One of the things I didn't cover on Vision Sunday is all things buildings. So here goes:
Church Offices: Our lease on the London Street offices has now expired and we are in the process of signing a 1 year lease with LatinLink. The main point of note is that both tenant & landlord will have a three month notice period, so although the lease is for 12 months both parties can give 3 months notice.
Reading Girls' School: Last Sunday morning we put out 280 chairs and gathered 238 people. The students return this week so we expect another 40-50 additional people ... potentially it's standing room only this Sunday morning. Although that may sound exciting, it sends a rubbish signal to new people i.e. there's no room for you here.
South St Arts Centre: On Sunday night 80 people gathered to worship Jesus and hear our God given vision. The seating capacity is 123.
Lease / Purchase new Venue: The plan is still to lease (maybe even buy) a venue big enough to do everything in one place i.e. move the offices and the two Sunday congregations onto one site (ideally in a central/south Reading location).
Some comments: We have spent the last 12 months chasing various leads and drawn a few conclusions:
#1 The process is important - God is using this to work in us; the process is, and will be, a means of grace to us.
#2 The Buildings Team are not aware of any venue to buy or lease that meets our minimum criteria. So we will have to actively wait and creatively use the space we have.
#3 We need to keep 'Believing for our tomorrow' which must surely include facilities that better serve our calling here in Reading.
Point 3 is important because it means that 'in faith' we are not willing to sign a longer agreement for our office hub.
Point 3 is important because it means that even though we don't know the final outcome we are acting & trusting that God will provide for us.
Point 3 is important because it means we must keep investing into the Vision Fund which we will use to lease/buy/kit-out/run this new facility.
I hope that helps ... any questions or comments?