56 letters. There were 56 letters, not 17 as I was told on Tuesday, and I reckon at least 40 of those were from the church. I was misled. But God is good, and his people are wonderful.
Esther was super at the planning meeting, simply explaining what our children's work was, and how many kids come. The neighbours were lovely and kind, and those who came from church were so encouraging. Aled spoke clearly about the role of faith communities, and their recognition in society and law. I simply told of our gratitude for support from Kim Howells & the Archbishop of Wales, and how we had a letter from the Homeless shelter thanking us for our support. I spoke about how we cherish our children, protect them with all we can, and how we want the council to do the same.
Then councillor after councillor, starting with the redoubtable Mike Powell, added their agreement to our cause.
The RCT legal officer told them they did not have to consider child protection (both inaccurate and unwise) and the council unanimously voted against the proposal to turn the office next door into a drug unit.
We got our miracle.
Though, because they voted against the planning officer's recommendation, we have to go back to planning committee in four to six weeks' time and do this all again. So: we keep praying.
And we keep praying for CRI, who wanted to put this centre in this place. They want to help people, and I applaud that. I pray with all my heart that they will find the right site for their work in Pontypridd. And if there was anything practical I could do to help, I would do it.