I have been asked several times lately if I have a liturgy for the closure of a church building. In many traditions the prayer of closing a building is described as reconsecrating – in the Presbyterian tradition we only commission a building for a purpose and decommission it when the time comes for it to be moved on.
This does seem to be a season of moving on. The decline of many traditional expressions of church life has led to the letting go of church buildings. Continue reading
Malcolm leading the crowd
Malcs warming up!
It was great having Malcolm playing at our breakfast Gathering on Sunday morning. We had a full hall with many people joining alongside the usual group. Malcolm was witty, thoughtful, and moving and he played and sang well. Awesome!
Rainbow at St Stephen’s
There was even a rainbow to greet the concert-goers!
The last piece of work an hour before the machine was trucked out and off to its next destruction exercise. Peace at last!
We begin a consultation and discernment process for what is next in June. The journey continues!
A BIG TICK to the crew from Southern Demolition Ltd. They were respectful, efficient, fun to be around and very accommodating.
The site is almost empty with the foundations being ripped up today and broken concrete trucked away. The three hours of giant pneumatic drill from 7am-10am was a bit of a trial for us, cats, god and wider neighbourhood! They anticipate being completely off the site by Friday.
crosses at St Stephen’s
There is not much left of the St Stephen’s Church building where I work… even the wooden cross up the front of the chancel (remains pictured above and on earlier blogs) has been removed and is currently stored in the front porch-way at our house. Yet from the rafters today a cross hung – and around it through a combination of shadows other crosses appeared around it.
I am reminded of quote, part of which St Stephen’s has inscribed on a small plaque and was rescued from the building ahead of the demolition written by George MacLeod of Iona:
George MacLeod on Where Jesus Died
Only One Way Left (The Iona Community: 1956), p. 38.
The cross must be raised again at the centre of the marketplace as well as on the steeple of the church. I am claiming that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves; on the town garbage heap, at a crossroads so cosmopolitan they had to write His title in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. At the kind of place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble, because that is where He died and that is what he died about and that is where church-people ought to be and what church-people should be about.
There is not much left now – the street-frontage has been left in order for the crew to salvage the cross and words on the outside and the foundation stone on the side.
Friday was a quieter day with the monster machine only used to shift piles of material in order for the trucks to come in and take it away. It is anticipated that the final demolition of the walls will take place on Monday.
view from across the moat at Frances & John Warren’s place
The tower has been removed today… the taking off the top was quite spectacular. Just before I photographed what follows a chap popped up and removed the distinctive wind vane for us to store.
The signs are there that most of it will be down today. The crew let me on site just a few minutes ago to capture these last images.