Well, it’s time to move on. After 12 happy, eventful years, we are leaving the cul-de-sac. It was just before Easter 2010 when we found our house. I’d agreed to join Bearwood Chapel as their pastor. At that stage, we were not sure whether it would be a two or three year contract and Sarah was still interviewing for teaching positions. So, there was a lot of uncertainty about our long term future. However, we felt it right to put down a marker that we were committing our lives to the community here for as long as God wanted us here. Buying a house for the long term was a little step of faith.
We spent a Saturday looking at houses with our new friend Bob, one of the elders and an architect. Different houses were dismissed at speed by Bob due to damp, asbestos, craters in the garden. We weren’t too keen on them ourselves. Our estate agent was looking increasingly weary! Then at the end of the morning, he said
There’s just one more that’s worth a look. The owners have just dropped the price into your range. I’ve not seen it myself yet but heard good things.”
So, we arrived at 106 Harvest Road to have a look around. We walked into a spacious open plan downstairs -suitable for hosting church activities. Then we went into the Garden overlooking the city and something happened. Bob smiled! This seemed to confirm what our hearts were telling us, that this was the one. We liked the house and there was something in the road name. We were here to work in God’s harvest field. So, we put in our offer and it was accepted. Then we moved up in the July.
We’ll have many memories of our time here. There was quite a bit of work to do from getting double glazed windows in through to an entire new roof. There was a memorable morning after heavy snow when our garden wall began to bulge and when I nudged at it, with only the slightest bit of pressure, it began to fall away quickly. We ended up demolishing the wall and then a few years back we were able to have a small driveway put in.
Our most treasured memories will be the people that we’ve had over here. Family have of course been to stay. Then there’s been frequent visits from people from church, previously from the Chapel and now from Church Central for meals, coffee, dropping in for a chat. Early Saturday morning elders’ breakfasts and evening prayer meetings/Bible studies. Sat on the sofa in our lounge, young couples have talked through their marriage preparation.
Early in our time at Bearwood, the church began a partnership with Operation Mobilisation and so the house has hosted various OM visitors over the years from South Korea, Switzerland, the Netherlands etc. A couple of years back we also hosted a team of young people from Texas.
We’ve had fantastic neighbours on the cul-de-sac. We’ve loved getting to know them. This has always been a friendly neighbourhood but the pandemic particularly brought us closer together. Once regulations allowed, Saturday night drinks, BBQs and pizza evenings became a regular feature at one or other of the neighbours. We’ll miss Harvest Road. We have been blessed here, through both good times and difficult. We hope that we’ve been a blessing too. We’re looking forward to what God has in store for us for the next stage of the adventure.