4.4.06

Mobile church - Jesus Army Life, Day 252

We had our annual Common Purse meeting last night. It went well, no surprises, except that we have to cut down on transport costs a bit. Our general costs are well under £60 per person per week and other income goes on miscellaneouss need and charitable giving.

At White Stone we drive everywhere - I don't mean just down to the local shops, but all over Coventry and beyond - Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays we're picking folk up and dropping them off (we're starting to say that Mondays and Tuesdays are our weekend!) There's a lot more dropping off than picking up but it's a service we like to give to people who otherwise would not be able to make it to our gatherings.

There are four cars and two transport deacons (one does weekends). And sometimes they're organising over 30 people, though only 13 of us live in the house. With about one national gathering a month we're quite a mobile church and we all travel along to those bigger meetings. In the first two decades of the church's existence we often formed convoys up the motorway, as we traveled to some city or other.

I often think of us as a church on wheels - going to where the people are. Our vehicles are usually easy to spot too because of their bright colours, whether serving working girls in the red light district, meeting people on the street in London, or converging upon a particular meeting point.

So, while I'm glad that we're often car-sharing and being apparently environmentally friendly, I'm not sure how we're really going to cut down on costs. I'm not sure advise to 'not pop out so much' is really going to cut it. Each car probably does about 12,000 miles a year.