A message from Rev’d Stewart about our latest giving challenge:
For some it might seem an obvious need, but I realise others may be asking why we would need to buy new chairs.
Here is the ‘Why’…
As part of our vision to be a church known for its relationships the Parish Council has, for some time now, been exploring the way that our buildings can serve this vision. One of the simplest ways of doing this is to make our site more visible, accessible, identifiable and usable for the building of relationships to draw people in, to engage them with interesting and exciting things and to lead them towards a relationship with Jesus and our church family.
In wider terms the upcoming development is a step towards this goal but as a very small first step we need to be looking at how we use our church auditorium. The original vision for this site saw our auditorium being used regularly for lots of different activities including regular concerts and performances. Sadly, however, in the last 21 years, our biggest available space has become the most under-utilised space. While it is important that a sacred space for worship is set aside, I have always been a strong believer that the more people, more often that you can get to come into a space that is used for worship, the more opportunity you have to build a relationship with them and to hopefully encourage them to, at some stage, try worshipping for themselves.
While our current chairs are quite functional, comfortable and serve the primary purpose of gathered worship very well, they are 21 years old and some are starting to become less stable and in need of repair. The main consideration is however, the difficulty of moving, rearranging and reconfiguring them. I know from personal experience that even to move the chairs in the chapel area places my fragile back at significant risk!
Having lighter, but equally comfortable chairs will allow us to do the following:
- Continue to worship in the way that we have become accustomed to on Sunday and Wednesday mornings.
- Allow for a reconfiguration of chairs for more intimate gatherings for worship, bible studies and other presentations. Groups of 50 or less in the current configuration of seating are somewhat overwhelmed by the space.
- Facilitate a circular shape in the main body of the auditorium which will allow us to trial our new 6pm Thursday service.
- Our foyer area is not big enough for large parish social gatherings; these could either be solely held or overflow into the auditorium.
- The space would become flexible for use by Anglicare and other groups.
- Currently we cannot comfortably seat more than 250 people, the new configuration would allow for an increased capacity for Christmas, Easter and year level services with All Saints, which have in recent years been in excess of 250 people.
I am so privileged to lead a church that is growing in number, but I pray that we might always have a heart for those who are not yet part of our community. The desire of Parish Council is that our church be always ready to welcome new people. This may not be people we have been directly praying for, but will no doubt, be people someone has been praying would connect to church and to Jesus. We are asking our church family to actively pray for people in their lives to come to faith, to connect to church – not just our church, but any church.
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