Spoof loo announcement spurs church on to twin

A Nottingham church’s generosity means that every household in the congregation now has a ‘twinned’ toilet.

Members of Watnall Road Baptist Church became involved in the charity campaign Toilet Twinning after a thought-provoking – but spoof – announcement in church.

Children and Families Worker Sally Newsome told the congregation, tongue in cheek, that the church loos were shut and offered to hand out ‘poo bags’ so people could ‘do their business and throw it outside’.

‘People quickly realised I wasn’t serious, but it was shocking that the idea we were playing with is the reality for many people in the world,’ says Sally.

Toilet Twinning invites people in the UK to ‘twin’ their loo with a latrine abroad and so sponsor a toilet for a family in a poor community where people often have no option but to defecate in the open. Some 2.3 billion people worldwide still do not have a proper toilet.

Within a few weeks the Watnall Road Baptists’ collection had reached £3,600 – enough to twin 60 toilets at £60 apiece, one for every household.

‘Some people probably gave more than enough to twin a toilet and some were probably only able to give a little, but amazingly we had enough to twin everyone’s toilet by the end!’ says Sally.

‘We wanted to share our church’s vision to bring hope to the heart of the community and this is one very practical way to do this. A toilet is such an essential thing that to have one is life-changing, and indeed life-saving.’

The church’s Toilet Twinning appeal was made during one of Watnall Road Baptist Church’s monthly ‘Hub’ services, an informal café-style meeting accessible to the wider community.

Toilet Twinning CEO Lorraine Kingsley says: ‘It’s always very moving when people fully grasp just how important toilets are and reach out to those who lack even the most basic things which we so often take for granted. We are hugely grateful to Watnall Road Baptists – and inspired by their fundraising ideas!’

Toilet Twinning raises funds to help provide proper toilets, clean water and hygiene education in some of the poorest communities in the world.