After several months of diminished turnouts which had quite paralysed our ability to make decisions affecting the Church, it was really gratifying this month not only to achieve a quorum, but to surpass it with some to spare. It was especially nice to welcome Jemima back after her travels, and judging from the numbers present it would appear her popularity runs deep.
Sally updated the meeting on some important work that she is undertaking in respect of weddings and funerals, should we be asked to host them in the future. Ordinarily it would be members or other people associated with our Church that would require the use of our premises for such events, which usually makes the process simpler. But all the same we need a policy for handling enquiries from those outside of our congregation should they arise. It was noted that our practice of making decisions by majority vote of Church Meeting would render it unlikely that we would be able to respond positively to many requests for help, particularly in the case of funerals which need to be organised within a relatively short time frame. We agreed therefore that the deacons be granted the authority to give the go-ahead in such instances where there isn’t time to put it to a meeting. This would be a temporary state of affairs, pending the appointment of a specified authorised person which we expect to be able to make further along the line.
Phil reported some progress on the Church’s insurance claim in respect of our damaged guttering, and all concurred that a preferred contractor would be offered the work following receipt of a competitive quote. Payment would be made to us shortly by the insurance company.
Jeannette continued to provide some helpful and inspirational ideas for bringing our external noticeboards to life, thereby enabling passers-by to be reassured that we remain in business.
It was reported that a recent joint operation between our congregation and our friends and guests at Hosanna to begin clearing vast swathes of foliage from the rear of the building, which had been allowed to reproduce and regenerate unhindered seemingly forever, had been a great success – although more work was needed to complete this unenviable task.
Antony proposed that the chairs which have been situated between alternate pews to help enforce social distancing since our return from lockdown be finally removed, bearing in mind the reduced risk of infection and of serious illness from Covid. Recent encouraging turnouts at morning services had made it difficult for everyone to find somewhere convenient to sit under the current arrangements. This was carried unanimously.
Finally, it was agreed that we would be hosting a fish-and-chip supper to celebrate Harvest on Saturday 24th September, to which all members, regulars, family, friends, guests and in fact any who love our Lord are cordially invited – although names would need to be registered in advance so that we are able to order the requisite quantities of food.
The meeting seemed at one in the view that our recent practice of sitting around the table in the centre of the Hall during coffee mornings and other events, as opposed to gathering in separate, small and exclusive clusters, had encouraged fellowship and created a better atmosphere. This was particularly evident during our recent celebration of Neha’s birthday following a morning service.
Whether we are sharing coffee, birthday cake or innovative ideas in the service of the Church, the ability to communicate clearly with each other and as one team clearly has its benefits. Long may it continue.