But I won't be in the least offended if everyone chooses to stop reading before the end...
If you visit here regularly you'll know that one of the greatest joys of my ministry here is the Valley Church School, better known to the world as St Matthew's, Cainscross, C of E Primary....
I've removed that pseudo veil of anonymity because I need everyone to know what's afoot there.
It's a great school, with a visionary Head, outstanding and committed staff - and, of course, fantastic children...It's somewhere where Kingdom values really are part of the stuff of everyday life and where children who might not always have every material advantage are assured of their unique value again and again and again.
I love it.
However, the school building went up in 1980 and there are all sorts of essential repairs and desirable improvements to be undertaken...and for the past three years there's been an ongoing building programme. Because St Matthew's is a Church of England (Aided) School, the governors' (including the vicar) are responsible for repaying 10% of the cost of every capital project....a policy that works like a dream in parishes where there are generous endowments or historic funds, but which causes major nightmares in a place like Cainscross, where no such moneys exist and where the local community generally has absolutely no spare cash.
If that seems to you like a social justice issue, it must might be...but let's leave that aside for the minute.
The building work had to be done, and has to be paid for...So we're entrammelled in a fundraising programme that seems likely to stretch far beyond the lifetime of any member of the current governing body, committed to repaying £7k per year til all debts are covered.
Hence the curry and quiz night, hence the pamper evenings, and hence...........
SILENCE IS GOLDEN.
I'm a compulsive communicator.
I chat all the time - if not to the family then to the dogs, cats, household appliances....
I also blog, text, tweet, FB....
My world is filled with words, and that's the way I love it.
However, for 24 hours this week, from bedtime Thursday onwards, I am attempting to be completely and utterly stumm.
I will spend much of the day in school, so that the children can see me suffer........and so that there will be witnesses to my heroic attempt.
I'd be so very grateful if any online friends felt inclined to pay for the peace that will follow when I suspend communications...and so would the generations of children who will begin their school lives in a building fit for purpose.
Sponsorship pledges, either per hour or for the whole period would be wonderful...Cheques to St Matthew's Primary School Trust could come to me at the vicarage or go directly to school.
If nowt else, your prayers would be valuable - I'm going to struggle to keep silence, specially as I know that many will be doing their best to catch me off guard. I'm terrified of accidentally answering the phone, because it's a reflex to do so - but I'm going to concentrate on those children and pray hard.
I can't say I'm looking forward to Friday in any way - but it will be well worth the effort if I can raise enough to make a difference.
Normal blogging service will now resume - though with an intermission on Friday! Remember, speech is silver but.........