Just had a self catering group in from Kingussie for the weekend. They enjoyed attending the church next door on Sunday morning and having the table tennis table up. There were kids everywhere and the church's Sunday Club was very busy - but fun. Last weekend was a ladies fellowship, many of them having come from Africa in the last 5 years, and they were all vegetarian, some even vegan. They really loved the food & said it was the best they had had at any conference centre - lovely vegetarian curry & lasagne - but then Iain had the advantage of the ladies from the Scottish Deli cooking their food. They also appreciated how baby friendly we are, using all our cots at once and happy with all the warm milk etc. we could supply over & above what is normally expected. It's good to see people really enjoying their stay here and leaving with a smile on their faces.
Adult learning has continued to meet every week in various classes during the day and we now have a youth cafe every Thursday night organised by the local council. It's been going quite well so far, although they tried getting a teacher in for street dance classes the last couple of weeks, but it didn't generate enough interest.
The insulation people have been to do the attic of the main building and the cavity walls on the dining room and chalet so that's the process started. It's exciting to be at the beginning of something new, but a bit nail biting as well, trying to make sure all the t's are crossed and the i's dotted for claiming the grants and satisfying all the regulations. Building control have asked for a few more details which the boiler supplier has to give us, so please pray we are able to give them all the information they need in good time.
A funding committee has been set up to help with the 40th anniversary plans. A lot of groundwork still has to be done before any trustfunds can be approached, but following our appeal at the Baptist Assembly we've already had several generous donations. God is good.
We've had snow on the hills and winter is becoming a reality. A bit of an emergency as there was a gas leak at the Centre yesterday. Fortunately it was just a smell - no explosions or anything. The ladies in the kitchen couldn't cook though and we retreated to the office & reception with an electric heater until the gas man declared it all fixed.
The powerpoint presentation at the Assembly went really well & ended with a round of applause. It seems to have put the Centre firmly back on the map again for many people & Iain had a lot of people coming up to him afterwards with good comments.
We've just finished with the craft fair, which was in the dining room for 2 weeks during which we had B & B. We also had a mountain leadership course staying with us for the week who hope to come back again (They particularly commented on the friendly & helpful attitude of staff) and a relaxed disabled group with their carers for an overnight. The weekend was busy with a church weekend from St Devenick's church & there's another church coming this weekend. We're very grateful that our weekend bookings are looking very healthy even in the off season, and the week bookings are beginning to pick up a bit too. We've just designed a double page advert for a schools magazine and are hoping it will yield good results in the coming year.
The Council of Management are meeting today to see what needs to be done to take the Centre forward and particulary to take forward the 40th anniversary plans for developing & upgrading the building. Please pray for all the details & decisions.