Our PCC Discussions
As a church we had “road-tested” this item in both forms over three successive weeks. We now had to decide whether or not to buy it.
We felt the arguments here were strong. Church members had liked the way that the ceremony was right in the centre of the church visible to everyone. Three people could stand comfortably in the pool, and there was almost no water spillage. It was assembled by two people easily, and both filling and emptying the pool presented no problems.
Were we right to spend so much money?
We have already spent £930 hiring three baptisteries. We would pay under £2000 for this baptistery so the financial case seemed strong. It would not take many times of use for the baptistery to pay for itself. We therefore decided it was right to buy it.
The Communion Table
The new table is very different from the old. It is less wide and less high. We took into account the fact that some church members had not liked the new shape. They felt it looked small and cramped. Was there enough room for the vessels, books, cross and candles?
Others felt the light coloured wood was more in harmony with the rest of the church. They felt the new shape was more in keeping with a modern church. It made it much easier to move around on the dais. At 9am this is not an issue, but with four people on the dais at 11am it is a serious issue. We want communion to be distributed in a dignified manner without people needing to squeeze past each other.
So what did we finally decide?
For many people this is not simply about a piece of church furniture. They have a strong attachment to the table on which communion has been celebrated for many years. We don’t intend to lose sight of that.
Equally, it always takes time for us to become accustomed to something new. There is undoubtedly a big difference in shape between the old table and the new one. We intend, therefore, to use the new one for the next few months and then restore the old one for the month of November .
One more reason for waiting
We are in no rush because this is not just a PCC decision. In order to make changes of the kind we are considering, a faculty will be needed. This is a planning application unique to the Church of England. It is designed to ensure that PCCs do not make ill-judged changes to the church building. Removing a communion table is not easy. You cannot simply take it out and sell it on ebay.
To sum up
- We have bought a baptistery using money available in the Church Development Fund.
- We are still exploring the possibility of installing the new table on a permanent basis. But the final decision on that will not be made for some months yet.
- Your PCC members are keen to hear your views. You can see their pictures on the wall near the front door. Please do talk to them.