At the beginning of this month Church Growth Trust (CGT) took on two Gospel halls. As with all CGT properties they are both unique. One is Northumberland Hall in Margate and the other is West Street Gospel Hall in Hucknall, to the north of Nottingham. Northumberland Hall is a decent sized building with additional meeting rooms and a car park. Although there are some works that will need to be done over the next few years, the building is generally in good order and will for many years serve the assembly that will continue to meet in the building.
West Street Gospel Hall is very different, as it at present only has the main worship area, a kitchen and a WC, with no car parking, and is in need of work to provide access for people with disabilities and other repairs to put it in good condition. Also, the assembly has closed and the building is available for another evangelical church to use.
As John Duffield, CGT’s Property Manager says, “each building has its own challenges and in many ways that is why trustees want to gift properties to Church Growth Trust, in order for us to help any occupying church to deal with these challenges. We give thanks that the Lord continues to provide for each situation and, even when a building needs a fair amount of work, there are usually churches that are keen to use them as a centre of worship and outreach to the local community.”
Church Growth Trust has been working closely with the assembly at Northumberland Hall for the last two and a half years, not only to negotiate the way through the trusteeship issues, but also to help them to deal with repairs and improvements to the property, even before CGT became the trustee. Although West Street Gospel Hall has a number of issues that will need to be dealt with and even has an above ground second world war air raid shelter behind the main building, there are short term solutions to allow the building to be used and longer term plans that would allow the building to be extended on the site. There is likely to be more news on this in the near future.