Tonight at our members’ church meeting we made the momentous decision to move from the fundraising phase on to the next phase – the actual commencement of the refurbishment.
This perhaps warrants a few words of explanation. Over the recent months we have received further gifts and pledges from members of the congregation, and we have been able transfer some surplus funds from our church general fund into the building fund. (These surplus funds became available essentially because we currently do not have a minister in the church’s employment.)
That together with some savings we have identified on the project has meant that we now have enough money in the bank in order to pay for all of the essential parts of the refurbishment: the main building costs, the replacement heating system, the kitchen refit, and all of the associated professional and planning/regulatory fees. We have also allowed a margin to cover some additional necessary costs that were not included in the original plan.
The potential savings arise in three main areas. Firstly, Richard from our congregation has re-covered all of our existing chairs at nominal cost, which means we can defer the purchase of new chairs. Secondly, we can reduce the cost of the stairlift substantially by fitting a reconditioned unit instead of a new one. Finally, we think we can cut back considerably on the audio-visual system that was specified, perhaps making use of some of the existing equipment for the time being. This is something that could be upgraded in stages as money becomes available. However, we are keen to replace the projection screen with a flat panel TV from the outset, which will eliminate the projector plinth in front of the pulpit and greatly improve the clarity of photographs and videos.
We are just in the process of arranging the pre-contract meeting with our main contractor. After this we will be studying the contract very carefully and all being well signing it in the not-to-distant future. Exciting times are ahead.
Please keep on praying. “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain.” Psalm 127:1.
Our vision is for East Leake Baptist Church to become a hub of community life in East Leake. I’d like to see the church open every day, used by many different groups, with a constant stream of people coming and going. That could be the subject of a whole other piece, so I’ll end here for tonight.