What is a Christingle?

Christingle comes from the old German word “Christkindl”, which translated means “Little Christ Child”. The Christingle is a symbolic object used in the Christmas season to celebrate Jesus Christ as the “Light of the “World”.

Christingles are usually made with an orange, where the orange represents the earth and a candle is pushed into the orange to represent Jesus as the light of the world. A red ribbon is around the orange which symbolizes the blood of Jesus. Fruits or candy pushed onto cocktail sticks represent the goodness of Jesus to his people.

The tradition of the Christingle goes back as far as 1747 to a German bishop named Johannes de Watteville. The Bishop was looking for a way to show happiness that Jesus brought to the people and did with a candle with a red ruff. John Pensom at Lincoln Cathedral popularised the tradition in the UK in 1948 he was raising money for the Children’s Society

In the early 70s, the Christingle tradition wasn’t yet very widespread as only 20 churches in UK raised money for the Children’s Society. It wasn’t until the 1980s when first Christingle service was held in Westminster Abbey that the Christingle tradition gained big popularity. Today more than 1 million people attend a Christingle service in the UK each year.

One of the best ways to celebrate a Christingle service, such as in your Sunday school or church group can be with a Christmas song. At Out Of The Ark can find many great songs that cover each part of the Christingle in a way that is easy and fun for the children and the adults! Wanting to do a little bit more even? How about a nativity play this Christmas season? You can find nativity scripts for children of any age, from plays for small groups to large nativity plays with many songs and speaking parts for many children!

Choosing and Writing Childrens Worship Songs

Choosing songs for your kids to sing in Sunday school can be a bit of a minefield, everyone will have their favourites, some kids will love to do actions and others (often the boys) will refuse to join in with actions unless you make an extra effort to get them involved, or perhaps some are just embarrassed by singing in front of people. So here are some things which you might find helpful when choosing songs.

  1. Volume – if your music is played too quietly, it will always be an uphill struggle to get children really engaged. This could literally mean just how loud your hi-fi speakers are, but I would also like to include in this your enthusiasm. If you are enthusiastic in singing along to songs in childrens worship times, some kids will jump straight in with you, more will follow them and hopefully you’ll have a tidal wave of little singers
  2. Simplicity – don’t underestimate how much kids love a simple tune, make it easy to pick up and with short phrases. Songs with long lines are much harder for them to absorb. Repetitive rhythms and melody lines will also mean children pick up on the tunes quickly and are able to get excited about the songs themselves.
  3. Theme – often this might just go over their heads, but if you can tie your choice of childrens worship songs in to the rest of the lesson, perhaps you’ve been learning about the feeding of the five thousand, or perhaps cutting and sticking out fish and loaves of bread in a creative time, then pick it up in the worship time too! It’s often one of those organisational opportunities that just don’t occur to us, but tying songs into other activities or stories will help cement the theme into their memory. Nothing helps you learn like singing songs. Nothing.
  4. Actions – not something for everyone, at least to start with, but actions amplify words. Getting kids to use their bodies to worship is such a great opportunity, but they need encouragement to find the confidence to do it. Start simple, be enthusiastic and show them the actions as you work through the song. You can always add more of them in as the kids learn the basics.
  5. Clapping – if there are no actions, find a few spots in the worship song where the children can clap along, or accent a particular word or note.


Not all of these will work all the time, but at least it’s a starting point.

Incidentally, if any of you are song writers, these points are also really helpful to bear in mind while you are writing. Keep your melodies simple and repetitive – that’s catchy. Actions are great but again – keep them simple please, if they’re complex then they are difficult for use to teach!

Fire Safety And Large Entertainment Venues

Fire safety for large entertainment venues, like big clubs, stadiums and festival grounds has always been a concern.

Unfortunately, using traditional fire detection methods are not always suitable for these locations.

Smoke detectors may work decently well in small, confined spaces, but they are pretty useless for monitoring large outdoor spaces or large structures such as manufacturing plants and similar.

A modern fire sensor that uses digital imaging technology can now provide reliable detection of fires in such cases. Compared to smoke detectors, CCTV fire sensors operate entirely differently. They are not relying on detecting smoke or heat in their direct vicinity, but instead work by detecting fires by analysing a video feed in real-time.

Digital fire sensors have several big advantages: they can cover a big area to detect fires from a distance. Modern fire cameras can detect even small and confined fires from several hundred metres away. Their detection rate is also excellent. The FCam by Ciqurix for example can detect fires in only 10-12 seconds.

What’s more, compared to old-fashioned fire detection systems like smoke detectors, the Fcam can automatically summon the fire brigade when a fire is being detected. Compared to traditional fire detection methods, response times are greatly decreased so that personal or structural damage from fires can be kept at a minimum. Fire sensors like the Fcam are now increasingly more used to provide safety and security and many places where reliable fire detection just several years ago was almost impossible.

A digital fire sensor can greatly increase the safety for your home, business or entertainment venue.

Ideas For Wedding Entertainment

People don’t get married every day. This is why it’s not surprising that folks who plan for their wedding celebration are often not shying away from spending big amounts of money so that really everything would go perfectly.

One of the most important things for such one-time events like a wedding is unarguably the musical entertainment. Simply spoken, a poor choice there can turn even the most-well planned event into a failure, or at least into a day that will soon be forgotten. A lot of people don’t really consider how important wedding entertainment can be, they usually go the route to book a band or DJ for the day and that’s about it.

But why spend lots of money on everything else but then make a compromise when it comes to entertaining your guests? My recommendation for your next wedding celebration would be that you look into what’s called “surprise entertainment”, like that from the Singing Waiters. The Singing Waiters are an awesome group of performers who can really turn any average wedding into an unforgettable experience.

What I love about them is how they really go out of their way to make the wedding super-fun, by incorporating the guests into their shows with hilarious singing and dancing performances. And of course, the surprise when the “waiters” all of a sudden turn into amazing performers and start their show! I can highly recommend the Singing Waiters if you want something really special for your wedding entertainment!

David Bowie Dominates 2017 Brit Awards

Although the Brit Awards are always a showcase for diversity with performers from everywhere, it was David Bowie who dominated the show this year.

David Bowie, the British star and singer who died more than one year ago had been awarded the best British male and best British album, for “Blackstar”.

With David Bowie dominating the Brit Awards 2017, many other artists this years had been left without any trophies.

Another highlight of the show was the celebrated performance by Skepta with his song “Shut Down”.

It is estimated that about 5.5 million viewers watched the ceremony this past Wednesday.

It’s *Not* Easy to Find a Good Place For Pilates in East London

Living in a city that harbors 10 million people, a world-city without doubt, one would think it shouldn’t cause any problems to find ANYTHING, including good fitness studios.

Obviously, this doesn’t apply when we’re talking about East London. I could write a book about my wife’s various experiences now searching for a good place for her weekly Pilates classes.

But rather than going on a major ranting spree now, let’s just sum up some of the troubles:

  • Entirely incompetent fitness trainers and coaches (think: part-time students)
  • Unfriendly staff who don’t really care
  • Outdated equipment that is in poor shape
  • Lack of variety when it comes to fitness classes and courses

To me it seems that most of the gyms now are riding the “bargain pricing” wave, trying to lure as many customers as they can and then at all costs. Now, here’s the deal: Whether I pay 2 bucks more a month for Pilates classes doesn’t really matter. But what matters is that I have at least one qualified coach that knows what he/she is doing.

We searched several months here in Hackney and only recently found a decent gym here in the area that my wife is now finally happy with, the London Fields Gym. They not only have courses for Pilates in Hackney but a lot more classes that might be worth checking out. We found their trainers excellent, highly qualified and superbly motivated! The rest of the staff is also super-friendly, you can see that they really value the folks coming in.

After so many disappointing experiences finding a place for Pilates classes in Hackney I can absolutely recommend these guys, so check them out!

Peter Capaldi Stepping Down From Dr. Who

Dr. Who fans were shocked when Capaldi made the announcement on a BBC Radio 2 show. The actor said he’ll leave the show by the end of the year. Peter Capaldi is the 12th actor to play the Doctor in 2013.

“I feel sad, I love Doctor Who, it is a fantastic programme to work on,” he was quoted saying. “I can’t praise the people I work with more highly, but I have always been someone that did a lot of different things.”

Capaldi however told the listeners that he is still Doctor Who at the moment, and that filming will go on.