Mars bars, bacon butties and a whole pile of Fathers Day blessing

It’s Sunday morning around 10.45 and I’m standing on the streets of Peterborough with an amazing bunch of willing volunteers from Bretton Baptist Church. We start by having a bit of a holy huddle as I brief the team as to what we shall be doing. I share that the objective is to remind people of the best dad they could have ever imagined or hoped for. To do this I’m giving the three pairs of helpers a basket full of mars and snickers bars a fistful of cards with a ‘prayer for dads’ and a tray full of bacon butties. Healthy.

We all hang out in the same area and by 11am we’re talking to people and making people smile as we offer gifts of a good old bacon butty with red or brown sauce freshly made by a local baker who we have ordered 35 from over the morning.

11.20 and the team are getting stuck in offering the gifts. One pair stand for sometime talking with a guy who needs someone to listen. I offer a pile of bacon butties to 5 lads from East Timor. We pray the blessing for dad’s over them. They seem chuffed to bits and each shakes our hands and says thank you.

11.30 the first batch of bacon rolls have gone, so we restock and keep on offering free gifts to people, ‘Happy Fathers Day’ we chime as we greet dad’s with an outstretched basket full of bars of chocolate.

11.45 I give a quick recky of my team who are all in some kind of conversations with people. One young man chats away with a team member who he met a few months back, also on Saints on the Street. Another helper is patiently listening to a story of heart-ache. Another is sitting with a lady from Pakistan who asks her to visit her in her home. Another is praying for lads who are desperately ill and in need of a miracle. One has liver disease.

12.15- 200 bars of manly chocolate have been given away and a pile of bacon butties. Our stocks have nearly run out. I stand in the street listening to a fascinating story of a man who is homeless and shares with me why he feels he’s not a very good dad. It seems as if our fun-filled Fathers day bonanza has got him thinking about what it means to be a dad.

12.30 All our goodies have been gratefully received and we’re having our debrief with a cuppa. Each one of us has a story to share of meeting a dad who was chuffed by our simple gesture.

1.15 I’ve just packed up and on my way to the Chaplaincy base with the pile of trays and displays. I’m stopped by a man who asks me why I’m so happy. This guy is a smiling Hara-Krishna and is standing in the streets giving away some booklets. We talk and talk some more… He explains that people in Peterborough don’t seem so open to spiritual things. I can’t help think about the positive conversations and people we have prayed with and wonder whether people perhaps aren’t so open to having a booklet thrust in their faces about something they can’t understand…

The goal of sharing something of the best dad ever seems to have connected with people, yes with our message but also with our gifts.

3 thoughts on “Mars bars, bacon butties and a whole pile of Fathers Day blessing

  1. I am glad someone else had a good day. i was not Father\’s Day for us but the day the Olympic torch came past the church. We handed out free cups of tea to people on the streets around the church. In fact i was really proud of our church today. When i transferred there just over 5 years ago the regional secretary said go in gently there are a lot of hurting people there. The church had shrunk rapidly shortly before i arrived. After i arrived it shrank a bit more as the new situation did not meet the needs of some and they moved on as well. We then had a pastor for a year who wanted to stay with us but was advised to leave on health grounds which shook us again. Yet by God\’s grace we are recovering again and today i was proud to be a part of that church. Today the vast majority of the membership turned up and stayed back 3 hours after the service. Those that were absent had the excuse of being over 90 or on the sick list. We worked together as a team and had the second ever outreach activity that we have had since i joined. The first was going out carol singing last December. After joining a church that was in some ways flat on its face it is lovely to see it rising up again. Yes things did not work out according to plan but we adapted as we went along and it all worked out well in the end. i even had a the opportunity to meet a lovely gentle old lady who had got badly hurt during the time of shrinkage and had never been back to the church since. She stood by the gate for a while talking to people and then came inside for a short time. Hopefully today was a day of healing for her. The big-hearted tour is not coming our way until March I am hoping a few of our folks will be able to make the effort to attend.

  2. Chris, I wish I could have been in Peterborough, for bacon butties! 😉
    Seriously though, your creative evangelism ideas, blogs, books, are inspiring, encouraging people to believe that the bit in Eph. 3 about God wanting to do more than all we can ask or even imagine, may just possibly be true & apply to them (us) …
    Thanks!

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