How much training do you think clergy get on buildings, organs, property, Health and Safety? Yes, you’re quite right. Nada. Nothing. Zilch.
So this last year has been a steep learning curve for this little flock-carer who only really wanted to love people and now has to wrestle with much less exciting things in the parish. First there was Health and Safety – and yes, I know we haven’t yet had that extra fire drill. (And on that note, how awful do those big alarm bells look on our walls where lovely icons should hang?)
Fortunately, I have an excellent Property Committee who take care of all the day to day building crises. Before I came the exterior of St Mark’s was cleaned and made watertight. The interior ceiling has just been replastered and repaired leaving a rather fetching patchy effect. (Mind you, the rest of the paint is peeling and about to drop and decapitate some unfortunate wee lamb.) So we had thought that we might have an appeal at St Markstide for redecoration. That was until the boundary wall started to cave in and threaten the lives of innocent passers-by. Then the handrail at the few steps from the side gate started to rot and wobble and the steps are unsafe so the vast amount of complaints have meant that we have had to address this, putting the redecoration further down the list.
Then last week the organ decided not to play some notes so poor Andrew had to leap like a gazelle over to the (out of tune) piano after the Gloria. The organ tuners came in this week and did what they could but sadly yesterday it was worse. Piano again made an appearance – not just out of tune but some notes not playing either. (Do you think this counts are persecution?)
So now we need to find an organ of sorts to hire over Lent. We need to see how much money we have and prioritise it. Aagghh, I hate property issues!