• DEVELOPMENT NEWS

    At last! The contract is signed.

    Members of the Church and Congregation attending last Sunday’s Church Meeting witnessed the signing of the contract with Wernick Buildings for the erection of our new Hall and Community Centre. This follows weeks of negotiations over the terms of the contract and we are both relieved and thankful to God that an agreement has finally been reached.

    Rapid Progress

    If that sounds like a contradiction then think again. While they were negotiating over the contract Wernicks had started to order in materials for the build and some sub-assemblies were almost complete on signing. We have been told that the factory build should be complete by the end of next week. The building will consist of 14 modules, each the width of the new building and around 3 metres wide. These are fitted out in the factory so that the amount of work that needs to be done on site is reduced to a minimum. Internal walls are specified and built at this stage and windows and doors are built and fitted.

    Decisions, decisions

    Your Trustees have been busy approving various changes to the initial design (not all of which are yet shown on the plans on display) and agreeing variations to the contract. One of these, agreed by members last Sunday, was to drop the folding partition in the first floor hall. It seems unlikely that it would have been much used since most activities use the whole hall and we have two large meeting rooms on the ground floor and will save us £10,500. This will help to finance other important improvements. A further £4896 will be saved by not enclosing the external condensers that are the core of the heating and cooling system. Another decision that had to be made urgently was which walls to reinforce so that they could have heavier items (like display screen) hung on them.

    At present it looks as though there will be very little change in the final cost of the building as against the original quote once all the changes are finalised.

    It’s not just Wernicks

    There are a number of other items of expense that are independent of the build. These include extending the concrete fence to the side of our site so that it reaches full height right to the front of the property. We know that trespassers have been in the grounds and it will be important to cut off this means of access. Security generally will be important and the Trustees are considering what other fencing will be needed and whether we need to fit CCTV cameras. We are also trying to make the building easy to access for wheelchair users and others with mobility problems. Emergency vehicle access need to be planned for. Most of these issues are reflected in the ‘Choices’ sheet on the display. Do look at this and make your views known.

    Prayer is important

    Please don’t stop praying now that work is about to start. Pray that the building process goes smoothly, for the Trustees that we may make the right decisions in conjunction with the Church, that relations with the Council and other official bodies may be co-operative and helpful, for the Church that we may grow and become more effective and for the uses the building will be put to. The building is not the end – the important thing is how it is used in God’s service.

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  • DEVELOPMENT NEWS - what next??

    We’re getting quotes for the hall’s demolition, and at time of writing, waiting for news of our finance application to the Baptist Union. As soon as we receive that, we can notify the builders and should be within 8 weeks of opening our new Community Hall!

    As reported in our last Development News, our relationship with the NHS is back on track. It appears that the local Clinical Commissioning Group [CCG] is keen to invest in the development of GP services in our area! We‘re still waiting to hear about acquiring the next-door plot - the GP’s interest should help us here to keep pressure on the Council so please keep praying.

    We have also had news of a major grant award [£20,000] - please pray for more of the same. Many thanks to the church for a great increase in our giving, which is most helpful because major funds are still needed: Phase 1 will cost us over £500,000. Our Near Neighbours’ grant has helped us improve the safety and efficiency of our tea bar and associated activities. This is already making our outreach to the community, especially those of other faiths and cultures, easier, as we have a safe and properly equipped refreshment area to run welcome events in.

    The Community Library opened a year ago. We offered to host this as, due to Government cuts and lack of use, the local branch library had to close. The community’s and Council’s goodwill regarding this and our other community services, including the free Christmas meal, is very encouraging. Several folk drop in for a chat and free coffee, and books are donated often. We have 2 new helpers, who are a real blessing.

    The references to Gideon and Nehemiah are repeated here from last time, but still very relevant: it is the fact that the Lord is with Gideon that helps him to accomplish a great deal with very little. Thanks to God that He IS with us! Our recent studies in the Book of Nehemiah are showing us what a huge difference even one person of faith can make when they pray and obey the Lord’s leading. We can give thanks for the amazing ways in which God is helping us fulfil His vision and to get Phase 1 of The Beacon Project - the replacement of the community hall - under way. For the future we need to be aware of the challenges to church unity that await us, and to keep working and praying together for the entire fulfilment of the vision God has given us.

    If you are not yet in a Beacon Group - where news about the development and prayers are shared, along with Bible study and friendly discussions - do come along, either to Hubert & Hyacinth’s on Monday evenings, to Janet’s at church on Tuesday evenings, or to Heather’s at church on Thursday mornings. We also meet to pray for the whole Beacon Project on the second Saturday, 9-1pm & the first Monday of each month at 7.30pm.

    ANY QUESTIONS??

    Please come to the Church Meeting on Weds 13th January, 7.30pm Every blessing, your minister, Elaine

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  • DEVELOPMENT NEWS March 2015

    IMPORTANT NEWS: Prayer works!

    In our last Development News, prayer was asked for, and more recently the Building Group prayed for good news. We were experiencing serious problems with our NHS partners, we‘d lost the neighbouring land, and had a major hitch with applying for planning permission. The situation now is that our relationship with the NHS is back on track, we‘ve been offered the chance to buy the neighbouring plot, AND our planning application is in, and has passed the first hurdle! As shared in last year’s Development News, the Bible tells us that God says “I will turn all my mountains into roads” [Isaiah 49.11]. During prayer about the NHS problems, we have received a picture of a long, straight road, along which a church representative was running, plus the assurances that God is with us; He is near us, and “I am with you, says the Lord“, so let us continue to thank God that things we might see as mountainous difficulties in our re-development, will become highways for the Lord’s work to proceed along, at a running pace!

    PLEASE pray for a funding breakthrough to come - preferably at that running pace! Graham’s work on fundraising applications continues: we’ve been awarded some small grants and we are hopeful for more success in the months to come, but major funds are needed: Phase 1 will cost us over £300,000. In the meantime we have been awarded a Near Neighbours grant, of a little over £2000 to help us develop a tea bar and associated activities. This will make our outreach to the community, especially those of other faiths and cultures, easier, as we’ll have a safe and properly equipped refreshment area to run welcome events in.

    This will hopefully increase the visits of local people to the Community Library, which opened on our premises in January. We offered to host this as, due to Government cuts, the local branch library had to close. This is combining well with Pam’s work with toddlers and the Bizzie Bees Nursery, who all use the Library now. We’ve started slow and small but library use by folk previously unknown to us is growing. It helps us understand that, like the story of Gideon, it is the fact that the Lord is with Gideon that helps him to accomplish a great deal with very little. Our recent studies in the Book of Nehemiah are showing us what a huge difference even one person of faith can make when they pray and obey the Lord’s leading. We can give thanks for the amazing ways in which God is helping us fulfil His vision and to get Phase 1 of The Beacon Project - the replacement of the community hall - under way. For the future we need to be aware of the challenges to church unity that await us, and to keep working and praying together for the fulfilment of the vision God has given us.

    If you are not yet in a Beacon Group - where news about the development and prayers are shared, along with Bible study and friendly discussions - do come along, either to Hubert & Hyacinth’s on Monday evenings, to Janet’s at church on Tuesday evenings, or to Heather’s at church on Thursday mornings. We also meet to pray for the whole Beacon Project on first Saturdays & Mondays.

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  • Sundon Park has a Library Again!

    Press Release:

    Last year, Sundon Park Library closed, but a local church offered space to host what they could of the books and services. At first they ran the under-fives Rhyme Time Group, but now, thanks to the donations of bookshelves from Fiona, Karen and Helen, and advice from Central Library's Andrew Bond, they're able to lend books - both adult and children's fiction.

    "We're open from 9:30 - 12 noon, Monday to Friday, and offering free tea and coffee while people browse the books" says minister Revd Elaine Cockbill. "We've even bought a filter coffee machine to serve proper coffee! We've trained some volunteers to help, but can always welcome more, so if anyone else loves books and helping others, do get in touch. As we grow, and train more volunteers, we hope to be open for longer. It's starting small but we hope it will expand as more people find out about and support it."

    The volunteers' reasons fo helping range from 'loving books and reading' to 'wanting to help others, especially children, to read.' In time, the new library hopes to become an advice and education centre for the people of Sundon Park. Says Elaine, "Many people already use our building for keep fit, indoor bowls, a Singing Cafe, dementia care, money advice and other support groups, so the library will fit in well here."

    The new Library is in Sundon Park Baptist Church, next to Dildar Indian Restaurant on Sundon Park Parade, LU3 3AL. It is wheelchair accessible. Tel 01582 576 974 for more information.

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  • DEVELOPMENT NEWS June 2014

    IMPORTANT NEWS: Prayer is vital!

    We have heard that our hoped-for partnership with local doctors has been affected by NHS cuts. HOWEVER: this partnership was God’s idea so we are holding on in faith to the vision He’s given us of how the Beacon Centre will be a place of healing, and we’re trusting that He will give us favour with the authorities to bring this partnership about. The encouragement to pray also applies to our application for planning permission, which sadly has been delayed yet again. Unfortunately the architect has not only taken months to get back to us with revised plans [caused by not being able to expand onto the plot next door] but he has now presented us with plans which contradict many months of our instructions to him. This is a serious set-back for us and leads us to think we’ll be better off looking elsewhere for help: we will be discussing this in our Church meeting. The plot next door is now going to be used by the school for extra car-parking, which at first seemed like a great loss to us, but we have made good links with the Headteacher, and the local council representative, and we have been told that we will be able to share their car parking spaces, which will be a great help to us in our planning application.

    Graham’s work on fundraising applications has begun to be effective and we are hopeful for even more success in the months to come. He has also been working on our Business Plan, which we will need for the larger funding applications.

    Martin has been working hard to counter the damp and mould problems in the hall, to enable the Bowls group to return to us this month - we have missed them and it has been hard to see our community outreach work curtailed due to our premises’ problems over the winter.

    Pam’s work with ToTs, our toddler outreach, and Rhyme Time, our adoption of the Library’s work with babies and toddlers, is going well and gives us great encouragement for the future. We have also welcomed a Romanian family to church, which has been confirmation of that part of the vision related to teaching literacy and English to young incoming families.

    As shared in the last Development News, the Bible tells us that God says “I will turn all my mountains into roads” [Isaiah 49.11]. Since then, during prayer about the NHS hitch, we have received a picture of a long, straight road, along which a church representative was running, plus the assurances that God is with us; He is near us, and “I am with you, says the Lord“, so let us continue to thank God that things we might see as mountainous difficulties in our re-development, will become highways for the Lord’s work to proceed along, at a running pace! We are also coming to understand that, like the story of Gideon, it is the fact that the Lord is with Gideon that helps him to accomplish a great deal with very little. Let us keep these things in mind as we continue to pray and trust.

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