Last week as I served as chaplain and hoped to meet and help people in the city centre of Peterborough, Barclays also were out to evangelise the public with the good news of their swish new bank opening.
It was a lavish affair, free porridge in the morning and hot chocolate in the afternoon, street performers galore, free starbucks coffee in the bank, dancers, face painters, balloons and ladies adorned in dresses made out of credit cards offering free Barclays jelly beans.
The weather was wet and miserable, yet some people still gathered round to see someone swallow a sword or dance with big masks. People seemed to be having fun. Yet the whole day, as I observed, seemed slightly surreal with a smackering of ‘desperation’ and the need to recruit people in for their business. It made me think of the stark contrast of the rest of the year when the bank is, well, just a bank.
It got me thinking… Am I ever like that? Do I show my faith in any gimmicky ways and do I ever come across so desperate that I will offer all kinds of free things, without any substance and power?