A day of contrast

Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin 2crop

Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin, the award-wining folk duo appearing at All Saints Church Wokingham as part of the Wokingham Summer Music Festival

Last Saturday 6th May I had two main tasks to complete; I knew both would stretch my skills. The outcomes produced a complete contrast. In one of them I succeeded, but in the second, I failed completely.

My success was to design a publicity leaflet for the forthcoming summer music festival at my church, All Saints Church Wokingham.

Microsoft Publisher is not necessarily the best desktop publisher software to use for designing a leaflet for commercial printing. But I had read that it could be done, especially in Publisher 2016. In any case it’s the only DTP software for which I have a license and I know how to use. The jury is still out on whether it has worked, since I have yet to send the final version to the printers. I was pleased with the design and so were my concerts committee members.

Why am I spending  precious time designing leaflets for a concerts series in the church, you might ask , as I asked myself? Doesn’t my core role as a parish priest  lie elsewhere? The thing is our church’s summer music festival isn’t a massive commercial operation. It’s an effort by a medium-sized town-centre church to connect with and participate in the life of its local community by making good use of the gifts and facilities available to it – which includes an inspiring venue (the church building) with a wonderful acoustic and large seating capacity where concerts made be held. The project is run necessarily with minimum financial risk and at the lowest reasonable financial cost. So that’s why I find myself designing the publicity leaflet rather than paying a professional graphic designer.

The abject failure of the day was an attempt to assemble a so-called  “easy to self-assemble” piece of garden furniture. This is an arbour seat; to replace the 25 year old summer house which was given its final push into oblivion earlier this year by “Doris”, the storm that is.


Pieces of the arbour unpacked and laid out ready for the “easy self-assembly”

After unpacking the constituent pieces from several large heavy boxes to discover the instructions, it was revealed that, not only did self-assembly include screwing the pieces together, it also required me to drill the holes in places of my own choosing.  The instructions provided very scant information as to the possible locations of screw points. Even though I had an electric drill /screwdriver ready charged for the occasion , and a box of drillhead bits of varying sizes, it would just so happen that the one bit size required was the one not in my kit. Fortunately we have a hardware shop just around the corner from which we obtained the missing drillhead. But on first application of this, the bit snapped. Luckily we had another one in the newly-acquired pack. However, on drilling the hole and attempting to fix the first screw I discovered that the screw hole location I had chosen was inappropriate and the screw simply wedged itself into a crack providing no secure connection. We were by then almost two hours into the activity with not a single one of the panels attached to the other. At this point I declared defeat. I was entirely outside my comfort zone.

Our plan now is to find a local handyman who will do the assembly for us.

A day of  contrast – both satisfaction and frustration in equal measure!



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