This feels like the breath before the plunge!
The westend has a lot of energy, people painting, fixing stuff, cleaning and generally getting ready. I love this time of year. We have a prayer team out on Monday and our first summer long worker, Neil from Bristol, arrives this Sunday. Bruce is trapped in Ireland with his Lady friend, he has been there for nearly an extra week because of volcanic ash. It's cool because it's a result for him to spend more time with Christine and get extra refreshed and loved up before the summer.
We have redecorated the prayer room, it still needs one or two finishing touches, but this year we are going to call it "The Chapel" not the prayer room, it's much easier to explain. A word that keeps coming to mind is sanctuary, we really want the chapel to be a place of sanctuary.
In the 1600's hundreds Ibiza was subject to attacks by bands of marauding pirates, the churches adjusted to this by building fortifications so that when the pirates attacked the village could run into the church and hide there as a place of refuge and sanctuary. The church in San Antonio is one of the best examples of this type of architecture. They even had cannons on the roof to fight the pirates off. We want to recapture some of that ancient spirit, the church building as sanctuary, a place of safety, a shelter. Thats our heart for the chapel (the prayer room!) Maybe we should call it the sanctuary, after all a lot of churches call their main auditorium the sanctuary. I think we'll stick with chapel.
Last year we really were a place of sanctuary, we had people who were very down on their luck use the prayer room, many others used it for some quiet reflection, we prayed with people in it, others just sat in there for a while.
In many ways we want it to reflect the heart of God, I love the phrase "a shelter from the storm" this is what we are aiming for with the chapel this summer.