Remember you are butt dust,’ and other service-sheet blunders

01 March 2019

Service-sheet typos offer an entertaining read

A MARRIAGE service at which the congregation was asked to pray for delivery from email, a leader who asked for Christ to “destroy all the woks of the Evil One”, and an invitation for a meeting that would “be gin with prayer” are some of the entertaining errors that have graced printed orders of service up and down the country.

A top-ten list of some of the funniest mistakes on service sheets has been compiled by the website ShipofFools.com and a Facebook group, Church Service Sheet Typos, which has attracted nearly 5000 members since it was set up last year.

Misprints in which just one wrong letter changes the whole meaning litter the top ten, including the response “Lord, graciously heat us” in a service booklet at St Paul’s Cathedral, an Ash Wednesday service in which penitents were told: “Remember you are butt dust and into dust you shall return”, and an invitation after a carol service to come for “mice pies” in the local pub.

At one church, the decision was taken to shred 400 leaflets for an Easter Day service when the printed version of a hymn invited the congregation to sing “I know that my Redeemer lies”.

Voting for the funniest error is now open online on the Christian Resources Exhibition (CRE) website; the winner will be announced at CRE North in Manchester on 13 March.

“Most editors will see the funny side,” the CRE’s managing director, Steve Goddard, said. “Since computer software offered us generative text and spellcheckers, the number of typos has actually increased.”

Ann Coomes, of the website Parish Pump, which offers content to parish magazine editors, is speaking at the CRE. She recalled one of her own mistakes: “I once ran a headline that should have read: ‘Make flowers that look like satin.’ Instead it said: ‘Make flowers that look like satan.’ Not one of my more glorious moments.”

The CRE is returning to Manchester for the first time in five years, and will be held on 13 and 14 March.

Vote at creonline.co.uk

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