Our new building 'began life' at a special church meeting on 27th July 2016. The church congregation and members had raised and pledged sufficient funding to start on site.

We are currently working on Phase 1 of our build project. 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 could allow us to move from our current site, 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' 

Download
Building To Serve: a guide to praying for the new church
Four pages of information, praise, feedback and prayer pointers.
BuildingToServe.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.2 MB

We are now in the process of raising the funds for the remainder of the construction and we need your help to make this vision a reality, whether by prayer, gift, pledge, sponsorship or community award.

The new building will be...

  • Contemporary – with a welcoming design true to our aim of a building to serve the needs of a growing church and be a resource to our locality.
  • Spacious – providing the space required for our growing church family to meet together and provide a meeting place for the community.
  • Community Friendly – providing a focal point for community life and the ministries which seek to serve the community such as our expanding playgroup.
  • Durable – built to last with good quality materials and modern building techniques.
  • Flexible – meeting the needs of diverse groups both inside and outside of the church family.

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. 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.

 

At a special church meeting in July 2016, we signed off on a loan which allowed us to start building. A site manager was appointed, and we broke ground in October 2016.

 

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 seeing our building take shape.

 

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. 



Download
WBC Building Fund Standing Order Form
All the information you need to set up regular giving to the WBC Building Fund by Standing Order.
WBCBFSO.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 83.3 KB

Wanting to know what's happening on site?

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.

January 2018

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!



Week 39

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.



Week 38

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 :)

 

Please note: 

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.


Week 27

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:

  • 9360 blocks will be required - 17 lorry loads
  • 154.36 tonnes of precast concrete beams will form the ground floor, a total end-to-end length of 3.1km, which stretches from current church to new site, back again, and returning to near the Lime Tree.

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:

  • our steelworkers will be back on site on Monday to move some of the steel braces in readiness for the first floor precast concrete slabs to be installed
  • scaffolding is to be installed around the edge of the ground floor, with steps up to the new floor level being included at the site office end of the building to allow safe access
  • the blocks for the floor are due to start being delivered at the end of next week
  • the beam and block floor installation is due to start the week after.

Happening behind the scenes:

  • the project management team meet on Monday evening - please pray for wisdom and clarity in our decision making as we choose contractors, monitor budgets and ensure everything stays on track
  • we are about to award the contract for the above-ground brick and blockwork, a decision will be made at the PMT meeting on Monday evening
  • Gary is meeting with contractors to plan the next phases of work, neatly meshing together the overlap of different trades, both in scheduling terms, and geographical location in the building (for example, the roofing can start to be installed to the rear of the building whilst the blockwork is done to the front, and then they will swap)
  • We have started finalising specifications and quotes for the glazing, particularly the curtain wall to the front of the building, and the large atrium skylight, and would hope to be placing an order in the near future.

Remember that previous site updates are stored in the New Build Archive


Download
Building Project Prayer Guide
Includes a list of the project team and board members of WBC Design Co Ltd
Building Project Prayer Guide V1.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 349.8 KB

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 having appointed a firm of architects, we now believe that we have designed a building that will meet our current and future needs.


We live to glorify God through Christ in worship, making disciples, loving one another and serving the community.

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.

Download
Whetstone Baptist Church New Building Prospectus
WBC New Building Prospectus 2013.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.8 MB

Page last updated: 13th February 2018