Steve writes: Name badges, football, a picnic and a total lunar eclipse!

I found it a great help when I first arrived at All Saints’ that for several weeks we all wore name badges. It didn’t mean that I instantly knew who everyone was but it certainly gave me a helpful head start. As Paul, Sheree, Charlotte, Harriet and Alice Walker join us at the start of Paul’s curacy here, we’re going to repeat having name badges during July- not only to help them but also ourselves to learn a few more names of our fellow congregation members.

Being something of an optimist (as well as a Welshman who doesn’t mind supporting England at any sport, except rugby), I wonder whether, in the rather wonderful if unlikely event of England reaching the final we’d be up for watching it together on our own ‘large screen’ in the Barber Rooms? Both Christians in Sport and Scripture Union have brought out material for churches to use in the World Cup, the latter naming its World Cup kit ‘Jumpers for Goalposts’.

Anyway, whether or not England are vying for the Cup itself, we’re all invited to do some celebrating earlier on World Cup Final day, Sunday 15th July , when, after church, we’ll have a bring your own lunch style Church Picnic to welcome the Walkers in the garden of Dave and Helen Wilson’s home (or the Barber Rooms if wet) see the notices for details.

Then to see out the month on a high note, the Churches Together In Faringdon United Service during Follyfest is at the Market Place Main Stage on Sunday 29th July at 10.30am and all are welcome. It’s my view that the weekend’s celebration this year should be called the ‘Eclipse Follyfest’ because just as the weekend’s entertainment gets under way on Friday 27th, the full moon will rise in total eclipse just before 9.00pm. It will remain totally eclipsed until 10.13pm. No reason why we shouldn’t pray for a clear sky on the Friday night so we can enjoy God’s handiwork in nature before praising him on the Sunday morning with other Christians in Faringdon for both his creation and his gracious love in Jesus Christ.

Yours in Christ,