to watch the football.
If you’re a parent of a toddler / other little person, then there are other problems in Church that makes a Church service not straightforward. Here is a look at the problems that parents of toddlers face in Church:
- The ability to partake in communion is held hostage by a toddler stealing the liturgy card.
- You have a minor panic attack every time your little one wonders near the open and full baptism pool.
- “Can I have some of that squash?” “No dear, its communion wine.”
- Hitting a chair, in an attempt to ensure your little one doesn’t fall off, while she is jumping on it.
- The heart racing panic when the Little One shouts, “I need a POO!.. QUICK ITS COMING OUT!“
- Been massively distracted anytime someone comes into the hall during the sermon – just in case its someone from your kids group.
- Having to explain everytime its a communion service that you cant eat the bread from the table until the right time.
- No you can’t see the song sheet. It’s being used for colouring in.
- A time of silent prayer is anything but silent inside your head, as you count down the seconds until something gets shouted. (Normally a cry of “BOOOO!”)
- Accidentally looking super spiritual by kneeling on the floor during communion. (Because toddler has stolen your seat)
Any other problems I’ve not mentioned?
As with any year, this year is going to share its own fair share of challenges and big events. One of the big events for you, may be that either you or someone you know is getting married. If you’re getting married – Congratulations! If you’re helping with someone getting married – this is for you. Collected from a number of “interesting” weddings, here is a list of a few things that need to be remembered when planning a wedding.
- You’re not going to get it all right.
- People love it when you choose a really obscure wedding service venue, followed by a really obscure venue for your reception.
- People love it when they go to a wedding service and hear all new songs! So choose the most obscure songs you know!
- Think twice before suggesting a wild dress code, and remember: Naked wedding services are never OK!
- Remember to actually hire a church… and get people to play the music – if you want music.
- Wedding Cake! Everyone loves Wedding Cake. Get plenty of Wedding Cake!
- Don’t worry about remembering about where the wedding rings are. Someone will remember where they end up.
- When planning a seating plan, always think about what the most entertaining arrangement would be.
- Get the best man to recreate that Best Mans speech from Sherlock.
- You’re going to upset at least someone, so make a list of people you know, and ensure you upset at least one person a day until you get married. That way you can make sure you upset everyone in equal measure.
Any more handy hints?
We are slowly entering that time of year where we may find ourselves in a Christmas Carol Service or two.
Have you ever sat in one and felt that it felt oddly familiar?
To test that feeling, here’s The Christmas Carol Service Bingo Game. Please feel free to print out the below, and play it on the back row during the Carol Services of this Christmas season.
Obviously, you may not want to scream BINGO too much…
A Slight variation of this post first appeared on The Church Sofa.
Please picture the situation:
You’re sat in church (or if you’re not comfortable, picture being with a large group of friends), and you are meeting for the first time since a friend died 4 days. Everyone is quiet, and listening to the Church leader speak. Even your little one is quietly munching on a yogurt rice cake.
The person you’re listening to, is speaking fantastically on being like a family to each other, that our friend will be missed, that its ok to cry, and people will probably be crying over the next hour or so. That while permission wasn’t needed to be given, to consider it ok to lose the plot a little.
Picture being able to cut the emotion with a knife.
You’re there very aware you don’t want to lose the plot quite yet.
All of a sudden, your little one decides to share how amazing the yogurt rice cake is, and starts shouting: “YUM, YUM, YUM”… “YUM, YUM, YUM”
Trying to distract her by hiding behind a sheet of paper didn’t help much either. She just shouted “BOO”
Kids are great at lighting the situation right?
Does anyone out there have any tips at surviving a funeral with a 2 year old?
Congratulations. You have managed to make it to Church.
Actually hang on, you’ve managed to get to Church and not forget any family members on route. Massive Congratulations on not losing anyone.
Now, if your group includes a child, you need to remember – there are certain dangers you need to look out for when you take a child to Church.
- Being late, and having to contend with a church warden / steward “encouraging” you and your wiggly toddler to the front of the Church… whilst there are safer seats (and space to run at the back).
- Vicar: “Now lets take a moment of silent prayer”. Little One: “I NEED A POO!!!”.
- Formally breast fed toddlers getting jealous of the sight of a really little one getting breast fed… and running over to get a quick meal.
- The kid getting confused between a potty and the baptismal font.
- Is it your turn on the preaching rota? This will be the Sunday when your kid demands to play trains…with you… during the sermon.
- Has your toddler ever took their nappy off by themselves? THIS could be when they work it out!
- Toddler. Tantrums. Could be anytime?
- Your child refuses to be in their group (koala effect), but is too unsettled to be quiet enough for you to take them into the main service, hence you are stuck in the corridor limbo.
Any more you’ve come across?
It’s been a few months now of smuggling the little one into Church, and pretending that she also knows when she to be quiet, when to make noise, etc…
After a while we figured we needed a selection of special tools to distract, entertain, and comfort her while ensuring her parents also get a chance to take part in the service.
So we’re proud to present, the “Take Your New Born / Baby to Church Survival Kit”:
- Muslin to cover up the fact your using a dummy.
- Energy drink – Because having coffee after the service is a little late.
- Note pad, and pen – useful for things such as funny drawings, paper plane material, and possibly sermon notes.
- Church Approved Toy. (Does not make noise, nor make other kids, or preacher jealous that he/she can’t play with said toy).
- Nappy bag – with enough nappies to last the length of the sermon.
- Milk bottles containing Ministry Approved Milk.
- Breakfast – because you were busy before the service making sure everyone else ate!
- Push Chair. So you can race other “drivers” around the church hall.
- Map containing directions to nearest exit – in case of sudden ‘exit’ issues…
- Children’s Bible – because we all need help understanding sermons sometimes.
- A note in your organiser letting you know that the service is starting 30 mins earlier… you’re never going to get there on time otherwise…
Any more that we’ve missed?
This is a slightly updated version of an old post.