Yorkshire Synod is pleased to introduce Mrs Jane Bunyan-Murray, who has joined the team this month at Synod Office in the role of Property Officer, working alongside Alastair Forsyth, Synod Secretary. Here she writes a little bit about herself and what she hopes to bring to the role…..
The Church is wherever God’s people are seeking to reach out and touch folk wherever they are —
conveying the Gospel, its joy and its comfort, to challenge, refresh, and excite and inspire.
The Church is wherever God’s people are praising, knowing we’re wanted and loved by our Lord.
The Church is where we as Christ’s followers are trying to live and to share out the good news of God.
Hymn 522 Church Hymnary 4th Edition v 3, 4
Moving on in 2020 – As I am sure you know by now, Sheila Duncan has retired and I have been appointed to the role of Property Officer to Yorkshire Synod- I have no idea how to fill ½ of her pair of shoes, I leave Alastair Forsyth to fill the other one. I am keen not just to be a point of contact with regard to firefighting problems as they arise but also look at how we can move the churches and the property we either own or have in trust for future generations, forward to meet the needs of future generations, while being mindful of our heritage.
There are so many things to think about and I may be coming to this with a new slant! I am a current Elder at St Andrew’s Roundhay URC. I enjoy hillwalking and embroidery I am a guide and brownie leader as well as a trainer for the guide association and have formally worked as an adviser to the DWP. I am keen that our buildings can be used as part of the resource of the church to further God’s Kingdom in terms of both what we do, but also how we do it and to quote Lord Baden Powell to leave nothing behind but foot prints (and then hopefully only small ones.) I’m looking forward to meeting many of you in Dewsbury at Synod on 14/3/2020.
How can we utilise our buildings in a diverse and multi-cultural society to offer a wider range of options for worship, outreach, or community support? Do you need support to consider working with those with disability, supporting the refugees, those with mental health concerns, vulnerable adults or children? Have you got a dream but don’t know where or how to realise it? Is this something that the synod team can help with?
ECO – the buzz word of the moment. In the light of recent storms and floods, are there more ethical and moral steps to reduce the effects of climate change and become more environmentally friendly? Does the Church embrace the principle or is it just focused on the financial cost? What are our options- could they include Solar panels, ground source pumps, sources of greener fuels, biomass boilers to replace worn out ones, when the time comes to replace? Looking at replacing out of date glazing, Or something else?
Everyone can make small changes – we often need to simply stop and think. The Church must surely lead the way and set the example – as it did so successfully with Fair Trade all those years ago. In some churches, what about encouraging the congregation to expect to keep a coat on, on a Sunday morning rather than expecting to wear a t shirt in church during a Yorkshire winter; and turn the heating down a bit! Orders of service, notice sheets, magazines, are they being printed with ethically sourced paper or inks, or sent out electronically? Or encouraging reduction in water use by installing a water meter and/or rainwater harvesting; reducing single use plastic; reducing use of oasis in flower arranging and on floral tributes in graveyards; setting a policy to buy milk from a local milkman and have it delivered in glass bottles, the ideas go on.
And while the world worries about corona virus, (while you might consider having alcohol gel available for use, as well as encouraging good hand hygiene and ensuring that those with a potential illness, including coughs and colds are encouraged to “self-isolate”,) don’t forget practical items like mandatory checks for legionnaires’ disease, PAT testing of electrical equipment, checking fire alarms, smoke and CO detectors, risk assessments, asbestos checks and the church’s quinquennial reports!
The lists are not exhaustive nor are the jobs, but with prayer and God’s support as well as good communication then nothing is insurmountable as we seek to further the work of the Kingdom here in “God’s own county”!
With every good wish and prayers for your ministry.
Jane Bunyan-Murray, Property Officer