Hartlepool church challenges Google with cheeky sign

Pastor Richard Hetherington outside of Oxford Road Baptist Church
Pastor Richard Hetherington outside of Oxford Road Baptist Church

“GOOGLE doesn’t have all the answers, God does.”

That’s the message from the pastor and parishioners at Hartlepool’s Oxford Road Baptist Church.

Pastor Richard Hetherington thinks more people should be turning to the Church instead of switching on their laptops and Smartphones for answers.

More and more people are turning to the internet for help in their daily lives, rather than entering places of worship.

But Richard says: “I think the sign’s sentiment is accurate.

“We search Google for everything, even down to spelling names, and Google is a great tool.

“But I believe informed wisdom isn’t the property of Google, or one denomination, or Church or organisation – it’s in God’s hands.”

He added: “We are not trying to get one over on Google or anything, but it’s to try to provoke a thought and see where those thoughts go.”

The thought-provoking sign was created by Robert Dawes, a community link worker at the church’s ORB Centre who ran town printing firm Logos Print for 25 years.

Richard said the sign has attracted so much attention, one driver told him they deliberately changed their route just to see it.

Robert, 60, said: “I believe the sign’s message.”

The dad-of-two and grandfather-of-three, who is married to Val and lives in the Foggy Furze area, said he creates a series of posters to go on the noticeboard for around six weeks at a time.

He said ideas can come from people who have seen similar messages elsewhere, or – ironically – he finds ideas on the internet and modifies them.

Robert designs the posters on his computer and before printing them out on A3 sheets and putting them together like a jigsaw.

This particular one took him an hour to put together.

Robert added: “This one seems to be generating quite a bit of interest.

“Judging by the feedback, I think it hits the mark.”

Robert says he believes he hasn’t infringed any copyright laws as he has slightly altered the Google sign, by using a typeface that looks similar and slanting certain letters.

Hartlepool councillor John Lauderdale, a member of the church leadership team, said: “I’m impressed with it, it’s very topical and served its purpose.

“I do believe God does have the answers – Google provides us with information but not necessarily the ability to respond to the information. Whereas the person who trusts God can seek God’s help and guidance in their lives.”

Previous signs outside the church created by Robert include another technology-led design showing a pair of hands holding an iPad displaying the message: “Prayer is like Wifi. It’s invisible but it has the power to connect you to what you need.”