Dear church family,
As the Building for the Future project progresses, it is with great joy that I am writing to you.
You will be aware that our Building for the Future project has been considering developing this site to:
help us teach the Bible to our congregations, children and youth;
help us reach our community with God’s gospel of grace;
help us resource our Co-Mission church-planting network
….and all for the next generation.
On Wednesday 7 February at the prayer meeting I was able to make an exciting announcement about the Building for the Future project.
As you will be aware, we launched the ‘How much can we give?’ campaign in November 2017. This was to see whether or not we would be able to raise enough money to afford this great project.
We took on this challenge knowing that if we did not raise enough money, we could not continue with the project.
During this time we heard the call of God’s word to trust in him more than money and to treasure his gospel above material things.
Throughout, we have known that it mattered more what God was doing in us spiritually than whether or not we raised the money.
After our first round of fundraising back in 2015, at the very start of the BftF project, God inspired us to pledge an incredible £1.5m.
Since then it has become clear from the BftF team that:
- With the money from the original pledges (£1.5m) and the expected amount from property sales and bank borrowing (£3m) that we still had a gap in our finances to make the project viable.
- If we only raised anther £100k we couldn’t do the project
- If we were able to raise £500k the project would be on.
- But if we raised closer to £1m we would greatly reduce our borrowing and future repayments.
This is a graph to illustrate the gap we are trying to close:-
It was with joy, and humble praise that I was able to announce that we have raised a further £1,565,413!
Bringing the total funds raised by Dundonald Church alone to £3,139,880!
This is astonishing. This is beyond what any of us had dared to dream. Praise God for his goodness to us.
As a result of this, not only are we able to give the green light to proceed with the BftF project but we can greatly reduce our bank borrowing.
This is truly a great blessing from our Father in heaven. In the words of the hymn writer: “To God be the glory, great things He has done”.
I would urge us all to keep praising and thanking God:
- For the work of his Spirit in us as a church family.
- For this resounding endorsement of the BftF project.
- For his abundant provision.
We will want to be mindful that many who would love to have contributed will not have been able to do this time and not everyone will be equally positive about the project as a whole. But the scale of the response has given a resounding endorsement from most of the church and we are so encouraged by this amazing support.
What Happens Next?
There is still a lot to happen before we actually leave the building:
- Appointing a development partner;
- Confirming an internal design brief;
- Appointing an architect partner;
- Finalising various legal and financial matters; and
- Selling church property.
Before we discuss an internal design brief with the architect partner, we want to hold a church-wide consultation on the internal uses and potential ministries of the new church.
This will take place before and after the prayer meeting on Wednesday 7th and before and after the church services on Sunday 11th March. A kids’ consultation is being organised for that Sunday as well to ensure all voices in the church are being heard for this Building for the Future.
While we received planning permission from Merton Council, that does not include most internal details.
Everyone is invited therefore to view the consented plans and comment on how best we can use the space for gospel ministry. The BftF team will be on hand to answer any questions but the primary objective is to hear what you have to say.
Following the consultation, all comments will be reviewed and evaluated by the BftF team and will help shape the design brief given to the architect partner.
More information will follow in due course but please do come along and give your comments.
I want to thank you everyone who has supported this appeal with prayer and finance, however large or small our pledges, for being part of what God is going at Dundonald. I am so excited to see how we all grow in love and knowledge of Him over the coming months and years.
Let us all to continue to be joyful and thank Him for his astonishing blessing to us:
“Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” (Psalm 126).
And let us begin to prepare ourselves for this exciting prospect of going on mission – leaving this building to reconnect with local communities who are so much in need of the loving compassion of Jesus: we’re going fishing! More of this on a later date.
With love in Christ,
Richard and the Building for the Future Team