We are now raising funds for the fit-out and completion of the building, (lighting, flooring, plastering, fixtures and external landscaping) and we need your help to make this vision a reality, whether by prayer, gift, pledge, sponsorship or community award.
If you would like to help you can donate securely online using the Paypal button below, or set up a standing order (also below). Please consider giving via Gift Aid.
If you can't give financially, you can still help! Give your time or expertise and support us in prayer. Thank you!
Building Fund launched followed by a Gift Day event. Through the generous giving of the church we raised an incredible £550,000.
Further donations had pushed the total up to £770,000.
We bought a piece of land on the corner of Dog & Gun Lane and Cambridge Road, Whetstone.
Our first special Gift Weekend where the church family was encouraged to bring gifts and pledges towards the construction, which at that time was estimated to be £3.7m. Once again the church family demonstrated its generosity and commitment to seeing the vision realised.
After holding another gift day where our church family gave again, at a special church meeting we signed off on a loan of £1.15m to begin the building work.
We celebrated breaking ground on site.
We now had a watertight shell and celebrated this at Easter.
For most of 2020, work was being done inside on fitting the mechanical and electrical systems. We secured a further loan based on the sale of our existing land.
We are looking at the costs to finish and fit-out the whole building. We are also investigating several ways to attract funding for community aspects of the building through outside organisations and trusts.
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. Prayers have clearly been answered as we enter this exciting phase of completing the building.
We post periodic updates on what's happening on-site here, in the pre-service slides and on the church notice sheet each week. Updates are also flagged up on our Facebook page. Previous updates are archived so you can follow the project from the outset.
There's been steady progress on the new build, with installation of all the plumbing, boilers and underfloor heating happening over the past year. Some of the slower pace is due to us still fundraising for the last push to completion and not being able to progress faster until that funding was in place. There were also some delays due to lockdown and shortage of materials for some of the work. The church recently agreed to apply for a bridging loan contingent on selling our current site, so we're hoping that will enable us to complete the build well enough to start using the new building by the summer of next year.
This week saw the pouring of the first floor screed which means the underfloor heating is also in place. We're hoping to be connecting the gas supply before Christmas and we will be appointing a main contractor in the New Year to oversee and undertake the rest of the build.
Here's a quick video, taken by our planning and procurement manager Gary Anderson showing the first fill of the baptistry in situ, its plumbing and the under-platform space as well as a tour of the first floor for anyone that needs a refresher about the space.
We achieved water-tight shell status in time for our Good Friday service, with only a few snagging issues remaining. Recent heavy rainfall has been extremely beneficial for identifying the little leaks and our contractors are working to plug the gaps as we find them.
Some of the first fix work, particularly for preparation for heating the building over the winter months is under way. Aside from this, the site is essentially closed pending a review of work to date, work to come and its associated costs as well as fundraising to cover those costs. If you can help with a donation toward the completion of the building, please do so using the information above.
We are also having some exciting conversations with community groups who are interested in how we might work together in using the building once complete. The building was designed to be a community hub, and we are thrilled to see what God has planned for it (and us).
Our apologies for the lack of updates here... but here's where we are up to in the intervening months.
The majority of the time has been spent watching the walls slowly inch up course by course. This has taken much longer than quoted and expected, and has set the rest of the build back by a number of months. The roofs over the rear admin offices and sports hall were completed during the summer, and we have been waiting for the rest of the roofing to be installed - this is due to begin next week and is the most complicated area of roofing over the main worship area.
The majority of the external windows and doors have now been installed by Duplus, and the remainder of the glazing is the curtain walling and roof to the main atrium ('street') which is currently being manufacture and is due to start installation before the end of the year. Once this is completed, we will have a (hopefully) water-tight shell.
Rendering and cladding have started, and the building will start to have the final outward appearance as these coverings are completed.
We have connections to gas and electric, with water due any time. This has enabled us to off-hire our generator, which was a considerable cost each month. We hope to be able to fit out a couple of toilets early next year so that we can off-hire our chemical toilets and water storage bowser.
At a special church meeting at the end of October, we outlined the impact that increased costs and overruns had exacted on our initial budget and it has been suggested that once the building is water-tight we should pause to identify new funding as well as reappraise the internal fit out. Thanks were also expressed for the work that the project team were doing behind the scenes to get as far as we have.
Here's a couple of trivia facts - over two hundred and fifty different people have worked on site since we commenced work on the build and over 800 invoices have been processed and paid.
Now that most of the internal scaffolding has been struck, I've been able to get in and complete another grand tour - this time with windows!
The winter has not been kind to us, so far, on site. Contractors have had to deal with snow, ice, ankle-deep mud slurry, high winds and heavy rain. We've lost at least a week of work due to the inclement weather conditions, and it's a reminder that the final finish date is reliant on so many different variables. With the break for Christmas and various different issues on site, the build programme has slipped with a knock-on effect to the next major packages. Enough doom-saying - let's see what has been achieved since the last update!
Photo courtesy of Jason Jones, Elhance Ltd
Our roofing contractor, Elhance, sent up a drone to take some pictures of the site before they started installing the roof over the multi-use hall and the rear offices. Nets had been installed as a fall arrest, which is the green hue over the hall.
And here's the roof over the rear offices. It's a panel construction, with the bulk of the panel being a couple of inches of insulation sandwiched between a waterproof top layer and board bottom layer.
And here's a view of the roof over the first-floor multi-use hall. You can start to appreciate the height of the room - the hall will be big enough to host two full size badminton courts. The netting will come down in due course.
The bales contain the cavity wall insulation. There are two types of concrete blocks in the walls - these are paintgrade, which have a much smoother finish and will be the final finish to the wall other than a lick of paint. Standard blocks are used where plaster or render will cover them. The brickies use a palette truck to move them around the building.
Looking toward the front of the worship area, from under/over the balcony edge, we can see the walls to the first-floor level are pretty much complete. The curved exterior wall is almost complete to the roof level and the rest will be next to be finished so that work can start on the worship area roof.
We have engaged the services of a specialist firm to install walk-on netting slung from the wood Glulam beams to allow installation of the roof purlins and panels. They are based in Aberystwyth, Wales. Apparently, they will be roped up and shin along the beams to be able to do this, since we can't get access any other way. There are some hefty panels to install, so there is the potential for weather-related delays if high winds are forecast.
Welcome to the Help Desk!
This is the back side of the rear wall to the worship area and where the help desk will be. It's on the edge of the main street, and subject to enough funds being available will be one corner of the main hub of the building which will also include a seating and cafe area. To the right you can see down the corridor leading to several meeting rooms, with the angled wall belonging to the prayer room.
These are the ground-floor meeting rooms at the back of the building. The low double course walls mark the room dividers, with the nearest being where a bifold screen will be installed to allow two rooms to be one, and the far ones will be full walls. Their height is the depth of the floor insulation, including the underfloor heating pipes and then a screed layer over the top before topping off with the final floor covering.
Last, but by no means least, for this update is a photo of our bespoke baptistery. It will also have railings to the steps in and out as well as hot and cold water supply. It comes complete with fibreglass covers and will be arriving to site next month. Somewhat surprisingly, the hole ready for the pool at the front of the church isn't already completely full of water... The pool is fibreglass construction with integral insulation, so hopefully no shivering will be seen at baptisms!
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:
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 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 15 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 we believe that we have designed a building that will meet our current and future needs.
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: 3 Nov 2019