This is the first magazine of 2015, so I would like to begin with wishing you a Happy New Year.
This time last year I was writing about the imminent dismantling of the old church building, and inviting people to a service that we held to commemorate its place in the community. We had a really good turn out, so thank you to those who supported that, and came to tea at the Centre afterwards. It was a moving service and I was encouraged by the number of people who came
We are determined that the old site will continue to be a sacred space where people can come to sit, reflect or pray. We are working with Groundworks to take the ideas that have come from the community and turn them into a workable plan to include the War Memorial and an attractive seating area. We are now looking for funding to take the plans forward. People have been offering to contribute, either with funds or with time and skills. 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.
With the old building gone, there is the opportunity and challenge to continue to develop a place of worship in Stanley that people will want to use for the important occasions in life when people naturally turn to the church: weddings, baptisms and funerals. The place we are seeking to develop is the old nursery building we are using now. From the outside, architecturally it 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.
The council have kindly agreed for an Asset Transfer of the building to us for 25 years. If we are going to do major work on it, it would be helpful to have a longer lease, and we are in discussions about that now. Please pray that they will be successful. We would welcome ideas from the village, so if you feel inspired, please get in touch.
Rev Bill Henderson