Crafty parish work

IMG_2372The clue is in the title, this is the blog post about our parish craft day. Those of you who are kind enough to put up with my tweeted ramblings will have seen loads of photos, but a couple of people asked about the organisation, hence this post.

We had a willing team of volunteers (always a great start) – some looked after refreshments (tea and coffee served morning and afternoon, lunch was a choice of sandwiches, quiche and cake. Several different crafts were on offer – flower arranging, card making, decoupage, tatting, Jacobean embroidery, scrap booking, each table run by a volunteer with a huge enthusiasm for their ‘chosen specialist subject’.

People registered and paid a deposit beforehand – there was a registration form to be returned ahead of the day where you could chose your morning and afternoon crafts. There was also a cost – £10, which covered all refreshments and all materials. £5 of this was a deposit, not very normal for this church, but a lot of effort went into the day! £10 is quite a lot for this particular church to charge,


but more than 20 people came along (all women, all ages, many with a friend, several whom I didn’t know at all, although many had a connection with a church).

People were told where they were, morning and afternoon – so the organisation was quite formal. For most this worked well, although the flower arrangers finished more quickly, so went off and made cards as an extra activity. There was nothing churchy about the day at all, no opening prayer, although some of the activities happened in the church.

It felt like a very happy, relaxed, friendly sort of day, which I certainly enjoyed enormously, and our treasurer reckoned it raised about £150, because so much of the material was donated. There are plans to do a regular craft afternoon, perhaps monthly, but there are questions about how to deal with the cost of materials.

I went along as a paying customer, wearing my dog collar, and a few people commented how nice it was to chat to a member of clergy and find they are ‘normal’ (yes, I know, if you want to debate that, feel free). Today wasn’t about ‘mission’, it was part of us trying to get people used to coming into a building, and finding it welcoming and relevant to their lives. Experience with our cafe shows that as people claim the space for their own, they are more willing to enter the same space for something more unfamiliar. Today gave people a good experience of “church” without having anything to do with formal liturgy, or challenging their beliefs. But I had conversations with so many people about God, about Jesus, about the Bible, about what normally happens here. For me, that’s a good start to incarnational Gospel.

Jacobean Embroidery - all my own work

Jacobean Embroidery – all my own work


2 responses to “Crafty parish work

  1. Really like the understated approach here, Claire; yet another way of introducing folk to the church building (and members) as “theirs”.
    I feel a CW short vignette bubbling up … especially as you’ve already got some great digital photos. If you’re willing to let us have this, especially with your concluding reflections on the purpose & benefits of holding such a day, can you send me something by email at work?
    We can sort out photos later … by Dropbox if you use it.

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