Cherry Hinton Baptist Church was established in 1883. The building acts as a place for Christian worship and fellowship and those that meet there also seek to help and serve the needs of the local community. We want to build a modest extension to the side of the existing church building comprising a much needed disabled toilet and small kitchen in order to make the building more accessible to those with mobility needs and to provide facilities that better serve the needs of the local community.
The number of people using the church building has doubled in the last 6 years and the church plays an important role in providing community activities and support networks in the local area. Over 70 people attend our Sunday services and over 200 people our midweek activities. Underpinning and driving all our church services and community activities is a desire for people to come to know and love Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. We strive to do this through multiple channels and it is important, in our gospel work, that the church building is accessible to everyone and user friendly. Sadly this is currently not the case.
The church building currently has one very small toilet and hand sink. They are positioned via some steps to the side of the pulpit making them impossible to be accessed by disabled people or discreetly, without embarrassment. There is no heating, the space is cramped and the facilities are very outdated and unpleasant.
The church building has no kitchen facilities and currently we make and serve hot drinks by moving water in containers and using an urn which is cumbersome to empty and a potential scalding hazard. A member of the congregation takes the cups away with her on her mobility scooter to wash them up in her dishwasher at home. As well as the difficulty involved for catering this current set up also takes up space within the main part of the church for a fridge, tables, rubbish bins, cups, etc which could be used for seating. With a growing regular weekly congregation and a number of special events where the church is full to capacity we need more space.
A small extension to the side of the church building would be extremely helpful and practical, giving us more space, and facilities that are fit for purpose and accessible for all. We have architectural plans, have been granted planning permission and the cost of the project will be £48,000.
We do not have a wealthy congregation and currently are only able to pay our full time minister 88% of the minimum stipend. Our typical annual income and expenditure is £50,000 so the project costs are considerable. However, thanks to God’s gracious provision, we have been able to raise £24,000 for the project ourselves. We are now seeking external help from Christian grant making trusts and fellow members of the EBA asking them to partner with us in prayer and, where possible, to provide additional funding to help us to raise the other £24,000 needed for the project.