The Sound of the Photocopier

The sound of the photocopier was heard in the land. It is a little known fact that the week before Holy Week is now referred to in the Calendar as Photocopier Week.


  1. This is only in establishments sufficiently wealthy to possess one. Or do you rent?

  2. Chris beat me to it. In your companion diocese overseas, it is the week of intense prayer for old laser printers. (though on Monday we pause to remember the cursing of the stubborn Publisher programme)

  3. kelvin says

    Actually, we have two printing machines in the office – one a photocopier which thinks it is cleverer than I, and a Gestetner machine which produces things very quickly.

    Last year I would have been doing it all on a laser printer. This year, someone else is doing it on the Gestetner.

  4. Parish secretaries and their rectors, too,

    Thinking of the bulletins that will ensue,

    Drop to their knees and begin to quake,

    Praying their copiers will stay awake

    Through Maundy Thursday and the rest;

    Without behaving as if possessed.

    Rectors wonder with uncertainty,

    “Should I have purchased the extended warranty?”

    Misfeeds, toner woes and a paper jam

    Always seem to accompany the Paschal Lamb.

    Why this happens is a great unknown,

    A mystery worthy of the bishop’s throne.

    So stoke the incense, say your prayers;

    anything to stave off copier repairs.

    As the dark shadows of Tenebrae now approach;

    may your copier behave without reproach.

    And as we begin the Good Friday fast,

    May it wait ‘til Low Sunday to breathe its last.

  5. Likewise, I shall be photocopying into the wee small hours this week. But there is something so final about photocopying. I mean, it really commits you to that liturgy once you have run off 60 copies. And I find myself putting it off and wondering if I really want to risk that as-yet-unobserved typo. You just know it will only be found when the last copy is folded and stapled.

  6. Tom Allen says

    In this parish that sound has been replaced with that of the Risagraph (much cheaper, more ecologically sound, and rarely jams) and the quality laser printer (now cheaper to buy and run than the photocopier) – and this year we have tried to cut down the amount of paper so no Holy Week and easter leaflets just a 1 page mention in the magazine.

    I myself have tried to take a more provisional approach – listening to what is happening during the week so ( eyond a skeleton of music etc) I will not finalise Good Friday, Holy Saturday or Easter Day until Holy Week has started.

  7. No photocopier here, Just my printer – working overtime and threatening to quit. A photocopier? I’d love to have a photocopier. The local charismatic Church of Scotland show everything on an overhead screen. The people in the congregation all stick their hands in their air and wave them around just to show the Episcopalians up the road that they don’t have any bulletins and have incurred no chargers for extra toner in the Easter season. At least I think that’s what they’re doing.

  8. Andrew says

    Here’s a daft idea:

    Why not publish all the papers for the following Sunday on the Cathedral web-site and ask people to print their own before they come to the service. That way you could reduce the print runs substantially

  9. Here’s an off the wall thought or two.

    Why not look around for an already published (therefore re-usable) book or books for the words of the services. For example, at Evensong we could call it, I don’t know, The Prayer Book, or something (I’m sure we might find an equivalent for Eucharist if we look hard enough).

    And maybe if we look even harder there might be a book somewhere which contains hymn words (proper poetic words mind, not emasculated PC ones). Who knows, that book might be called, say, The New English Hymnal. Perhaps boards could be put up in St Mary’s listing the hymn numbers which the congregation could then look up and join in.

    Sorry if all this sounds a bit new-fangled and radical, but it might just save at least part of a rainforest. But hey, I’m being delusional and living in the past. Obviously congregations can’t nowadays cope with juggling multiple books, and need everything laid out Janet & John fashion for the hard of thinking. Yes, much better to just produce mountains of waste paper. I see it now. Sorry.

    And for the avoidance of doubt and follow up comments pointing out my folly, I am fully aware of the fact that (sadly, in my humble opinion) not all the hymns at St Mary’s come from NEH, or any other single collection. And clearly there is always going to be scope for occasional print runs to cope with special liturgies at, for example, Easter and Christmas, when it may be considered desirable for deviation from the normal run of the mill Sunday. But most of the year ……………

    Discuss. 🙂

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