OF BUILDING COMMITTEE
The Building Committee, as set up at the last congregational
meeting met on several occasions, though not always with full membership
present. The first meeting was held in the church. On that occasion
they examined the basement and foundations of the building. Those
who have seen the basement in recent times will agree with the committee
when they say that the cement work is in bad shape. There is a decided
buckle in the east wall and many wide cracks in the other walls.
The floor is cracked and chipped in many places. The little heat
that comes at any time from a pipe-less furnace makes the whole
basement quite unsuited for general use.
There was general agreement right from the start in
the committee that our present establishment is not adequate for
the needs of the congregation. While the church auditorium looks
well with the recent additions of new platform, carpet and pews
it is barely large enough. But quite apart from that the present
building has no accommodation whatever for choir work. Young peoples
(or other mid-week work), then too, there has always been the legitimate
complaint of the Sunday School that their work must be carried on
under the handy-cap of inadequate space.
Faced with these two problems -the bad condition of
the present establishment and its increasing inadequacy -the committee
then dealt with the task of what to do about it.
Repair was the first possibility. The cement work
under the church would have to have a great deal of patching done
to it to hold it together. Were that done then there would still
be the problem of how to make it usable. There was the suggestion
previously made of building rooms in the basement for Sunday School
class rooms. Such rooms however would have to be separately heated"
It is quite unlikely that a fire inspector would permit the building
of such fire traps. A stairway and trap door, the only entrance
and exit in the basement, is not adequate fire escape.
With the basement repaired and rebuilt the upper part
of the building would be the next to receive attention. No one will
deny that new roofing and general paint job are essentials. But
some have suggested that a set of more church-like windows would
add to the appearance of the building.
The committee did not delve into possible assets for
such repair work but they would mount up to quite a sum.
The second possibility, not an alternative to the
first but rather supplementary to it, was an enlargement plan. On
this 'the needs of all the departments of the church would have
to be considered, It would be a simple matter to build a little:
lean-to out back of the church to act as a dressing room for the
choir. However that would not answer the needs of the Sunday School.
For an adequate program in religious education some arrangements
for individual classrooms are essential. A room big enough for this
would have to be considered.
There, too, it has always been a bother, to say the
least, for the ladies to have to serve suppers in the town hall.
In the days before our pipe-less furnace and crumbling basement
it was possible to serve them in the basement but that's out of
the question now. It would not be fair to consider any enlargement
scheme that would not consider this need.
As for the needs for mid-week activity in the church,
no church program is complete which does not seek to connect the
likes of the young people with the church. The whole future of the
church depends on how we can bind the children to her. Now the day
for considering that mid-week activities are not part of Christian
religious education are past. The whole of our lives must be consecrated.
Recreation must be re-creation and to center our recreation in the
church is to give it the Christian influence. Any plans then for
enlargement therefore must take this into consideration.
Into the matter of enlargement there also comes the
consideration of adequate seating accommodation for all services.
It is quite impossible, for obvious reasons, for our congregation
to offer our building for church conferences. Not only are we definitely
limited so far as seating capacity is concerned, discussion groups,
which are always a part of conferences, are impossible in a church
auditorium. Besides that the present seating capacity of the church
auditorium is barely adequate. Really we're at the point where,
if all members came out at one time we would have to restrict all
but 15 of our adherents and forbid any children to attend. Now it's
true we can look back to the days when you could count the attendance
on one or both hands. But are we going to "look forward"
to such days? Or do nothing to be able to meet better days.
All this is said about the problem of enlarging the
present building. The real question is how could that be done so
that we'd have something that looked like a church and wouldn't
be just an old building with a few lean-tos.
Actually that baffled the Building Committee so much
so that they spent most of their time considering an entirely new
Now this may sound ambitious -it is! So what! Is it
not true that "without a vision the people perish?" "If
you want to expect great things from God you must be willing to
attempt great things for Him."
Attached here to is the plan the committee has been
thinking of Its adoption as an objective for this congregation depends
of course upon the whole 'congregation. It is offered as something
which the committee figures will answer all the needs of the church.