Wednesday 29 November 2017

Get In The Picture 2017

I first did GITP in Kirby Muxloe back in 2010 [here and here] and it was a remarkably popular event in the village [although some years it was perishingly cold!] We set up in the pub car park, and had background music, and a team of photographers. People came, dressed up, had their photos taken, and then received details of the website where they could download the pictures.
This has to be one of my favourite pictures, from 2011. Bob, being very pastoral, with Helen who spent much of her life working on farms, tending for the animals. 

It was Helen who received the Royal Maundy from the Queen at Easter this year, and who died only a few months later. How she loved being part of this event. 
It was a great chance to share the true meaning of Christmas in our Village, and we were so glad to work alongside friends at St Bartholomew's, the Parish Church there.
These three Wise Men are Tom the Rector, Alan the Curate and Bob the Pastor.
Here in Ferndown, we have just done GITP for the first time. Slightly different now...
We were still working with the Parish Church [St Mary's] - Tracey their Administrator, and Patches Chabala, the Team Vicar were there to help set up. But instead of a stand alone event, we had a pitch as part of the Ferndown Christmas Lights Switch On last Saturday.
Bob had been asked by the organisers [Rotary Club] if he would provide the PA. Here he is , setting up his kit. And for that, we got two pitches right alongside him, in a prime location outside the Post Office!  One gazebo housed the St M's crew, who were giving out goodie bags [story books, chocolates, details of all our services] and providing free children's crafts. Alongside, we had our gazebo where one side housed a clothes rail, the other side, hay bales and a manger.
Changes from the KM days
1- part of a community activity
2- instead of taking photos on our camera and uploading, we invited people to use their own phones - that way they had the pictures immediately and had full ownership. We did offer to take the picture for them if all their group wanted to Get In The Picture though.
3 - we publicized it on Social Media [7 yars ago, I was not into Facebook etc!]
All that made such a difference
Here's Tracey, Patches and his wife and another friend at the beginning, before things got busy.
And here's three people from the stand opposite ours [The Ferndown Lions] who came over.

The UCF folk were incredible - Steve was there soon after 9 to set up, and Pam at the very end as we finally loaded our cars at 6 - and in between, loads of help, with dressing, and arranging, and chatting, and giving out bags etc. Thanks,Team!!
We calculated that over 300 people had been to have their picture taken. Some had even arranged meet-ups having seen it advertised on Facebook. One lady thanked me, and said she remembered the church stand at the Summer Fete, and how her children loved the stories. Another asked for details of our Youth Activities. Lots of families said they might come along to a Carol Service. And there have been positive comments on Facebook since the event too.
It was incredibly hard work - and we are both still feeling the after effects of a busy weekend. Bob's cough hasn't gone yet. But it was so worth it. 
Whenever my feet felt cold, or my back ached, or my throat felt sore, I just kept remembering that elderly lady I met in Albania.  She told how she could recall a time there when owning a little cross, or speaking about Jesus could get you thrown into prison. She said she was grateful that God had let her live to see the day when she and her fellow Albanians were free to speak openly about their faith."Do not stop doing it - you never know when you might once again lose the opportunity" she said to us. So while I can, with God's help, I will keep sharing the good news.
Thank you to all who took part- and to Chris Duffett for his original inspiration for GITP.


  1. With your permission I'm going to send a link to this post to my minister. Our committee has just agreed to the lighting up of the church to be visible from space, and i think the carpark, right at the entrance to the village, would be a perfect venue for a big picture- especially love that now, of course, people will just take the picture on their phone!

  2. Please pass it on Mags - I will email you the "Crib Sheet" [sorry about the pun] that I provide for the helpers at such an event.

  3. It's a wonderful idea! It makes me think of the Selfies with Jesus sermon I heard once.


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