The blogs been a bit quiet since Christmas partly because we are slow starters – it takes us a while to get going when we’ve had a break, but also because we have had to slow down a little in order to hear a lot.

It’s probably helpful to have a bit of background (but not too much – it’s dull!) immerse came into being about 18 months ago when a number of different people, most of whom had some connection in the past, came together. We began to meet in September 2012 in the old Methodist Church building in Kidsgrove (we now call it Kidsgrove Central). This building is not ours, it belongs to the Methodist Church (immerse is part of the Methodist family) and they have been good enough to let us live there rent free and to treat the place as our own.

We’ve had a great time in the last 12 months! We’ve ripped out the pews and made the place more useful, we’ve housed homeless people, a Victorian Market, Craft Fairs, Slimming World and The Tent – our weekly gathering. It is also the space we use for our art installation, coffee bar and helping make the world a better place! Those are just the highlights – in the last 18 months we have been really busy and we have loved it. If you fancy changing the world – we’re the kind of crowd you should be hanging out with!

But there is a big BUT …. A leak has developed in the church that is causing massive damage and during the high winds over Christmas part of the chimney collapsed into the roof causing more damage. That is on top of the costs needed to make the building far more accessible and useful for other things. We are a small community who have managed to get ourselves caught up in the Jesus revolution (if you don’t know what that is – you should) but we have few resources. So we are going to have to make some decisions.

The BUT gets bigger …. We also have some responsibility for The Galley Community Centre which, due to cuts in county council budgets and the difficulty of voluntary groups raising money to pay room hire is also struggling to keep afloat.

The BUT gets even bigger …. It seems likely, though we hope a better solution can be found, that The Daycare Centre in Kidsgrove will close leaving many local adults with learning difficulties without the proper facilities for them and their families to thrive.

If, then, we cannot keep Kidsgrove Central and/or The Galley Centre open, and if The Day Care Centre does close ….. That’s a lot of social capital for one small town to lose in quick succession! The consequences could be really significant for Kidsgrove.

So here is what we are not going to do:

immerse is not giving up on the Jesus revolution – we are in this for the long haul
immerse is not leaving Kidsgrove – this is our home
immerse is not going to put a big thermometer outside the church and tell you how much money we need to save the roof! It’s just not our style.

So what are we going to do?

It’s simple – we are giving February over to a period of listening, discerning, reflecting, figuring out. We are going to create some contemplative prayer spaces where we can spend time …. Thinking! We have a strange notion that there is a God who, rather than shouts at you from a roof top, whispers little things in your ear when you’re thinking about other stuff. So we are going to think and listen out for whispers.

You can come and join us if you like, every Sunday afternoon in February at 3pm at Kidsgrove Central. Or you might have heard a whisper yourself, if so, share it with us, either comment on here or visit our Facebook Page or tweet us @immerseC

We have no idea what the future looks like, but we have a hunch that it’s going to be a crazy ride ….

….. You up for it?

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