Changes Coming Soon!

Posted by Richard Jones on 26/04/2011 10:33

Dear Friends

As I prepare to go on sabbatical, I write to keep you informed of a few developments that are planned over the next few months in St. John’s whilst Ian leads the church supported by the PCC and Staff Team.

  1. Insulation of Chancel Roof

    Following my letter in January, we continue to actively explore our commitment to reduce heat loss (and utility bills) in our nineteenth century building.  Five companies have been approached to tender for this work but only one have followed through with a quote.  We continue to seek two more quotes before making a decision.

  2. Developments to aid Worship

    2.1              Temporary Removal of First Five Rows of Pews

    To create space and give more flexibility to enable our developing ministry (e.g. “Engage” prayer meeting; “Little Stars” Pre-School; “Cafe Church”; Youth Ministry), following a unanimous decision by the PCC, a temporary faculty has been obtained from the Archdeacon of Warrington to remove the first five rows of pews for no more than twelve months. (A faculty is the official permission required from the Diocese for changes to be made in a church building.)

    After prayer, sixty green/white stackable chairs have been freely donated to the church. These will be located in the church hall so that the existing chairs, having been cleaned, can be transferred to the church. This will enable us, over time, to consider if the adoption of chairs in the church will aid our developing ministry. If so, we may then decide to apply for a permanent faculty and raise funds for new chairs.  The pews will be stored on the stage of the church hall.

    As the 2000 refurbishment of the church intended to proceed in this way, carpet was laid under these pews so their removal will be easy and incur no expenditure

    2.2              Improving Sight Lines & Engagement in Worship

    Recognising the limitations of our nineteenth century building for ministry in the twenty first century, over the last eighteen months, considerable time and effort has been invested in considering how to improve sight lines and engagement in worship. Visits to other churches have been made and audio-visual companies consulted. In faith, the PCC agreed a specification to improve sight lines and made an application for a faculty to the Diocese

    To our surprise the important first stage of the faculty, endorsement by the Diocesan Advisory Council, was agreed.  This encouraged us to continue our research. Recognising the importance of the need, although we do not possess the funds as a church, the PCC took another step of faith and invited three companies to tender for the work and then committed to pray.

    I am humbled to advise that an unsolicited and anonymous gift has been received to fund these improvements in full.  The gift was given specifically to fund this work. Accordingly, an application to complete the faculty has been made.  As a result of this investment, everyone downstairs will be able to see and be drawn more into worship.  Following receipt of this permission, we intend to make the following improvements in the next few months. These are:

    • Raise and extend the existing screen
    • Remove the old projector from its current location
    • Purchase a new projector which will be located on the gallery.  Having tested this projector in daylight, the images are astonishing.  What’s more, blinds will not be required across any window
    • Install two 26” inch monitor screens under each side of the gallery
    • Install one 26” inch monitor screen facing the dais for musicians, singers and those on the dais
    • Install a discrete camera to display images on the screens and allowing the recording of services (e.g. bless families with a recording of their baptism/dedication/wedding; to upload on the church website etc.)

    2.3              Spotlights

    To replace the existing three spotlights positioned on a ceiling beam (the lamps of which frequently break and are expensive to replace), we intend to buy two inexpensive (£80 each) and movable lighting tripods which will be positioned on either side of the gallery.  This will save money and improve lighting options.

    Whilst maintaining our heritage, the PCC believe that these developments help us to be improved stewards of our premises as we seek to share God’s love and grow as a community of disciples. I am humbled and encouraged by answers to prayer as we continue to seek to discern God’s will and step out in faith as I shared at the Annual Church Meeting on April 7th.  As someone once remarked, “God’s work done in God’s way for God’s glory in God’s time will never lack God’s resources.”

    If you have any questions, please do contact me before the end of April or speak to our churchwardens, Diane Edwards and Dave Birch.  Thank you for your commitment to our shared ministry as we live for Christ.

    In His Love Richard, Vicar


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