plus a small number of social projects among the elderly and with children and young people in particular.
Its main numerical strengths are in Catalunya and Madrid. Most of the churches are very scattered and isolated from each other. Some people will travel a long way each Sunday to be part of a worshipping community. However the new leadership in the church, led by Mr Joel Cortés, (the first lay President) and the Comisión Permanente has completed a very significant analysis of the church, its membership, financial needs and different forms of outreach and work with children, young people and the elderly. This was presented to the 2003 Synod under the theme: Nueva estrategia de futuro : Para una Iglesia en Misién6. As a consequence they are facing up to the challenges of the withdrawal of “Round Table” funding in 2005 and the issue of pensions for retired ministers, two of their main concerns. They are challenging the church members to develop a clearer understanding of their mission and a commitment to it. The Church runs a number of social projects and institutions. I visited two, both St Colomo, a suburb on the outskirts of Barcelona.
Bet-San (Residencia evangélica para ancianos) has 55 elderly residents and a staff of 25. I gained the impression of it being a very caring and happy home. The Director, Encarma Corral, is a very lively and committed person.
Centre Obert Moises: is a project that works with 15 severely disadvantaged children and young people. The minister, the Revd Carman Sánchez, is highly respected for the development of some quality work with these children through an after-school club at which a range of activities and support are available. The centre could work with 21 children but the local authority has decided that 15 is the maximum due to the dilemmas and challenges they pose to the staff.