Posted: 06 December 2015

Advent: Let the grumblies grumble!

Revd Kate Bottley is no stranger to embracing innovative approaches in order to make a difference. You may recognise her as the dancing flash mob vicar or from reclining on her sofa on Googlebox, in an attempt to show that Christians are normal. She has also dressed up as a 10 foot Christingle, been hurled down a rollercoaster with a bishop, and now – exclusively for our Advent calendar – she has been spotted sporting a homemade Christingle tea cosy.

Revd Kate Bottley wears a Christingle tea cosy as a hat

‘Making a difference’ those words can really weigh us down. We know we are meant to ‘do good’ but so often it comes across as a chore and a burden.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

This time of year can be a difficult time for people; money’s tight and people are worried about their jobs.  But by being creative and looking to have a laugh at the same time as ‘doing good’ can lift the burden and bring greater joy.

When I was 235 foot up in the air, travelling at 87 mph with the Bishop of Manchester behind me being deafened by my screams, I was having a whale of a time! I’m not lying, you can see the GoPro video clips. But I was also doing it because too many children and young people never get an opportunity to have a grand day out vomiting up chips and candy floss at 235 feet up in the air because they are trapped in poverty. We were raising thousands of pounds to transform the lives of the most vulnerable children in our country.

Shine God's Hope

As Christians we’re called to be like Jesus. When I dressed up as a 10 foot Christingle, I wanted to remind people that we’re called to shine God’s hope into the world and to have a bit of a laugh. I believe Jesus is the light of the world and is concerned about what’s happening around us.

It doesn’t always go to plan. I made the giant Christingle in two segments from papier-mâché in our front lounge.  It was a bit of a giggle, but as I was putting the finishing touches to the orange paint, I realised it was too big to get through the door. In the end my husband and I had to carry it out through the patio!

Sometimes I’ve had to face critics but generally the response has been overwhelmingly positive. I had a girl tweet me the other day – ‘I've seen you on the show,’ she said. ‘You're the only vicar I know, how do I get my baby baptised?’ I'm the only vicar she knows! To me being on Googlebox was worth doing just for that.

People do say to me ‘If my vicar was like you I'd go to church.’

And my response is, ‘Your vicar might be like me, most vicars I know are lovely; go and meet your own vicar.’

I'd risk everything for the gospel. I'll risk looking stupid, I'll risk looking like an idiot and look to bring humour and joy whilst doing it. I'll even risk grumblies grumbling at me because one day I'll have to stand there and answer to the one that really matters.


Are there ways in which Kate’s blog has inspired you to bring joy and fun at the same time as ‘doing good’ this Advent? Tweet us at @childrensociety with your thoughts.

By Kate Bottley

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