Chelmsley Wood Baptist Church faith//hope//love

  • Still steady....

    Nearly there! I've met with Solihull Council and the MP and the regeneration people, and they were all very supportive as we discussed the way ahead for the development work. The final arrangements are in place for the land exchange, which will release £200,000 from Solihull MBC/Regeneration which makes our fundraising total £400,000 (With £100,000 each from Birmingham and Black Country Community Foundation and Heart of England Baptist Association and about £10,0000 raised locally). This is 2/3 of the total cost and we are, this week, working out wat can be done with that. The complication is over some of the work (such as the wiring and heating) which can't be done piecemeal as we don't want to finish a room for example and then have to rip it apart at a later stage. Because don't have enough for all the work we have to leave the heating/wiring out for now until we have raise the balance of the funds.

    All credit to the contractor, Quantity Surveyor and architects, they keep coming back, changing stuff, discussing it, then doing it again! We will know for sure by the end of the week (I hope), what this revised Phase 1 will consist of, but it is likely to be all of the externals (roof/windows) and the main entrance area. Even this will give us a much improved building, after 20+ years we will finally be able to remove the buckets from the corridor. We may have a de-bucketting ceremony! Once that's done we can start functioning again and will relaunch the building at that point.

    The interior work that doesn't get completed at this point will become Phase 2 and hopefully will be fairly straightforward (famous last words). Now we know the score we can begin the next wave of fundraising, which will be appealing for smaller amounts to a larger number of funders, breaking the project into specific areas, such as community meeting space, enterprise/office areas and so on. This may make fundraising easier as smaller funders don't like putting amounts into big schemes as it is harder to see the difference they have made. We need to raise another £200,000 for the interior work which, in the grand scheme of things, isn't a huge amount. So, if you've got a spare £5000, now's the time to give it!

    In the mean time, thank you to everyone who has supported us so far, we are about to begin the major change to the building. This will give our community the opportunity to grow and develop, to give a space for people to meet and work together towards transforming their lives and the life of our community.

    Nerve wracking but exciting times!

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Neil (the minister) occasionally gets round to blogging so welcome to the trivia and ramblings of an erratic stream of consciousness.

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