And the results are in...
I am writing to share with you all the very exciting news that the PCC, in its meeting last night, unanimously gave the final go ahead for the project to rebuild some of our existing church premises and refurbish the rest. We will soon confirm the appointment of our building contractors. Our last service in the building this side of the work will be on Sunday 1 September 2019 and we plan to return in the autumn of 2020.
When the PCC met it was presented with all the necessary details of the project so far, with perhaps the most significant aspect being the state of our funding. Two amazing and praise-worthy things stood out: firstly, the generous response by the church family to the building appeal, which has to date seen £4,000,000 raised, by way of gifts and pledges, as well as the sale of property. Secondly when the tender offers came in, they were all well below what the quantity surveyors had budgeted for, so that the overall cost of the project, including the proposed tithe, has fallen by some £800,000, to £4,700,000. There were various reasons for this, but we see the hand of God behind them, indicating yet again His great faithfulness. The net result of all this meant that the funding ‘gap’ has been significantly reduced, and with the way ahead to bridge this, agreed by the PCC, it has taken the decision to proceed.
I want to express huge thanks to all who have caught the vision of what we believe God is calling us to: a building fit for worship and mission for the 21st century – and have responded in faith and generosity. Yet the highest praise and thanks and worship goes to our faithful God who has led and guided us thus far. We have seen His hand at work at all stages and in all areas of this journey – not least in the provision of a wonderful team of dedicated volunteers on our Steering Group along with the professional design team the PCC has appointed; and in enabling us to have the necessary funding in place to allow us to start building.
We now need to prepare for the next stage in this particular part of our journey: the move out, with relocation to various parts of Harborne for our corporate gatherings and ministries for the next while; along with the ongoing seeking of the Lord as plans develop for our return to our High Street site, and how He will shape us for the future.
It will be vital to make sure that we seek to care for everyone at this time of significant change, especially those who will find such things harder to face. Yet we must also be careful not to become too inward looking, attending only to our own needs. The Good News of Jesus by its very nature calls and empowers us to look out to the needs of Harborne and Birmingham, whether we are located on the High Street, Lordswood Girls’ School or in our homes.
As indicated, there is still some funding to be raised, which along with the logistical challenges of the next year, will require ongoing prayer, faith and commitment; but in and through these things I am confident that God will be making us more and more dependent on Him, and having brought us this far will look to all us to keep trusting Him for the days ahead.
All the necessary information regarding the next few months and the changes we will need to embrace will now be firmed up and shared well in advance, so do keep checking your emails and church family news; as well as listening in our gatherings both large and small.
These are both challenging and exciting times. Please keep praying about this and, in particular, how each of us should be responding to the ongoing needs in order to see this project through to completion.
With warmest Christian greetings,
You can find out more about Building for Mission project on our BFM page.