Hello everyone! This week I have finally made my Christmas cake and some puddings and I have made a gluten free cake for Beth and am now baking some gluten free puddings for Beth as well. It is the cooking which takes longer than the preparation time of the puddings in particular. I love to bake, but I have been overwhelmed recently with the large number of apples we have, as no matter how much cooking I do the number of apples seems to still be there in abundance. Therefore I found it good to do some different baking for Christmas, for which I feel so unprepared.
Life at work has got ever more complicated too, as last week members of staff were dropping like ninepins! On Monday one of our doctors struggled in and somehow managed to do his morning surgery. Fortunately his wife was able to collect him and drive him home, and that was the last we saw of him all week, as he had gastric flu. On Tuesday morning it was extremely icy and I walked gingerly in our car park, as I realised it could be slippery and fortunately got inside with no incident. However our secretary was not so fortunate, as when she arrived shortly after me, her car skidded as she parked, and when she put her foot out of the car it went from under her and she put out her right hand to stop her fall and put her shoulder out briefly. She was shaken when she came in and was more concerned about her hand than her shoulder. The locum doctor had a look at her hand and her shoulder but did not think there was a fracture, but thought it would be better for her to be checked by A&E. I drove her down to the hospital and agreed to collect her when she had been assessed. On my return to work I started to do my work, awaiting a call, but our administrator said that she would collect her and take her home; her husband would collect the car later. I went to do the post and she rang on my mobile, but I missed it; fortunately Joy had her phone on and got the call. The hospital thought that our secretary had dislocated her shoulder, but that it had gone back in place, but there was no fracture. She was sore and shocked but Joy took her home through what had become more treacherous as the fog had thickened; apparently even Carole was not sure of her route home! I am just glad Joy took her home! She was off all week, so I typed a few letters, but I hope she will soon be back, so I can get on with my summarising and coding.
On Thursday another of our doctors who had struggled in as her colleague was ill collapsed herself ill, so we had to find another locum and rearrange appointments again! We were blessed with a delightful locum doctor. I hope she will be feeling better by tomorrow!
I was taking a service at the MHA home on Wednesday morning and Cathy joined us for lunch. Poor Cathy was finding it hard this week as on Thursday it was Joseph’s first birthday and she missed Kate his late mum so much, so we had lunch at Café Culture. She felt at peace there and commented on that fact and I said that it is because it is surrounded by prayers; Graham and Glenda hope that their café can be a spiritual oasis for people and I am sure it is.
On Thursday evening there was a meeting to discuss the future of our chapel. We are losing money from our reserves each year and our congregation is aging, but we have a listed building as a chapel, which means we can do nothing without coming up against red tape. We need a bigger picture to remove the pews and pulpit, but we would have a more flexible building for community use and our worship if we could. We keep on talking round the issues but we make no progress; thousands spent on plans, and an architect, but we have got nowhere. Listed buildings legislation does not allow us to do much without producing copious viable plans and it will not be easy to sell, because it has been listed and that restricts what can be done with the building. Those who list buildings should be willing to contribute to the costs they incur by listing the buildings; we have three listed buildings in our circuit.
However it is not our building which is as important as our fellowship; we are a caring but ageing congregation and as such in a few years we could be further depleted. My previous chapel closed 4 years ago for similar reasons, except that it was not a listed building; it was a warm fellowship, a small local chapel, but it had an aging congregation, so had to close. We were challenged at the Thursday evening meeting as to whether we had got together to pray! The trouble with Methodism is that we are good at having meetings and talking, but perhaps we should change our many business meetings into prayer meetings! I will keep praying for that. After church today there was a meeting of the whole church community to discuss those issues and our feelings about it. Let us make our meetings into prayer meetings so we can find what God wants us to do with our town centre church and our fellowship. This is the day that the Lord has made and I rejoice and am glad in it.