When we first moved to Hightown over 40 years ago, we bought the plot for a house which was in the process of being built. It had the usual set of rooms but had the addition of a downstairs toilet. There’s posh, we said and thought that we had bought something very special. So it turned out to be and we are still benefiting from it. This downstairs loo proved a veritable Godsend for us, our visitors, workmen, children and, in particular, myself when I broke my ankle and could not go upstairs for 8 weeks. We were truly blessed by this little room, at a time long before the arrival of the ubiquitous ensuite bathroom.
We in the developed world accept, as a matter of course, that our homes are connected to mains drainage and that our waste can be safely disposed of. It is a well known fact that many serious illnesses are spread by contamination from human waste products and so many charities are working in the less developed parts of the world to help villages and rural communities have some form of sanitation facilities. These may not be connected to mains drainage but they will provide safe and clean places to use.
To fund the setting up of these new loos, a scheme has been evolved called “toilet twinning”. Any individual or organisation that has the benefit of a mains connected loo can twin their loo with one which is built in a nominated third world country. In return you will receive a certificate of the twinning to put on the wall of the twinned loo and the coordinates of its location so that the area can be viewed on Google Earth. We supply the funds and the people of the chosen location receive the knowledge, training and materials to build themselves a latrine-type toilet. This is all done under the auspices of the charity TEARFUND.
Sunday, 28th June this year was what we in St Stephen’s Church designated as” Toilet Twinning Sunday”. The service was based around our intended gift, the workings of the scheme and how we, as a church, could fund the twinning. It was to be one way for us to say thank you for the blessings we have received in our new porch. I refer specifically to our wonderful totally accessible toilet. Shortly the certificate will arrive, framed, and will be mounted in the loo for all to see.
More details of the scheme can be obtained from leaflets in church and from the internet at www.toilettwinning.org. When the idea was first mooted to the PCC, Julie, our new churchwarden, told us that her school and up to 50 other places round about it in Upholland had already twinned theIr toilets and so I trust that you all think it is a good idea. It may even spur some of you to twin your own home loos.