Those of you who have been at Kerith for more than six months will know that last summer we made some significant changes to the building.
The first was to improve the whole reception area to make it more welcoming. I love watching Foodbank clients and mums with buggies coming to Sparklers no longer battling with the front doors, or peering through the darkened glass trying to work out if anyone is in the building, but instead being greeted by doors which open as they walk up to them. I love seeing people coming in all through the week leaving food in the Foodbank drop off area, and people who would feel too timid to ask at reception picking up leaflets from the information stand. I love how much more welcoming the new reception desk is, that we no longer have to serve drinks from trestle tables on a Sunday, that we have a toilet which gives people with disabilities dignity and respect, seeing a range of books I'd be happy to recommend to anyone in the resources area and having the new Brook lounge which is finding more and more uses all through the week.
The second change was to move the tech desk from upstairs on the balcony to downstairs at the back of the auditorium, as well as putting in a digital sound desk. This has served the tech guys really well, upped the level of excellence we can deliver on a Sunday and at conferences, and improved the experience for everyone sat in the balcony.
Last year we raised over £200,000 towards the cost of all these changes, leaving £184,000 still to be raised. We were able to get that money as interest free loans from people in our church community, which was great as it means we don't have to pay any interest or bank charges on it. However, those loans need to be repaid over the next 18 months and so we're going to have a series of gift days to raise the money we need. We're going to have these gift days on the last Sunday of every month, starting this Sunday coming up.
I'll give you the loan repayment schedule in another blog, as it seems to have disappeared from my inbox(!), but I do know that the first repayments of £50,000 need to be made by the end of March. Please be thinking and praying about what to give, don't be under pressure about this, and remember that God loves cheerful givers. If you're not around this Sunday, or if it's simpler for you to give online, then you can do that here.
Thanks for reading, and hope you have a great day.