Church Growth Trust (CGT) is trustee of a property Trust that owns Alexandra Hall in Wood Green, London. Since 2005 this has been let to Grace Baptist Church. Several years ago, we started a discussion with the church about creating a flat in the roof space of the Hall, as the church needed accommodation for a worker.
There was a battle with the planning authority over the design and concerns from the neighbours, particularly with the access to the flat, as this overlooked their gardens and created a large bulk of a building at the rear of our property. At this point we realised that the space at the rear of the property was not being fully utilised, so began investigating the possibility of building a ground floor extension to the main gospel hall.
Having obtained prices from contractors we realised that we could not afford to do all the work. As the flat was no longer needed, we agreed with the church to scale back the building project and focus purely on the ground floor extension. This was much more acceptable to both the planners and the neighbours and fitted better with CGT’s focus on church buildings rather than residential properties.
The new plan provides the church with a smaller meeting room for bible studies, prayer meetings and community activities, perfectly complementing the large worship area. The revised scheme was agreed, planning permission granted, and prices obtained from contractors. The successful contractor has worked with CGT before, on an extension to Roe Green Hall in Kingsbury. They are Christians and have been very flexible to ensure that the costs match the resources that the property Trust and the church have.
We are delighted that after a few years, the project has started. Giles Arnold, CGT’s Chief Executive said, “I can see the Lord’s hand on this. When we thought we were going round in circles, He was bringing us to the plan that He had all along! And when we got there the church were ready, the right contractor was available and everything else has fitted into place. Praise God for His provision.”