Building for Growth
We now have a superbly renovated church interior.
Work on the tower and spire is nearly complete.
One major building task remains.
Building for Growth Update – 23 September 2015
Three years ago we set ourselves the target of renovating all our church buildings so as to provide welcoming, flexible and safe meeting spaces. This “Building for Growth” project was divided into three phases. Phase 1 represented the total renovation of the interior of the “1846” church building, involving the installation of new underfloor heating, a new AV system and organ, and replacement of pews with chairs. This phase of the project was completed 2 years ago. The total cost of Phase 1 was around £400,000, all of which was contributed by church members.
Phase 2 represents repair and restoration of the church tower and spire, necessary not only to preserve our heritage, but also for safety reasons. The total cost of this work was around £285,000, of which around 33% was contributed by church members, the remainder being raised through external grants.
We are now embarking on Phase 3, namely renovation of the remaining ministry spaces. This is a huge and complex phase. OMI architects have drawn up a plan, for which planning permission has recently been received. The cost of this phase is around £950,000, but it would be possible to split this work into two sub-phases: Phase 3A (new entrance, kitchen, toilets and the parts of the plans covering the existing lounge area), costing around £750,000 and Phase 3B (the parts of the plans covering the existing hall and office areas), costing around £200,000. These costings exclude VAT, most of which we hope to recover through the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme.
That’s a lot of money!
So why is Phase 3 necessary? The remaining ministry spaces are existing extensions to our church buildings, most of which were built in the 1960s, and comprise hall, lounges, kitchen, toilets and office accommodation. They are tired and worn; the roofs leak and the windows are rotten; everything that could fail has failed – or is about to fail; and the kitchen and toilets are inadequate and need to be altered and extended. We want to create a series of effective and welcoming spaces that address the needs of our church and the wider community that we serve; in short, to provide accommodation that fits our vision of “building the base to reach the city”.
The decision to proceed with Phase 3 was taken at a PCC meeting on 15 September. The PCC unanimously decided that we should proceed in faith with the sub-phased approach to the works in the hope that by the middle of next year sufficient funds will be available to complete the whole project. The contractors will be on site in March 2016. Whether the whole of Phase 3 is achieved (or only Phase 3A) is, of course, dependent on funding.
Options for fundraising
So far the Platt family has raised the fantastic sum of around £570,000 towards Phase 3. This leaves a funding gap of around £380,000.
At its meeting on 15 September, the PCC reviewed some options for bridging this gap:
1) Grant applications (the Fundraising Group is about to submit two grant applications; a further two will soon be in preparation)
2) Borrowing against a residential property that the PCC owns, on a short-term basis
3) Other forms of loan financing (for example, from the Diocese of Manchester)
4) Exploration of the scope, if any, for a reduction in Diocesan parish share over 2-3 years
The PCC has established three sub-groups of the Building Steering Group:
Logistics (lead – Sue James)
Finance (lead – Bill Ibram)
Prayer (lead – Steve James)
There is much to plan, and to pray for, over the coming months. There will be a special prayer meeting at Platt on 1 October at 8pm – please do come along and join us.