Bagpuss - a 'watch with mother' programme that aired at a point in my life when I was 'too old and too young' to appreciate it. Emily was a girl who lived in a curio shop where various ornamental and toy animals would come to life and repair random things she brought to the shop. Central to this was Bagpuss, who was "just an old, saggy, cloth cat, baggy, and a bit loose at the seams... but Emily loved him."
This morning, arriving at church, I paused and snapped a few photos of the building as the darkness gave way to morning light. I realised in that moment that, whilst I have almost no sense of place attachment (as well, since almost every signficant building in my life has been demolished over the years) that I love this place, this old, tatty, Victorian barn, shabby and decidedly frayed around the edges.
In a few short weeks, we will have cleared and packed, given thanks for the past and expressed hope for the future, as we enter a period of 'tabernacling' whislt our building is transformed inside and out to become a beautiful, state of the art, centre for worship and witness ... maybe Professor Yaffle and the mice from the mouse organ are embodied in developers and trades who will achieve this for us.
Still not quite at the point of signing on the dotted line, and definitely not counting any chickens, but it is now just about possible to glimpse the future for which this congregation has been waiting for at twice as long as I've been here.