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4 April 2014

Refresh Update - ‘Figuring Out the Cost’ - No. 6

Jonathan Beer Jonathan Beer Elder
Church building external

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. What is the first thing you will do? Won’t you sit down and figure out how much it will cost and if you have enough money to pay for it? Luke14: 28 (CEV)

As we progress with planning for refurbishing the building, we do need to count the cost. One evening last week, several people with building expertise gathered at church with our architect, David Leighton, to look at the drawings and to discuss a number of topics and the best way forward. The skills represented included engineering, quantity surveying, project management and architecture.

It is clearly important that we understand the costs involved, and use wisely the resources God provides.

What kinds of costs?

But what do we mean by figuring out the cost? It is clearly more than the funds we need to raise – though that is obviously vital. It includes:

  • Time in prayer across the whole church seeking God’s wisdom and direction.
  • Significant grace as we move towards final plans. We all have ideas and suggestions, which are very welcome. However, it would be unrealistic to imagine that every idea could be included, or every priority catered for, in the final plans.
  • Parts of the building will be out of commission during the building work, which will also require real grace as we cope with the disruption.
  • Time and effort of the building project team, including designing, planning, project managing, liaising with our landlords, and securing planning approval from Southampton City Council
  • Grace to accept change and adjustment of priorities. As a church we need to examine the potential future needs of our building. Our ministry focus needs to be relevant for the needs of today and tomorrow, and that could well impact the requirements for our building.

Building for the future

Part of calculating the cost is listening to views and ideas from the church family. The project team is meeting with various ministry leaders to share ideas and gather feedback. But don’t forget the opportunities for you to keep up to date with progress, and share your thoughts and ideas in the open forums:

  • 6 April, 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
  • 13 April, 9:30 – 10:50 am
  • 27 April, 5:00 – 6:15 pm

Our current building has served us well for more than thirty years. We want to ensure that, whatever the final plans are and whatever we do, it will serve us and the next generation well. It’s right that we first sit down and figure out the cost. Please will you help us do so by supporting the Refresh project in prayer: for God-given wisdom and insight as we look to Him to direct us in all these details?

Jonathan Beer

Pray for

  • The building team as they listen to many people’s ideas and perspectives, and try to take account of as many as possible in their thinking
  • Jonathan Beer as he leads the building team
  • Architect David Leighton as he works on designs
  • Grace for all of us during this time of development and change
  • The Lord to provide all that we need to enable the work to go ahead


Backing the vision

Bringing the good news of Christ to the heart of the city has always been the heart-beat of Above Bar Church. New ministry opportunities with a refurbished building will provide fresh impetus in this vital work for the coming generation. I warmly commend this visionary plan.

David Jackman – Senior Minister of Above Bar Church, 1976–1991

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