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Want a good laugh? Want to laugh at the church? Want to be secretly suspicious that the author has been sitting in your church committee meetings taking notes? Then Writes of the Church: Gripes and grumbles of people in the pews is probably the book for you.

From Amazon, Sarum Bookshop, The Bible Readers Fellowship and other good Christian bookshops. An excellent book for your churchgoing friends, relatives or vicar. By the creator of the Beaker Folk.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Winter Church Maintenance

As the clocks go back, few think to themselves that their church buildings need checking over before the winter storms begin. But just a few simple bits of maintenance can make such a difference to the building's condition as the cold rains fall.

Seal Your Walls and Roof 

If you have a limestone building, be aware that even simple rain water is actually a dilute solution of carbonic acid. There is a theory that the Rollright Stones were 24 feet tall when erected - and now look at them!

Used to be bigger than Stonehenge.

There is a simple answer. Spray the whole building with a polymer resin. I normally think it's best to drop it from a helicopter. Sure, if you're Church of England they will say you should have got a faculty. But by the time your church is sealed within 3 inches of plastic, it will be water proof, frost proof and - importantly - beyond any chance of reversing the process. It's good for another 800 years!

Lubricate the Congregation

The congregation tends to slow up in the darker months of the year. Bad news for the typical English congregation, with its heavy dependence on Liturgical Dance. But rubbing a tin of Linseed Oil into each worshipper will make them flexible beyond their years. Get some into their knees and you may even be able to find some use for those old hassocks again! As used by Reverend Richard Coles on the BBC's "Strictly".


All the best London pubs these days are handing out fleeces so their punters can continue al-fresco drinking all the way through the year. They'll stave off hypothermia in your worshippers, and bring a nice colourful look to the service. Strict Anglo Catholics will want to use fleeces in liturgical colours While those where the preacher goes on a bit might just want to shove one over their heads.

Tidy up the Churchyard

As the year goes on, the churchyard will fill up with leaves, bringing that melancholy Autumn feel. Why not buy a few tons of leaves online and dump them in as well? It means you won't see that embarrassing member of the congregation sleeping off his hangover in the churchyard. And you won't have to worry about maintaining the headstones.

Indoor Umbrellas

If you're too scared of the church hierarchy to seal the building with waterproof polymer, you're pretty much guaranteed to get water coming through the roof. You could send a volunteer up on the roof to sort it out, but you can feel fairly sure they're going to fall off. Especially if it's Gwendolyn, who says she'll do it because she went up there on Ascension Day 1931 and she doesn't see why she can't do it again.
Instead, hand out umbrellas to everyone as they come in. They'll stay nice and dry (as long as the water level doesn't rise too much) and all that rain falling around them will bring them much closer to nature than is normal.

Holy Well

If you have a Holy Well, you may find it freezes in cold weather. A few pints of anti freeze will keep you frost-free all winter! (Warning : Do not allow pilgrims to drink the water)

Clearing Paths

You may find you have wind-blown debris covering the paths around your church. Branches, dead cats, femur bones unearthed by badgers - all can form really dangerous trip hazards. Why not just put blue and white tape around the whole place, run your services by video from your front room and come back to church in the Spring?

The Boiler

At some point in the winter, the boiler will pack up. Let's face it, it will be the most inconvenient time time imaginable and everyone is gonna freeze. If you get it serviced about now, it will fail anyway. But you've got to try haven't you? I suggest prayer.
If things get too cold, try burning the pews. Even the most ardent preserver of Victorian pitch pine will lay in with a hatchet if the temperature in the church falls below freezing. But beware! If you've sealed the building with a plastic polymer the draft will be insufficient and you'll smoke yourselves out. Congregation members staggering out of church choking before the blessing is never a good worship experience.
Members of the Anglo Catholic wing of the church will probably just prefer to light a bigger thurible.

Looking for  a Christmas present for the churchgoer in your life? Or are you in need of a book to make you laugh at and think about the church? Well you probably need "Writes of the Church  -  Gripes and Grumbles of People in the Pews" - a perfect stocking filler, from the creator of the Beaker Folk.  From Amazon, BRF and good Christian bookshops.
A queue of people at the vicarage door, holding letters. The vicar is hiding behind the curtains.
Writes of the Church - On sale now and perfect for Christmas

1 comment :

  1. Dear Archdruid Eileen,

    What should I do about the bats in my belfry?

    Yours in bat poo,
    Sr Feisty


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