Mon 2nd Feb 2015

 Happy New Year! And this is February too - are you allowed to still say it ? So here's what's been happening since I last wrote...

Snow & high winds  in January meant a few community groups had to cancel. We also were asked to be on stand-by as an emergency Centre, but in the event even though there were people stuck at the snow gates, due to lack of communication we weren’t used that night. However we were thanked for being available and since then many more local groups have been checking they can use us in an emergency as well, including the local old folks home. 

Community Groups are back in full swing now.  Eve is multi-tasking as before with adult literacy & English as a Foreign Language, WA lunch is back to high numbers and, as well as the other regulars, a new support group for mental health started up, so the calendar is filling up.

Although the chalet & the apartment have been open for use, with the refurbishment we thought we’d not really have any residential guests in January after being as full as possible with folk celebrating the New Year (with even a wee family ceilidh in the dining room). However local friend Dee booked her family in for her son's funeral and she ended up staying too so they could see as much of each other as possible . Their stay was further extended by the weather, so Dee had her family round her for a good long time and we were glad we could support her at this sad time. We’ve also been able to help a couple from another church with accommodation on their way to another funeral, so it’s good to see how God is using us to support others in difficult times.

The asbestos removal folk came as planned and declared the area clean and so the builders are back and working as fast as they can. It will be finished behind schedule, but with so many groups coming this month, please pray it will be no more than a week late.i.e. that they'll finish by the end of this week. - so far it looks possible! Meanwhile our first residential training group of the year has arrived, fitting into the upstairs bedrooms the flat and the chalet. First comment of the day," I'm in the same room as before, but there's a much better lavvy. You're no moving me." As this is a minister's conference the leader replied, "I thought they were on the road to sanctification" to which someone else quipped - "Well we're going in the right direction - cleanliness is next to Godliness"

As for the garden – it’s been good to hear ideas & promises of support from quite a few folk. We’re getting help from a garden designer from Trellis (therapeutic gardening network), so it’s looking promising and had our first planning meeting a couple of weeks ago. Do ask if you’d like to be involved.

Please pray too for the Trustees meeting tomorrow as they discuss the nest stage of developments - timings and strategies for the new accessible conference room. 

We’re having an auction on Wed 18th Feb at 2pm (viewing Tues 17th 2-6pm) to continue to raise funds for the dining room to be extended, giving us a ground floor conference room with AV and loop. This is a departure from our usual thrift shop as we're focusing on quality items and hoping for generous offers. If you have anything you wish to donate for the auction we’ll take goods from the Monday. We’re pleased to announce we received another £5,000 towards the new conference room in January, but we still have a fair way to go. Do come along and help us to create a space which should prove really useful for our community groups amongst others. If afternoons don't suit you and you'd like to view in the evening and put in a secret bid, do let us know and we'll make arrangements for you.

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