I would like to thank all who attended our meeting last Wednesday night looking towards the future of our parish. We managed to address everything from the roof of the school to the kitchen sink (in the church basement). I realize everyone couldn’t be there but I was able to inform and receive input from a good variety of parishioners, and I thought I would take this opportunity to share some of that with
Last year the archdiocese asked each parish to do a self-assessment to consider your strengths and weaknesses along with the viability of each parish. We reviewed some of those points as we then looked at our parish facilities to consider what are larger repairs and maintenance that are needed and what other improvements are needed or desired for our facilities in looking towards our future. This last year I have formed a building and facilities committee that has helped to identify and quantify areas of concern, and to also start getting bids and estimates for the bigger items. While this is something we need to be doing constantly, but a particular reason we needed to do it now is the archdiocesan capital campaign called Beyond Sunday (I will talk about this in weeks to come). 40% of all money raised for the campaign is to be used in our parish, so we want to know our needs and our dreams for the future.
Basic areas that were discussed were broken down into different buildings and their needs. The school needs roof repairs and some work done on plaster in spots throughout the building. The rectory roof needs to be replaced. The parking lot can stand some repair and re-coating. And the stone wall along the sidewalk around the church needs some repairs too (including the small wall going into the church parking lot off of Meramec). These were the most expensive items that have been identified and estimates have already been sought, but other items were also discussed that affect our parish and needs for the future.
A variety of items concerning the church basement as a place for meetings and events were mentioned that have come up in the past or were suggested Wednesday night: remodel the basement bathrooms, install a screen and projector for different meetings, replace tables and chairs as needed, some improvements for the kitchen (the sink came up here), some changes to the work/flower sacristy and the bridal room, and to check the speakers throughout the church (there is one area that is an acoustic dead spot we need to address before everyone tries to sit there when I’m preaching). Other questions were also raised and addressed, like some past flooding in the basement of the church we hope is now under control, and I was also inviting for further and future input.
If you have looked around the area, and read the local paper you’ll see that there is just more building being planned with more people coming here for work and to live. I hope we can work together to welcome them into our community, and see the ways in which we can grow as a community of Christ here in Clayton.