The Electric Church – or how to prevent your Church going "pooff!"

Last week’s 5-yearly Electrical Inspection raised some major issues, which need to be resolved now – the lack of power and the resultant trailing electrical leads around the edge, the improper fire exit signage and the fact that most of the power is not fixed to the wall all meant that I had to call the Archdeacon and get his permission to get the stuff done urgently, and mop it up later in the next faculty application.

Most of this work was planned for the forthcoming faculty, but this brings it forward. So today I sit surrounded by men monkeying around with wires and drills and clips. Some of the work is still temporary – making safe whilst still waiting for the faculty work to complete the job properly. For example, we have re-routed the power and data cable to the altar underneath the floorboards: ultimately I want a drop box there underneath a flush plate so I can connect power and composite video directly, but for now, it simply rises from the floor. Similarly, we have had a small spur put at the back by the AV desk to remove a long extension cable which apparantly had 14 devices hanging of it. A double socket will halve that load, and is a safety stopgap until I can get 5 double sockets sited at the back, along with other power sockets in all quadrants of the church.

I am still working on my faculty, and need to do some more on underfloor heating. Do you know a church which has done this, and can anyone recommend a supplier I can talk to? The report from my heating engineer is still outstanding, and I hope it will contain specifications, then I can get my architect to do some drawings. He is a good man to us, and doesn’t incur cost for us regularly, fitting us in when he can, but now I have a purpose, and I need that work to do the faculty application properly. Faculty applications are frustrating, and it feels like it will take a decade to get this package even submitted.

We are slowly bringing this Church into the 21st Century. The Church is a tool for mission, a statement of faith and a mechanism for bringing people closer to God. The building is not the Church: it must not be the entire focus of our Church lives, its primary drain on resources and it must be flexible enough to meet the wide and varied needs of the real church: the people of God. I sense that we are making this building into something of that, and by the end of this looooonnnngggg process we will have a Church building and a Church Militant that will truely glorify God.

…and then I need to rebuild my Church Hall in the grounds of the Church!

On another matter…

Top post of the day comes from Michael the InternetMonk – where he combines commentary on the current fiscal climate with a stark criticism of the (American) Evangelical movement. Although I accept that I can be very critical at times of my Evangelical colleagues, I am not smug: I can see that this criticism also fits the wider church in many ways, and it is a timely reminder of what we all should be on our guard against.