Over recent weeks we’ve been able to explore together what it means to become people fully alive in Christ, as we’ve reflected on themes of sowing, growing, pruning and bearing fruit.
One area of church life where there has been much sowing of seeds is our youth ministry and God has blessed us as a church with a growing, talented and servant hearted group of young people keen to reach out to their friends. There’s so much to be encouraged by, but as a leadership team we also believe there is plenty more fruit to come. As well as continuing to grow our traditional church youth groups, we have a vision for after school clubs that reach out into the community and a club that spans the top primary years, building on the work of JaM and Connect groups.
Hence the vision which has been evolving over the last couple of years, for a dedicated youth facility towards the rear of Christ Church Parish Hall.s a leadership team we also believe there is plenty more fruit to come. As well as continuing to grow our traditional church youth groups, we have a vision for after school clubs that reach out into the community and a club that spans the top primary years, building on the work of JaM and Connect groups.
Already this year, thanks to your generosity and a number of grants, we’ve seen the Parish Hall roof re-covered and some preliminary structural work on the youth hub entrance canopy completed. We’re now ready for Phase two – the youth hub itself – a concept which met with near universal approval from the congregation when we launched it early in 2012.
The underused stage is being taken out and the back section of the hall redesigned, to enable us to create a dedicated youth space which can be used either separately or in conjunction with the main hall area. A new side entrance will be built on the Christ Church Lane side of the building, and storage space revamped with one pallet racking systems. Young people have been consulted from the start on its key features and colour schemes and in recent weeks the project has been put out to tender and contractors appointed.
We have firm plans to start building work in early August, straight after the Summer Holiday Club, with the work taking place in two stages. The Hall would be closed for 4 weeks in August before the fitting out of the Youth Hub phase which will take a further 6 weeks.
The whole hall development project including the new roof, professional fees, fundraising costs, the youth hub itself and its interior furnishings will cost £228,000 approximately (including VAT). We’re so grateful to God that through his people and the generosity of external funders we have already received £187,000, which means we’re approximately £41,000 short of the total needed to meet all of our commitments. We are pursuing some small grants that are outstanding.
In addition with the wider mission of God’s church worldwide in view, the PCC has agreed that 10% of money donated to the hall project, and the anticipated church reordering project, by individuals, will help support the building of God’s church across the world. The main outworking of this will be through the work of ‘Transform Europe Now’’ in Moldova (eg to help with the provision of a new church building in our link village of Ursoaia), but may include other Kingdom building initiatives at the PCC’s discretion.
To meet these commitments, the PCC has approved a gift day period starting on Sunday June 16th and running until 7th July, the day when our youth group will be leading our morning service and we plan to celebrate God’s ongoing faithfulness and provision.
With a number of grant applications outstanding, our gift day target including tithe provision is £30,000.
We recognise that we’re living in a tight economic climate at present and are fully aware of the generous and sacrificial giving of many of you already but we firmly believe that this project will make a significant difference to our work with young people in the parish. All money given through the special ‘Youth Hub gift day 2013’ envelopes over the next few Sundays will make a difference, and if you’re a tax payer we can claim an extra 25% through gift aid.
If your finances are such that you are unable to make a donation immediately, do consider making a pledge on the form provided.
Please bring your gifts or pledges to a service on Sundays 16th or 30th June or return the gift envelope to the Parish Office at any point before 7th July. Cheques should be made payable to ‘PCC of Christ Church Downend’ or you can donate online – banking details shown on enclosed form.
Thank you in advance for your continuing generosity. Our sowing now will bear much fruit in the years to come.