If you’ve read much of this blog and/or follow me on twitter you will know that we as a family have been in the process of trying to buy 2 fields in the area where Grace Church is based in Doncaster. You’ll know we’ve been looking for a long time for a permanent base for the church to serve the community from without any success, and with lots of eye popping high 6 and 7 figure asking prices.
You’ll also know that about 15 months ago we had offers accepted for 2 fields. Well it’s been a long drawn out process but it looks like we’ll finally be able to complete the purchase this week, with assurances and agreements in place that changing use to put a building for church on one of the fields won’t trigger the overage clause and require us paying a large sum of money to the previous owners. Ensuring that is what has caused the long delay.
That doesn’t mean we’re immediately leaving the school where we meet and enjoy a good relationship. Neither does it mean we immediately embark on a building project. What it does mean is that as a church we can pray and start thinking and dreaming about what ministry here may look like in the future even as we stay focused on our mission here and now.
Hayfield is a strange community because of it’s history. It has grown up around what was RAF Finningley, now Robin Hood Airport. It has doubled in size in the 14 years we have lived here and is continuing to grow. But it is a diverse community that has all the social groups, needs and divisions of a large town compressed into a small area. It has many needs and not much social capital or investment.
We are grateful to God for having provided for us. We are prayerful that things complete this week. And we are patiently yet excitedly seeking God for what he would have us do next. There are many steps ahead, many challenges, especially for a small church, but we are so grateful that we can take the first of these because we serve a God who answers prayer.