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?

2 thoughts on “Barclays Bonanza Marketing Day

  1. No one who knows you could accuse you of not offering the substance behind the gimmicks – Chris – although I take your point that we need to constantly ask ourselves why we do the things we do. Be blessed x

  2. A very posting, Chris… because this is the issue, that the Church, just like lots of other organisations has often been too quick to adopt a strategy for outreach, church growth, rather than understanding the whys & wherefores, (Willow Creek was a prime example where suddenly loads of churches started doing seeker services, without understanding the premise behind WCC about church life being structured around making it easy for seekers to come in, welcome etc…). Similarly, with the style of evangelism/outreach that you are encouraging there is that danger, whcih is one you’re addressing with the title (& therefore the philosophy I presume) your tour, namely big-hearted… I’ll stop now lest I get into “rant” mode! (Well, more than I already have been! )

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