Big World Small Boat

Private Diary of A Priest. OK, so we're not all angels...Everyone needs a place to get things off their chest! And yes, I do talk to God about it all! Even He has a sense of humour! Want proof? Well, he made me, didn't He? Oh, one last thought-If you don't like what I've written, please keep in mind - it's MY diary. Go write your own!

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Location: England, United Kingdom

I've been serving children in crisis for over twenty five years. My goals are not to raise money, but to find organisations and individuals who can help change lives! What may be outdated equipment for you could change the life of a child in Eastern Europe! To learn more please visit our site at:


Merry Xmas!

Here we are in the midst of a beautiful Advent and I’ve heard my first cranky retort regarding a Christmas card. A very kind and dear lady stood over me as I was seated at my desk this morning. She held pinched between her fingers, as if she were holding a soiled nappy, an envelope. ‘Look!’ she exclaimed! ‘How offensive!’

Curiously I took the envelope in my hand. On the back were the handwritten words ‘Happy Xmas!’ and the sender had hand-drawn a small cross. Inside was a lovely card bearing an image of a Greek icon depicting Christ.

It’s so easy for us to become caught up in our secular world that we often lose track of, or even patience for understanding the world around us. In this case the sender of the card had created, in my opinion, a rather thoughtful use of their time.

The first letter in the Greek word for Christ is ‘chi’ and the Greek letter for ‘chi’ is represented by a symbol similar to the letter ‘X’ in the modern Roman alphabet. Therefore, ‘Xmas’ is certainly an appropriate demonstration of their sincerity and creativity in sending a Greek icon image as a Christmas card.

Just as one might use ‘Xian’ as an alternative for the word ‘Christian,’ perhaps there had been even more thoughtfulness on the part of the sender who may have seen herself caught in a quagmire of political correctness. It’s hard to say.

But if we’re forced to live in a world where we may no longer speak from the heart, write from the heart, and love from the heart, out of fear as to whether it will cause someone else offence, we may find ourselves simply no longer bothering to communicate at all.

And wouldn’t that make our world sad?

Father Bill Haymaker+

Postat în onoarea Tatălui Bill


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Anonymous LOTR_433 said...

Hi! My teacher asked us to look up when is it ok to say happy xmas. So I guess its ok if we look at it this way. So why do some people say happy christmas and some say merry christmas?

Anonymous Clairey-s said...

Afternoon! I came across your blog from AB, I've spent some time reading many of your posts over the past few's great how even a simple 'blog can make us feel as if we are getting to know someone, thank you for that.

I thought I'd wait until I saw a new post before I left you a comment, this is really just to say how much I enjoy reading Big World Small Boat, and of course your Anglican Compendium....

(this is turning out to be more of an essay than a comment!)

Once again, thank you for this =D, It's offered me many a comforting thought, and today I found a prayer which totally had the words I am looking for,in the hope of finding help for a friend.

Merry Xmas (sorry, couldn't resist)

Have a great Christmas, love, Claire x

Anonymous Brian Joyce said...

Well Father I responded to your article about prison conditions. And having read your Christmas reflection I have the feeling that political or secular correctness has contaminated the heart especially at Christmas. In my home country, England, there is the fear of offending non-Christian beliefs. But here in Finland where I live now Christmas is as pure in its spirit as can be. The emphasis on the GIVING not the taking.

But back to the prisons and the children. What about their Christmas? Can we GIVE? If yes how?

Brian Joyce

Blogger Father Bill Haymaker said...

Good Day Brian!

Thank you for your kind words. I've had this small blog for over ten years and have been rather proud of the fact that I've never once asked for financial assistance. But this year has been one of the most challenging we've ever faced!

Gas and electricity prices have soared meteorically. Food prices have followed closely behind. And this year, as a consequence of the financial crises that began in the Americas, our contributions have plummeted at an astounding rate. Many of the kind people have written me in confidence, explaining why they are no longer able to help - they're losing their homes, they're frightened as to what their own future may be and they fear for their children and what may happen. Some of the stories are truly heart-breaking.

When we created our website I was adamant that we were not to ask for money. I felt that it was best to have people come out with me to see for themselves what the needs are, so they could choose for themselves, any project that fit within their own goals and values.

Additionally, I'm often exasperated by charities who have finely-tuned marketing strategies that reach to the depths of people's hearts imploring them to give money. But the end result is that the largest portion of those contributions go to pay for the advertising agency who created the campaign and often (I so distressingly discovered), to pay for what I can only describe as luxurious work environments for charity staff and directors.

Even a gift of €10 will help to make a difference. We have a small panel at the bottom of the page that says 'send a gift.' You may use this for any form of gifting from credit cards to Paypal. And if you have any specific preference for where you would like your gift to be used, please let us know and we will honour your request.
The link is here:


Thank you for your kind thoughts. I wish you all the joys of Christmas!


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