Posts Tagged ‘Snow’

I was wondering about what to write about this evening so I had a scroll through recent photos and found this one taken on the way to the park (the big one – turn left at the top of the road) a couple of weeks ago.

It’s a fairly mundane picture of a street of scruffy Victorian terraced houses, with a not very spectacular rainbow. This street was added to our parish this year, in a reorganisation of boundaries in our deanery. But actually, when I look at it, it’s a pretty good summary of parish life.

There’s the beauty of the rainbow, bright colours in the sky – the symbol of hope – a sign of God’s never failing promises. So good to see a real one in the sky, in place of the many seen over this last year on doors and windows, those pictures of hope that people have held out in the face of the pandemic.

Those flecks of white on the photo aren’t a smeared camera lens, but snow which started falling as I walked up past the samosa shop on the corner. Snow takes us to the Psalms and our sins washed whiter than snow. The gospel in outline, so precious and so necessary for all of us who live in these streets.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Psalm 51:7

And the bins. The mess of life, in the way, and rather spoiling the photo. But useful and essential. Like all of us. Messy, sometimes in the way or spoiling things but as God’s people we’re useful and essential. The Lord wants us to bring that rainbow hope and offer the cleansing power of the gospel.

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Last year Sandwell Council offered to send shovels, salt and bright blue vests to anyone who offered to become a ‘Snow Champion’ and clear local paths. So I offered our church as champions and we were given three sets. They’ve been lurking in a cupboard at the back of church ever since, but this weekend they were deployed for the first time.

We had a good dump of snow on Saturday night. The Vicar had to cancel our 9am service and a choir who were due to sing for us at 6.30pm postponed their visit. That left us with our 10.30am Education Sunday service which went ahead as usual, tho’ with a few snow-induced absences. One excellent church member had cleared the main paths into the church before the service.

Afterwards, as the temperature rose slightly but the snow still lay slushy and icey on the ground, we coralled a team of kids and managed to clear the pavements on the whole block right around the church. The kids enjoyed themselves very much and neighbours looked on with approval. I’m quite looking forward to some more snow now and the chance to serve our community and work as a team.

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A good headline, don’tcha think? Well, it’s not totally true, but my Twitter stream is already reporting a smattering of cancelled Sunday services. The Vicar is about to call round and cancel our 9am service which is mainly attended by elderly folk. The snow here is a good 6″ deep, and still falling and once it’s frozen overnight it will be even more hazardous for our more senior members.

Most sadly of all, live nativities have been hit by non-delivery of donkeys. The one we were going to attend at our old church in Wolverhampton today was cancelled as both the donkey (coming from Shropshire) and baby Jesus (coming from Tipton) were unable to make an appearance because of the snowfall.

I’m just praying that attendance our Nativity Service tomorrow morning and the Carol Service in the evening isn’t drastically depleted. Some of our church (and Christmas choir) members live outside the parish (and up steep hills), so they may well struggle to get in. It’s such a special time of year for churches and it would be very sad to miss all the fun and celebrations and the opportunity to share  Christmas joy with folk who don’t often join us.


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Following up from watching lots of Handel’s Hallelujah chorus in the form of flash mob YouTube clips over the last couple of weeks, the Vicar nabbed a couple of Messiah clips to encourage folk in church this Sunday. Here is the one that’s not the Hallelujah Chorus – For Unto Us a Child is Born, set to kinetic typography, which helps you to meditate on the words as well as the marvellous music.

Happy Monday. Ours will be mainly spent phoning plumbers (frozen and burst pipes around the Vicarage) and sourcing extra warmth in the form of memory foam topper and electric blanket for Rocky the Vicar’s Apprentice, who has been so cold in the attic that his asthma has been playing up. He sees this as a part of his training for future ministry…

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Well, he’s not really a babe any more, but he’s still only six, and as the snow continues to drift down here in the parish, I wanted to share the Joker’s theological thoughts on the current weather.

He told the Vicar the other night

Dad, I know why God made snow white. It’s so that we can remember that although our hearts are dirty because of our sin, he washes them really pure, like snow, as we trust in Jesus who died for our sin.

It’s good to remember that as we sit at home and I attempt to vaguely homeschool the kids as the school is shut again. Our hearts don’t feel very clean today as we bicker about studying, but they are.

The view from our living room window this morning

‘Homeschooling’ now seems to be consisting of the Queen and the Joker educating themselves about snowman construction. And I’ve promised the Engineer that he can write a blog post. Hmm. Very glad that I don’t do this fulltime!

The church from our garden

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Our church primary school has only shut for one day during the recent snowfest and that was because ice was making the pavement outside and the access inside the school almost impassable. Yay for them I say – well done those dedicated teachers who’ve driven in through difficult conditions to come and educate our children. But there have been many grumbles on the school gate about it being open. People seem to be full of  doom and gloom about getting their kids in.

I’m trying to work out if their attitudes about to going to school in the snow are normal or are only normal in an area where people’s emotional capacity is already stretched by everyday life, making the extra hassle brought by snow just one thing too many. Here are some of the things I’ve been hearing:

  • We should stay off school when it snows because I or the children might slip on the way to school and get hurt
  • We should stay off school when it snows because the children might slip over or get cold during playtime because the teachers send them out to play in the snow
  • We should stay off school when it snows because the other schools are off
  • We should stay off school when it snows because it’s snowed

Have you heard anything like this where you live?

Actually, I was slightly hoping for another day off today because I had a home school experiment planned. I was going to see if the kids would do some studying for me if I set the day up like a normal school day with break times and games and things. It all seemed possible because we tidied the house yesterday for our Open House.

But looking at the weather forecast, I suspect that proper school is back now for the rest of the snow season, so I’ll have to save that experiment for another time. In the meantime it doesn’t look like the school’s (already bad) absenteeism rate is going be looking up this term.

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The Vicar took this photo of the ice on the inside of the Queen’s bedroom window this morning. There was still ice on the landing window this afternoon. And most of the window cills are drenched with meltwater. And mould, but that’s my housekeeping for you. This picture is pretty though.

Brrr again. But pretty.

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Our School is the Best

snowflakeOur school is the best. It’s snowing heavily here at the moment. But our school is open.

The wussy schools down the road are shut, but somehow our teachers made it in. Whether they get home again is another matter. The snow’s at three inches and deepening.

I’m glad I’ve got wellies.

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A Snowy View

Here’s a snap I took in the snow on the way home from our mum’s coffee morning today.

Snowy Days in the Inner City

Snowy Days in the Inner City

You may not be able to read the strapline across the pale blue at the top of the can: ‘Enjoy Extra Cold’. I guess the drinker who deposited this with the fag end was probably extra cold. Not sure about the enjoyment part in this weather though.

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