Guest post – book review, me before you.

St Ursula’s church has regular book sales. We have rows and rows of books written in English, for people to buy at low prices. The book sales are very popular, and so we had the idea to offer space here in this blog for people to review books purchased at one of our book sales.

Here is the first one, first reviewed on her own blog by Sue H.  and adapted for here.

Me before you – JOJO Moyes

bookFirst published in 2012 and a deserved bestseller, this book is about a young woman Louisa who basically seems stuck in her comfort zone. Her comfort zone is living at home with Mum and Dad and Grandfather, working in the local cafe and staying in the local town, never traveling away, and sticking with her boyfriend of 7 years who although he seems to be a nice chap, is not interested in moving their relationship to the next level.

Will is the total opposite, coming from a privileged background, having had a super job in the city, traveled widely, cultured and adventurous. That is until he has an accident leaving him paralyzed, frustrated and dependent on help. He has to live with his parents back in their big house in the same small town as Louisa is in, and so it is that Louisa, having lost her job in the cafe, becomes his carer, with a special mission, that she herself is not aware of at the beginning.

The book is about relationships and how we all treat the disabled. Louisa falls into the traps that we all fall into, but also learns a lot about herself. Will helps her expand her comfort zone and see new possibilities. He also helps her to confront her demons being an incident  that happened when she was young, that took away her confidence and made her happy to stay in the town. There is the relationship of Will with his parents, and between his parents, and also how Will views his own life now. There are the relationships of Louisa with her parents, sister and boyfriend, and ultimately there is the relationship between Louisa and Will.

It is a lovely story, quite uplifting even if the ending is not what all wanted and for some Christians could be challenging. The story is about choices and how we deal with what life brings, and how there is always a new choice we can make, every day. Good book for a book club as well.

If you have not read it, you really should. It is not a bestseller for nothing. It made me laugh, and it made me cry, but it did not disturb me in the way that some books do, and for me that is good. I have just learned that there is a film based on the book. That must be good – take some hankies. Plus there is a sequel called After you – maybe I will find it at the next book sale, which incidentally is in June at the Spring fete.





Quite a few people were late today, but that was OK. We are family. Easter Sunday is always a special service, with fresh flowers after the no flower period of Lent, and everyone happy to celebrate that the Lord is risen.

We have extra reason to be thankful as well this year. Our fundraiser announced in the first posts on this blog has been an amazing success even before it was launched.
Last week it was announced that we have an anonymous donor for the whole amount we were looking for. Alleluia indeed. This is incredible news.

We have also decided though to carry on with some of our fundraising ideas, as we are always short of funds, plus we have so many great ideas. We will concentrate on the best ideas to raise a bit more cash for all the other projects we have on the back burner.

The Lord is risen. Alleluia.! 🙂

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday, the Christian holiday that commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ at Calvary before his resurrection three days later on Easter. It is a solemn holiday for Christians, as it also commemorates the betrayal and death of Jesus at the hands of his disciples, most notably Judas. The Gospel passages that reference the crucifixion of Jesus are Matthew 27:27-28:8; Mark 15:16-16:19; Luke 23:26-24:35; and John 19:16-20:30. In the Gospel of John, it states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

It is a day for quiet and reflection.
At St Ursula’s we had two services today known as the waiting at the Cross.
Wishing you a blessed and peaceful Easter time.


Arty idea


One of our many ideas to raise money is an Art exhibition. The idea is that some of our talented church members plus any interested artists can exhibit their work in the Church, perhaps over a 2 to 3 day period, and ideally sell some of the works as well.

Proceeds would be split with the church, and we could offer tea and cakes as well as refreshments. The idea of an entrance fee is still up for discussion, perhaps a donations box would be better.

What we are lacking however is somebody to run with this idea and organize it. So maybe it will not happen. I think if it is meant to happen, then we will get the right person coming forward.

What do you think? Would you visit an Art exhibition and sale that was to raise money for a Church renovation project? Would you be willing to pay an entrance fee? Would you be open to buying some art even if it was premium priced for charity, or do you think a minimum price plus a donation box is better?

All thoughts welcome for when the right volunteer steps forward. And if anybody from Bern is reading this and wants to step up, just drop us a line at the church. We have a special email address set up:  appeal



How are your energy levels today? Feeling good? Was it a good weekend?

Here in Switzerland the weather was great on the weekend, if you were at 1300 metres or more. There the sun was shining, the snow was perfect and all was good with the world.


Down in the town of Bern, it was dull and cool, and even raining slightly. All the more reason to head to Church this morning. In the Church although our hearts were warm, we mainly kept our coats on. This is due to the fact that the heating system is totally inefficient. The Church is currently launching an appeal, to raise money for energy saving measures like new windows, more insulation, a better heating system and a new roof for the Vicars house.

It is a lot of money, but we are wasting an awful lot of resources through poor energy efficiency so we have to do it. Even the sermon from Peter this morning seemed relevant.

The Church is there for us all, and we should spend the money needed to ensure it is a warm and welcoming place. But first we need to raise it, and so after Church a few of us had an energizing meeting to discuss all the ideas we have had so far and decide who would do what.

The appeal will be launched at the AGM on the 10th April, and before then we have a competition running to come up with a name and a logo for the campaign. The winning title and logo will be chosen that day and then we can really get going with the publicity and the initiatives.

We are very excited about the ideas we have. There was a lot of enthusiasm and energy in the room when we were discussing it, so much in fact that I am convinced that we raised the temperature a few notches. I for one could leave my coat off.

This blog will be used to tell help publicize the appeal and to keep everyone informed. We welcome ideas and comments.

have a great week with lots of energy.