This evening St Mary's Bletchley was converted into a splendid ballroom with round tables and a dance floor. Isla and I joined the Catherils and Solloways for a splendid evening of conversation, dance and food!
It was great to see the building used so creatively (hinting at possibilities for All Saint's Loughton post-reordering). In many ways the building felt more natural as a party venue than it does with rows of chairs facing the front. Perhaps this shouldn't be a surprise since our medieval buildings were never designed to be auditoriums or lecture halls but community hubs with all sorts of activities taking place in different corners. People may be attached to their pews but they do limit and distort the way our buildings are used...
(Having said this I wouldn't want to see all of our pews disappear. There are some buildings where the pews serve a particular purpose - either to preserve a record of our past - or to enable a community to celebrate worship in a particular way...)
This was the second of two balls in support of the Street Light Trust which supports work with street children in the Philippines. Apparently the two evenings raised £5,000 which will make real difference - so well done to all involved!