In case you haven’t noticed, our building work is well underway! Work on the new building (behind our current building) is progressing daily and is on track for us to move into during January 2020.
There are now two challenges ahead for us:
The first challenge is the work to be done to our current building
There is a lot that will happen to the current building, including: an extension to create new offices, new professional quality kitchens, new toilet facilities, a new entrance, new doors leading through to the new building, a new reception area, a redesign of the current room layout, removal of the old baptistry and stage, a new boiler and heating system, electrical work, decorating throughout, cladding to the outside, landscaping, fencing, gates … the building will be transformed!
Our challenge is that on July 1st we will lose access to the whole site while the work is being done, and we won’t get it back until the job is finished in Dec/Jan. To make things more challenging, everything has to be cleared before work starts.
While the work goes on any ministries or meetings that would usually run in the building will NOT be able to take place there. The impact of this is being worked through with each ministry individually: some will find alternative venues, others will stop for a term. We are also looking to rent some office space off site for this period – more details on that when we have it.
The second challenge is finance
Giving to this project has been phenomenal. Our Gift Days in May and November, plus some giving outside of that, have raised £1.935 million pounds. I want to say thank you for that generosity.
The challenge is that we still need a little more to finish the job, so we will be holding a final set of Building Fund Gift Days on Sundays 9th and 16th June. We would like these Gift Days to close the gap in the funding for our current plans, and we would also like to cover the cost of a few additional things/opportunities that have come up along the way.
Some of the extra costs include:
- Video: we would like to introduce video for recording our preaching, which will be key for our outreach and for reaching new places – we want to fund the equipment and infrastructure for that
- Sound: this is very important and, after many quotes, we now know that it will cost more than we budgeted for – this is essential for us going forward
- Folding doors: the folding doors we have need replacing (they are beyond repair) and sound proofing is needed above them too – this is not in the current plan
- Drains: we have discovered that we have a collapsed drain, and twice during recent alpha evenings another drain has backed up and flooded the kitchen – these need to be fixed
- Cladding: we are cladding some of the outside of the current building and want to do more than originally planned if we can
- Windows: some single glazed windows do need updating – this is not in the current plan but would make a big difference if we can do it
- And additionally it would be great if we could reduce how much we need to borrow from the bank.
Then there is one last thing. It is the most expensive thing, and in my view the most exciting one. I call this:
The Upper Room
This would be the addition of a completely new room above the new kids rooms in the current building; our architect has put together a plan of what this would look like and there are some pics for you to look at.
This upper room would have several uses: it could be a prayer room for people to use, a place for people to meet with God, a place for pastoral meetings, a place for quiet study. It’s different, it’s stylish and it’s ours if we want it … we just need to fund it.
I feel a real conviction that this is something we should go for if we possibly can, and like all the work we want to do, to do it now is much cheaper and far less disruptive than to try and do it at a later date, when the main work is finished and the building is in constant use.
We have a target for these Gift Days
We set very ambitious targets for our previous sets of Gift Days, and we didn’t hit either of them, but undaunted I’ll set one for us this time anyway! It’s a lot less than before:
If we can raise £300,000 we will be able to do all of this work.
Anything beyond that will reduce our eventual debt.
There is another factor in the mix for these Gift Days too. We are about far more than buildings, we are also about serving people and caring for the poor. So …
… a tithe (10%) of what we raise this time will be given to a ministry to serve some of the poorest and most needy people in the world.
I’ll tell you what that ministry is in my next blog. (Of course, if you want to give solely to the building fund, that’s fine – you can just let us know, no problem at all – but do at least look at what it’s going to first!)
And please remember: No one is under any pressure to give!
This is entirely between you and God. If we hit our target, great. If we miss it, we will do as much of the extra work as we can.
One last thing to mention: we have a “New Building Open Afternoon” on Saturday 11th May, between 1pm and 3pm. This is a chance to visit the building site and see the work done so far; it’s a chance to stand on the site, walk around it, see how it feels, pray.
It is a building site, so you will need to wear sensible footwear (closed toes, no heels) and trousers would be ideal if possible. It’s also not really for kids – sorry!
I’m believing God that, with his help and blessing, we can raise the money to do all this. Ultimately He is the source of it all. Many of us have given generously so far, and God has not hesitated to bless us in response. I can testify to that personally.
Let’s go again in faith and finish the job together.
And remember this is all about our vision as a church. This is not ultimately about a building; it’s about our mission and calling as a church in this town.