St. Columba’s Church hosted a mop-up Covid vaccination clinic for the Children’s Hospital on Monday 14th February and another for the Primary Care Network on the morning of Wednesday 16th.
NHS England are funding necessary renovations to the wood block flooring in both the worship area and the hall, which have been severely affected during the year’s vaccination programme, partly due to the substantial footfall (over 50,000 vaccinations have been given on site), but mainly due to the requirement to sanitise all the wood flooring using chlorine solution after every day’s clinic (just short of 100 days). In terms of cost, it is worth pointing out that the renovation cost added to the total charges made by the church to the NHS for a year’s exclusive use of the site, still come to less than the Arena were charging for one month’s hire for the vaccination programme (this is not to knock the Arena which works on a commercial and larger scale than they do, but to put things in context).
However, the worship area is also in need of re-decoration, which the Church has budgeted for, and this must be done prior to the floor repairs as it entails the use of tower scaffolding on the floor.
Work starts on 22nd February, and they expect all to be finished by the end of March. All groups who use the church have been kept informed, and most are anxious to return after Easter, whilst the leadership team will discuss how they harmonise Sunday services and church activities when they again have two fully operational church sites.
Having developed such good relations with both the community and the medical team in 2021, they will continue to offer occasional use for clinics in the future, and are able to do so as the requirements for sanitising, particularly of the flooring, have been relaxed, so further damage can be avoided. They also intend to have a service of thanksgiving where they invite community volunteers and medical staff to join them and are looking at other ways to build on links made during the last two years.
Steve Ellis (St. Columba) said, “it has been a privilege to work with all in the community and the medical teams whose commitment and dedication has been inspiring. The church community as a whole need especial thanks, not just those directly involved in the practicalities of supporting both the vaccines and the Community Volunteer Hub, for their positive support, encouragement and prayer during the pandemic”.