Tues 24th Feb 2015

We’ve just said goodbye to a huge youth group from the Church of the Nazarene. Having made it a regional weekend away rather than a local, they ended up with over 70 youngsters at the last minute. They’d already booked the youth hostel, but needed more room. Atholl Centre to the rescue. Fortunately we had room from Sat night, the deacons retreat from Central, Dundee,  being only a 24 hour event, so not only could we provide beds for the boys (girls at the Youth hostel), but they were able to eat here all together and have their teaching sessions here and in the church. So they went sledging all day Saturday & turned up wet but high for their meal & evening session (A photo of the pile of sledges is on our Facebook page. Do take a peek to keep up with our news). This was the third youth group to stay this month and we had Baptist ministers and folks in the flat too so it’s been a busy month.

Our ground floor bedrooms are now finished (bar snagging) and are looking good. It was a huge rush at the last minute with several trades all working at the same time. Mistakes were bound to happen - like the shower parts going in the skip :& having to be rescued by eagle eyed David our project supervisor & the carpet layers trying to lay carpet when there was still wet paint on the skirting boards, but they were finished for when we needed them, so God answered our prayers. Thanks for praying. The asbestos removal went smoothly and some things which we feared were dangerous asbestos turned out to be ok and didn't need to be removed, which saved us some money as we didn't have to replace whole walls, just pipe boxes in the end. There was also a bit of a saga with the double glazing as we're in a listed area, but we were allowed to put in high quality PVCu double glazing in the end, so that was another answer to prayer. You’re welcome to come for a tour to see what’s been achieved. God has really blessed us.

 For fundraising we’re now focusing on the new conference room, which, being accessible and having a loop will be a great help to our community groups as well as allowing us to generate extra income to ensure our sustainability. During the week we had our first ever auction. Thanks to everyone who donated items. A disappointing 10 people turned up and we were worried it would be a flop, but God blessed us with a total of £370 from commissions and sales on the day. One person commissioned a painting and just as we were wondering how to get it to her in Dundee she discovered one of her friends would be at the Central Deacons retreat, so it all worked out perfectly. There’s still quite a number of objects left over so we plan to try Ebay. We’re also planning our usual Thrift shop for April so keep an eye out for posters. The new room is going to cost over 100K so please keep on praying.

People have responded really well to the concept of a community garden here and are full of ideas as to how we could use it to bring people together and promote healthy living. However the actual development is coming along more slowly than we would like, so we’re still at the planning stage but a new volunteer, Liz, is going to be attending a Trellis (therapeutic gardening network) conference in March in Perth on our behalf to learn how to help people use it effectively. Please pray for real progress in March as we have a funding deadline at the end of the month. We've also got more funding requests in for this project, so please pray that we have the amount we need to complete the garden, including the sensory area.

We'll be open for B&B in the first 2 weeks of April (5th - 16th), so do get in touch if you fancy an Easter break in Pitlochry.

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