Thursday, 27 January 2011

A Charmed Life

A number of my friends have recently acquired Pandora Bracelets


Some have a ‘complete’ one, others a ‘starter’ set to which they are adding beads at birthdays and Christmas etc.

[I asked my niece about them, but she said she was holding out for something from Tiffany’s – shrewd girl!]

I am not hankering after one - I have a mortgage instead! And anyway I have my own vintage charm bracelet which is very precious.

It was given to me 40 years ago when I was 16 by my Girls’ Brigade Captain. She was having a clear out, and decided she was never going to wear it any more. It had been a 21st birthday present from her sister – and every year her sister had bought her a couple more charms to mark significant events. I think it dates from around 1950 – which makes it over 60 years old.

I have added one charm – a tiny Eiffel Tower which Bob bought me when we toured France on the motorbike in 2006.

I stopped wearing the bracelet, as the charms were working loose and one came off once- although I found it almost immediately, I was afraid of further disasters. Last year, I was preaching on the passage in Luke 15 about the woman with the lost coin. I held up my bracelet and explained how I had been anxious when the charm came off, and I could identify with the distress of the lady in the story.

After the service, a friend came up and said she was doing a jewellery making course and would fix it for me. A few weeks later she returned it – all charms fixed, and the whole thing cleaned and sparkling [no charge – it is my gift, said my generous friend]. Since then I have worn it on a number of special occasions.


What is amazing is that although the charms were originally chosen for their special significance for my GB Captain, I can find a reason why I love each one too

Music Stave       

she was a music teacher -- I love leading worship

Edinburgh crest  

her holiday in Scotland -- our holiday in Scotland

Norfolk sailboat  

her holidays in Norfolk -- Cornerstones, our Norfolk home


her 2nd holiday in Scotland -- our 2nd holiday in Scotland

Coventry Cathedral  

holiday in Coventry -- my degree ceremony was held in the Cathedral

London Crest

her holiday in London -- we lived there once, my girls live there now

Viking ship

her Scandinavian holiday – all my IKEA stuff [rather contrived, sorry!]

Eiffel tower

my wonderful memories of that most romantic of cities

Now my bracelet has been repaired, I am pondering on whether to add any more charms. I quite fancy a little motorbike – and perhaps a thimble or sewing machine!

Do you have a special piece of jewellery?


  1. I love seeing other peoples charm braclets they tell such a story

  2. It's beautiful, and how nice that you can relate to each charm and make it your own.
    My special jewellery is my eternity ring, given on our 25th wedding anniversary.

  3. Isn't that great? I admit that when I was in my teens, looking at a charm bracelet of some sort, I was kind of put off by my mum telling me that they were meant to be lucky charms and were therefore un-Christian. I can see that you and your Girls Brigade captain had no such hangups and I think you are probably absolutely right! I need to get over this one...

  4. Apart from my wedding ring,of course, my cross was a gift when I was very young (about 5yrs old),and Chris gave me a pair of pearl earrings for my 21st which I wore on our wedding day.
    Jane x
    P.S. I am from Coventry; was your graduation at the old or new cathedral? Either way, both are spectacular places.

  5. Jane - My Graduation was in the new Cathedral, and it was an one amazing sunny day back in '76
    Floss - On your blog pic, you appear to have pierced ears - MY Mum had a hangup about THEM [not for good Christian girls] so I was 35 before I dared get mine done!

  6. In my rather uptight evangelical youth I was taught that charm bracelets were wrong (demonic), crucifixes suspect (Roman Catholic), nativity sets idolatrous, raffle tickets evil, alcohol a slippery path to ruin and that one shouldn't go to the cinema because (a) The filmstars led such immoral lives and (b) Would one want to be found there at the time Jesus returned ?

    I never quite understood why wooden nativity sets were bad and pagan Christmas trees in Church ok and always thought to myself that I'd rather be in the cinema than the loo when Jesus returns. No wonder that so many of us, like Philip Yancey, describe ourselves as "Recovering Evangelicals" .


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