This is the first letter of 2014, so I would like to begin with wishing you a Happy New Year.
This is a very significant month in the life of the community in Stanley. As you will see elsewhere, it is the month when the old church building will begin to be dismantled. It will be a great loss to the sky line of the village and many people have fond memories of special occasions celebrated there. We are inviting people to a service to commemorate the building on 9th February at 3pm.
We have been very encouraged by the support and help as we are planning a legacy for the site of the old building. We are determined that there will continue to be a sacred space where people can come just to sit quietly or to pray. We are commissioning Groundworks to take the ideas that have come from the community and turn them into a workable plan. This will need to take account of ongoing maintenance as well as making it a safe place to be.
As the plans develop we will have consultation days to enable people to give their responses. As well as coming up with inspired designs, we will also need the resources to put them into practice. Already people have been offering to contribute, either their time and skills, or by offering funds. The more we can work together to put the plans into place, the more it will be a genuine community project that will be sustainable and we can be proud of. Let us know if you would like to help.
Looking to the future, there is the opportunity and challenge to continue to develop a place of worship in Stanley. From the outside, architecturally, the church centre is clearly a school. We are looking for ways to transform its identity so that it is clearly a place of Christian worship as well as a place to serve the community in other ways. We have commissioned an architect, Liz Ashmore, and a liturgical consultant, Revd Richard Giles, to help with this. We would also welcome ideas from the village, so if you feel inspired, please get in touch.
Rev Bill Henderson