It was a pleasure to preside at the service to celebrate the opening of Church House after extensive renovation works. There were a good crowd of people from all areas of our denomination to mark this occasion. We were blessed to hear my chaplain, Revd Dr Gwen Collins, preach at the service.
The pictures show the service in Lumen followed by the ribbon cutting performed by the longest-serving member of staff, Wendy Cooper.
We were grateful to Church House for making themselves available to show people the building. Rather like visiting a national Trust property our guides were located in each of the rooms and the visitors went around unescorted; the only difference is we didn’t put thistles on the chairs!
There have been a lot of people involved in the renovation but I would like to mention two who ensured the building work was done well, on time and to budget – Jane Baird and John Proctor. Comparing our on-time/on-budget performance for this project would rate it as a highly successful project; so, thanks Jane and John.
The refurbishment has not been extravagant, but has brought the building into the 21st century making it bright, air-conditioned and accessible. For the first time, people with reduced physical capabilities are easily able to get into the building and move to all floors enabling them to share their gifts fully. The refurbishment has also allowed us to lease the top floor; and I’m pleased that our recent partner Greenbelt Festivals has joined us in the building – I hope that this is a sign that we will have a long and fruitful partnership.
Talking of Greenbelt, yesterday I was presented with a knitted chicken leg! One of the young people from my home church brought it back for me from Greenbelt. Not only did he have a great time his mum said that it was great and that the URC involvement was a great success – so thanks to Steve Summers and all who make our partnership with Greenbelt work.
Finally, let me tell you about my first appearance on Premier Christian Radio. I was a guest on the ‘Your News’ slot. This is a one hour programme where the five most popular stories on their website in the previous week are discussed. The topics I discussed ranged from praying for resurrection (not me!) to accusations that the Pope is guilty of heresy – quite a varied agenda. It was broadcast last Saturday. If you missed it you can hear it by streaming it from their website: https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Your-News/Episodes/Your-News103