At our Gift Day on Sunday 28th February enough donations and pledges were raised to meet the £606,000 shortfall for the commencement minimum (Phase 1). A further £1m (estimated) will be required to complete the building in its entirety. Phase 1 will provide the church with a watertight shell and kit out all the offices and the worship area (roughly half of the building). This will allow us to move from our current site during 2018, but will restrict the ministries we can offer until the remainder of the building is completed. If you would like to help fund our exciting new build, please donate using the button below, set up a standing order (also below), or consider giving via Gift Aid.
If you can't give financially, you can still help! Give your time or expertise (a list of volunteer roles will be available), and support us in prayer - here is a prayer guide 'Building to Serve' shared with the church:
In the grace of God Whetstone Baptist Church has now outgrown the current church buildings and larger premises are required to effectively carry out our current and future ministries. Therefore, we have acquired a suitable plot of land in the village outright through the generous giving of the church family at Whetstone. We are now in the process of raising the funds for the construction phase, and are already well on our way thanks again to the grace of God and the generous hearts of his people. We are not yet at our target though and we need your help to make this vision a reality, whether by prayer, gift, pledge, sponsorship or community award.
In 2007, the church launched a Building Fund even though, at this time, we had not found a site on which to build. This was followed by a ‘Gift Day’ event and through the generous giving of the church we raised an incredible £550,000. Despite entering a difficult economic time further donations pushed up this total to £770,000 by December 2012, enabling us in 2013 to secure the land needed to build the church.
We estimate that the church build will cost around £3.7m and so an official fund raising team was set up in April 2013. In September 2013 we held our special Gift and Fundraising weekend where the church family was encouraged to bring gifts and pledges towards this target. Once again the church family demonstrated its generosity and commitment to seeing the vision realised, and we are now well on our way to reaching our target. As part of our funding plan, we are also investigating several ways to attract funding through outside organisations and trusts, to complement our own giving.
God has taught us how to be patient and trust in Him for everything we need, through good times and challenging times, yet as we move forward we are seeing our dreams are turning to reality and prayers have clearly been answered as we enter this exciting phase of transition.
At a special church meeting in July 2016, we signed off on a loan which allows us to start building. A site manager has been appointed, and along with the project management team, will be appointing contractors and we'll soon see our new church emerge from the ground.
We are still approximately £1m short of funding to fully finish the building, so please pray that we are able to raise the remainder required so that, at its opening, the whole building will be ready to use.
We will be posting periodic updates on what's happening on-site here, in the pre-service slides and on the church notice sheet each week. Updates will be flagged up on our Facebook page as well. Previous updates here will be archived so you can follow the project from the outset.
A busy week on site, with most of the remainder of the first floor and the second set of concrete stairs installed. The brackets to support the metal purlins are being installed onto the Glulam beams over the worship area. This is in preparation for the remainder of the steels to be installed prior to the roof being started. The brickwork continues apace, with rooms starting to have definition, window apertures appearing and the external shape of the building becoming more evident.
This is the first of several 'you'll never see it again' angles, as there will be a wall blocking the viewpoint. This is from the corner of the upstairs toilets looking back on the building's back wall. These are the window holes to the meeting rooms.
Another is this shot of the balcony and rear of the worship area, taken from the far corner of an upstairs plant room. It's atop these beams that the purlin brackets are being fitted, and threading the mobile platform between the steels and the beams proved a tricky exercise!
If we are able to make suitable budget savings, or receive more money for the project, this is where the lift will be installed.
It might be worth reminding readers that the shaded area in the plan below is what we definitely have funds for. The whole building shell will be completed and watertight, but currently we only have funding for the internal fit out of this area on both ground and first floors:
Now we have 43 church volunteers trained in health & safety, I thought it would be good to show you a rather interesting gizmo... This is a loading bay onto the scaffolding for bricks and mortar. The blue zigzag brackets have horizontal bars which tipped forward provide a handrail on the edge of the platform. Flipped backwards, it provides a handrail to the rear and a loading space at the front. Flip it back and all is safe at the front and the loaded items can be accessed. Clever, eh?
This view from the mobile platform gives an aerial shot through what will be the roof of the worship area, gazing down onto the main platform and baptistry.
And this is an overview of the youth 'pod' and the upstairs multi-purpose hall, with kitchen and store in the wedge shaped area at the front.
We're thrilled to share another video tour of the new building. Apologies for the sound quality in places, but it is a working building site after all! This marks a major milestone as the majority of the ground and first floor floors are in place. You can also see the brickies are hard at work putting walls into the steel frame, and you'll hear the scaffolders erecting suitable platforms from which the brickies can work. Enjoy :)
The commentary describes the completed building. At present, we only have funds for a watertight shell, and fit out of worship area, the rear ground floor meeting rooms, the admin corridor rooms and the toilets. We currently do not have funds for fitting out the rest of the building, including the main entrance, staircase and lift, cafe area, youth pod, pre-school or the large upstairs hall and kitchen.
Bumper update this week, catching up on the work done on site over the last couple of months. These works are all below final ground level, and will be hidden from view once the building is complete. They are, however, integral to the building, and hold up most of the insides!
First up: sleeper walls. These internal walls will be supporting the beam and block floors, as well as supporting walls extending up to the first floor level. They are tied to the steel uprights, which all have their waterproof bitumen welly boots.
Some of the areas will be completely backfilled with material, to support the outside ground level (particularly the ramp to the front entrance). Others will be left as voids under the floor.
The sleeper walls will be supporting beam and block flooring. The beams are upside down 'T's and the blocks drop into the gaps between them before being grouted. Couple of stats for you:
Next, there's the baptistry. Well, more the support structure for dropping in the pre-made fibreglass baptistry. With the recent rainfall, we're thinking that we won't need to plumb it in...
This week, we've had part of the lightning protection system installed. This uses the steel frame as part of the conduction system, so at the base of around 10 external steel columns are these conductor 'tails'. Once the outside landscaping is complete towards the end of the build, and the ground levelled off, these tails will be joined to metal spikes driven into the ground.
This photo shows the first part of the structure that will actually visible once the building is complete. These are the external walls, and just above where the red brick meets grey block is roughly where the finished ground level will be. And the tops of the walls will be where the damp proof course will be before the main blockwork walls begin.
The grey blockwork panel in this photo is where a set of escape stairs will be installed. This is the back right corner of the building where the pre-school rooms are.
All the vertical orange pipes are the soil pipes for sinks and toilets across the building. This particular cluster will be the main downstairs toilets. They will peek above the beam and block floor level, but won't be visible once the rest of the floor layers are installed - there's insulation panels, underfloor heating, a layer of screed and then the final floorcovering.
Finally for this update, here's a pic of our siphonic drainage outflow (the black pipes). This system is solely for the management of rainwater from the roof areas. It works in the same way as your toilet flush, with the initial water overflow starting a suction effect which continues until the roof is sufficiently drained. The whole system is internal to the building, so you'll not see it again. It will be air-pressure tested next week to check there are no leaks.
We've needed this relatively specialist system due to the large roof area over the worship area all converging on the one spot - which is potentially quite an amount of water all in one go.
Things you might expect to see over the hedge during the next couple of weeks:
Happening behind the scenes:
Remember that previous site updates are stored in the New Build Archive
There have been Baptists worshipping in Whetstone since as early as the 1600’s and the current church family continues this Christian presence in the village. The current building was built in 1909 as a new building project by those who worshipped literally just down the road at the Old Chapel (1843) in King Street. Through the faithfulness and grace of God the church family has continued to grow to the point where now we have outgrown our current buildings, drawing 300 adults and many young families to Sunday worship each week.
This growth led to the church family starting a dialogue some 10 years ago about new premises, and through church meetings and consultations the decision was made to purchase a piece of land on which to build a new church. This purchase was completed in early 2013. During that period we also had discussions about the design of the church, and having appointed a firm of architects, we now believe that we have designed a building that will meet our current and future needs.
We are now seeking support to raise the finance needed for the construction phase of our vision. We have estimated that approximately £2m is required to build the church and so we would like to invite you to become involved through financial gifts and pledges so that our vision can be realised (contact us HERE for more info).
We are a fellowship of Christians who worship in the village of Whetstone; ordinary people, from all walks of life who are united through our faith in Jesus Christ. We have the same joys and sorrows, cares and concerns that are common to us all. Our vision is to glorify God by the way we live our lives both in the Christian community and the secular world. We have a passion to demonstrate the love of God to all who we meet and to tell them of the life changing power of Jesus Christ.
Our ethos is evangelical and so we seek to remain faithful to the orthodox teaching of Christianity and live lives that reflect that. However, we also aim to make our beliefs accessible, understandable, relevant and available to all. We may be traditional in our beliefs but not always in our practices!
Through working together as a church family, we developed a comprehensive design brief that responded to the needs of the existing and future activities of the church, and to the dreams which church members identified as ways in which the local community could be supported and served.
The design brief addressed areas such as environmental responsibility in the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the building; the impact, benefits and services provided for the neighbourhood and community; and the versatility and flexibility of the building to accommodate the many current and future needs and ministries of the church and community. At the heart of this design brief, however, was the unanimous desire for this new building to be a place of worship for all those who love and follow Jesus Christ.
To read the design brief please download our ‘Dreaming the Dream’ prospectus below. If you have any questions or would like some more information please contact us HERE.
Page last updated: 9th February 2017