If you are reading this newsletter in Church fresh off the presses, that is on the last Sunday of January, then you will be reminded during Notices that Church Meeting this month will be taking place after Sunday morning service, rather than on the usual Wednesday evening. This will be the first of three monthly meetings to be held on Sundays, the last being in March. After that we will presumably take stock, weigh up the pluses and minuses, and decide whether or not to continue with this arrangement into the spring and summer.
It wasn’t an easy or straightforward decision to make. Members proposing the change were not unreasonably daunted by the thought of venturing out into the dark and cold winter nights, and there are others whose work schedules prevent them from attending, or at least from attending on time, on Wednesday evenings. Conversely there were a number of logistical objections to switching to Sundays after Church, as well as the fact that this might itself exclude key members who are available on Wednesdays. It’s at times like this that we just have to run with the greatest number, pat ourselves on the back if it works and learn from our mistakes if it doesn’t.
Perhaps more important than the when and the how is what actually happens at Church Meeting. It is here that decisions are taken which determine how the Church functions on a day to day basis. This is why we are always keen that all our members should attend whenever possible, and that others within the congregation who presently are not Church Members should consider whether they themselves might be willing to take on the commitment of becoming such.
We have had a number of enquiries, some tentative and others more concrete, about the possibility of hiring our hall. One of the concerns which was expressed at our last Church Meeting was the state of our finances, which to employ social media parlance are “trending down”. Letting out our hall would be one means through which we might hope to reverse this process, but applications must be appropriate to the size and nature of our property, and organised its around current usage.
Repairs too have to be undertaken from time to time, especially when one considers that ours is old building. Structures, like people, are increasingly prone to wear and tear as the years roll on, and we need to be able to deal with problems when they arise.
Once again the issue of declining membership and congregations is never far from our minds, or from our discussions. We all need to put our heads together to work out how we are going to meet the challenge that this poses going forward, so please give some prayerful thought as to how your own contribution might help.