One of the roles that I increasingly have to fulfil as part of the overall Go and Grow strategy is that of communication with people outside of the normal parameters of St Bs. This takes many and various forms. This morning has been a case in point.
I started off the day with an early meeting with our recently appointed communication consultant. We spent an hour and half together to get him up to speed on all the relevant aspects of the project. He is a key player who is going to be in the vanguard of presenting our case to the Barnet planners. His experience quickly showed up my naivety as we thought through how to consult with the large number of interested parties: neighbours, politicians, planners, community groups and so on.
Just a few moments after I had said goodbye to the comms man, there was a phone call to be returned to a concerned neighbour, who felt completely in the dark about what was happening. Despite us sending out letters, inviting people to a consultation evening and giving out information packs, somehow our message hadn't got through. All this lovely woman had heard was various Chinese whispers which she had pieced together to make something far removed from what is really planned. I was able to tell her the real story and hopefully allay some of her fears.
Then I had an appointment to update our area dean. Paul is a longstanding friend and I knew I would be received warmly. He has this uncanny knack of sitting quietly and eliciting a pouring out of my soul that I hadn't quite intended when I first walked through his door. Having fully apprised him of where we had got to, he said he felt that he wanted to bless me. I was moved and felt prompted by the Lord to kneel on the floor. The moment I did so I sensed a powerful touch of the Holy Spirit reverberating through my body the like of which I hadn't felt for years. Paul prayed and blessed and I knew that God was with us.
The next twenty-four hours promises more phone calls and meetings, some with well-wishers and some with those who will need a little more persuading. I think I am going to need that blessing!