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.
Not much to share in the last two weeks, as the steel frame is finished, and most of the work is at the footings of the steel columns. They've all had a coat of bitumen as a waterproof sock, and the foundation/retaining walls are now being laid. There are pallets and pallets of blocks waiting to be laid.
Meanwhile, back in the office, Gary continues to work on the schedule and procurement. There's quite a juggling act to manage the interface between all the different elements (e.g. the pipes going through floor slabs, the brick and block meeting the roof), as well as between all the contractors. Meetings have taken place with potential scaffolders and bricklayers (for the main walls), and with the roofing contractor to finalise order details.
This Sunday (25th) we will be meeting next to the site after our morning services to have a short service of thanksgiving for the steel erection - as we celebrate seeing the building rise above ground level. All are welcome to join us in the Whittle Estate car park from 12:30pm.
The main steelwork frame is now complete on our new church and community building. It's been lined and levelled, and next week, once the grouting at the bases is complete, some of the bracers will be taken out ready for the precast concrete floors to be lowered in, in due course. The steel columns are now getting rubber boots - the groundwork team are painting bitumen compound onto the steel that will be below ground level once the building is finished.
The groundworks contractor is back on site, and Phase II has started - this involves building up the below-ground level brickwork and retaining walls, protecting the base of the steel columns and preparing the site for installation of the first and ground floors.
There's two videos to share this week. The first is a guide around the new building, filmed at the end of week three when the frame wasn't quite complete. The second is a time-lapse video of the whole four weeks of construction.
A short working week due to the Bank Holiday - but the steel frame work went up apace as soon as MQM were back on site. The final Glulam beam was lowered into place, the entrance and rest of the atrium was fitted out, along with the vestries and surround for the spiral staircase in the corners of the worship space. By Friday, the first of the girders holding the roof over the upstairs hall was in place, and the front section of the right hand side of the church is almost done. By the end of next week, all the steels will be up, set square and lined up, and the rest of the grouting of the bases will be underway. There continues to be a lot of interest about the build - I'm told from as far away as Japan!
This is the main entrance to the building... not much to look at at the moment, but glazing top to bottom will give views of the atrium, stairs and youth pod beyond.
The view from the corner of Dog & Gun Lane and Cambridge Road - it's already an imposing edifice!
Much behind the scenes work found a huge, extendible, rear-steer trailer truck arrive at site on Tuesday morning. It carried the five massive Glulam beams and the brackets needed to attach tie-bars (stops them sagging) and to the steel frames (stops them falling off...). By the end of the week, the brackets and bars had been shot-blasted, primed and painted, and four beams had been installed by the close of business on Friday afternoon.
Gary checks the beams which are wrapped in black plastic for weather protection.
After some more site prep to allow the truck to get into place, the beams were unloaded.
Lots 1-3a are now complete, with the remaining part of Lot 3 due to be completed on Monday. Lot 4 steels will be delivered on Monday, and fitting will start on Tuesday. Lot 1 steel pillars have now been grouted into place, 25 x 25kg bags mixed and poured to stabilise the base and fix the bolts and shims into place. By the end of this week, we have a real sense of the size and impact of the building:
The worship area shows its prominence, with the jutting out section just under the cherry picker basket
And this is the view from the centre of the platform - four of the Glulam beams are in place, and the balcony support curves across
Behind the scenes: a meeting with the precast concrete suppliers to discuss the specific practicalities of fitting the floor to the balcony; hot and cold running water is provided in the canteen; an order has been placed for road sweeping services; 60 litres of drinking water has been consumed by the contractors over four days (due to the heat); signing off final revisions of the siphonic drainage; planning roof access for ongoing maintenance.
And what you've all been waiting for, week two's time lapse video of construction:
Firstly, my apologies for the gap in updates. You've missed little on site - the foundations were prepared for the crane 'runways' either side of the central drain run (see Week 10 pic) and the spoil mini-mountain has been removed. Behind the scenes we have been finishing the site setup in readiness for us taking over as Primary Contractor. We've split the interior of one of the containers into two - a site office, and a drying room for contractors kit - which required some partition walls and doors to be installed. All the right forms, signage and kits (first aid, eye wash, burns, emergency spills kit) have been printed off and laminated, or purchased, and installed. Site communications and IT have been installed and are working well. This flurry of activity had to happen around site meetings, to-and-fro emails, planning, procurement, editing of site documentation and making sure the bills are paid quickly (we get a discount if we do!).
All of this brought us to Monday 15th May, when we officially took over the site from the groundwork contractor and became Primary Contractor. By 7am that morning, Alan was inducting the steel erectors and crane driver onto site and shortly after, lorries of steel parts were ready to be unloaded. By 10am the crane was ready for its first lift, and by the end of the day, the steel frame had been started.
Who knew? Churches come flat packed!
The first lift of the day.
Despite the two inches of rain we've had this week, the steelwork has been steadily going up. The steel frame has been split into 'lots' for reference, and order of erection. There are six altogether; lot 1 is complete, and lot 2 close behind. Already identifiable are the first floor offices, ground floor meeting rooms, their respective corridors, and the left hand side of the main atrium/street and the left corner of the worship area.
End of week 1 of steel framing.
Holding the whole thing together... nuts and bolts.
Timelapse video: five days in two minutes!
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