The end of the financial year looms and with it piles of administrative work and relentless challenges for the small church.
This morning I have submitted our application to Social Services for funding for the next 12 months for our lunch club. We already needed an above inflation increase because the coach company with whom we work have had to increase their charges significantly. Then the restaurant with whom we partner announced that they are being forced to close as their lease will not be renewed and we are forced to look elsewhere. Thankfully we have found a possible venue but it is further away and the coach costs will rise again. Will the council - themselves squeezed by the credit crunch - be able to meet our requests? And what do we do if they can't or don't?
Our deacons nominations closed on Sunday and we have no candidates for whom to vote - reducing the diaconate to three after the AGM. Thankfully we have someone willing to stand as treasurer but our retiring secretary has no obvious successor. Is it reasonable to expect three people to carry this amount of responsibility?
Sale of our building now nears completion - contracts have been exchanged and a completion date agreed, but the presence of bats in the attic means that the buyer has to get planning consent for a temporary bat house before he can demolish the building - which needs to happen prior to the birds nesting or the whole project is delayed until the fledglings fly. And all this so that, hopefully, some much needed low cost housing can serve this community.
Yesterday there were only 18 of us at church - most of the others were sick. Each week my "significantly sick or housebound" visiting list grows longer and I am merely grateful most are now in the local cottage hospital rather than the city hospitals.
No wonder, I realise, that I am weary! Not sure what impact this will have on blogging - to some extent it acts as a 'bolt hole' or 'sanity check' in the madness of pastoral life but I also have other commitments - two papers to write for the university and one I offered to write for the BMJ (no, not that BMJ, the Baptist one) and so on. So, if I am 'missing' for a while this is why, and if I'm not this is why too!