Our old church building (which was made up of a main sanctuary and a halls complex) had fallen into a very poor state of disrepair. Although we were worshipping in the building until September 2019, there was plaster peeling off walls, we had a number of resident rats and the sanctuary was not safe, so we had been meeting in one of the halls. The building had previously been a hub for the local community, with a number of local organisations using it through the week, but this had stopped due to the poor condition of the building.
Having dropped to less than 20 at one point, the church now has a morning congregation of 40-50 from a pool of around 80 people. But the costs of renovating the building were still prohibitive.
In 2017 the church partnered with a Christian development company to find a solution. A plan was made to develop the old sanctuary into flats, the sale of which will cover the costs of redevelopment of the halls complex into a new church building suitable for worship, outreach and community activities.
We long for the church to become a hub for the community, with many people using the premises who would not worship with us on a Sunday. We plan to run a café and various other outreach activities to meet the needs of the local community and to enable other local organisations to use the building again. We also want to explore starting small social enterprises from the church which would create just employment, build community and generate funding for further ministry.