Friday 30 April 2010


It's been a week or so of renewal rather than refuse (in the civic amenity site sense!) Things have required to be renewed - in order of severity, a rocking horse, a television, two pairs of black oxford shoes and my work briefcase. The rocking horse was a long-term project, put off for nearly a decade but needing work after 40 years. The shoes, not quite so long - they have only been gracing my feet for about seven years, and had just got worn out. The bag - about four years, and a simple split seam. The television? About three years old and no picture!

At this point a good consumer pops them in their car and takes them off to the rubbish dump (aka civic amenity site) to dispose of them, then goes and buys replacement models to maintain the profit margins of the companies that depend on continual growth for an economy to be considered successful. Oh dear, I'm sure there's a Christmas sermon somewhere there...

So, my response (in part fuelled by a slightly parsimonious attitude to life)? The rocking horse has been restored to its former glory for a couple of hundred pounds. The TV has been re-pictured by a man with a soldering iron for a bit less than that. Dean at the shoe bar has soled and heeled both pairs of shoes for less than a new pair, and he threw in stitching up the bag for a couple of quid! So, all has been restored, is usuable, it has cost a lot less than new, but the corporate might of Britain must weep for their lost sales of new products! All has been restored to new from old!

Sidetrack to that: two meetings this week on what churches need to do to be healthy. One was about money, the other mission. The two are very closely linked. The words that came up again and again: vision, confidence, renewal. Taking the old, which is probably quite wonderful, like all my broken things, and making it into something new, something filled with new life. That newly restored, renewed, relivened thing must have vision, and must be confident in itself. The flavour of this process can vary massively - from evangelical to catholic, from small to large, from traditional to utterly contemporary. But the answer: confidence in the gospel and a bold vision for what church should be. The result is an attractive, lively, joyful group of people. And a by-product of this is often growth, money, projects...

So, a week or two of renewal rather than refuse: thinking about renewal. And my vision? Those shoes still doing me in another seven years, the bag in another four, the television in three, Dobbin the rocking horse in 40 years. And the long as you like!

1 comment:

  1. You are going to be so perfect for Rothesay! They are masters at salvage and renewal.