Lightning strikes - but the work continues
Baptist church once rebuilt after a fire is now damaged in a storm, but there is much to celebrate, writes Martin Light
Ten years ago Ryde Baptist Church reopened its doors as a community centre in the heart of Ryde.
This followed a fire and a major rebuilding of the premises that created a cafe space downstairs and several meeting rooms, including the Upper Room on a new floor where the church worshipped on Sundays.
But as we were looking forward to our Anniversary weekend, on 18 September a massive lightning strike hit the area. The telephone cabling was destroyed and much electrical equipment, like the fire alarm system and the air conditioning, will have to be replaced.
Repairs to the tower had only just been completed but the scaffolding will have to go back up again to replace windows and bricks knocked out by the blast. Baptist Insurance has been most helpful and repairs are well under way, but the bill will be well over £10,000 and getting matters sorted takes time!
However, even the Bridge club that was meeting at the time continued its matches, and the cafe was able to stay open.
The Anniversary service was conducted by the Revd Jeff Taylor, who was minister at Ryde 40 years ago.
As Jeff has recently returned from India, we combined the service with our Harvest Thanksgiving, and Jeff spoke on the theme of Celebration. We have much to celebrate over the last ten years, as we have seen God at work through the building.
Girls' Brigade continues to flourish, we have a toddler group, Hopscotch, we are home to Street Pastors and other organisations use the premises. We have seen volunteers helped back into work and above all lives newly given to Christ.
Martin Light is the secretary of Ryde Baptist Church