Keys of the St Peter's Centre

Life is Suite...

The ceiling of the Coffee Room (based on the chancel ceiling)St Peter had two keys - one to the Kingdom of Heaven, one to the Kingdom of Hell. We each have a few more, but only a few - front door, back door, car, shed… Oh, and usually a few found at the back of a drawer - maybe a key from a long forgotten suitcase, a funny shaped one that fitted something very important but now, who knows???, a small stubby one that was for a padlock lost years ago, etc. etc.

Keys really only become important when we haven’t got them immediately to hand, or we have lost them and we then need to replace locks. Bunches of keys have a life of their own - given half a chance, and half an hour to themselves, they move totally unaided to the bottom of my handbag, which then has to be unpacked before I can lay hands to them! How on earth does such a chunky shape worm its way past purse, cheque book, organiser, and all the other "stuff" in there? And keys are always somewhere else when you need them urgently - "But I only put them down a moment ago, and now I’m going to be late…" you know the sort of thing. A bunch of keys is a truly wondrous (and mobile) thing. Keys are now available that answer to a whistle, but I can’t whistle, and I am not going to learn just so that I can find my keys! And imagine the noise here at the St Peter’s Church Office, with all that whistling!

But do spare a moment of pity for Leslie and Armorel. Along with the new St. Peter’s Centre, which is wonderful and marvellous and all things good, come keys, keys, keys and more keys. There are, at the last count, twenty six different keys for different doors! Added to that, there are many different suites, masters and sub masters of keys. Suites for the uninitiated are keys that unlock certain doors, but not others - depending on your status within St Peter’s. One suite will open all the Coffee Room doors, another the front door and the office, etc. And so it goes on - you name it, we have a key for it!

The door to the Coffee RoomI have been privy to many conversations centred around keys over the past few weeks - conversations which would have done a Whitehall farce proud. And farce is the operative word here - we are talking about doors and their opening, doors and their closing, or non opening, or non closing doors. Doors that one person refers to as "Oh you mean the door beside the back door next to that door that doesn’t seem to go anywhere", whilst the other person has always thought of that door as the side garden door! Thus conversations have sometimes been at cross purposes, as the protagonists have mentally relabelled keys and doors, only to have to completely rethink everything by the time of their next conversation. Maybe everyone needs a key to all the keys!

Armorel has been coming into the office with envelopes full of keys - that key is now no longer operative and needs to be replaced by this new one - but the other one in the set still works, but only if there is an R in the month, the moon in on the wane and its Wednesday! A little frisson of added excitement came when one lot of keys for one particular door were found to have been cut wrongly and wouldn’t open anything, and another key had been labelled wrongly and therefore all copies had to be retrieved and re-labelled.

Yes, you are right in thinking that all things new need time to settle - we shall look back on this with a smile and a chuckle! However, at this time, please don’t mention keys of any kind to Leslie or Armorel - talk about the weather, politics, religion, anything, but don’t mention…!

Angela Newton

Read about the dedication of the new Centre.
St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 29th January 1999