The Blessing of Good Signage


I’ve had a revelation. About signage. It happened the other day at a church in the middle of Derbyshire. Despite the cold, and slicing rain, the approach was beautiful – a thumb of stone, a fist of graves and  beneath the lychgate, crocuses.  Inside did not disappoint either. There was amber light, wood and brass, and slabs of paving as soft as upturned faces. It was one of those places that fills you with stillness.

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But I do not remain still for long. I spend most of the time, as usual, in front of the noticeboard. I see that there is All Age Communion on the first Sunday of the month at 10am. (Regrettably there are no 9.30 or 11.15 services on these days). I wonder briefly if that punches a hole in anyone’s routine. A bit of an upheaval perhaps if you are a creature of habit. I see that there is, “… a fine choir which sings at 9.30 or 10am each Sunday and occasionally in the evening”. that there are regular organ recitals, bible lectures and rambles and that I need to contact Alison for details of the Chattabox group. But best of all, there’s an advert for a talk at a neighbouring town.

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Isn’t it wonderful? These are the things that matter to the people who live there. They would matter to me too; remembering which Sunday the kick-off’s at 10 instead of 9.30 or 11, on which evenings the fine choir sings, and to book my ticket for the Pie and Pea supper. There’s something gloriously togetherish about these things. Who needs the Odeon or the West End? Give me the Pack Horse Routes of Derbyshire any day…

But this is why I love signs and notices. They say more about the person who put them there than anything else. This one, in a well known British supermarket, for example –wpid-20150314_100813.jpg

A snappy piece of signage. The sub text? We’re going to make it impossible for you to make this saving because after reading the terms and conditions, you’ll be brain dead anyway.

Then there was this one –

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The sub text – I care about Facebook likes and being thought of as adventurous and you must do too, or you wouldn’t be on this plane in the first place  (Wrong. I have to be practically drugged and carried onto planes these days.)

But there are other signs too – the ones that tell you things without saying very much at all.

I brew beer, I'm a Christian and I have a sense of humour

I brew beer, I’m a Christian and I have a sense of humour

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In or out? I’ve done both several times in ten minutes. Not sure I’ve made the right decision though…

There's beauty in dead places

There’s beauty in dead places

Life returns, even in graveyards

Life returns, even in graveyards

When you see the rainbow, you forget the rain.

Rainbows – my speciality

I’m a firm believer in signs. I think life holds more of them than we realise. We have to watch for them. Often we have to wait too.

But I think they say more about the Person who put them there, than anything else…

 

I follow a talented blogger, Ellie, who paints pictures of the signs she sees and writes about them. It’s well worth a look if you’re into signage 😉

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  https://propheticpostcards.wordpress.com/

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8 thoughts on “The Blessing of Good Signage

  1. Thanks for the post, Deborah.
    Churches are great for signs, not just the paper ones. There’s the random things on the speaking platform and where the worship group stand. You can tell what is important to a church by what is centre-stage and to those, who thought they should put a plaque on the lectern or communion table to show they donated it. I wonder where we leave our mark on the church and if God would comment on how effective they were. Scary thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re absolutely right Mad Lamb. I’ve never even thought of looking at the speaking platform or where the worship group/choir stand etc. Though I have often thought it interesting that someone would want to mark their contribution by placing a plaque etc. Or maybe their family did on their behalf? Yes you are right – how we leave our mark is rather scary. Good thoughts 🙂

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  2. Thanks… I’d never really thought of them as signs before… but I suppose they are. It’s made me think about how much I appreciate it when people put up a translation of local signs in English (a language I can understand), even if sometimes something amusing happens in the translation. Which is interseting because someone came and told me this morning that I ought to be getting some of the postcards translated into portuguese… random, but interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember the language thing as well, when we lived in Turkey. For me your postcards are nearly always signposts to things going on in my life, which is partly why I love them so much 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As usual, an absorbing read, Deborah. Your posts always move me in a way others don’t. I too look at signs all the time, trying to convince myself I am NOT looking for apostrophe errors or spelling mistakes. Graffiti is a kind of signage. There’s some entertaining graffiti down an alley near my house, produced by some bored kid with a GSOH but who isn’t going to get a GCSE in English. It pronounces, ‘GRAFFITI REMOVERAL HOTLINE@GRAFFITI.COM

    Liked by 1 person

    • HIlarious! Have never though of graffiti as a kind of signage – but of course it is. Glad you liked the post. Will be looking for scrawls on walls from now on too…

      Like

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