As you will all know, we have been having problems with the church heating system since before Christmas. The good news is that it is now working again – but is very temperamental and this means that we never know from one day to the next whether we will have heating or not.
Our current heating system has served us well! It was installed in 1934 – using an old ship’s boiler from Granton Harbour! Under the boiler there is a burner unit which went in in 1979.
The problem at the moment seems to be with the burner unit and it would cost between £3,000 and £4,000 to replace that. However, even with a new burner we couldn’t guarantee that the heating would continue working, and the new burner wouldn’t work in any future new boiler, so it would be money wasted.
Members of the property group have done some research and visited a couple of other churches. They have concluded that the only long-term solution to the heating problem is to replace the boiler system as soon as possible. At this stage we don’t know what a new system is likely to cost, but we know it won’t be cheap – it will be a very significant cost to the us as a congregation.
To allow us to focus on the new heating, the Blue Skies Group has decided to put the development plans on hold while we raise funds for new heating.
All of this means that there may be times over this winter when we won’t have heating in the church and halls, although we’ll always be able to heat the West Hall with electric heaters. We are also planning to upgrade the number of electric sockets in the East Hall so that we can use electric heaters – at the moment there is only one socket in the hall!
For the foreseeable future we will hold our Sunday services in the halls if the heating fails – initially in the West Hall, but then in the East Hall once we beef up the number of electrical sockets in there.
And of course as soon as we raise enough money and get the new heating installed we’ll be back in the church – nice and toastie!