I’ve been very busy for the last couple of days – hence my absence here. It was Bazaar time!
Since I moved to Switzerland almost 22 years ago I’ve been an active member of the Anglican Community in Zürich – it’s really the only ex-pat type thing I’ve ever dabbled in and St Andrew’s in Zürich has always been a little bit of home from home to me.
Imagine if you will a small but very English church right in the middle of a Swiss city. Actually you should really imagine a church that is rather like England was about 40 years ago…we are possibly slightly in a time warp and as long as I’ve been there not much has changed. We have a choir in blue robes, flower arrangers and coffee rotas, carol services and nativity plays….and every year we have a church bazaar.
Now the bazaar is somewhat special. It is a bazaar on a scale I have never seen before. It’s a bazaar that involves our entire church community, or actually probably almost the entire British community in Eastern Switzerland. It’s famous far and wide…and I would chance a guess that it may actually be the biggest earning bazaar in the whole church of England (or maybe even the world….). It’s certainly a huge event for the English-speaking community in this part of the world. The recession has hit us a little, but yesterday we still managed to have takings of Sfr 63,000. That’s about $65,000 or £42,000!
Which is a lot of money from fruit cakes and Christmas wreaths, from home-made marmalade and lemon curd, from Golden Syrup and Black Treacle brought over from England, from second hand English books, from Christmas puddings and mincemeat, from scones and cups of tea, from the White Elephant (bric-a-brac) and the Nearly New Clothes.
So Friday for me was full of baking the scones for the teas and on Saturday I ran the accounting room (with a team of 8) – the one time in the year when some of my half-forgotten accounting skills come to the fore.
It was exhausting, but brilliant as always. It is wonderful to be part of a community of young and old, all working together, laughing and catching up with friends that we don’t get to see all that often, putting the world (and the church!) to rights as we earn the money to keep the roof on our old church.
A very good day was had by all – just what I needed to lift my spirits!!
The photos are from early in the morning before we started…by this stage, an hour before opening time, there were already about 50 people queuing outside in the rain waiting to come in. If I’d waited till we opened you wouldn’t have seen anything for the crush.