For the second time running our Church Meeting in March was sadly inquorate and so, as in February, matters of import to the Church could be discussed but not voted upon, which was a great shame, because there was much on the agenda to be considered.
A meeting with a representative of the Congregational Federation to talk about Safeguarding matters was confirmed (although later sadly postponed by the CF due to circumstances beyond its control) – more on this at a later date. As well as naturally wishing to be compliant with all the most up-to-date requirements as a matter of good practice, having the necessary certifications opens doors to us in so many other areas. There is still a conversation to be had concerning attendances at evening Bible Studies. As with all events, we try to organise these to best suit the convenience of those wishing to attend, mindful of other commitments that members and friends of the Church may have.
Naturally when decisions can’t be taken the old adage of “If things don’t change they stay the same” (or status quo ante to the classicists) dictates that any possible alterations to our established schedules need to be set aside till a later time. The same principle was applied to any possible changes to the timings of our Easter and Christmas services, although in the latter case we do at least have the luxury of being able to defer any deliberations for now.
We will have but one more opportunity to decide whether we would like, as a Church, to organise an event (or events) in early summer to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, as well as the Congregational Federation’s Golden Anniversary. God willing, we will achieve the requisite number of attendees in April to do what needs to be done.
Following these items there were a number of matters to consider concerning the fabric of the church – a possible insurance claim for damage to our guttering, a faulty fire exit mechanism and the expeditious repair of our boiler, as well as a discussion relating to storage space. These are all bread and butter issues which, in the wider scheme of things, may seem a tad trivial but which conspire to form an integral part of the process of managing a Church building – especially an elderly one such as ours.
There was also the small matter of correspondence received. At a member-led Church it is right and proper that all communications sent to us are shared with the membership for due consideration, but the simplicity involved in dispatching an e-mail has brought in its wake a voluminous ingestion of information which, if imparted in its entirety, would require a monthly meeting all of its own. Thus the deacons crave the opportunity to ask members whether they would be prepared to afford the Secretary some discretion as to how much detail is presented at Church Meeting, but alas the lack of a quorum means this question too has to be put at a later date.
Whatever the problems involved in assembling the required number of people to discuss Church business, especially as it becomes warmer and some members depart to far-off lands for the coming months, there are still causes for optimism. Some attendances at morning services have been encouraging and our evening services, whilst still modest, have seen a definite increase. Encouraging some of those who attend regularly and who may satisfy the requirements of Church membership to consider doing so will provide us with a broader squad from which to field a viable team.
Thanks be to God, we have emerged from the ravages of the pandemic pretty much intact, but we each need to be looking at what more we should be doing to help build our numbers in every area of Church fellowship and spread the word of our Lord.