One programme on T.V. that never fails to bring tears to my eyes is DIY SOS. If you've never seen it, be warned! It's presented by a real macho man - Nick Knowles and he introduces the viewers to a family who have difficulties spelt with a capital D. Usually there is a serious health problem with at least one of the children or one of the parents, and the family live in a very unsuitable home which doesn't begin to meet their special needs. Nick Knowles and his team of specialist builders, electricians, designers etc are joined by dozens of local volunteers. The family move out of the house, the workers move in and in 9 days the place is torn apart, rebuilt and furnished to the special requirements of that particular family.
The family come back to a place that they couldn't have imagined. It has been transformed, often with things like a lift, a wet room to accommodate someone in a wheel chair, a special bed and storage for medical equipment and a kitchen where the cooker and other items are at a safe level for a disabled person to use. Those members of the family who are carers are also treated to their own new bedrooms where they can relax and have some 'me' time. The success of the whole operation is based on the response of others to the needs of a family who has experienced such great difficulties in life that are hard for most of us to begin to comprehend.
In a world where examples of genuine love, concern and unselfishness don't often make T.V. news, the programme is heart-warming and encouraging. It shows what can be achieved when people work together for a common goal. It also shows how different people have different gifts which can all be used. In DIY SOS there are often ladies of the neighbourhood supplying all the work team with bacon butties, cupcakes or other similar essentials. Where would we be without them?
In the Benefice just now, we're in that uncertain time called a vacancy or interregnum.
Put simply, we haven't got a Rector. We've got to keep the ship afloat without the captain at the helm! It's not quite a DIY SOS but it is a DIY situation. It means we've got to rally round and each one of us do our bit to make sure that the ship which is the church is kept afloat. This is more than making sure the weekly services are covered, the fabric of the building is maintained, and all the bills are paid. We're very grateful to those people who take on the responsibility for these things but, like the DIY SOS, there are other areas which also need attention.
What could YOU offer to do? You may not be a regular church attender but you do want the church to be there and be available for those times when you need it. Let's be like those willing volunteers on the T.V. programme and get stuck in to the job. It can bring fulfilment, satisfaction in knowing that you've played a part in achieving something worthwhile. It might even be life changing for you and the whole church community - who knows? Give it a try.
God's blessing to you,
Margaret Barr BA (Hons)