You think there is controversy over the results on Strictly Come Dancing? That’s nothing! I’ve just got back from a meeting where amongst other things we spent the best part of forty minutes discussing what we are going to do with the twenty or so pews in the Church, all of which have to be disposed of before the conservation work begins.
Various people whose rear ends have suffered on them over the years thought we should just have some sort of celebratory bonfire with them, but as charity trustees we’re required to try and get the best price for them. Despite the fact that they are all warped to some degree or other, and all have damage from death-watch beetle we have had people looking to buy them in bulk, plus parishioners wanting to purchase the pew they have sat on for many years as a souvenir. Of course with multiple congregations we already have the problem that several people have expressed an interest in the same pew.
Anyway, as a result we’ve had to come up with a scheme to sell the pews, whilst keeping all the various interested parties happy. We also needed to come up with a system that didn’t mean that pews with a sentimental attraction just went to the highest bidder. So a few people have been kicking around ideas, and we’ve now ended up with a multi-stage ballot process that offers the pews at a fixed price based on their length, draws based on lots for pews with multiple bids, and then at the end of the process offers any that are left to the highest bidder – hopefully in that way people who want specific pews all get a fair chance, and ensures that all the pews are removed in time. That of course is another key requirement – buyer collects, and only in the fairly small window after the Christmas services are complete and before the work begins.
Who’d have thought that selling a few woodworm eaten pews would be so contentious?