So here is a quick up date for those of you who have been following my journey through training into ministry. If you are a regular reader you will know that I was ordained to “Church by the Sea” in January 2009, and immediately was embroiled in various property issues. This came to a head with a devastating quinnquenial property survey in June 2009 which showed the full extent of the building problems. We then started jumping through the various Presbytery hoops to get the release of feasibility study funding ear marked by the General Trustees.
We were still jumping though these hoops in February 2010 when plaster started to fall from the ceiling in the Sanctuary and we had to move into the church hall for worship. By the end of 2010, I concluded we could not meet the criteria set by Presbytery for the release of the feasibility study funding and that the congregation was running out of time.
The tale of 2011 – is one I cannot share – but suffice to say I am angry and disappointed at the path we were forced to take. It was a mess from start to finish and the end result is that I find myself in exactly the position I predicted (back in November 2010) I would be – having to make the decision to close the building.
It was with a very heavy heart, that I submitted a report to my Kirk Session (we are Unitary) last Wednesday 9 November recommending that we close the building on the grounds of health and safety.
Although devastated, the Kirk Session supported me and together we made the decision to close the building. All week day activities and events stop today and Sunday the 20th is likely to be our last Sunday worshipping in our hall. This week will be spent negotiating some alternative options for the short and medium term until the future of our building is decided.
I will write more later… but for the moment your prayers for me and my congregation are much appreciated. You can read the flyer that was issued to the congregation (after our Remembrance Sunday service) on the church website.