Saturday, April 23, 2022


Now, for something completely different. Yesterday, at Tesco's where we do our main weekly shop, we enjoyed a FREE lunch!   Completely gratis courtesy of the management. The backstory to this act of generosity covers several weeks' of solid campaigning by Carol. Six weeks ago she saw that the toilet serving the café was out of action causing inconvenience (!) for customers and especially young families.  Seeing others' distress Carol asked to see the manager and demanded action.  As she put it, nicely, 'It is illegal not to have a functioning toilet!'  The manager (also called Michael) said that repairs were in hand.  They were awaiting parts.

The next two visits found no progress on the toilet front.  The cafe manager said they had tried and tried but perhaps Carol could talk with the top store manager.  So, four weeks ago she struck up a warm relationship with top manager Darren who promised personal action. Delightful though he is, the following week found no action.  By now, Carol was known to all the café staff who greeted her as their special friend and fighter for rights.  Apparently, there was another store manager even more powerful.  Owen heard Carol's forthright plea, confessed it was the first he had heard of it and promised immediate action.  The campaign had reached the top.  Definitely, it would be sorted.  Michael promised us a free meal next time we were in.

Yesterday, Carol was greeted by exhausted staff who couldn't wait to tell her that plumbers really had been trying to repair it but still without success.  Michael said we deserved a free meal (well, Carol did) for all her fighting so far.  And so we sat down happily to egg, chips and a wrap.  Of course the saga goes on but Carol has made several new friends. Just thought I would let you know.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Widening media

These Easter eggs have really gained traction.  Hundreds of people have now seen them in the past three weeks with many stories as church members have sat on benches nearby to talk and share.  Up until last Sunday I had contented myself with some sedate posts.  I rather like the pace of blogging which suits me....a couple of short pieces every week or so with a small but faithful readership.

However, on Sunday to greet people 'Happy Easter,' I made the rare move of posting a shaky video on my facebook and to my astonishment viewings are nearing 300 with comments from friends across the world.  

Even rarer (these days) I was involved in a broadcast interview this week on Cambridge 105 radio.  Nobody else was available so I was given 7 minutes to describe how a village church could involve its children, young people and others (I was the oldest) in creating an art installation in order to tell the most important story of all.  A clip of the broadcast can be found easily.  Just google Cambridge 105 and see it on the home page (for a little while anyway).

So, exciting in many ways!   Here endeth the Easter egg saga!

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Seven Easter Eggs 9) The best day EVER

The best conclusion to any story EVER - the Empty Tomb and the Resurrected Jesus.  These last two eggs were painted by the youngest painters.  The Empty Tomb painting had help from their teacher with the children's hand prints radiating the morning sky (in Ukraine colours - quite coincidentally)!  And some of the church young people painted the last one, looking out of the tomb onto a landscape transformed by the risen Jesus. 

This morning's service was packed out with chairs brought in. With exuberance the congregation made response to Jesus Christ is risen - He is risen indeed. Alleluia. Actually, several times during worship! Many languages were spoken by our international congregation during the service and at its conclusion the majority of us shared in a magnificent feast prepared by our international members and friends.  Such happy celebration.

I hope that you have experienced Easter joy today!  

Friday, April 15, 2022

Seven Easter Eggs 8) Following the story

Though each artist worked in isolation the contrast between the Last Supper and Jesus praying in the garden proved to be stark. We move from fellowship around the table into the dark grief of Gethsemane, Jesus' arrest identified by a betraying kiss from Judas and the brutality of the Cross.  These next three eggs go to the heart of Jesus' sacrifice.

Today from 10.00 am till 2;00 pm we had open church to welcome the village to share in the Easter story with different churches sharing in the welcome, providing all kinds of activities for families (including donkey rides)!   Complementing these activities, several churches held more usual Good Friday services!

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Seven Easter Eggs 7) Following the story

Last Sunday, Palm Sunday, the picture of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey formed the backdrop to our service.  Tall bamboo canes and rich foliage transformed the church, and palm fronds on every chair encouraged maximum participation. 

Tonight we focus on the Last Supper.  Our minister designed this second egg, holding the famous Rublev icon in mind, with its three divine figures seated around a table.  He contemporized it, adding a chalice on the table and the washing of the disciples' feet.  Its golden colours stand out in marked contrast with what it to come.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Seven Easter Eggs 6) Attempting a visual

Today I found an old (very cheap) camera and tried to capture the eggs, after having been frustrated by newer technology.  Sadly, the sun failed to shine.  It makes so much difference to the impact.  But at least it should illustrate the vision that sparked my last few posts. Alas, the stand which explains each picture obscures the Empty Tomb egg.  

But I look forward to giving more detail these next few days!

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Seven Easter Eggs 5) Making impact.

Just enjoyed a week away with our London family in sunny Minehead.  And it was surprisingly sunny compared with other UK weather!  On my return I couldn't wait to find out how the installation of the seven eggs had worked outside the church.   Apparently, really high winds had threatened and new stakes were now holding down each one.  

But the important news was that throughout the week people had stopped to look at their depiction of the Easter story and more than that...had talked with church volunteers who were strategically placed at two benches.   One friend told me how a man had walked slowly along the eggs and in conversation then asked for prayer. It seems that many other stories can be told about our visitors. Our two local newspapers have sent reporters who have interviewed our pastor and his wife about the project and taken photographs.  I expect we shall see something in print shortly.

How we long for the Easter story to make fresh impact this year.  And that's the big prayer this Easter.  In the middle of all the bad news, much of it so terrible emanating from the Ukraine (reminding us of so many other easily forgotten battlegrounds) that Jesus goes through this terrible week towards his brutal death to bring the world back to God.  Overcoming its brutality in love, forgiveness and new life in his kingdom on resurrection day.  He really does change reality for the better!

(I was hoping to post a picture of the seven eggs,  but my Android camera does not talk to my blog.  I wish I was more gifted with IT!)  

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Seven Easter eggs (4) Seeking to do justice

The dimensions of the egg were larger than I had imagined.   I unscrewed the supporting stake from behind so that it could just fit on my easel.  I had a scene in my mind.  Taking a broad brush and some grey paint I sketched out how Jesus might look in the foreground.  On his knees, pleading. Slumbering disciples would be indeterminate shapes in the background.  I wanted a design that would emphasize Jesus' loneliness as well as his anguish.  Rather than crowd the scene with trees I planned an open space which would emphasize just how much Jesus was left on his own in the Matthew account. 

More difficult was choosing tones that would not only show this was night time but a time of grief and agony.  Could I find strong moonlight tones with enough light on Jesus' face?  Would trees and night sky in the background complete the top half of the egg?  And could the foreground vegetation and trees echo some of the pain in their structure and colours?  

When I finished, I placed the egg on the bench outside my garden shed.  Interestingly, the overhanging tree throws shadows onto the picture which add an unintentional element to the design.  I know the photo below is not clear but I thought I should include it, since you have had patience to read the last posts. Closer to Easter I shall report a little more on how the ultimate 'installation' worked out in the church front garden .