The last time I led worship at Meersbrook Park United Reformed Church in Sheffield ……

…… the congregation were squashed into the church hall which was (I hope they won’t mind my saying) not the most salubrious of buildings though the welcome from the people was warm and it felt as though the ‘Dunkirk spirit’ was alive and well keeping this lively and creative congregation going through difficult times. Their church building had been declared unsafe and for some years they sought to erect a new building which would serve the community and be within their budget.

 That new building was opened in the middle of April last year and the congregation can be pleased that they met both their aims as they planned and fund raised and lived with the difficulties of a dilapidated hall as their only base. When the building was completed they had completed the work within budget no small feat in these times of rising prices. As for serving the community – at the end of the service the chairs were quickly cleared away, tables were erected and the room was set out for the lunch club on the following day. That, said the Church Secretary was the first use for the day, sometimes the area has three or four different uses in a single day.

 The positive stories fromMeersbrookParkinclude the fact that in the first 12 months the congregation has increased sufficiently for them to have to bring in extra chairs on a Sunday morning and they have just purchased some extra hymn books for this increased congregation. The use of the building and good links with those organizations which use it have brought children and parents to worship too.

 Throughout the years of disruption and change this is a congregation who have listened carefully for God’s guidance and the results are evident in this new phase in their lives in a new light and airy building equipped for the 21st century.

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