Was the new church building in Penketh ready for Easter?

You may remember this building project.

I have written before about our new community church building  at St Paul’s Penketh. Local people often ask what’s going on. The building looks ready from the outside, but noone seems to be using it. At Easter it looked people were using it, as this picture suggests, but that could have misled you.

A service at the new St Paul's building
A service at the new St Paul’s building
Are we using the building now?

Here’s the full story, part of which appeared in the Warrington Guardian on the 12th of April.

Members and friends of St Pauls Penketh who met outside the new community church base for a short service on Easter Sunday were excited to worship God in the open air on this pleasant Spring morning, although all are looking forward to using the new building, when the interior is finished. In the meantime, services continue in the Oaks Centre on Stocks Lane.

Kieran Layfield, of the church’s building group says, “In the last few months a lot of progress has been made. The builders, Harry Fairclough Ltd, have been dealing with some outstanding items, and various local contractors and volunteers have completed the electrical installations to the smaller rooms, the external lighting, security and fire alarms, as well as plastering and painting internal walls.”

Concerning the next stage, he adds, “We’re about to be working on the ceilings and lighting in the corridors and foyer, and on installing the toilets. The garden will also be looking very different soon.”

The large metal cross on the front wall was a gift from a family with connections to St Pauls. Many people were pleased it was in place in time for Easter.

Is the building only for churchgoers?

Team Vicar, Sarah Peppiatt, says, “We will welcome ideas from community groups for how the building can best meet their needs when it is finished. Churches have always served many functions, as part of their purpose in serving God in the World.”

What about the money?

The church treasurer, Denis Bamber, comments, “Although many people have given generously, we still a need a further £90,000 if this church is to be completed to the standard appropriate to the twenty first century.”

Donations can be made via this link  https://www.give.net/stpaulspenketh.

More information is available at http://www.stpaulspenketh.org.uk/index.php/pages/new_building/category/new_building/





Depression: what’s the best way to beat it? Can you just reject it?

I almost fell into a depression.

Recently, I have kept feeling I was heading into a depression. You might think it shouldn’t happen to me, since  I have written several articles about happiness. Here is a summary. I do try to follow my own advice most of the time, but I did say that we all have our ups and downs. Anyway, just as a doctor can be ill, anyone can get depressed.

What caused my depression?

It began when I had an attack of asthma, a few weeks ago. The weather has not helped. Even before this cold spell, I found some of the very dark days depressing. Then my computer packed in. I sent it away and got it back fixed, but they had set it as at Day One. In other words, I had lost all my data. No problem! I had taken a backup.  But I had also lost most of my software. I needed to reinstall everything.

That’s no reason to go into a depression!

That’s what I thought, but nothing went smoothly. I spent all day, every day, for a couple of weeks, phoning helpdesks, or trying to. Some companies are reluctant to give phone numbers. They expect you to be able sort everything via their online support set-up. Great when it works! Some phone helpdesks were more helpful than others. I got so fed up. I have still not got back to where I was before, but nearly.

Do computer problems lead to depression?

Not for everyone. Not always for me. I like using computers, but I am not an expert. I need to have instructions to follow. Above all, I want to spend my time writing, blogging or doing what I consider useful, instead of getting tied up in the process for ages. This went on so long. In the middle of all that, I lost my mobile phone. I got a replacement very quickly and was able to keep the same number. I thought it was OK. Then I found I could not activate the new simcard. It took several attempts and advice from a helpful local phone shop, before I got it sorted. I must say that one helpdesk that was very helpful was my phone supplier: the Utility Warehouse. You always get to speaking to a person, not a recorded message.

Did that add up to depression?

No one thing was causing my depression: everything seemed to conspire to get at me. I became so conscious of all the things that were going wrong that I began to not notice when anything went well. I kept feeling myself going down and I was worried at one time that I was heading for a clinical depression. Every time, I just managed to pull back from the edge.

How did I avoid depression?

The most important thing, I think, was that I saw it coming. When I could hear a voice in my head saying ‘I’m so unhappy’ or ‘I can’t tell you how bad I feel’, and noticed that I was getting negative about everything, what did I do? I made a conscious decision to stay out of depression and kept saying back to myself ‘it’s not that bad’ and ‘I’m making progress with this IT stuff’. In addition, I kept reminding myself Spring will be coming. I also kept saying that all my problems will pass.

Masks of happiness and depression: don't hide it - deal with it!
Masks of happiness and depression: don’t hide it – deal with it!
Did my faith help beat depression?

For me, that was a part of the answer. It gave me something positive to focus on. And I prayed, not only prayer for things to get better, but also for my attitude to stay positive. This is probably a help only if you have faith to start with. Probably. I don’t know. Try it and see. I have written before about the link between faith and happiness.

Faith and doubt: do they affect depression?
Faith and doubt: do they affect depression?
Have I got the magic bullet to beating depression?

No! I agree with a recent article in The Guardian which said there are lots of ways people fight depression, including counselling and medication. All work sometimes for some people. Don’t reject any, but don’t rely on any one method every time.