“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” Matthew 18:20
In this third article, we look at the impact of the building development on our congregation – both during the temporary relocation of Services, and after returning to the building in the months and years ahead.
Where might our temporary church be located?
It is often said that moving house is the most stressful thing that you can do – it’s not just the worry and disruption to our lives, it’s the uncertainty of the future that comes with it, even if it’s only a temporary move.
There will be many in our congregation for whom Christ Church has been their home for decades. And now, for a period of around 9 months, we’re proposing moving out to a temporary home, probably either Presdales School, or a combination of the Church Centre and Christ Church School hall. These options are the best of the 10 locations that have been investigated by Bob Barker and his team, but both have compromises attached.
At Presdales School, where we have enjoyed several Away Days, some will struggle with travelling there. In the Church Centre/Christ Church School option, lack of space is the issue, because the School Hall cannot accommodate our whole 11 o’clock congregation all together.
And when we return to Christ Church in November 2019, will our home feel very different? Will all of the planning by those of the congregation who are on the various committees, really recreate the sense of holiness and familiarity that are the hallmarks of our magnificent Victorian building?
Those on the Building and Managing Committees have long been discussing and praying about how to help those who may struggle with the temporary arrangements, and those who might feel disaffected by these changes. The Ministry team will do everything possible to support those who feel this way, and we know that Life Groups and our friends in the congregation will naturally help too.
And for many, the temporary relocation of Services opens up a whole new world of experiences for us all, to share and enjoy the experience of worship with the same friends and family, just in a different place. For those who have been to the Away Days at Presdales, or have worshipped in the Church Centre at the many events that are held there, we know that it is more than possible to meet with Jesus when we are there, because our church is the people, and He is with us wherever we meet.
Keep our eyes on the prize
When we return to our main building in November 2019, you will see the lengths to which the Building Committee has planned to retain the best of what makes Christ Church so welcoming now – and to build on this with modern levels of comfort, safety and inclusiveness so that no-one need ever be, or feel excluded.
- For young families with a baby, there will be changing facilities and a quiet room during Services;
- For those with hearing difficulties a new “loop” will be installed with clearer and more balanced sound throughout the Church;
- For those who would like to see pews in the Church, the new chairs will have continuous wooden backs joined together, that are designed specifically to emulate the pews – and they’ll have a book shelf and somewhere for a kneeler to hang;
- For our Funeral Services, the new higher North entrance doors will preserve the dignity of the occasion as the pall-bearers will not struggle when entering the Church;
- For weddings, the new West entrance doors and lobby will make the perfect grand entrance for every bridal party;
- For our more intimate Services when perhaps a Congregation of 20 or 30 would be usual, the Chancel can at last be used fully; and with the new ramp, access for all is guaranteed;
- For our wonderful organ that brings such joy to those hymns that need its gravitas, there won’t be a video screen hanging in front of it all the time;
- And for everyone, won’t it just be nice not to have to wear three layers, a coat and hat during the Service because the heating is down again?
God’s provision for us as a congregation is more than just this wonderful building. Though we all know and share the anxieties that are natural at a time of disruption, we have to keep our eyes focussed on what we’ll celebrate when it’s all finished, when we are once again, back “home”.
Chair, Building and Managing Committees
More information on the Development Project can be found at www.ccwDevelopment.infoTags: Building Project, Magazine