Day 10 - 'Ten trusteeships this year'
In 2023, Church Growth Trust was gifted or appointed as sole trustee for a diverse range of properties and trusteeships. Each one is unique presenting its own challenges and opportunities. Here is a snapshot of 2023.
Tyndale Baptist Chapel, Chipping Sodbury (owned) Despite its unique and somewhat remote location in the middle of a common, we were able to generate interest from two groups. Eventually, “The Shepherd’s Hut Ministries” began using the chapel, focusing on work particularly among men, after graciously being given the opportunity.
International Gospel Church, Edgware (sole trustee) – This impressive structure, once the home church of John Laing, consists of three interconnected buildings. With vast spaces ideal for community events, including a kitchen for hosting cooking classes. Plans are also underway for a scheme to improve access for people with disabilities.
Chorley Gospel Hall (owned) – As the original Brethren assembly closed, it was important that we found a way to ensure the building could continue its Gospel use. As it was originally for Brethren use only, we obtained approval from the Charity Commission to broaden the trusts to allow another evangelical church to use the building.
Providence Baptist Church, Westbury (sole trustee) – Originally one of the Fellowship Property Trust (FPT) trusteeships, CGT assumed responsibilities as trustee for this prominent 19th-century chapel. We provided guidance on infrastructural concerns such as asbestos and heating systems.
Atworth Independent Church (sole trustee) – Also originally an FPT Trusteeship. Despite complexities involving the Charity Commission, we have been actively involved in addressing structural issues and even supporting the team in leading a church weekend.
Needham Market Evangelical Church (owned) – A thorough survey identified pressing roofing issues, relating to deteriorating asbestos. This led to prompt repairs and maintenance arranged by the church.
Walberton Baptist Church, Arundel (sole trustee) – The church has kept the two properties (a chapel and a hall) in good condition over the years, having recently carried out works to improve access for people with disabilities. They also sought our guidance on Building Regulations, a much-needed asbestos survey and a management plan.
Old City Hall, West Mersea (sole trustee) – This small fellowship punches well above its weight and has a very popular men’s breakfast and other activities during the week. They asked Church Growth Trust to take on the trusteeship to assist with their building project, to transform the small wooden building making it suitable for their Gospel outreach on the island.
West Worthing Evangelical Church, Worthing – (sole trustee) – Also originating from FPT, this small and very competent fellowship had kept on top of the legal requirements of running the church and building. Several retired leaders were also on hand offering spiritual maturity. However, the church had not seen much growth in the last few years. CGT collaborated closely with the team to help them with trusteeship in case there is a need to find other churches to work with them or to manage any future closure.
East Dean Free Church, Chichester (sole trustee) An intriguing chapel constructed on natural springs (water, not coils!), designed to let the water flow away. The fellowship, centered around a local farming family, is currently small but optimistic about expansion. We’re aiding them in handling practical matters and urging them to explore the Church Revitalisation Project in partnership with CGT.