Press Release 4th November 2016
Village church starts new building for 21st Century
On Sunday 6 November 2016 Whetstone Baptist Church will mark the start of construction of their new £4m church building with a ground breaking ceremony attended by the whole congregation, guests and villagers.
This Sunday, on their church anniversary, the members of Whetstone Baptist Church will see their mission to build a state-of-the-art church for the local community begin to become a reality. The ground breaking ceremony at 12.30pm, will be attended by the President of the Baptist Union, Rev Rupert Lazar.
Whetstone Baptist Church run a range of outreach events and services for the local community including Alpha courses, Messy Church, budgeting advice, youth, toddler and children’s groups, a playgroup, senior citizens’ groups and ministry in care homes.
The construction of the new church will take about two years. The church is being built on the corner of Dog and Gun Lane and Cambridge Road in Whetstone. It is a self-funded project with around £3m having been raised or pledged so far by the church congregation. The members are not only involved in paying for the building but also in off-setting some of the labour costs by doing some manual labour themselves. For many people this is the biggest personal investment in a building they will ever make, so the ceremony will be a special time of reflection and celebration.
When finished the church will have a multi-purpose worship space for services, events and concerts, with the capacity of 450-500 people, plus a sports hall, meeting rooms and specially designed children’s work and playgroup rooms, a youth area, café and catering kitchen facilities, as well as outdoor space and car parking. Artist’s impressions of the building can be seen on the church’s website: wbconline.org.uk/newbuild
The church’s pastor Rev Nick Swanson said “When we realised we’d outgrown our current building we wanted to stay in the heart of the village to better serve the community. Our new site puts us in what is now the geographical centre of the village, taking into account the new housing developments. Local people seem very positive about it and we hope that our links with local schools and businesses will only grow closer. We’ve already started a prayer post box located at the Co-op store, where anyone can ask us to pray for them anonymously, and we will do that.”
Members of the public are very welcome to come along to the ceremony, and can also follow the progress of the construction online at wbconline.org.uk/newbuild or on facebook.com/whetstonebaptistchurchuk
The site has been cleared of trees and the hedges trimmed back. Fencing is being ordered, and site offices, canteen and toilet facilities are on their way. Contract negotiations for the groundworks and steel fabrication are underway and likely to be awarded this month. Waste management for the site and the completed building is being looked into. Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is being ordered for all site visitors and church volunteers. Quotes for site signage are being sought.
Appointments – Voluntary
Neil Burley – Admin Assistant (Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri)
Susie Howard – Finance Assistant (Mon/Fri)
Physically fit volunteers are required to help put up wire fencing around the site, and someone prepared to provide refreshments would be marvellous. If you can help, please sign up in the church
foyer, or let Neil know asap.
A prayer card is available in the church foyer with prayer pointers for the new build, with a list of the project team and board members for WBC Design Co Ltd.
INITIAL UPDATE 01-SEP-16
Following the special church meeting at the end of July, we have appointed a site manager who is working with Gary Anderson in planning what happens next, as well as an order of works for the whole project. The site manager is also seeking suitable contractors and quotations for the various phases of work. Before we even start on site, there is still a lot happening: the initial work already under way includes procuring and erecting site fencing; arranging hedge cutting, preparation of the site and installation of water, sewerage, electric supply and telecommunications; and setting up the site office, canteen and WCs for the contractors. Policies and procedures are being formalised for double-checking quotes against the tender requirements, appointment of contractors and management of site inductions and other statutory obligations.
Along with the site manager, an administrative assistant (church member TBA) is helping to source health and safety signage, bring together all the required site documentation and will coordinate volunteer rotas once roles are identified that church folk could fulfil. Quotations are being sought for a large sign providing information about the building, which will be accessible by passers-by. A finance assistant (church member TBA) will be making sure all the right bills are paid at the right time, with double-checking procedures in place to make sure we're getting what we paid for and not paying for things we haven't had.
The Project Management Team continues to steer and approve the whole process on behalf of the church.
Microwave for contractor canteen - following an appeal, two have been offered - thank you!
Fridge for contractor canteen - following the appeal, we have one offered - thank you!
We will be requesting volunteers to erect the site fencing once we have a commencement date - we will need a couple of teams of four that are able to manoeuvre wire fence panels and their concrete feet. The loan of a couple of heavy duty pneumatic tyre wheelbarrows would also help. We'll also need a couple of people to prop up/steady the panels as they are fixed (no heavy lifting) and others to provide refreshments. The date for this will be announced as soon as it is available, and will be the very first job of moving onto the site - get involved from the beginning!
Please pray for
- patience! The summer holiday season has meant that progress isn't as fast as some would like, but it is happening!
- that everything comes together quickly as we set up and move operations to the site
- that God will clearly direct us to the right contractors as we start the tendering process
- volunteers willing to help out when required