I tweeted on Monday about us having bids accepted for two pieces of land on Monday. I thought I’d give a bit more context to that tweet.
Many of you will know that we currently meet in a school. We have been made incredibly welcome and have a great relationship with the school. We have loved being able to serve the school and the staff and the families. And we look forward to many years of continuing fruitful partnership.
But I am aware that the trajectory of society means that Christianity is increasingly marginalised and challenged. As a church the only public space available in the area where we meet is the school, or another school or a college. But if a policy shifts means we can’t meet in those we would have nowhere to meet. There are no pubs, libraries or other public spaces. There are no disused churches or buildings we could buy and repurpose.
To that end we began a number of years ago looking for somewhere to potentially put down permanent roots and serve the community. However, as we are situated near Robin Hood Airport, land was exorbitantly expensive, we enquired about a vacant car park and were quoted a price of £800,000 an acre. For a small church that was totally out of the question.
We have continued to pray. We have been grateful for God’s answer in terms of the current generosity of the school and the new community space and office space we hire. However, a few weeks ago some arable land was put on the market in the Hayfield area. This was much more reasonable price wise, though there is no planning permission and it is designated as farmland. However, we prayed about it. And we (Lucy and I) not the church tendered two sealed bids for the land, both were successful. So once the sale is complete we will own two piece of land, totalling 10 acres in the area.
We believe God has answered our prayers. But that doesn’t mean we are starting a
building fund immediately. The land is rented out and farmed, and the process of getting change of use, planning permission etc… will take time once we apply for it. Immediately nothing will change as we love being at the school. And we’re a small church, about 35, so building feels like a challenge, and we need to pray and discuss as a church what next, when, and how. We’d value prayer as we think and plan for the way forward. That we would trust God for what to do and when to do it. But please also praise God for his guidance so far.