Tonight is the inaugural meeting of Colchester Magic Club. it is a gathering that I have endeavoured to call together of people who are interested in learning and performing magic tricks. I was surprised and delighted when, following a request for a re-tweet from a well-known magician, I was contacted by several people who are interested and are planning to be there.

I did think about placing an advert in the local newspaper but was put off when I discovered how expensive it would be and I wondered how effective a small ad would be in reaching people. The amazing thing about using social networking is that it is enabled me to be put in touch with people who share a common interest and have common friends but with whom I have had no previous contact.

I’m not going to get all nostalgic and reminiscentful here: wistfully hankering for those days when important messages were delivered by pigeons (providing the recipient not only with a message but also the potential for lunch) or even bemoaning the reduction of the English language to txtspk. what impresses me is how interconnected we are. It is suggested that there are only 6° of separation between any two individuals on this planet. In other words you should be able to find a chain of six people who know the other people either side of them in the chain to link you to a complete stranger. I’m sceptical about that – at least I would be if I was not aware of how many friends I have on Facebook who know each other and had not witnessed the interconnectedness of Twitter to provide some people to attend Colchester Magic Club.

A church meeting last year I  mentioned the graphic that the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity used to illustrate the importance of equipping Christian people for work. I have attempted to reproduce them here.


The first one represents the percentage of people who attend church regularly in this country – 6 to 7%. We gather together on Sundays to do our thing. The second one represents those 6 to 7% of people during the week scattered among the rest of the population. They have far more contact with those who are not in church when they are not in church.

Stretching the analogy slightly, if each dot represents a Christian (i.e. us) we could make contact with eight people who don’t go to church but are around us during the week. If we did, bearing in mind that our church is over 230 members, our church could contact almost 2000* people a week with the good news of Jesus. Adding to that equation the interconnectedness that we have in today’s culture and the possibilities are mind blowing aren’t they?

While you contemplate that I’m off to play with magic tricks the Magic Club…

*I appreciate that I have played fast and loose with both the illustration and statistics but I think I’ve made the point!

how not to engage with the public?

A tired pastor was at home resting, and through the window he saw a woman approaching his door. She was one of those too-talkative people, and he was not anxious to talk with her. He said to his wife, “I’ll just duck upstairs and wait until she goes away.”

An hour passed, then he tiptoed to the landing and listened … not a sound. He was very pleased, so he started down calling loudly to his wife, “Well, My Dear, did you get rid of that old bore at last?”

The next moment he heard the voice of the same woman caller, and she couldn’t possibly have missed hearing him. Two steps down, he saw them both staring up at him. It seemed truly a crisis moment.

The quick-thinking pastor’s wife answered, “Yes, Dear, she went away over an hour ago. But Mrs. Jones has come to call in the meantime, and I’m sure you’ll be glad to greet her.”

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