Nearly there!

I had another visit to Westminster College on Saturday 6th October. This should have been the final meeting of the Appeal Campaign Council but events have meant that the appeal is not quite complete and a further meeting will be required. This was a £7 million appeal to upgrade the facilities at the college and due in large part to the generosity of the United Reformed Church through Synods, individual churches and individual members that sum has almost been raised. I was asked to attend as a Patron of the Appeal to lead prayers in the middle of the day and to offer some brief words of encouragement from General Assembly in whose name the appeal was conducted. The Appeal and the vision for the future of the college are closely interlinked and the whole exercise has been carefully planned. Westminster College was built for a different time and the accommodation does not meet 21st century standards. We know that churches and others look for ensuite facilities as basic requirements for church weekends or for conferences. But there is a special ‘feel’ to the building which is partly related to its age and history. The aim is not to lose that but the vision is for 21st century accommodation to make the whole more attractive for the needs of the present day. There has been a huge commitment on the part of many people to ensure that the necessary structures were in place, planning applications, building plans, interim practical arrangements etc. etc. Staff of the college, students and volunteers are to be congratulated for all of that and I am sure that their commitment will be rewarded in due time. During the day we reflected on our experience of the college and I couldn’t help reflecting on my recent experience of attending the Lay Preachers Course and knowing that the 150 or so people who attend the three courses which run each September do so (we might say despite the accommodation) because of the quality of the teaching they receive. We profess ourselves a ‘learning church’ and I am sure we are as I travel the country and hear about the different ways in which congregations and individuals respond to that label, it is vital that that quality of teaching found at Westminster is able to take its place amongst that available at all our Resource Centres for Learning.

The one thing I forgot to do was to take any photographs to add to my blog so this one is all words!

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