For many years we were trusting and praying that New Life would acquire the site next door so that we could redevelop both sites to provide us with a new purpose built facility. That didn’t happen, and flats are now being built on the site next door by Optivo Housing Association. We are working with the owners to remove the bridge and to ensure that all our access rights are maintained. In early 2020, our new neighbours will move into the completed flats which will provide us with amazing new opportunities to share the gospel with them.
In recent months the elders of New Life have been thinking and the main options available to us are:
• Do nothing with the present building part from decoration and minor repairs.
• Refurbishment and upgrade of the current building, including a review of how we use the space and replacement of main items such as glazing, plumbing, heating, roofing etc.
• Limited redevelopment to provide extended space for New Life’s activities with a refurbishment of other parts of the building.
• Total redevelopment of our present site based on a new planning application and placement of New Life building at the base of development. (This option would involve moving off site for two to three years.)
• Sell our present site and move to another location in Croydon.
As elders, we talked and prayed about these various options because we recognise that this is a big decision which will affect future generations. Recently in one of our elders’ meeting, we sensed a real sense of clarity and agreement in what we should do with our building. We have decided that at this present time, we will be pursuing the second option. Our main focus will be on the refurbishment of the present building. This will include minor things like decorating and replacing carpets and furnishings, but also bigger things like upgrading lighting, heating and glazing. We will also be reviewing how we use the space we have and doing all we can to ensure that the building is fully accessible to those with mobility issues. Over the years, we have made many changes to the internal layout of the building, and so we want to see what we can do to have a building that best serves the needs of New Life in the years to come.
We are blessed to have John Dutton as our head of operations and he will be adjusting his role to project manage the refurbishment. John has extensive experience of managing similar projects having performed a similar role for a local authority. Very shortly John will be meeting representatives of the various building users and ministries to gather their needs and aspirations. As these plans become clearer, we will be giving you regular updates on what will be happening.
We appreciate all your prayer, support and financial commitment to this ongoing project. Although the refurbishment will make significant changes to the building, we appreciate that many of you gave towards developing a full planning application for redevelopment of the whole site. As this is not now the case, we are offering the opportunity for those of you who identified your donations to the full redevelopment to contact email@example.com and to discuss your preference for how the money should be dealt with.
As elders we believe that we are doing what God has told us to do at this time. We believe we are entering an exciting new phase in the history of New Life and that God has good things in store for us. We believe that in the next few years the primary focus will be on God building and developing us as a people. As we focus on seeing the people built up, God will take care of the building. However, the planned refurbishment is another aspect of the progress we are anticipating and will help facilitate the development and expansion of New Life’s ministry we are believing for.
On the first Sunday this month, one of our elders, Mark Rossell, spoke from Acts 7:49 – “What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord? At this significant time for New Life, God is asking us what kind of house will we build for him. We may not be embarking on a big building project, but God is wanting to build his house at New Life in us and through us.
Will you be a part of all that God is wanting to do?