Saturday, 11 February 2012


After the dedication a couple of weeks ago, performed by the Archbishop, today was the official open day for our new church hall extension. Finally the general public get a good look inside, although I confess I had had a sneaky look round weeks ago – you just have to know the right people!

The hall has been re-Christened ECHO which stands for Emmanuel Church Hall Outreach. I think it’s a great name and by itself it doesn’t sound too “churchy”. We want it to be a place where the community feels welcome. The building is well used and has kept open during the building work as much as possible.

ECHO was a project that Andrew firmly believed in. He was always of the opinion that the church should have the best facilities possible. Therefore he was keen to be involved with whatever fundraising he could do including organising a fantastic Christmas shopping trip to York. When he died I had no hesitation in saying any money donated in lieu of flowers should go towards the project.

As we wandered around the open spaces today we were invited to suggest a name for each room. I want something to recognise Andrew although he would probably not want any fuss made and think he wasn’t important enough.

It’s a difficult one with so many people being involved in the whole project over many years.  Everyone wants to carve the name of their loved one somewhere, metaphorically speaking of course.  A few faithful church members have died over the past few years and maybe we shouldn’t name rooms after them as it is picking favourites and someone somewhere will get upset and grumble or feel forgotten.

Perhaps we need quirky names that people can find their own meaning for, favourites of mine included The Jubilee Room, The Rainbow Room and The Bus Stop.

OK so the Bus Stop is my own quirky name for the computer room because Andrew drove a bus and that room would be his favourite space complete with a corner to hide behind.

A bus stop is a place of waiting to be taken on a journey. A spot to rest at before undertaking a new direction. Somewhere kids hangout and meet their friends.

Have I convinced you it’s a great name?

Meanwhile I looked up the word ECHO in the dictionary. There are many definitions but the one I like best is “something that evokes memories”.

Whatever we call the rooms we should never forget the past and the contribution of the people who have gone before. But let’s hope we are also creating happy memories to look back on in the future.

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