Thursday, December 1, 2011

Some Unwelcoming Practices

In describing my experience at the St. Paul’s Thanksgiving service—see “Thanksgiving Review”—I failed to mention some things we do that are unwelcoming. I want to redress that oversight here.

Particularly now that we are facing months of cold weather, the cloakroom off the undercroft will be getting a lot of use. Why is it that no one seems to think of turning on the light in the room to make it obvious to everyone, even visitors, what the room is for? Given the location of the Coke machine, it would be easy for someone to think the room is for vending machines. I use the cloakroom a lot, and I usually throw the light switch when I enter it.

This leads me to another observation. Unlike most people, I often wear a hat. Even if I’m not wearing a hat, I may have a book, music, or other baggage with me that I need to park somewhere. Unfortunately, the shelf above the clothes hanger in the cloakroom is often taken up with junk that no one seems capable of finding a place for. This is inconsiderate. Also, there may be mops or other objects in the cloakroom. This is not an inviting environment for member or visitor. The cloakroom should be inviting and functional. It seldom is.

I tried—unsuccessfully, it turns out—to convince Jane Little that she wanted to join me at the Thanksgiving service. Jane spends most of her time in a wheelchair, and being in her wheelchair would certainly have been a prerequisite of her attendance. The obvious place to park a wheelchair in the church is in the first pew in front of the pulpit. The modesty screen is truncated there to allow placement of a wheelchair. I noticed Thanksgiving morning that the end of the piano was nestled into that spot, making it impossible to place a wheelchair there. Such a welcoming gesture!

No comments: