Warden’s blog, stardate 02/11/2020 (Day 229)

Hello to all my friends from St Peter’s and further afield. I hope you are all okay and keeping well. I know a number of people in the community have had a difficult time recently and we do hold them in our prayers. As always, please keep an eye on our website and the Facebook page, also the HPC prayer group page.

The church building is open for prayer from around 9am to 4pm on weekdays and is being used by a good number of people who wish to find peace in the building. The area set aside for prayer seems to be working reasonably well and helps keep the rest of the building safe for our services.

We have had a PCC in the last week, by Zoom, and the business of the church is continuing. One aspect of concern is the financial situation; our expenditure is down during this pandemic as you might expect, but unfortunately so is our income. We are not able to host our normal fundraising events and our visitor numbers are clearly very much reduced meaning that the “pedestal” collections are reduced. We are enormously grateful for those members of the community who have responded to appeals and have increased their own giving. This has helped offset the deficit to a certain extent.

Speaking of giving, we had a huge response with goods donated to the Welcome Centre. I took a full “bootload” to the Welcome Centre warehouse the week after Harvest Festival and I know many people opted to make a financial donation this year instead. They were really appreciative of our generosity and I’d like to add my thanks to that too. Well done all!

The conservator returned on Monday for 3 or 4 days to complete the gilding on the Baldachino. He thinks that the work will be completed during this time; we are hoping that the Baldachino can be re-dedicated soon. I have added some photos for this piece which I hope show the “before and after” condition.

Investigations as to the best way to provide the online live streaming of services is proceeding. We are seeking quotes from different companies regarding the specification and will also need a faculty to have the work done. The timeline for getting this equipment in place isn’t clear, but we are hopeful that it will be earlier rather than later.

Another piece of good news is that we have been granted planning permission by Kirklees for our plans for the north entrance, stairs and lift, new toilet facilities and the changes downstairs in the crypt to provide a kitchen and more useful space for community use. The hard standing, multifunction space outside to the north of the building is also allowed, but some work will need to be done to ensure this is done sympathetically. The concerns of the Civic Society have been noted and we are hoping to have a conversation with them to reassure them about our plans for this space. Kirklees also want to have our input into their development of the rest of St Peter’s Gardens and we will be having a conversation with them in early November. The Vicar, Alan and I are now able to tackle the grant applications which we need to fund the project, but with the permission granted we are in a good position to go ahead with these applications.

So, as you can see, we are as busy as ever, working towards the plans which we feel is where God is leading us. Please pray for all who lead the church in these uncertain and challenging times, and as a community that we shall continue along His path.

A Prayer for those in a difficult situation:

Sovereign God,
the defence of those who trust in you
and the strength of those who suffer:
look with mercy on our affliction
and deliver us through our mighty Saviour Jesus Christ.

And our Prayer for growth:

O God, who alone brings growth to your church,
Send your Holy Spirit to give Vision to our planning,
Wisdom to our actions, And power to our witness.
Help our church to grow in numbers, commitment to you,
And in service to our local community,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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