Two very different properties – January 2020

In the last few months Church Growth Trust has taken on two new properties. Although they are both church properties, they are very different. The first is literally down the road from Everton Football Club’s grounds and is in an area of high deprivation in Walton, Liverpool. This is Spellow Lane Church (or “Church in the Middle”) and is a decorative brick structure built in the 19th century for a Welsh Calvinistic congregation.

It is in need of major refurbishment, not only to deal with a roof that continues to cause problems, but also to modernise the building to make it suitable for modern church use and reaching the local community with the Gospel. Church Growth Trust has already commissioned a feasibility study from a local architect and has agreed with the occupying church plans for changing the layout of the building. This will make the building more open and welcoming, fully accessible for people with disabilities, multi-functional for worship and community activities, and cost and energy efficient. The church is delighted with Church Growth Trust’s proactive approach and are already looking at ways of raising funds for the work.

The second property is Ebenezer Baptist Chapel, which is near the city centre in Chester, surrounded by businesses and expensive flats.

The building is modern, with the majority built in the 1960s and extensions added and refurbishments carried out within the last 15 years. It is in good condition and already very suitable for modern church use. The church is also delighted that Church Growth Trust will be involved with the property, giving guidance on building and compliance issues.

Whereas Spellow Lane Church was gifted to Church Growth Trust from local trustees, Ebenezer Baptist Chapel has had to be a sole trusteeship, as there is an ultimate beneficiary to the property Trust. FIEC Limited were the previous trustee, but, as with other properties, they are asking Church Growth Trust to take on the management of the property, because CGT has the expertise to do so.