We Got Planning Permission!
Two years ago we began to dream together.
It was a dream about how the premises we’ve been entrusted with can be transformed to better serve our vision.
It was a dream about opening up our space for much, much more gospel seed to be sown; for lives to be transformed.
People said it couldn’t happen: “You’re a listed building, you’ll never get permission for that.” But nothing is impossible for God!
Prior to even getting planning permission we stepped out in faith, and together we gave/pledged £387,000! Wow! Thank you!
Last Sunday we celebrated that on Thursday we were granted full planning permission. We invited Carl Beech to speak on the Ultimate Father for Father’s Day. Maybe you’ve heard of him? He leads Christian Vision for Men, The Gathering, The Edge and Redeemer King Church. Personally, I think he must have a secret twin to do all that! Not knowing that we’d been granted planning permission until that morning, and not knowing that next Sunday will be our Vision and Giving Day (until I mentioned it at the very end of the service), he said this in his preach:
“I feel like God would say to you as a church (and I didn’t know about these building plans, how significant that was) I feel God say: Don’t hold back in this next season. Empty your pockets with this. This is a unique divine opportunity you have as a church. You should use whatever God has placed in your hands to create a dynamic rescue centre in the heart of London. And I know everyone must talk about the heritage of this church. I know the history of this church and it’s a great privilege to be invited to speak and I’m grateful to Howard and the team for inviting me to speak. But actually I feel like one of the most significant things I could say to you of those who believe and follow Christ in this church is at this moment, “Do not hold back! Use everything God has placed in your hands!” I think this granting you planning permission is probably a miracle. It doesn’t easily happen to Grade 2 listed churches – particularly churches! I think you’re on the edge of maybe something extremely significant. Do not hold back! And if you’re not yet behind the vision I think I can say as someone who’s a complete outsider: Get behind it because I believe it’s of the Lord. It’s solidly of Jesus.”
What a divine encouragement!
With just a few tweaks, and no (- yes, zero!) – objections, even from groups we were told object as a matter of standard practice, we have been granted full planning permission.
This really is the favour of God and we must stop to thank Him. He is good, so please take a moment to say a prayer of thanks right now! Thank God for granting us such favour and reminding us He really is in control.
And then we should get ourselves ready to give (if and as we are able).
This Sunday, 23rd June is our Vision and Giving Day. It’s our opportunity to leave a legacy of generosity; to sow into lives being transformed.
The latest revised costings put the original Phase 1 costs at £1.7million (ramped access, new welcome and community space, removal of pews, enlarged stage).
Our architects are encouraging us to do this in conjunction with Phase 1A: lift installation and transformation of adjacent spaces, for a total of £2.2million.
We intend to sell both of Chapel’s remaining investment properties, which could bring in a total of £900,000, subject to getting a good price and ideally staggering their sale, so £450,000 goes to Phase 1 and £450,000 to Phase 1A. We are applying for suitable grant funds, and could receive £100,000-450,000. We are also emailing former members to invite them to sow something back into a church who’s ministry has blessed them.
But there is still more for us to do. So please pray and ask God about what you might be able to give/pledge to make this vision a reality. Every little bit matters, whether it’s the widows mite (Luke 21:1-4) or the sale of a field/property you own (Acts 4:32-37).
If you’ve been holding back, now is the time to give. If you are pledging, pledge until the end of 2019 and please redeem your gift before then. More financial details to follow on Thursday.
We only plan on holding one giving day for the building project this year, let’s make it count! And pray that God supernaturally multiplies our sacrificial generosity, loaves and fishes style (Luke 9:10-17) that we have more than we need to accomplish his purposes.
See you Sunday. This is one you won’t want to miss, one of those “I was there when…” moments.
WAYS TO GIVE:
Here’s a video showing what God-willing *could* happen to the Chapel: