The first of February 2022 was a busy day, as Church Growth Trust (CGT) took on five new properties/trusteeships on the same day. These included three where the Fellowship Property Trust (FPT) had previously been the holding trustee and are part of the large number of trusteeships that we are taking on from FPT. Two of these – Hilmarton Chapel near Calne and Bethany Evangelical Church near Mexborough – are small elderly fellowships that are concerned about the future and have decided to give their properties to CGT, so that we can give them practical help in managing their properties, as well as ensuring that the building is kept in Gospel use for the future. Avenue Road Evangelical Church at Sandown on the Isle of Wight has decided to appoint CGT as holding trustee only. This is mainly to save having to register the title with the Land Registry every time a new managing trustee is appointed.
CGT also took on the sole managing trusteeship of Cherith Christian Fellowship at High Wycombe, where Stewards Company Limited had previously been the trustee. Giles Arnold, CGT’s Chief Executive, states, “although the Fellowship have kept the property in good order over many years, we have provided them with a condition survey to help them think through repairs and compliance issues that need to be dealt with over the next few years”.
The final property that has been gifted to Church Growth Trust, where we were previously the custodian trustee, is Braintree Evangelical Church. The church has decided to close and CGT is in discussion with two other local churches, with the possibility of one of them taking on the use of the building. As Giles says, “we are passionate about keeping these buildings in Gospel use and are sure that the Lord will provide us with a church that is suitable”.
Although the transfers all completed on 1 February, the majority of the work had taken place over the previous few months. This continues with many other properties and trusteeships that CGT is taking on from FPT, Stewards Company and other local trustees. In many ways at the moment every day is a busy day!