I'd intended this blog to be an account of a quiet lunch time in church where the sweetly scented stock was filling the building with a heady perfume!
During my time in the Saint Nicholas' a couple of folk came in for a bit of space ... and maybe a refuge from the strong winds! I'd already picked up one of our bins that had blown round the car park ... some of the rubbish is still blowing in the bushes but it was too cold and wet to do a thorough job at that stage. If it is a bit calmer in the morning Eliot can give me a hand to round up some more!365Project picture changed!
Thankfully a very alert young parishioner who was at home doing revision (at least, I assume that's what she was doing) spotted the problem and telephoned me. Her prompt action more than likely saved us from a great deal of secondary damage.
About a quarter of the roof had blown off the Youth Centre! It had then blown right across the grassy area to the boundary fence. At that stage there was nothing I could do but soon afterwards managed to make contact with the Glebewarden and he and another parishioner turned up to get things sorted.
When I arrived they were already watching the work team ... from the Fire and Rescue Service!!!
The lads from the Fire Station had come round to help and were clambering all over the roof tacking down bits of rescued felt and having a great time!
All this work was done in a howling gale without any sense of us being a nuisance. The Fire Service have come to our rescue on a number of occasions. Last Christmas season it was their pump that sucked out the flood water from the below ground level boiler house. It is to them that we look for help when we need heavy objects moved! Maybe it is a break in routine for them and provides an interesting diversion ... but we certainly appreciate the help we receive.
Eliot was in his element! A vehicle to round up ... and a large one at that! Right now he's fast asleep from exhaustion as he did many laps around the engine.
The temporary repair job is a strong blue tarpaulin weighed down with anything that we could find lying about the grounds - great lumps of concrete, metal pipes, cement blocks .... it is tied on with an extra line around it so that any movement in the wind is kept to a minimum. Hopefully there'll be only a few more hours of this and then the gusts will have gone so that repair work can begin.
As the work was finishing I managed to get the dog back on a lead as his presence running round the Fire Engine wouldn't be appreciated as they negotiated the narrow entrance to our property. The Park is quite narrow and gives very little space for negotiating such a long vehicle ... and this is frequently made much worse by people parking on the roadside. To park there is, at present, perfectly legal ... but some show little consideration for cars or fire engines that need to move in and out of gateways.
We're going to see if it might be possible to have a double yellow line painted along part of the road near the two entrances ... it's worth trying.
So, another day draws in. The rain is heavy and the wind still very strong. But I'm thankful. Thankful for a good visit this morning, a quiet hour in church, the perfume of sweet scented stock, a beautiful private sacrament of Holy Communion. Thankful too for an alert young person and parishioners who were ready to drop all and make phone calls and see what could be done. And filled with gratitude for the men of the Fire and Rescue Service who so cheerfully did a temporary repair for us. And, I'm thankful for my daft mutt of a dog who drives me to distraction and fills my days with fun!
Guard us, O Lord, with the shield of faith
and fight for us with the sword of the Spirit,
that in all our spiritual warfare
against the powers of darkness
we may gain the victory
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Celebrating Common Prayer