By Betsy Everett
As members of Bainbridge Methodist Chapel consider the future of the building which has been its home since 1836, the community continues to mark its anniversaries and celebrate its skills.
On Sunday, May 14, the anniversary service will be held as usual, while downstairs in the schoolroom, well-used by community groups over the years, an exhibition of arts and crafts will be on display.
A craft group for people of all abilities and none, was started by church secretary and former treasurer, Anne Deans, and meets on the last Tuesday of every month from 7pm. Those skilled in everything from tapestry to watercolour painting, embroidery, quilting, crochet and felting, to name but a few, share their knowledge and techniques with each other and anyone who cares to join them.
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The exhibition will feature work by the Revd Janet Park, superintendent of the North Yorkshire Dales Circuit of the Methodist Church, a long-time member of the group. Her cross-stitch golden eagle, swooping and fierce, is referenced with a biblical quotation, from Isaiah: “ But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” It will be a centre piece of the exhibition, and a suitable metaphor for a church whose building may be under threat, but whose congregation is not, and never likely to be, downhearted.
Although the building itself may close – no decision has yet been taken – the congregation will continue to worship, mainly at Sycamore Hall in Bainbridge, at 10.45am on Sundays.
The anniversary service will take place in the chapel on Sunday, May 14, at 3pm, and the preacher will be former BBC journalist and producer, Andrew Fagg.