I am writing this article four days before the Bishop of Reading comes to open our new premises, so I am trusting that much of it will happen. On reflection, this has been the story of the project from the time when it was first conceived, nearly thirty years ago, and that is how it will develop and grow over the years to come.
If March was a month of steady progress, then April has been more like a Keystone Cops caper, although I am assured that the vehicle was never actually out of control. Nonetheless, it has felt that way sometimes, as queries piled in about details such as what name do we want for each room, where are the plaques going, and who connects up the cooker.
The gas meter did eventually get installed on 6th April and the central heating has been on for over a week now (with no complaints). I am already forgetting what it was like to come into a cold building and am secretly hoping that it is really cold on our first few Sundays back in church, just to see how good the new system is. All those miles of pipes and cables have been tucked away behind neat panels and painted over, and all the loose ends now have something attached, in the right place. It really has been a miracle happening before our very eyes, but, unlike most miracles, we have photographic proof to reinforce our frail memories.
Kitchen fitting started on 14th April and proceeded in fits and starts as we worked out exactly what we wanted, where it would go, and where the holes in the expensive worktop actually had to be. Suffice to say, Ian and Garry and Paul from Wincombe Kitchens, and Roland and Darren from Kingdom Coffee got us there in the end. That is good because a week before opening we appointed Angela Robinson as our Cook/Café Manager and she brings her enthusiasm to the project.
On the funding front, we are still some £30,000 short of our target but we have high hopes that AllChurches Trust and West Berkshire Community Trust will bridge the gap. And don’t forget to pop down to ASDA in Honey End Lane to post your green token – the scheme goes on to the end of May.
In the final week of work, LST brought in both Ian Legg and Dave Lavender to finish off all the myriad items that were left to do. As I have written before, we owe them both a huge vote of thanks, along with Shaun and all the members of our professional team.