The rector writes...
So, we’ve spent a lot of money refurbishing the building; the number of folk visiting the Church has gone up; we’ve made it known that a warm (literally) welcome awaits all those who pop into St Mary’s, Melton Mowbray… and then, when people try the door, we might as well have put up a sign “Sorry, we’re closed!” because it’s locked!
Now, St Mary’s wouldn’t be open at all if it wasn’t for Mike Brown and his wonderful group of volunteers who tirelessly offer to be in the building, welcoming people from near and far who visit the Church Monday to Saturday as tourists, or just wanting a quiet place to sit and reflect or to light a candle in memory of a loved one. Folk visit our Church for a variety of reasons… and how disappointing it is for them if the door is closed and locked.
Now, we’re not daft… we knew the footfall into our beautiful and beautified building would increase… but none of us realised how much or how quickly! One issue we need to sort out in the new year is how we manage the extra bookings our Church is now attracting… we’re not a business and we haven’t got a manager… but we need a more robust system for managing bookings and the logistical challenges that different groups have when their event is actually taking place.
But, back to the other issue… which is at the heart of this article…
“Why isn’t the church open for longer?”
- Well, simply put, we don’t have enough folk to cover the slots!
“Why do you need two people on at a time?”
Because its good practice, and essential from a security and Health and Safety point of view.
“I’d like to help, but what if I can’t manage every week!”
– Well, you don’t have to. You can offer a regular time or different times, a regular slot or an occasional slot.
So, how about making a New Year’s resolution?… to help us make St Mary’s a more welcoming Church, so we can keep the doors open longer and be a real blessing to the people of Melton and our wider Church users? Please have a word with “Church Welcomers” organiser Mike Brown on 01664 563374 or email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Oh, and don’t forget our New Year focus on generous giving. Over Christmas we experienced again God’s amazing generosity in sending us his Son. How can we respond to him? That’s what we’ll be exploring as a team parish in February and March… and we need as many folk as possible at the services and meetings. Dates for your diary:
St. James', Burton Lazars, 11.15 am Sunday, 10th February;
St Mary's, Melton Mowbray, 10am Sunday, 17th February;
St Bartholomew's, Welby, 3pm Sunday, 17th February;
St Mary the Virgin, Thorpe Arnold, 9.45 am Sunday, 24th February;
Sysonby & Freeby tbc.
& a Team meeting for everyone on Saturday. 16th March, 10am – 12noon; venue to be decided.
I do hope you will make every effort to be at the meeting of the church you normally attend, and the Team meeting in March.
And may I wish you a happy & blessed New Year,
The Revd Kevin Ashby