St Peter's Centre - one year on

A number of people who work in the St Peterís Centre, or are closely connected with it, were asked for their thoughts one year after it opened. Here are their (more or less) instant reactions.

  • It is hard to believe people who say the church is in decline when St Peterís offices have moved within ten years from a small room in the Rectory to a splendid purpose-built building.
  • Itís a great gift, but how we use it fully is still to be resolved. It will be good.
  • The ceiling of the Coffee Room (based on the chancel ceiling)Busy, busy, busy, ever busier.
  • I canít imagine life without it.
  • Dear Lord, thank you for fewer stairs up to the office!
  • Wonderful start, but lots of challenges ahead.
  • The windows on the world are still open.
  • A great place to work in, to meet in, to greet in and to eat in!
  • I like it. It has the same keys. (A younger member of the church congregation referring to ceiling designs in the Centre and the chancel.)
  • Very successful, but increasingly difficult to maintain the coffee room service. We need some younger staff.
  • Life is much harder, there are more questions - and more work.
  • As we admire our new building and face the challenges of administering and maintaining it, let us not forget that the churchís primary concern is with people - their lives, their needs and their problems - and the buildings we use are only the background which enable us to carry out our ministry.

The St Peterís Centre lives...

Every time I enter or leave the Centre now, I find myself drawn to the copper coloured four cross keys on the entrance floor, and to the wall plaque which commemorates the evening when Bishop Patrick came and opened the building officially, the evening when his voice wafted intermittently across the ether into the church, where most of us witnessed the event. It seems barely credible that it has been a part of us for more than a year now, doesnít it?

Wednesday seems to be the day I use it most: arriving bleary eyed at 8.00a.m. (when I get up in time) to the early morning Eucharist in the Seminar Room, where we look out over the city as mainly young people of Nottingham begin their daily work. That view is an ever changing one of the city life in which St Peterís joins, and though in the room we are only two or three, we are all the city too. Alternate Wednesdays has been the Pathways to Prayer gathering too, a stubborn survivor from the Lent Group, and another small group, again watching the city life and the changing seasons, seeking God in art therapy, readings, video extracts, poetry and silence. Through these things, for me, St Peterís Centre, and especially "the Upper Room", lives.

Roger Cowell
© St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 26th December 1999