During our recent Coign Church Vision Focus evening we highlighted a number of plans and changes ahead. Last week my blog focussed on some team changes we are making; this week I want to mention our building plans.
We are so privileged to be on our current site. I suspect that if we did not already own it, we would be very unlikely to be able to obtain it today; there are so many other uses that the land would have been put to by now!
The current Coign Church building is too small for our needs; we already meet elsewhere on a Sunday (at the HG Wells conference centre) because of space constraints. The building is also in need of some work to bring it up to a good standard.
Over the years several attempts have been made to solve this issue – including some laudable attempts to create a self funding project – but none has succeeded. It does not seem that God is taking us via that route – and we have tried!
Our current building location is great and we do not plan to give up ownership of even one square inch of it. People of faith got us into this place; let’s not have less faith than they did!
So let’s create something together that will serve our current needs, and also help us create our future together as a church. So on that basis, it’s time to take matters back into out own hands …
It’s time for a building project!
Whatever we do will cost money, and a large part of that will come from our giving. We will almost certainly also be looking to borrow some funding for the work to go ahead.
Sometimes people feel uncomfortable about the church spending money on buildings – and I understand why – but let’s remember: this is not the alternative to spending on mission!
A good building is both essential for and integral to our mission.
Everything we do as a church is mission; we are a mission organisation. And we can’t run the church we are called to run in this climate and this culture without buildings.
This isn’t a new or unique issue to us, and even in the Bible we see God’s people spending a lot of time an focus on buildings:
- Read about David, or Solomon, or Moses, or Nehemiah, or Ezra.
- Where did the first church meet? in a large upper room … in the temple courts … and also in homes.
- Where did Paul build the church in Ephesus? He hired a lecture hall for two years.
- How do we know these things? Because buildings matter and people wrote it all down for us!
Our plan for the future is fairly simple:
We plan to redevelop the current site to create an auditorium across the back, and then redevelop the front to serve our kids and youth work, our church offices and the community. Obviously this will all be far more complex and involved than it sounds, and we are now working with architects.
- Let’s aim for a building that looks good, and that people notice and know about
- Let’s aim for a building that serves all of our church needs, including Sunday mornings and midweek
- Let’s aim for a building that everyone in the community has a reason to come into at least once a year
- Let’s aim for a building that will be a blessing to the community of Woking, the surrounding area and most of all to our nearest neighbours
The way forward
So we’ve started working with an architect called Paul Ginever, and his team from Plan A UK. We’ve had some great meetings with them, and we’re excited by how things are taking shape.
In the New Year we will introduce them to you in person, and also start to talk together about buildings and the way forward.
Lots of people will have views and ideas that all need to be heard and feed in to what we do. And we need to consult with all the interested parties, including those who live nearby.
So let’s work together to do something fantastic. And one more thing:
A New Building Fund
We have opened a new, ring fenced, building fund, and every penny given to that fund will go to finance the redevelopment of this site; to finance our New Building.
You can give to it right away if you want to; I would love to see that happen and I know that some have started already. To join in just give to the church as normal, but tell us that it’s for the New Building Fund. You might also like to consider making a legacy gift in your will – just ask us how.
In 2018 we will have some gift days – and we do need to raise a lot of money – but more info will follow on that in the New Year. And let’s remember
We are on a mission together, and God has great plans ahead for us; plans to give us a future and a hope.
Let’s go for it in faith!