Thursday 29 November 2012

"Good afternoon". Smile. "I'll just say a little about this leaflet "

Part 1.
"Good afternoon".
"I'll just say a little about this leaflet I'm  putting through your door."
 I unfold the A6 size folded sheet to reveal an A4 sheet with 4 rectangular miniposters on each side..
First posterlet "We have a coffee morning at St John's Methodist across on the main road every Tuesday but THIS Tuesday it's in Aid of the Rainforest Fund. I'll be selling my photo greetings cards."
 This post is about efforts to encourage people to come to several events at St John's Church and elsewhere, and it is also maybe  a sociological record of our corner of the world.

Second posterlet: "And this Sunday afternoon in the Church hall we have a special service for Advent - Café service - with refreshments and more lively than usual services:. for families. 4pm"
Third posterlet - "And look at this one - next Wednesday we have a talk on Moths in China at Townhead Court - That's a Craven Conservation Group event.. Don't often get that as a subject do we!..."
Fourth posterlet  "And here is a list of all the Settle Churches Together  Christmas services - You'd be welcome at any of them. This list will come out in Settle Community News too."
Fifth  Posterlet - "And here if you know anyone of any age by themselves at Christmas they'd be welcome at the Settle Community Christmas meal.."
Smile. "Thank you"

And in some cases I listen for a whatever the recipient wants to talk about.

The Café Service that our church holds once every two months (in the church hall) is very interactive, informal, includes a couple of families with children  and starts of with nice food and chatting to people (or maybe even attempting the  quizzes or word-searches that have been placed on the tables on the upcoming theme of the meeting) - It is more - yes- interactive is the word  and fun,  than an ordinary Sunday Morning Service.

But how can we get extra people there when no-one except ordinary church members ever come.?

So I decide to try leaflets - and having about four other things to advertise at the same time seems a good proposition.

Wednesday 28th finds me in a small estate (two roads) near the church in Settle putting leaflets through doors, with the aim of talking to people where possible. It is a bright frosty day with brilliant blue sky, and the green fields and light grey cliffs and rocks above the town reflect the sun's light.

I set off.  I know four old people in this estate and two middle aged households. At least I could maybe talk to them... though I am not sure exactly which houses. And maybe I will find more people I know - Settle is a small friendly place.

First problem: Many of the front doors have "No Callers, No Doorstep Tradesmen" signs. What am I to do? Did this include no "leaflet dropping"?."Pretty unsociable." I am thinking.

Second problem:  I can not remember exactly which bungalows two of the friends/acquaintances live in. I asked a potential neighbour - but she does not know either. I approach the adjacent bungalow where a window-cleaner is (yes) cleaning windows. The neighbour calls "Don't knock there, she is too old to come to the door". Meanwhile the window cleaner has knocked at the window and the elderly lady comes across slowly, very slowly,  with her zimmer frame to pay the window cleaner. I have a chat with her.

I see now why some of these bungalows have "No callers" stickers on the door.

So much for my bright idea of livening up housebound old people's days by calling I as I walk round.

This idea is reinforced as I greet a carer I know who is visiting two more  houses.

but I do have chats with some  people and passers by.

And what do they say to me?

One lady
"I went inside your church to sit and be quiet and remember my relative who died several years ago.. but someone was playing this loud awful music on the organ...."
"Maybe he was practising" we agreed..

One elderly gentleman (who I do know slightly) :

"Don't talk, I'm deaf (ish) - let me read it - Coffee morning?"
He gives me some money for the Coffee morning - and I give him a photo greeting card of wildflowers on Pen y Ghent.
Bless him. It cheers me up far beyond the value of the money he gave me for the Rainforest Fund.. 
"I've walked up all these hills, Pen y Ghent , Whernside," he said, looking at my cards of views.  "but I miss my wife.. She was younger than me."

The third in depth conversation is with a decorator - the second decorator  working in the 100 houses that I have visited. He is painting someone's second home. He and his wife have lived in a village 5 miles away for 8 years but had moved into Settle this year.

Hmmm. - analysing this article so far...
I should have explained  Why it is important to save the rainforests (or asked them if they thought it is important) .. and have been more emphatic about the welcome they would get at the church and the quality of the cakes.

One only has a minute to say something so as not to take up too much of people's time.

Part 2.

That's for another day.

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