Many local people have commented how the HOPE WINS sign outside St Mary’s has been an encouragement to them through the recent lockdowns. Oli tells us the story of why he decided to make the sign.
Last October I was trying to think of something to put up outside the church to encourage people passing by in the dark months ahead and that would point to what the church is about. With assistance from Churchwarden Gayle we settled on an illuminated ‘HOPE’ which I cobbled together out of left over timber some cheap lights and a very long extension lead.
Over Advent, Christmas and New Year I heard story after story of people being encouraged and given hope by the simple, wonky temporary sign. While I was working on it, one local person got out of their car and came to thank me with tears in their eyes. When it was regularly blown over (I had designed it to last a month!) kind members of the community would put it back up again before we had a chance to. For Lent I added ‘WINS’ and a growing tree that for Easter has turned into a cross to remind people of Jesus, our Saviour who died for us.
On Easter morning a few of us sat outside to welcome the dawn. It looked beautiful as we waited, socially distanced and reading the Scriptures together and for the first time in months we were able to sing together. In a few weeks the season of Easter will pass and I feel it will be time for the sign to come down. I am so pleased that the Holy Spirit had used a little thing to bring hope and point to Jesus.