I've been cradling a hot cup of tea in my hands, but I can't warm up. I spent an hour down at the church rearranging things. We've got a very useful extension built behind the church with a meeting room, hallway, cloakroom and large kitchen/meeting room, half of which has been in use as an office for the last three years. It will be cleared just before or after Christmas, however, as a new office has just been built by the Rectory.
For the last few years, we've occasionally held a service in the church room if the weather has been particularly cold, but at the last PCC meeting it was decided to move there altogether during December and January unless there was some reason to expect a congregation of more than 30 or so. So today, I've been setting it up. Of course, it can't all be left in place during the week as the room is used for other purposes too, but the larger pieces of furniture can just be pushed back against the wall.
I don't know how acceptable it'll be for people, I hope they'll like it and not feel it's not 'right' not being in the church. There's a lovely stone arched window and we've set up an altar in front of that, and I'll put the large candlesticks and the cross on the windowsill, with smaller brass candlesticks that I've lent on the altar. We can have coffee in there afterwards or in the hall and, once the office furniture is out, we can use that area of the kitchen.
It's the early 8 o'clock Prayer Book (that is, the traditional 1662 service) Communion tomorrow and the dozen people who come to that will be the ones to test it. If they like it, we're winning.
I rather hope the weather is as cold tomorrow as it has been the past few days. A cold, nearly freezing rain and a sharp wind today. Leaded church windows let in a lot of draughts and the church room will be a lot more comfortable than the main building. Mind you, we're not saving on heating. The village school uses the church a lot at this time of the year as they hold their Christingle service and school play there, so I spent some time setting the time clock for the heating to come on to warm the place. It has to go on 5 or 6 hours in advance of the time it's being used to make it warm enough.
Now I need to do a sign to put on the door to let people know where to go.
Ooh! Weeza, Phil and Zerlina have just arrived!