The weekend of June 1st/2nd we officially reopened and rededicated the Methodist Chapel in Bedale. And what a weekend it was!
We had been given the vision of a congregation from Bedale and surrounding villages worshipping together in new or renewed premises, and after almost 10 years of praying and planning, following the generous giving of congregation and grant-givers alike, work started last July, and we were able to move back in this June – and wow! What a difference! God was honoured in an amazing way – and we gave thanks to all and the glory to God.
The two previously separate buildings (one of which was accessible only up steps) and now joined, re-configured and totally accessible up steps and slope. The Architects (PPIY of York) have absolutely nailed the brief, and the previous rather dark chapel and hall have been transformed into light and airy bright spaces- whilst still retaining some of the features of the previous age.
4 Large screens in the chapel mean that everyone can see, however the area is set out, and whatever the occasion there. The connectivity flowing from the very large communal foyer enables "flow" throughout the building – the chapel, the hall, the meeting room, the kitchen and toilet facilities. Truly multi-purpose and functional, whilst bright and welcoming too, we are now able to welcome everyone. God and the community can be served from here in new and exciting ways- and worship, leading to service is our reason for being- as it says in the Bible (1JoHn4) "we love because God first loved us". Look for the beautiful artwork that symbolises that in the Foyer.
The re-opening weekend was full of excitement, people, exclamations of delight, wonder and surprise- not to mention a great deal of cake and delicious lunches!
Saturday afternoon included our opening act of worship, which it was my privilege to lead, with the Chair of the District (Rev Leslie Newton) bringing God's word to us. The architect officially handed the building back to us, and some of the many people who had had key roles in bringing this to fruition also took part. The chapel was full to overflowing with people praising God for all that has happened there.
Of course, all of this is the springboard for greater worship, service to others and use by the community. This is not the end, but the end of the beginning of this new phase of mission and service – and we are truly open to where God is leading us next.
Please do come along- have a look round – and see how you fit in to all of this – as we sang last Saturday "All are welcome" – and that means you.
All 3 of the areas can be booked for community use (Chapel, hall and meeting room) we are a Fair Trade, Makaton and Dementia friendly, alcohol free church- and we'd love you to come and be part of what is happening here. May God bless you and yours – .Rev. Kathleen Wood – (Minister)