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Dear Friends,
Many of you are aware of the fire that broke out at Hale Methodist Chapel on Thursday after Easter. Thankfully the children and staff of Greenways Nursery were alerted and managed to evacuate quickly and safely. The damage to the hall roof is extensive and will take several months to repair. The cost is being covered by Methodist Insurance whose representatives visited the site the next day. They then assessed the damage and set in process a re-building programme which is likely to take around nine months during which time the building is deemed unsafe and unusable.

The damage done to the church is heart breaking and it has been very distressing for all those involved however as so often much kindness and goodwill has come out of a bad situation. Many of you prayed for us and prayers have been answered!
Within a week the Greenways Nursery, who meet every week day, have been able to use the nearby Scout Hut with Ofsted permission. Many people locally donated toys, gifts and money to the Nursery and community groups and schools offered other practical help.
The fireman who was first on the scene rang me up this week and said that they had a collection at the fire station and wanted to know where to leave books and toys. He also invited the children to come and visit the station and see the fire engines!
A church in a neighbouring circuit heard the news and with their own nursery closing last year offered to donate all their equipment if required. What good news to pass on to the Nursery!
The Church of England in Hale graciously invited the congregation to join them for services should they wish and the village hall was also made available for worship.
As Rev Chris Blake said in his Meridian TV Interview on the news, we have just celebrated Easter which is all about death and resurrection. It is about new life rising, it is about discovering hope in and through a tragic situation. That has certainly been the case in Hale in recent days and so on their behalf we thank you for your ongoing interest, support and prayers for they have been much appreciated. We give thanks to God for all the positive things that can arise, even when living through difficult circumstances and uncertain times.
Every blessing
Philip

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