Update: January 2017
Further information has now been made public via the United Reformed Church website, including the summary minutes of the extraordinary meeting of the Education & Learning Committee which was called for the purpose of discussing the future of the Windermere Centre. This information, along with several submissions from others, is available at: http://www.urc.org.uk/future-of-the-windermere-centre.html
Update: December 2016
Bungie (Revd. Mitchell Bunting) has been appointed as Transitional Director for the Windermere Centre. Bungie’s task will be to carry out the work asked for by the recent resolution from Mission Council (see below), as well as to oversee the work and direction of the Centre in the meantime.
Additionally, it has been announced that any proposals regarding the future of the Centre must be submitted to the Secretary for Education & Learning by 12th December.
More details available on the United Reformed Church website: http://urc.org.uk/latest-news/2231-new-director-for-the-windermere-centre.html
Following a resolution agreed by Mission Council, the time has come for us as a church to face the challenging question: what’s the point of the Windermere Centre?
As the church begins a period of careful consideration about the future of the Centre, you can be part of things: it’s your place, so how will you use it? Mission Council has committed to continue to support the Centre through the existing arrangements until a final decision is made in May 2017, so now is your chance to make use of the Centre as a resource, and to tell us what you value and what you need going forward.
When we adopted our Pay What You Can policy in 2014, we made a conscious decision to step away from the ‘marketplace’ – to stop selling products only to those people who could afford them – and instead made a commitment to resource the whole church for mission, for as long as we were enabled to do so. As Mission Council has suggested it may be time to draw the current phase of our work to a close, now is your chance to make the most of the resource, and to have your say.
What can you do? Here are four suggestions:
1 – Use the Centre
Think about how the Centre can best resource you and your church in the coming months – and then let us know. Do you need a church weekend together? Or some training on a particular area? Is there someone you know who needs some respite or a retreat? Get in touch with our reception team to let us know what you need, and we will do what we can to make it happen.
2 – Speak out
We have an area of our website specifically for you to share Your Story: if you’d like yours included, please get in touch with Rebecca. Alternatively, you can contact us via social media, or write a letter (contact details below)
3 – Join In
You could consider volunteering at the Centre. We need help with all sorts of things, from looking after guests to gardening to teaching, and it can be a very rewarding experience. If you think you can contribute, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.
4 – Pray
This is a time for discernment, for courage, and for honesty. As the United Reformed Church, we have to face the task of examining what is important and how best to use our resources. The purpose of church itself is mission – God’s work in the world – so it is vital that we invite God into our decisions, and that we dare to step into a future led by the Holy Spirit.
Thank you for all you have put into the Windermere Centre. Our work is to resource the church through hospitality and theological adventure, and we are still here to serve you, until at least May 2017, so please do come and get involved. It’s Your Place!