"A place for us to meet"

When we sang the hymn "Create in us, O Lord, a holy fire", I always used to stumble at the line "A place for us to meet...".

After all, I was singing it in Wales, land of the closed chapel. There is no shortage of places to meet in Wales. And where you can't get a church building then you can easily hire a community hall.

Then I started to get France Mission's prayer news. One feature struck me : all these churches in France struggling to find somewhere to meet. It can't be that hard can it ?

Two conversations from this Sunday. Firstly with the pastor of the Malagasy Lutheran Church that shares our room (they use it am, we pm). "Have you found anywhere for after the time when the centre closes ? No ? We haven't either. We look and look but nothing."

The second conversation gave an indication of how local politics can mess it up, too. A church in our region was meeting in a rather unsuitable building (a kind of prefab, built to last a couple of years) down a lane that was inaccessible by the fire service. They're a church from an authentically French denomination that has existed for centuries.

They let it be known that they were looking for a plot to build a new church on. "You'll never be granted permission for a new build in a new site."

They suggested that they build anew on their existing site. "No way, not there."

They were told that they could renovate their building, but it ends there.


spencec4 said…
Mr. Davey,

My name is Christian Spence, and I am writing from the United States. My grandmother and I were doing some research on the orphanage/convent she was in during World War II. Your page kept coming up. She is soon to be 75 years old and has very intense memories of the convent which we believe to now be a school. When we saw the picture on your blog of the chapel, my grandmother got goose bumps. She remembered being 8 years old and setting up for mass, walking with the nuns and seing homes destroyed with bombs. The name of the convent she is looking for is Pensionnat Jeanne d'Arc couvent de souers de nevers. She is looking to leave pictures for her children and grandchildren and would be very happy to see any modern pictures or old pictures of this place. Last she heard it had turned into a school. Any information would be greatly appreciated. She may also be emailing you. Thanks!

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