You may have noticed scaffolding around the church early in the year. Then it came down and you would be forgiven for thinking that whatever was wrong had been fixed. Sadly – no. The scaffolding was to investigate why the roof was leaking and the result was that it has been badly damaged, there may be more damage that cannot be assessed yet and anyway, the whole pitched roof needs replacing – a huge job and horribly expensive.
That is going to cause lots of disruption and expense and currently we have little money to put towards it. Are we going to reduce our expectations – NO – we are going to increase them. We want to serve the community and people of Woodingdean more and we trust God to make it all possible. Let's renew the kitchen and make it safe to hold cookery classes and cater for events again. Let's pull down some of the old garden wall and open up the space for a community garden. Let's make the outdoor space a haven for people and wildlife alike.
Let's make the building more sustainable with LED lighting, state of the art sound and vision, solar panels and a wind turbine. Let's rearrange the space and storage so more can be done by anyone with the skills and vision – concerts, exhibitions, conferences, things not yet dreamt of.
Having somewhere to gather together to worship God is important for Christians and this building is the result of the vision, efforts and skill of faithful people in the 60s – not really so long ago. A place to celebrate marriages, baptisms and funerals is also important even though other venues are now available.
The church is open every day now and we are sometimes astonished at the number of people who just come in – some for prayer, some for peace and quiet, some for a hot drink, to use the loo, to play with their children, to wait for a bus, to read a book, to find someone to talk to and plenty of other reasons.
The hall is also a valuable space for the community – for the Food Hub, social gatherings, dance classes, parties, reminiscence group, guides and brownies, groups of every kind. Where else could those happen? Woodingdean has a limited number of rooms and halls that can be used by the public.
We can apply for funding from several grant funds but we want to do so much more. Woodingdean suffered badly during the pandemic and the Parish Church wants to play a part in rebuilding our wonderful community, especially as Covid19 is very much still with us. So the events and groups returning have to be cautious and carefully managed. Those who might not normally turn to a church for help need to be reassured that we are inclusive and a safe place to be. We will be hosting all manner of events in the coming months - all of them hoping to lift morale, increase community spirit and offer practical and spiritual help where requested. Hopefully. they will help to raise funds too. Watch out on the home page and on the upcoming events page for more details.
Those three thoughts have been the driving inspiration behind the title of the renovation, repair and renewal project.
Please join in.