Why Work? Dorothy Sayers

Can you remember – it is already getting difficult to remember – what things were like before the war? The stockings we bought cheap and threw away to save the trouble of mending? The cars we scrapped every year to keep up with the latest fashion in engine design and streamlining? The bread and bones and scraps of fat that littered the dustbins – not only of the rich, but of the poor? The empty bottles that even the dustman scorned to collect, because the manufacturers found it cheaper to make new ones than to clean the old? The mountains of empty tins that nobody found it worthwhile to salvage, rusting and stinking on the refuse dumps? The food that was burnt or buried because it did not pay to distribute it? The land choked and impoverished with thistle and ragwort, because it did not pay to farm it? The handkerchiefs used for paint rags and kettleholders? The electric lights left blazing because it was too much trouble to switch them off? The fresh peas we could not be bothered to shell, and threw aside for something out of a tin? The paper that cumbered the shelves, and lay knee-deep in the parks, and littered the seats of railway trains? The scattered hairpins and smashed crockery, the cheap knickknacks of steel and wood and rubber and glass and tin that we bought to fill in an odd half hour at Woolworth’s and forgot as soon as we had bought them? The advertisements imploring and exhorting and cajoling and menacing and bullying us to glut ourselves with things we did not want, in the name of snobbery and idleness and sex appeal? And the fierce international scramble to find in helpless and backward nations a market on which to fob off all the superfluous rubbish which the inexorable machines ground out hour by hour, to create money and to create employment

Do you realize how we have had to alter our whole scale of values, now that we are no longer being urged to consume but to conserve? We have been forced back to the social morals of our great-grandparents. When a piece of lingerie costs three precious coupons, we have to consider, not merely its glamour value, but how long it will wear. When fats are rationed, we must not throw away scraps, but jealously use to advantage what it cost so much time and trouble to breed and rear. When paper is scarce we must – or we should – think whether what we have to say is worth saying before writing or printing it. When our life depends on the land, we have to pay in short commons for destroying its fertility by neglect or overcropping. When a haul of herrings takes valuable manpower from the forces, and is gathered in at the peril of men’s lives by bomb and mine and machine gun, we read a new significance into those gloomy words which appear so often in the fishmonger’s shop: NO FISH TODAY….We have had to learn the bitter lesson that in all the world there are only two sources of real wealth: the fruit of the earth and the labor of men; and to estimate work not by the money it brings to the producer, but by the worth of the thing that is made.

Read the full article here.

Digital Life(style)

LICC Social Media Boot Camp – 4 September 2010

“Social Media has exploded into everyday life with people sharing a tidal wave of photos, videos, words and audio. It’s no longer a question of whether to get involved in Social Media, but how to.

The Social Media boot camp on Saturday 4 September will explore safely, personally and simply:

• What is Social Media, why is it here and why is it important?
• The main popular tools of Social Media including blogging, Facebook and Twitter
• How you might better use Social Media for your own communication and life
• How your organisations, church, and ministry might engage strategically and meaningfully with Social Media

We’ll be led on the day by two Christians who are experts in Social Media, Dave Merwin of Pure Blue, and Lee Goodger of Edelman.

Read full entry on the LICC site. I’m going to pop along, maybe feed in my tuppence… what about you? And if you find this of interest, what about another event on 16th October?



LICC LogoAt LICC, we believe that every part of our lives comes under the Lordship of Christ, and that all of life is a context for worship, mission, ministry and active Christian engagement twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Our strategy therefore focuses on making whole-life discipleship a central, operational component of UK Church culture. I spent a great week on LICC’s Toolbox course, and have since met up with Brian Draper, including an afternoon retreat – which was EXCELLENT!

Mark Greene LICCWatch the introductory video: why is life a peach and not an orange?


[Book Review] Mark Greene ‘Thank God It’s Monday’

greeneI first heard of LICC (the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity) at Greenbelt in 2005. I’d been doing a lot of thinking about whether I should be doing ’more Christian’ work. I was particularly struggling as I was finding my job job in Manchester deeply unfulfilling. I picked up a few pamphlets, then when I was at a friend’s I saw this book, and have since read the whole thing through., been to a few LICC events, including sessions for practical re-thinking of a career, and a week-long ‘Toolbox’ course, designed to ‘equip’ us in line with the LICC vision:

The UK will be transformed when the Church envisions and equips ‘ordinary’ men and women to make a difference where we are, where we spend most of our time, where we have most of our relationships, where others can see the difference Christ makes in our lives at work, university, with our neighbours, etc.

The LICC believes in the concept of ‘FTCW (Full-Time-Christian-Worker), and therefore focuses on keeping whole-life discipleship central to UK church life (where 24/7 offers a context for worship, mission, ministry, and active Christian engagement).

P132: God is our real boss: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24

Greene has a great writing/speaking style – very self-deprecating – engaging, serious and humorous all at once. Many amusing stories – and when we think that this guy is essentially a famous evangelist now, it’s encouraging to hear of his issues (p53):

Clumsy for Christ

Five of us were on a two-day trip out of town. Surely, with all that time, God would give me the opportunity to share something with someone. No opportunity came, or at least none that I could see. The time came to fly home.

The client and I decided to work together on the place. So, briefcase in hand, I negotiated my way into the window seat. As I lifted my case over the seat-rest, the lid came open and out tumbled about 20 small orange booklets … ‘Oh no’, I thought.

Twenty copies of a tract called ‘The Four Spiritual Laws’ scattered all over the floor and on the seats in front of me and my client. I felt like a teenager caught with some improper publication. I bent to pick them up.

Then the worst thing that could have happened did happen.

The client said ‘What are those?’

‘Er… they’re booklets that explain the main points about Christianity’

I waited for a look of embarrassment. Or perhaps pity. Or discomfort.

‘Oh, that’s interesting’, she said, with a genuinely interested and open expression on her face. ‘I’ve been thinking a lot about that recently. Could I have a look?’

Prepared for use as an Oak Hall Leader.