One hundred reasons to celebrate

Holding a hundred church properties is a reason to celebrate; not because Church Growth Trust has a large and valuable portfolio of properties; the value of the properties is to some extent irrelevant, as long as the properties are being used for Gospel purposes. The main reason for celebrating is to give thanks to God for his faithfulness in growing the ministry of Church Growth Trust and enabling the Trust to safeguard so many buildings for use by independent evangelical churches as they reach their local community with the life-changing Gospel of salvation.

When Church Growth Trust was set up in 2010, it held 60 properties, which had been passed on from Stewardship (previously known as the United Kingdom Evangelization Trust). It then merged with the Midland Evangelization Trust (MET) in 2012, taking on 20 or so properties from this Trust. As David Jones, a former trustee of the MET and an elder in one of Church Growth Trust’s properties, states

“In 2012 the trustees at MET realised that with more stringent legal requirements, developments in society, the demographic of our fellowships and the way we need to ‘do church’ in the 21st Century, that changes in how we held our properties was needed.
After prayerful consideration and discussions with Giles Arnold from Church Growth Trust, MET transferred its properties to CGT and this has turned out to have been a good thing. We now have ready access to professional advice in many areas, and not just confined to property issues. We have found that the transfer has not led to interference, but assistance. The fact that CGT’s default position is always to make every effort to continue the Lord’s work in His buildings, gives us peace of mind for the future and confidence that we are stewarding God’s gifts as we should”.

The number of church properties – chapels and gospel halls being held by independent evangelical churches – that are being gifted to CGT or where CGT is appointed as sole trustee, is rising, with eight properties having been taken on over the last 12 months alone. As Neil Walker, Church Growth Trust’s new Chairman, states
“we know that there are many independent churches that are struggling due to age, infirmity and lack of numbers. Unless something dramatic happens, a lot of these will close in the next few years. We are desperate for these Gospel buildings not to be lost for the Kingdom by being sold to developers or other faith groups and we believe that God has called us at Church Growth Trust to play our part in safeguarding these properties for the future. We want property trustees and elders of assemblies to know that there is an alternative to struggling on or selling to a developer”…

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Foundations Autumn 2019