Why is an upgrade of the Factory needed?
The building is not welcoming from the outside as entry points are not clear or open. We need an entrance that projects a welcome to newcomers and gives an obvious point of arrival at our church.
The current layout of the various public rooms works against informal fellowship as there is not an easy flow between the spaces or comfortable areas to linger and talk.
Both FMC and NC congregations are between 150-200 people (including children), which feels comfortably filled. Some weeks, people are standing up the back of Factory Morning Church, waiting for seats to become free when the children leave for Sunday Kids. We want to reorganise to more efficiently fit our congregations and provide potential for growth.
Bathroom facilities could be improved, including an extra women’s cubicle, and especially an accessible bathroom.
Where is the money going?
These figures are our best estimates at this stage (based on figures from architect and one builder). Formal quotes for the work will be obtained in the coming months.
New street entrance and foyer | $250K–$300K
Kitchenette and adjustments to office area | $30K
Adjustments to current foyer (new crèche, windows, doors, a/c) | $50K
Bathrooms (including new accessible bathroom/baby change) | $45K
Miscellaneous (painting, services, etc.) | $10K–$15K
Auditorium refurb (ceiling, carpet, chairs, stage) | $70K
Is this value for money?
This budget is modest for what we are trying to achieve. It does not allow for any frills or ‘gold-plating’. We hope to be able to cut down some of the costs by using volunteer labour with some smaller aspects of the project.
Isn’t all of this self-indulgent?
Building projects like this are not primarily for the benefit of members of the church, but for the benefit of those who do not yet come to church but will visit in future.
We want our facilities to be hospitable places. As shops, restaurants and hotels are designed to encourage people to hang around, we need to consider functionality, comfort and aesthetics if we want our church to grow. A poorly maintained church says a great deal to a newcomer. It says that we care little for our church or our guests.
Why do we want to grow?
Jesus’ commission is to “make disciples” (Matt 28:18). If more people are coming to church, then more people are hearing God’s Word regularly and joining in Christian fellowship to be reached, built and sent.
Why not plant more smaller congregations instead of trying to grow big ones?
Our other sites – Winmalee and Christ Church – naturally fit congregations of around 100 and cannot be expanded due to regulatory restrictions. Having larger congregations at the Factory allows for a different style of church experience that may be attractive to some (e.g. younger people for Night Church). Larger congregations also allow for more specialised roles on the staff team (e.g. youth, kids, small groups, women’s ministry). And larger congregations allow for easier planting and support of other congregations because they have a critical mass from which to send people.
Why should someone who goes to church at Winmalee or Christ Church give to the Factory Project?
The Factory is a useful facility for our whole church. It houses our church offices very conveniently. It is a good site for youth group, kids’ club, combined events and other ministries. If we can grow larger congregations at the Factory it will benefit our whole church and is no threat to other congregations.
Since we are one church, an “us versus them” mentality is divisive and counter-productive. If we can leverage our size as a whole church to pay for building projects, we can fund them without debt (hence no interest expense), and achieve more at each of our three sites in turn.
How much are you asking each of us to give?
Based on an adult membership of 750, around $670 is needed from each adult member to reach $500K. This equates roughly to $55 per person per month for 12 months.
We hope that those who have financial means will give substantially more than this to this project. The project costs serious money and we are asking each of our members to give a serious amount, which will vary from person to person. For some, this will hopefully mean giving tens of thousands of dollars to this project.
Realistically, not all of our 750 members will give. Some do not have financial means. We will need our members to give generously and sacrificially in order to fund this project.
What is the timeframe for this project?
We hope to obtain Council approval for the project around August 2019 (the Development Application has already been submitted). We then hope to invite tenders for the front entrance/foyer/kitchenette and engage a builder to do that part of the project in the first half of 2020. For this reason, we hope to raise $300K before the end of 2019.
We hope to raise the remaining money before June 2020, and complete the remaining elements of the project before the end of 2020.
How much disruption to church activities will this cause?
Due to the nature of the plans, it is hoped that much of the work can be done safely with minimal disruption to use of the auditorium on Sundays. Other activities, such as crèche, will need to use alternate spaces for a time. The work will be staged so that the building can still be used while parts are off limits. We do not envisage long stretches of time in which the Factory is out of operation for church services.