(Recorded in 2019)
The project is envisaged to comprise a first main phase and then a second phase as follows:
PHASE 1a: Church Centre Extension
PHASE 1b: Chapel alterations
PHASE 2: Link Building
The first phase (1a and 1b) is our immediate focus, with the following phase being undertaken as and when we can afford it. They're all included to provide a vision of how we see the development when it is completed, but each phase stands on its own and will provide more utility to the church.
Each phase of the project deals with some very specific needs that the church has developed over time:
PHASE 1a: extending the Centre building is now seen to be critical in helping us serve the community better, as well as providing more space on a Sunday. Our weekly "Bumps and Babes" parents and children group serves upward of 20 families, with 30 or more children, and meets in the Trinity room in the Centre. We could accommodate more and be less crowded if we had the space. In a 2019 survey many attendees commented on how they appreciated the group but that the space was a little cramped. This is also commonly the case when we host church lunches or other community events in the Centre, and the confined space is especially problematic for those with limited mobility. We'd like to make those events more comfortable and enjoyable, and our new extension will nearly double the floor area of the Trinity room.
PHASE 1b: the alterations to the chapel building will provide a level floor removing the unsightly and potentially hazardous ramp at the entrance to the space. The removal of the organ will provide more space and seating rows, allowing easier access for people with limited mobility. The rear wall will be partially replaced with folding screens which will permit greater inclusion at major events and meetings like the EDGE youth group. These alterations will provide the chapel area with the maximum practically possible floor area and should serve to support growth of numbers into the future.
PHASE 2: the link buildings will provide additional office space, a meeting room and a well-equipped kitchen. Although the kitchen in the centre has been refurbished since the centre was built, it is very cramped and not at all suitable for larger scale catering. With a better-equipped kitchen and more space for food preparation, we would, for example, be able to prepare and provide meals for large meetings, like for example, the Oasis event for seniors. It would also open up the possibility of being able to provide a lunch club for people in our community. The meeting room could be used as a creche on Sunday mornings, freeing up space in the Centre, while during the week it would be available to be used as a counselling room, by our own or third party counsellors. Our wish to help prevent social isolation and exclusion in the Comberton area would be well-served by this facility, as well as providing much-needed office and study space.
Building projects are never cheap, and the longer the preparation and fundraising phase goes on, the more expensive they become, because prices don't stand still. At the moment, we believe we can complete the project's three phases for less than £300k, but we do not anticipate raising that amount at the outset. The first phase (church centre extension and chapel alterations) would cost around £115k, and this is our first target.
As well as asking our membership to contribute to this, we are seeking funding from grant makers and also, if necessary, the Baptist Union who can provide long-term loans (10-15 years) to help us cover the costs. Of course a loan would come with a monthly repayment commitment on top of existing costs, so we will need to bear this in mind when we settle on the funding plan
Phone: 01223 264707