Toilet humour – not altogether funny

Flushed with success Reordered Kirkheaton Church
When Kirkheaton Church reordered it’s building in 2014 to make it a more flexible and useful space for church and community, plenty of good, clean toilets were top of everyone’s agenda for the new developments.
“So I was very happy to make ‘Toilets’ the focus of our recent All Age Family Service and Lent Project this year,” explained Rector Richard Steel.
“We are hoping to raise enough money to ‘twin’ each of our toilets, eight across our buildings, with a new toilet somewhere in the developing world.”

The bottom line
2.5 billion people don’t have anywhere safe, clean or hygienic to go to the toilet. 
Every minute, three children under the age of 5 die because of dirty water and poor sanitation.
Over 50% of hospital beds in developing countries are filled with people who are sick with illness caused by dirty water or lack of sanitation.

Flushing away poverty at Kirkheaton ChurchDon’t just sit there – do something
Toilets are so common we take them for granted, and even find them a bit embarrassing but for many people around the world to have a toilet is literally a matter of life or death. So after a few toilet jokes to begin the service, people were made aware toilets aren’t altogether a laughing matter.

The idea came from congregation member Allison Howitt who, when she retired as a health visitor last autumn twinned her work mates’ toilet with a latrine in Liberia. Allison had visited Liberia a few years previously and seen the devastation that lack of sanitation can cause.

“I wanted to follow Jesus’ example of love,” she said. “I don’t believe he would just stand by and do nothing. The letter of James talks about us putting our faith into action and I wanted to get involved in a practical example of Christian love and care. I believe that God’s heart is for the poor and sick throughout the earth.”

“One of our children was so struck by what I told her,” Allison continues, “that she used it as an example of how religion makes a difference for an RE project. I hope that all the other children, and adults, in our congregation, will be equally moved and get behind this campaign.”

Rector, Richard Steel explained further:
“When we realised that these horrifying statistics meant that more people were dying through lack of something as basic as a toilet than at the height of the current Ebola epidemic, we wanted to see what we could do. We have eight toilets in our buildings at Kirkheaton and Grange Moor. I would love it if we could twin each one - at only £60 a toilet I hope our Lent Project will achieve that. We had a great start on Sunday - someone was so moved they gave me £60 straight away!”

“Everyone took a collection box home with them to put in their own toilets during Lent - a whole new take on spending a penny! And some plan to twin their home toilet too. Just imagine the effect on people’s lives if people and churches across Yorkshire joined in.

Want to help?
Toilet Twinning logoIf you want to find out more about twinning a toilet and this important issue, go to 
You’d be potty not to!


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