Providing colour in a community – learning from the yarnbombers

Over the last couple of weeks, an array of colour has swept around the brown fences, grey pillars and railings in the Headland part of Hartlepool. There are signs that a community of people want to add colour to an area, an area known for its bleakness as it sticks out on a limb and gets a battering from the north sea; colour and spirit have become donated to it in the form of the yarn bombing creations.

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I think these are fascinating. No, its not a new phenomenon in the UK, theres a fantastic display on saltburn pier, well worth a visit too:

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Fascinating in a way because there are people who for one reason or another are acting out of love and care for a community and want to add colour, vibrancy, art and creativity into it.

I wonder- is yarn bombing an example a gap in society that the church should have taken? or certainly learn from?  I’m in no doubt that some churches are involved in some of these outbursts of community creativity. But if the local church was known for the colour, vibrancy and care it had in a local community- then what kind of God would that display to the community?

Often the bleakness of the world is heralded by the church (see my previous blog), and the news in the world is as bleak (news is always bleak, it sells) , and yet it is the subversive knitters that are adding colour and life in the spaces, it is they in their acts of gathering, of using their gifts that are bringing hope.

Maybe the church is to learn from the yarn bombing as a group, a movement, not unlike others, that has stolen a march on it. If church is known only that people drive to it, hide in a building and sing, then what has it given generously to its parish, its community. If the yarn bombers and maybe others have given more- then its time to pile goodness with more goodness. Its time to learn that God might be at work already and join in the creative fun.

Maybe its patronising to suggest ‘blessing a community’ , or condescending to ‘serve’ it, but what about adding goodness and creativity to it, bringing out life in its fullness?



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