January 2010 started with snow. There had been snow in December, but more came down during that first week of 2010, starting on 5th January. One of the church elders who was away on holiday decided to cut short his trip because of the bad weather. It was a good job he did: a letter from our solicitor waiting at home was finally getting things moving. He had a lot to do!

Over the next few weeks, a flurry of telephone calls, letters and e-mails finally saw further negotiations (and increases in the asking price) moving towards a favourable conclusion. Each day we waited for contracts to be exchanged: every time we had a semi-firm date for this to happen, something else intervened to put us back into limbo. But there was now that increasingly firm conviction that very soon, St Mark’s would be ours.

By the time contracts were exchanged on 12th February 2010 (truly a red letter day for the church!), there was a sense of stunned disbelief. Was it really true? Was the building really ours? Even now, there was a sense of unreality: ‘it’s not really definite until completion, but no one can back out now.’

‘You can start working on the building, but can’t make any structural changes until we’ve completed the transaction,’ the solicitor said.

So we can start decorating? We can actually have the keys? It’s ours?
It didn’t feel quite real, but the reality was about to set in. St Mark’s was now the property of Goldthorpe Pentecostal Church. The long awaited dream was about to come true. The vision, though it had certainly tarried, was about to be fulfilled.