Ordinary People Engaging with the Extraordinary God
We have been blessed and privileged at TAC to have been successful in being awarded a number of Government Grants in recent years. Most recently, we are delighted to have been awarded funds to convert the upper carpark into a multi-use area. Plans are proceeding for this work.
It should be noted that grants are always awarded for particular purposes and cannot be used for operational matters, such as our staffing. For that, we totally rely on the generosity of the people at TAC.
But coming back to grants, in the 2018 “Community Building Partnership Grant” we were awarded $17,000 to improve the engagement in the upper auditorium. For some time, we have been aware of the issues of variable sound and viewing, depending on where one sits. We now understand that experts design such spaces knowing that being too far up the back inhibits engagement.
While being at church is ultimately about engaging with God through his Word, all kinds of things can either contribute to that end, or detract from it. Music helps us sing to each other and to God. And the further away someone is from “the front” the less “engaged” they are. While some people may say they prefer that, as a church we want to provide an environment where everyone is as engaged as possible.
Our technical teams and Parish Council have been considering the best use of these grant funds over the course of this year. It seems likely that the best thing to do is to flip the internal orientation of the auditorium so that the front is at the Western long wall. If the current orientation is thought of as “portrait”, the proposed orientation can be thought of as “landscape”. It means that the distance of anyone to the preacher is halved. 8am church already meet in this kind of configuration.
Another dimension is our understanding of the significant impact that people have on each other. This has led to modern teaching spaces being designed so that people can also face each other, to some extent.
Several other churches have made this kind of internal switch. And newer facilities are designed like this from the ground up. At this stage, we expect these works to occur over the January period.