I’m delighted that our Church Meeting in January decided that St.Columba’s should stay open for at least the next year. I thank all who were there for their honesty, careful deliberation and willingness to close the building, but ultimately for their faith that God still has a role for us in this place. Seeking a new future was just as brave a decision as closing would have been.
The reasons to stay were positive ones. We have a role as a Community hub in an area lacking such facilities. Closing would have had a negative impact on the lives of many people as the groups they access would have needed to seek new locations and that may not have been possible for some. In addition, last week I had conversations with two people who would like to start groups at St. Columba’s (and after the meeting I found a text with an idea for a third). In addition, our Church Related Community Work vacancy is being circulated and already we have interest. We would like any CRCW arriving this year to at least begin their ministry at St. Columba’s. Financially, we don’t yet need to close – whilst this year we will need to set a deficit budget due to loss of rental income, we have enough in our reserves to cover that deficit for the next 12 months, as long as there is no extraordinary expenditure.
There is much we will need to do. We need some more active people to come and be part of the congregation, so please encourage anyone who expresses an interest to come and see if they are called to be with us. It would be good to have someone manage the building – if you know someone, speak with them – bring them along. Most of all we need to trust in God’s call upon us, be witnesses to our faith and focus our attention on the things we do well whilst letting some things come to an end.