We have been looking for a venue for our monthly worship for a while. Our first gathering filled our front room, and that with a few people who were unable to come, so we decided to start looking for a new location to meet as soon as possible. On the development, the options were limited.
The retirement village on the development has a lovely large hall will built-in AV and screen. Last week had a helpful conversation with the manager who explained some of the limitations that come with using a facility in a building that caters for elderly and vulnerable people. She also had a chance to listen to exactly where we were coming from. I was relieved to have this face-to-face meeting because until now our communications had been conducted via email or phone calls, and one lost email resulted in a miscommunication. Now we have had a proper chance to meet I feel we understand the needs of each other. She is open to having us meet there subject to some limitations, which are entirely reasonable. We have left the possibility of meeting there open.
At the moment I am leaning towards another venue, the only drawback of which is that it is not on the development. New Duston Free Church have a building about a mile away which is currently unused. They were a thriving church in the 70s and 80s but something in the 90s caused the congregation to disband. There are now only a few of them who meet in someone’s home. Since then the building has been used by a couple of Christian groups, but this has now ceased and it has been almost completely unused since November 2011. They are eager for a new worshipping community to meet there, albeit on a temporary basis until our community centre is built.
It is a nice looking building from the outside, and is more than functional inside. A large carpeted meeting space can be subdivided to create a smaller room for the children. There is also a fairly modern kitchen and toilets. Out the back they have a large building which is a little dilapidated and used to house their children’s work when the Free Church was thriving. This can only now be used for storage. However, behind that there is a large garden than could be useful for games.
The only drawback is the location. Two points on this:
1. The use of this building would only be temporary until the community centre on the development is complete. (A date has now been set for public consultation so we are moving along a little!)
2. So far, most of our networking is via relationships. As we are so community based, we are unlikely to have people simply join us because they saw us as they walk past. More probable is that an existing link has been made and they are responding to an invitation.
Because of this, perhaps a temporary location that is not on the development itself might be ok.
Our core team mums group are going to meet in there on Friday in place of our regular Bible study, to worship and pray and discern whether this might be the right place for us.