How to: Update a Church!
Cliff Bembridge on the (remarkable) progress on the Buckland project. It has been something of an inspiration as to what IBEX can offer to others……….
I couldn’t hammer a nail in straight if I tried but I love watching others create. I am certainly having a field day at the moment. Eight new houses are being built opposite our home in Cosham and at Buckland United Reformed Church in Portsmouth, where I am part time minister, we are half way through an exciting re-ordering of the church. So from 7:30am to 4:00pm daily whether I am at home or church I can watch others create in a way that I never could.
My particular passion is transforming church buildings for service. As the project at Buckland nears completion I am excited and a little terrified that when our builders finish their work, our work begins as we take up the challenge to more faithfully serve our local community.
In a very real sense Buckland is IBEX’s test bed. It is here we turn theory into reality, a place where people can visit and experience first-hand a soup kitchen, a debt counselling service and a business centre. And soon there will be an exciting new space for worship to see, along with a heritage community café and of course space for more ‘experiments’; a place too to come and seek help with how to plan and fund a building scheme that is right for your situation.
We don’t pretend Buckland has all the answers – we have made plenty of mistakes. It is simply somewhere you are welcome to come and learn from both the things we got right and the things that didn’t quite come off as planned. So whether you are looking for ideas as to how your church can serve your community or you want help with an idea you already have, a visit to Buckland may be valuable.
If Portsmouth seems too far away for you then we are happy to come and meet with you on your home ground. In addition we run courses where you can share with others. Our first on funding projects was well received and our second next month on looking at what we can do with challenging buildings is attracting a lot of interest. We are planning a third but as yet the agenda is not set – why don’t you tell us what would be helpful to you.
IBEX won’t be able to help you hammer nails in straight, but maybe we can help you hit the nail on the head in supporting you in finding ways to more faithfully serve your local community through your buildings.
Contact Cliff Bembridge