Alarming or helpful?

Do you notice signs? This one made me stop to giggle because of its ambiguity. Why is this roof alarmed? It's very high and very big so what could possibly have alarmed it? Low-flying aircraft? Migrating geese? Woodworm in the rafters? Bats in the belfry? Most likely the latter. The roof in question is a rural medieval church roof. On the other hand the notice probably means the roof has been fitted with an alarm system to deter lead and copper thieves - a major problem round our way. The image is just part of the notice on the board outside the church. The other part tells which security company to phone if you need to climb on the roof. Lead and copper thieves need not apply. Gutter clearers and roof restorers welcome.

Signs that warn of alarmed rooves or badgers on the road are useful.

So are signs that point the way you might want to go.
But who would want to go here?

Some signposts are just confusing, giving no clear direction at all, like this one below. Do I want to go this way, that way or somewhere else?

When you are looking for a particular place, clear signing in a language you understand is very helpful. 3 cheers for Moreton-in-the-Marsh in the Cotswolds, England, for waking up to the need for signage in Japanese to help their many Japanase tourists. Middle England is waking up to how to make visitors more welcome.

Signs are on my mind in preparation for Sunday's gospel reading John 1: 29 - 42, a story that tells how John the Baptist pointed to Jesus. Then Andrew, who heard John speak, brought his brother Simon Peter to Jesus. John was like a signpost. Andrew was a personal guide not only pointing the way but showing it. Maybe the church doesn't need more authorised ministers, but more people like St Andrew. What do you think?


  1. Thanks for the comment on 'New Kid' - glad to have found your blog and now following! That sign makes me laugh too - I saw recently 'this door is alarmed' and was so tempted to write 'this window is slightly surprised' in the dirt!

  2. Thanks for commenting Alastair. Alarmed door signs are often seen. What's the best way to reassure those doors?

  3. I agree, the church does need more people like Andrew. In lots of way that's what Christian bloggers are doing.

  4. Chelliah - is that what Christian bloggers are doing? I think some are in a way. What strikes me about John's gospel account of Andrew is that the first thing he did after spending the day with Jesus was to go and find his brother and bring him to Jesus - a quietly in the background sort of task - but what if he hadn't?


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