Saturday, 4 February 2012

Frozen Assets

Last evening, standing in our huge barn of a church, trying to get to grips with the music for the next couple of Sundays, plus another brief (very), look at some of the Easter music a strange idea entered my frozen skull.

Is it perhaps because our churches are so cold that attendances are falling off and not for all the reasons currently under the microscope.?

The temperatures in Buckinghamshire are quite often much lower than other parts of what is vaguely described as "the South".  This I imagine is because we are geographically in the middle of the two 'sides' of the country and are often in receipt of the fall-out
from weather fronts from opposing directions.

Sorry, it sounds as though I've swallowed the dictionary.  What I am trying to say is that where the warmer fronts from the West meet the much colder ones from the East is just about where God saw fit to put Aylesbury.

Now I can't really believe he meant us to suffer unduly, just that, as "Eccles" used to say, "Everybody got to be somewhere".

As we struggled to sing through chattering teeth I wondered why, since we have our share of 'well off' folk in this area, no-one has apparently considered writing a cheque (admittedly a huge one), simply for the purpose of heating our blessed barn so that the congregation, and we others might survive the rigours of church attendance in Winter.

I don't believe it is a deliberate punishment but.................


  1. A natural wish, Ray, but sadly I don't see it coming true any time soon. Keeping the roof on and paying our way is hard enough these days. :-( We'll have to go back to wearing the kind of clothes people wore when our churches were first built and were never heated - long skirts and lots of layers of wool....

  2. Our church is quite large and last year they decided to have the main church service in the Parish Centre for the month of January. It's unfortunate that this Sunday we are back in church for what has turned out to be the coldest part of the winter!

  3. bravo to those who endure the cold one simply has to want to be there...and a little warmth would be nice too! kidding aside, God please give these folks some they can sing your word without chattering teeth!

  4. Hmmm, "We'll have to go back to wearing the kind of clothes we wore when our churches were first built"...
    Now that would be really interesting.
    St. Mary's oldest bit goes back to the 12th century and we believe is on the site of an earlier Saxon church.
    I promise not to show photographs on the blog if we decide to act on your suggestion.

  5. Unfortunately Broad, we have no Parish centre, it's St. M's or nothing.

  6. Nice try Theanne, thanks, but I won't hold my breath.

  7. A good many of the older churches here in the U.S. have had to shut their doors due to the cost to update them & the lack of attendance. Makes me wonder what ever happened to the principle of the tithe, when we parishioners stepped up to help (as you've rightly pointed out) with our time, talent and "treasure" (aka money) to ensure the needs of the Body were met. Surely heat falls into that category.

    Thank God spring & summer eventually make their way.

  8. Break out the little rubber bottles en masse.
    I used to go to this early morning cafe cum greengrocers and the proprietor always handed out hot bottles to all his early birds in the thick of winter as we ate our fry up. Unfortunately he was always in the habit of playing Andy Williams-can't have it all I guess.

  9. Our son and his wife moved to Aylesbury last September and he is commenting frequently on how cold it is there, and that was before this cold snap.

    No doubt he notices it more as he was bought up in Twickenham one of the warmest parts of the country.

    Our church has a fairly new heating system but still best to be seated near the heaters, as most of the warmth goes heavenward through the poorly insulated roof. The building is only about 54 years old but insulation was not on the agenda in the 1950s when it was built.

  10. Hi Kathleen.

    I somehow suspect that those of a more 'Godly' disposition than I, feel that one should be prepared to suffer for one's beliefs.
    It is unlikely that warm comfortable churches will ever be high on anyone's agenda.

  11. Hi Constantina. "Break out the little rubber men",
    Hmmm Can you actually see our esteemed Rector handing out hot water bottles to the congregation?
    No, nor me.

    Lovely idea though.

  12. Yes, Aylesbury is definitely colder than Twickenham PixieMum. Of the dozen or so places I've lived it is the coldest without question.
    As for your 'young' church losing its heat through the roof, how about knitting yourself some roof insulation?
    With your needle skills it should only take about 2 years!

  13. I'm for warm meeting places - even if it means meeting somewhere that is not the actual church building. I find it difficult to be holy when I am cold!

  14. Well at least you are one up on me Freda. I find it difficult to be holy anytime.
    Still trying though.