I have been following the correspondence about May Street church in Belfast with interest.
I belong to a similiar church which has large buildings and a small congregation.
I applaud those in May Street for their vision in bringing the church into the 21st century.
Those who oppose such plans on the grounds of no change to the building, like Professor Curl and his heritage friends, have no concept of how a church such as May Street is actually financed and organised.
He only looks at bricks and mortar, which crumble away with time. If May Street does not embark down this chosen route then a living, breathing, witness to God in the centre of our city will crumble, like the bricks and mortar of the building.
Finances such as he advocates are not available to churches in Northern Ireland and the vagueness of his comments indicate to me that he knows this, because if he believes there were such grants available, then it would be helpful to divulge that information and assist the May Street people rather than hindering them.
In other words, put up or shut up.
The people in May Street are looking to leave a legacy for the future in implementing this vision they are embarking upon. No longer can the church depend upon large congregational membership to sustain them or enter into building projects so that a debt is incumbent upon future generations.
The heritage people, instead of opposing such plans, should instead be supporting such a venture as it ensures the future of May Street for generations to come.
Their attitude is short sighted whereas that of May Street is futuristic and bold.
To those in May Street may I say, press on to the goal.
Robert Tinney Belfast