Carefully I chose a new set of saucepans and the manufacturers were specific in their instructions. They pointed out that these saucepans were designed for a particular purpose and it could be achieved only if they were used in a certain way.

They were to be used only on the stovetop, they must never be heated empty or they would burn irretrievably, and they should never be subjected to harsh treatment.

Additionally, they were to be kept in a clean place so that dust or accidental spillage did not mar their surfaces and they were to be cleansed only with a certain product. Above all, they must never, never be used to store household chemicals or poisons of any type.

If they were put to any use, other than that specified by the manufacturer, the guarantee was void and the reliability of the product was compromised.

It was a weighty set of circumstances but I noted the perfect balance, symmetry, colour and composition of the product as well as their shape and size and number. They were perfect for what they were intended.

The warranty came in a sealed package but before I signed it, there seemed to be one further comment. It said the saucepans were made to a particular design that existed nowhere else in the known world and I was to honour the designer by reading Genesis 1:26. Then, before I signed the warranty I was to read 1st Peter 2:9.

When I looked them up they said this: ‘Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.’

That was said before we were created and then, much later, God reminded us ‘But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.’

I signed the warranty card and put it in my wallet. It is too valuable to lose, isn’t it?

Elizabeth Price