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Source: (consider it) Thread: New church building
HCH
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# 14313

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I am a layman, and I attend a church in a town in the American Midwest. Our building is quite nice and many of us are very fond of it, but it is getting old and the needed repairs would cost more than the building is worth. Accordingly, there is a plan to buy land, erect a new church building and sell the existing building.

A vote is scheduled on this matter a few days from now. I probably will not be voting as there is some technical sense in which I am not a full member. In any case, I think it will be approved, and I see the need (although I do not see how they plan to raise the money).

On the other hand, the site chosen for the new building is about 2.5 miles from my home, and I do not own a car. I'm not sure I will continue at this church if I have to walk for an hour each way, although I do like many of the people.

Am I correct to think that many churches experience similar events? Does this sort of move tend to turn out well?

Posts: 1511 | From: Illinois, USA | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
Gramps49
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# 16378

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HCH

There is a community not too far from me that has a very old building that is in constant need of repair. It is in the center of town and people just do not want to give up that location. But the building cannot serve its purpose anymore.

A couple of things come to mind in my response to you.

!) What is to prevent you from joining the congregation before the vote?

2) Have you expressed your concerns about the extra distance for you? Maybe the congregation can find a way to accommodate your needs.

In my own experience with building a new church, I found it a very difficult process. I was told about 1/3 of the congregation would probably start going elsewhere. And I was also told that I should be prepared to pack my bags once the building was completed--I was the pastor at the time. While the first prophecy did not happen, the second prophecy did. I actually left before they started building. There was a difference of opinion about how to build the new sanctuary.

As far as fundraising is concerned I would suggest actually hiring a professional fundraiser to guilde the church through the process.
Actually, I even would suggest consulting a fundraiser before the vote just to find out if the potential for the project is there.

As with any new program or project a church takes on there is a potential for growth but there is also the danger of division.

Just some thoughts.

Posts: 2095 | From: Pullman WA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged
Prester John
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# 5502

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Is it actually cheaper to buy land and build a new building rather than repair the existing building? I find that hard to understand. Plus, I don't see how they can realistically expect to sell the older building if it is in need of serious repair? Who would purchase it if the cost is much less to simply build a new one?
Posts: 879 | From: SF Bay Area | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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I don't suppose you own (or could get) a bicycle. 2 miles is nothing, on a bike.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5908 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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We're travelling to a church which takes 1½ hours to walk one way. Previous one which closed was 40 mins to walk. Previous one to that which also closed was 10-15 mins. We don't go as often. (We have a car which gets us there in 12 mins, but I don't like cars)

A bicycle is a reasonable way to go, if the roads are not excessively car dominated and safe enough. It does take some additional commitment in winter (and winter tires are recommended; if you;re from USA mid-west you'd probably need to consider if your weather is like I think it is).

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

Posts: 11217 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Prester John:
Is it actually cheaper to buy land and build a new building rather than repair the existing building? I find that hard to understand. Plus, I don't see how they can realistically expect to sell the older building if it is in need of serious repair? Who would purchase it if the cost is much less to simply build a new one?

If the old building is in a prime location in town, the building itself could have negative value, but the land is worth a load - assuming housing or a commercial building could be built on the site.

Perhaps the new site is on cheap land?

Posts: 4922 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged
Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

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Do any friends from church live near enough to you that they could give you a ride?

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

Posts: 9613 | From: Hogwarts | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Gee D
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# 13815

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quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
On the other hand, the site chosen for the new building is about 2.5 miles from my home, and I do not own a car. I'm not sure I will continue at this church if I have to walk for an hour each way, although I do like many of the people.

I assume that public transport is not available or is totally inconvenient. Our church runs a car service for those who can no longer make their own way to the main service on Sunday. A volunteer prepares a quarterly roster of other volunteers who then collect and drive back those listed.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Arethosemyfeet
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# 17047

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I've seen it done and work well - two churches at extreme, less populated ends of the parish closed (one sold for a housing development, the other sold for a token sum for a project supporting homeless young people with the assurance of a land swap from the council) and replaced by a modern building next to the largest housing estates in the parish. Improved facilities, links to the local school and the proximity all added up to increased attendance (in spite of an interim period worshipping in the school hall). Same vicar in post 8 years before and 4 years after dedication. Cost wise it was covered by the sale of one church, the sale of a house bequeathed by a late organist, donations and technical help from a local factory, a loan from the diocese and big donations from the congregation. It was also aided by a large local builder agreeing to do the work at cost price.
Posts: 2877 | From: Hebrides | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged
The Scrumpmeister
Ship’s Taverner
# 5638

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quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
I am a layman, and I attend a church in a town in the American Midwest. Our building is quite nice and many of us are very fond of it, but it is getting old and the needed repairs would cost more than the building is worth. Accordingly, there is a plan to buy land, erect a new church building and sell the existing building.

A vote is scheduled on this matter a few days from now. I probably will not be voting as there is some technical sense in which I am not a full member. In any case, I think it will be approved, and I see the need (although I do not see how they plan to raise the money).

On the other hand, the site chosen for the new building is about 2.5 miles from my home, and I do not own a car. I'm not sure I will continue at this church if I have to walk for an hour each way, although I do like many of the people.

Am I correct to think that many churches experience similar events? Does this sort of move tend to turn out well?

Please forgive me for any unintended insensitivity in what follows.

Due to our different histories and the wildly different land masses of where we live, it is often said that Americans think that 300 years is a long time, while Britons think that 300 miles is a long distance.

Yet, if I could access a parish of my own church a mere 2.5 miles away I would be rejoicing and glorifying God for the privilege.

I'm aware that there are people for whom mobility and cost issues might pose a difficulty, and I wouldn't ask you to divulge anything publicly that is really nobody's business other than your own. However, even if your situation were subject to the exigencies that can arise from such constraints, would there be nobody from your church family who would be willing to drive a short distance out of their way to assist you in getting to and from services?

If not, then perhaps that itself might be a reason to consider finding another church home.

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If Christ is not fully human, humankind is not fully saved. - St John of Saint-Denis

Posts: 14713 | From: Greater Manchester, UK | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
The Scrumpmeister
Ship’s Taverner
# 5638

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quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
I am a layman, and I attend a church in a town in the American Midwest. Our building is quite nice and many of us are very fond of it, but it is getting old and the needed repairs would cost more than the building is worth. Accordingly, there is a plan to buy land, erect a new church building and sell the existing building.

A vote is scheduled on this matter a few days from now. I probably will not be voting as there is some technical sense in which I am not a full member. In any case, I think it will be approved, and I see the need (although I do not see how they plan to raise the money).

On the other hand, the site chosen for the new building is about 2.5 miles from my home, and I do not own a car. I'm not sure I will continue at this church if I have to walk for an hour each way, although I do like many of the people.

Am I correct to think that many churches experience similar events? Does this sort of move tend to turn out well?

Please forgive me for any unintended insensitivity in what follows.

Due to our respective histories and the wildly different land masses that we inhabit, it is often said that Americans think that 300 years is a long time, while Britons think that 300 miles is a long distance. Each laughs at the other for their perception of things.

Yet, despite being a Brit, if I could access a parish of my own church a mere 2.5 miles away I would be rejoicing and glorifying God for the privilege.

I'm aware that there are people for whom mobility and cost issues might pose a difficulty, and I wouldn't ask you to divulge anything publicly that is really nobody's business other than your own. However, even if your situation were subject to the exigencies that can arise from such constraints, would there be nobody from your church family who would be willing to drive a short distance out of their way to assist you in getting to and from services?

If not, then perhaps that itself might be a reason to consider finding another church home.

--------------------
If Christ is not fully human, humankind is not fully saved. - St John of Saint-Denis

Posts: 14713 | From: Greater Manchester, UK | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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The church I attend is about 5 miles away, on the other side of town, but is reasonably accessible by bus (one change, at the main bus station) during the week. On Sundays, it is also possible by bus, albeit a little awkward (I arrive either far too early, or during the first hymn!), but kind churchwardens and others are giving me a lift each way until such time as I am well enough to drive again.

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 9621 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
HCH
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# 14313

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I probably should not have mentioned the distance question in my original post, as it is a side issue.
Posts: 1511 | From: Illinois, USA | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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Not if it's difficult for you, if you have no transport. No need to apologise - it's a perfectly valid point.

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 9621 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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I'm wondering why they are building on a new site. Why not tear down the existing building and build on that site?
Posts: 24440 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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I wondered if perhaps the site of the existing church is worth more as a development site, releasing more funds for a new building on a cheaper bit of land elsewhere.

Or perhaps the area around the present church has become depopulated, and therefore TPTB are moving to where most people now live?

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 9621 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
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# 3330

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I used to know a church which deliberately built their building on several major bus routes. Too often rebuilds tend to export to a random suburb which is of convenience to someone and with little thought to others for whom it is very inconvenient, in my experience.

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arse

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Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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Well, that does sound like a Good Idea!

A parish in (I think) Bradford, finding that their church was on one side of a major road artery, and their people on the other, rid themselves of the old Victorian church, and built a rather austere (but no doubt practical and easy-to-maintain) new one amongst the people.

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 9621 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Angloid
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# 159

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I used to know a church which deliberately built their building on several major bus routes.

Rather inconsiderate of them. Presumably all the buses had to be diverted. [Biased]
Posts: 12905 | From: The Pool of Life | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged


 
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