Being fit for God’s purpose
Some of you will have attended Sunday’s presentation about the work currently being undertaken on the church. Peter Lofgren is our resident architect and the master supervisor of the restoration project. In his short 10-minute presentation, Peter outlined the three main areas of the project: the tower together with the chapel, chapel entry and the red doors; the East Window; and the church roof. The East Window work is already complete, as has the removal of the water damaged internal plaster and woodwork in the chapel, the plaster in the turret stairwell and chapel entry and the removal of the red doors. Work is currently underway on the roof capstones and flashings. Work on the tower roof and the weather proofing of the bell chamber windows will soon be underway. The major church roof work involves the replacement of the roof flashings – the copper interfaces that join the roof to the tower walls and the capstones atop both the east and west ends. It’s estimated the work will be completed in the fall.
Buildings are important. They not only house communities, but as in our case they also inspire communities to fulfill their wider mission to the world around them. Communities come to express the beauty and vitality of the buildings that shape them. A building such as ours is an inter-generational expression to the glory of God and all agree that St Martin’s induces a
wow factor – a magnetic effect upon all who enter its doors. As with our architecture, our parish community is also developing a magnetism that is drawing new members to help equip us in the renewal of our mission.
Just after I arrived 5 years ago, we undertook the major restoration of the St Martin window. Why did this happen at this point after many years of watching the window’s slow deterioration? My simple answer is that with the arrival of a new rector, the community felt empowered and emboldened to meet this challenge. Having completed five years, I had been wondering about the next five, and in my conversations with God I asked to be shown the direction and priorities going forward.
What’s been revealed is the need to now tackle the major restoration of tower and roof. Who says God lacks a sense of humor? Ha-ha God! The point I want to make is that going into my sixth year, our community is now ready and empowered to face the restoration challenge which is so much more than about stones and flashings. With the restoration of the building comes the renewal of community in ways that have yet to be fully revealed to us.
The time is now right – the Kairos moment is upon us.
I am excited and confident of our will and capacity to meet the challenge of securing the future of our beautiful church for the next 100 years. I firmly believe that this is God’s pretext for inviting us into an encounter with the new opportunities that will carry us into the next phase of community renewal. As I say, we are a community on a journey. This is a journey to become ever more fit for the purpose God calls us to!
See you on Sunday,