On Palm Sunday, we joined Stones Methodists for Communion before processing down the hill (in the rain) behind the cross, to finish the service at St Bart’s. A well-attended workshop for local school children took place on Good Friday in the community centre and church was busy on Easter Sunday with many visitors. The 100 club was drawn and the results were: 1. 34 S Spencer. 2. 22 J Hotson, 3. 8 J Wood.
We are getting used to the extra space now that the reordering of the west end of church has begun and some pews have been removed. In just a few weeks we hope to have long-awaited toilets, a kitchen and a new choir vestry after so many years of fund-raising. In the meantime, services (with just one exception when we had to de-camp to St John’s Rishworth as there was no heating) carry on as usual, including weddings and funerals. A clean-up team from the congregation goes in at the end of each week after the builders have left, to prepare church for the weekend services.
What we couldn’t have anticipated in Holy Week was fast flowing water cascading from a burst culvert outside the community centre in the early hours of Tuesday 31 March. Luckily for us, the builders were on site first thing in the morning and immediately blocked off the path to the west of the church as the wall below the path had collapsed into the river. The builders also kindly cleared up all the mud which had swept down the church path. After their Easter holiday, Ripponden Preschool helped to clear the remaining debris from the church car park. We are indebted to them all.
By the time Natalie and Ben’s wedding was held just a few days later, there was no sign of the chaos around the church entrance of the previous week!