According to news reports Prime Minister Theresa May is due to trigger article 50, the formal mechanism for starting negotiations for Britain to leave the European Union, on Wednesday 29 March. On the same day Barnet Council Central Planning Committee will trigger something even closer to home for us at St Barnabas: our planning application. The Brexit direction is already set and the triggering of article 50 is simply an inevitable milestone on the journey. However the Barnet planning pronouncement will be both the decision and the triggering of the next stage for us.
All of us will remember pivotal moments of history: the day John Lennon was shot, 9/11, London being awarded the Olympics, Donald Trump’s election. For some of these events you can probably even remember where you were when you heard the news. It is rare that we get advance notice of a momentous happening, as usually such things catch us unprepared and surprised by circumstances shifting in a direction that we didn’t expect. But we already know that on Wednesday 29 March, irrespective of which way the decision goes, something will happen that will profoundly affect the life of the church for the foreseeable future. Just as the outworking of Brexit will change the course of our country, so will the ramifications of our planning decision determine the future of our church.
In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus was preparing himself in prayer for the greatest ordeal of his life. His disciples spent most of his hour of anguish asleep. Finally the moment came. Jesus returned one final time to his disciples: ‘Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come.’
In just over a week’s time, on Wednesday 29 March, the hour will have come.
We are encouraging as many as possible to attend the planning committee on Wednesday 29 March (it is a public meeting where anyone is permitted to come and watch the proceedings) to support our planning application. The meeting starts at 6.30pm at Hendon Town Hall NW4 4BG. Please arrive by 6.15pm as space is limited.