How many Anglicans does it take to change a lightbulb?

28th May 2024

There’s a great tradition of jokes about Christian denominations and light bulbs.
You’ve surely a heard of some of these? How many [denomination] does it take to change a light bulb?
How many……….

CHARISMATICS: Just 1 … Our hands are already in the air.
PENTECOSTALS: 10 … One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.
PRESBYTERIANS: None … The lights will go on and off at predestined times.
ROMAN CATHOLICS: None … We only use candles.
BAPTISTS: At least 15 … One to change the light bulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad.
ANGLICANS: 3 … One to call the electrician, one to mix the gin and tonics, and one to talk about how much better the old bulb was.
UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISTS: We choose not to make a statement either in favour of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that light bulbs work for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your light bulb for the next Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.
METHODISTS: Undetermined … Whether your light bulb is bright, dull, or completely out, you are loved. You can be a light bulb, turnip bulb or tulip bulb. A church-wide lighting service is planned for Sunday. Bring a bulb of your choice and a plate of food to share.

Actually, the answer to Anglicans based on our experience of doing just this last week at St Swithun’s Headbourne Worthy, is 5!

At long last, we have safely and successfully changed all 20 light bulbs in the church – taking the pews out, erecting a scaffolding tower, sourcing the special lights, carefully washing the beautiful shades (which are white, by the way!) and then putting it all back to how it was. My thanks to all those who pitched in to help in different ways. The results look sparkling and we learnt a lot in the process!

Light is a central theme of the Bible – we recall those words in the story of Genesis as God says ‘Let there be Light’ and we’re reminded that Jesus describes himself as the ‘Light of (or for) the World’. We are ‘called out of darkness into his glorious light’ and the image we have of heaven is often described as a place of unimaginable light and glory. It’s good that we are people who live in the light and seek to find it wherever we can.

The Kings Worthy PCC met this week and took a decision that brought us into greater light. After reviewing a recommendation on the choice of a new architect, the PCC voted to appoint Design Engine to work with the Cherish Building Project Team to develop options and plans for our church building. Many thanks to everyone who participated within a complex and rigorous selection process. We look forward to seeing the fruits of collaborative working between Design Engine and our own team in the months to come. Watch this space!

I trust that we will all know greater light and clarity in our lives by being open to the presence of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit. May it help us see his way and enable us to follow it.

God bless, Revd Paul Bradish