wordsout by Godfrey Rust                                                Occasional pieces for All Souls  HOME  


 

The LinkUp calypso

Well some time ago you may recall

I told the story 'bout Pilgrim Hall,

how we went to the leaders' conference

and came back talkin' much more sense,

but I never told you how it fall

I came to be at All Souls at all

so listen now while I relate

how the LinkUp Team has sealed my fate.

It was a cold and winter's night like this 

and I stopped at McDonalds for a Filet of Fish. 

As I stood outside with my regular fries 

I saw a great big church before my eyes. 

It had signs and steps and a steeple too 

and a big door lettin' the people through. 

I picked my courage up, I put my milkshake down 

and I walk right in and I sit right down! 

When I hear the message from Richard Bewes 

I say, this one's for me, I got nuthin' to lose,

but my spirits they went right down under 

when I walk out into the Rotunda.

There was people here and people there, 

yappin' in the hallway and yappin' on the stair, 

there was a warden here and a warden there,

here a curate, there a curate, everywhere a Rector...

So many faces I didn't know 

that I turned towards the door to go 

but then I saw a smile with a yellow badge

and this is what she said: 

Information! Information!

The LinkUp sensation!

You follow the advice of the LinkUp song

and it won't be long before you belong!

I said, Tell me what I ought to do

she said, The Newcomers' Group is the place for you.

Where to go to get it right

is the Waldegrave Hall on a Tuesday night!

Don't be nervous, don't feel blue

'cos everyone's as new as you.

Christine and Tony will calm your fears

cos Potter and Trotter gotta lotta ideas!

If you been around and you know the score

what's what the Fellowship Groups are for,

but if you just found out that men is sinners

we put you in a group that's called Beginners

and if you don't agree or you make a fuss

we send you Agnostics Anonymous

but with the accent that you're talkin' with,

it sounds like you should join ASIF!

(I said, as if what?

She said the All Souls International Fellowship -

when you join it, it feels ASIF you never left home...)

Information! Information!

The LinkUp sensation!

You follow the advice of the LinkUp song

and it won't be long before you belong!

Well it was all so good for my spiritual health

I joined the LinkUp Team myself

and I learned by making my own mistakes

just what being a LinkUp person takes.

You need an eye like a hawk for the passerby

who'd like to talk but he's much too shy,

and when you're shaking hands you need a steady wrist

and a smile like a Curate Evangelist.

To talk to total strangers takes a lot more nerve

when you gotta break down their reserve

you need the patience of a No 19 bus

and the tact of a Rector Emeritus...

Information! Information!

It's a great invitation

to him and her and you and me

into the All Souls Christian family!

So while you're queueing up to shake John Stott's hand

I'd like you all to understand

we're all one body, we share one bread

and Jesus is our living head

but if you want to know where the body ends

it isn't the Rector or the Rector's friends

the most important member of the family

is someone that you hardly see

for he's sitting up in the balcony

between a sidesman and a member of the PCC

and he's going to walk out on his own

though he'd really like to feel at home

and the person that's he's going to meet

before he gets out in the street

is the person God will surely use

to make him more than just a bottom to fill the pews

so we need to pray for the LinkUp crew

and all the work they have to do

but the truth should now have dawned on you

you're a LinkUp person too!

Information! Information!

It's an All Souls sensation

(but a warning—don't take LinkUp too literally—

you could be linked for life like she and me!)

 


Performed in a weekly prayer meeting in the Waldegrave Hall at All Souls, Langham Place in 1983 as a "notice" to recruit members for the LinkUp welcoming team. Tessa was leading the Team at that time, and we had recently got engaged (hence the significance of the last two lines).

The photo was taken at a day or weekend retreat for the team: I date it to 1982 based on the age of baby Daniel McLeod. I recall some but not all the names (please fill in any gaps). Back row: Michael Lawson, ?, Mike Gregory, ?, Mike Elkan, Eric Stonham. Middle row: Neil and Jane McLeod with baby Daniel, Helen MacIntosh, ?, ?, Claire Lawson, Alison Grieve. Front row: Richard Bewes, Paul Weston, Tessa Duckworth (now Rust), ?.