Sunday, 29 March 2015

Repairing the roof

As the SE16 website reported on Thursday, St James is to receive £100,000 from the Government's Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund.

This will provide for urgently needed repairs to the roof that will keep our heritage landmark building watertight and secure from the elements for many years to come - so a big thank you to Her Majesty's Government and to everyone at this end who worked hard on the successful application.

This good news came in a week when the church was particularly well used by the community: in addition to Sunday services for St James and Rhema church, there was a wedding blessing, a community choir rehearsal, a meeting of the ladies bible study, a parent and toddler group meeting, a PCC meeting, bellringing practice, a community choir practice, a concert by the Bermondsey and Rotherhithe Choral Society, visits by 15 classes of school children, not to mention the church serving as a temporary refuge for evacuees from the unexploded bomb (a throwback in all kinds of ways to the 1940s, when the church crypt was an air raid shelter during the Blitz).

And while all this was going, with the big west doors wide open, lots of members of the public wandered in, some to pray, some to have a look round.

They were all welcome.

The church is the people, not the building, but buildings have their use. They can be an adornment to their community, as we believe St James's is. And they can be a place of welcome, activity, worship, prayer, and mission. And the good news of this week's grant helps to secure this building for future generations, for the good of the whole local community.

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