“God is bringing something about in this church which is unique and special, remain attentive to what he is doing in your life; Don’t miss the boat.”
I had the pleasure of meeting Rachel Morley in March who is a Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) Guardian and a director of Friends for Friendless Churches. We met to discuss what our site might look like in the future. She explained to me that what she sees and understands is happening here, is not happening anywhere else that she is involved with. This is significant and encouraging! There are many redundant churches that are being put to new uses by organisations such as the Churches Conservation Trust. They take churches that are not used for worship anymore, look at the needs of the community, and then apply some creative architecture to meet these needs. ‘All Souls’, Bolton is a great example of this, and has been very successful. We both agreed that our site has massive potential to be significant in our city. My prayer and hope for our future is to be a thriving and growing church, which thinks creatively— outside of the box, and applies that thinking to everything we do; including the development of the site.
Blue sky thinking is fun but there are many areas of the building that are in desperate need of repair and maintenance.
We are very excited to announce that the PCC have been awarded 2 major grants to carry our urgent repairs to the church roof and associated rainwater systems.
The Heritage Lottery Fund have awarded a total grant of £249,600 across two phases. An initial development grant of £18,600, awarded in December 2016, allowed the project team to undertake key surveys and investigations in preparation for the project. This phase was completed in December 2017 and the church has now been awarded a further £231,000 delivery phase grant— this grant makes up 66 per cent of the total delivery costs of £375,294. The PCC have also been awarded £20,000 from the National Churches Trust, which will help to cover some of this cost. The rest of the funds will be covered by PCC contributions and by claiming eligible VAT through the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme. Work will begin in May 2018 and is scheduled to last for 6 months.
The last year has been significant for our church; the dots are starting to join up not just in the physical, but in the spiritual realm too. The Lord is bringing about something which is going to change everything; for the Kingdom of God is at hand. However, if we fail to engage with Him personally—whilst our attention is diverted— we may just miss the boat altogether.
So, remain attentive to what the Lord is doing in you personally, deal with stuff as he raises it, giving Him glory and praise in every situation. Don’t give in to busyness, consumerism and ultimately idolatry. But allow the great creator, Father God to work powerfully in you and through you, his beloved.
- Tim Browne