Although Church is the people, we believe in the steeple. We have Grand Designs of how we can create spaces that our cities will know and flock to. Here’s an update of some of our building projects.
Our dream to build a new home for Hope City Sheffield has been on our hearts for many years. It has been both exciting and encouraging to start to see the dream becoming a reality.
Someone once said ‘if you can accomplish your vision without the miraculous hand of God, then your vision isn’t big enough.’ Well our vision is certainly a God vision by that definition. It’s a vision not only for a new building in Waverley, just off the Sheffield parkway, but to expand our work and grow our influence and impact across the UK and beyond.
Like any journey, this one has plenty of highs and lows. We have seen favour and challenge alike in the past 12 months. We are now on the cusp of being able to secure the land for the building in Waverley, and land for a large car park and have submitted our planning application, which has gained excellent feedback up to now in the pre-submission stage.
We recently confirmed the sale of our building in Leeds, which will release funds to invest into Waverley and allow our Leeds Location to pursue their new season of church growth. The sale of the Sheffield Megacentre has still yet to complete (at the time of writing), but we are all hands on deck to see its sale come through.
As always one of the greatest challenges to a project of this scale is financial. The continued and faithful generosity of our church has been nothing short of incredible. Our prayer is that as we put our best foot forward financially, God will open doors of influence and favour which will fund the project in its entirety.
One of the great privileges of this journey, and at the very core of who we are, has been to build relationships and links with local community members, partner organisations and businesses at Waverley. Both corporately and individually we get to share our story with people almost daily. These authentic relationships are ultimately what we are about. Waverley is more than just a building. It’s a people thing!
You can find more information about the Waverley project at waverleyishome.org
Early 2018 started with an itch. We’ve done church pop-up style every week and our church venue is situated in a sought-after campus in a busy neighbourhood of Kuala Lumpur, full of bustling weekend crowds and festivals. The crowds are obviously great for exposure, but they make it really hard to secure venue bookings; each week we only find out a few days before, which venue on the site we’ll have. It’s made for a really flexible team and keeps us on our toes but it’s meant the consistency for new people isn’t there and building momentum has been hard as the two venue options are really different. We prefer the warehouse on the ground floor but it seemed like all our ‘big weekends’ had already been booked out by large organisations holding events on campus. Our frustration turned into a hunt to find a long-term venue for church.
I‘d heard of a theatre space in a nearby shopping mall, so I went along to meet them and boldly asked if I could block it out every Sunday for the next year – but as soon as they discovered it was for a church, I was met with a very clear ‘no’. I got back into my car and remember praying (probably from a place of frustration more than anything else) that God would provide us with a permanent venue for our church services.
I walked back into our church office that afternoon to be met by the owner of the campus, who asked for a meeting. We sat down, and he began to tell me about the ideas he had for the future of the campus – including a plan to renovate a permanent space for our church services. That’s the kind of answer to prayer we’re all looking for – fast and just like we’ve asked for! The miracle is unfolding, but we’ve spent a few months working with the designers to create a 250+ seater auditorium with church services in mind that can be rented out by other organisations which will help pay for the renovations in time. We wrote down our wish list and finally got to see the designs in June 2018. Contractors have put bids in and work is underway.
We’re raising funds for the production kit out that’s needed to make this venue work really well. It’ll be a creative space where gifts and talents can be honed and bring the gospel to life. Back in May 2014 when Emma and I, along with Pastor Dave and Jen came to Malaysia to scout out the land prior to our move here a few months later, the very venue that’s being repurposed into a place of worship was instagrammed by the owner captioned ‘we’re ready to move’.
Our declaration and belief is that God is about to move. As He sets us up with a permanent space, He’s going to demonstrate what happens when people make a home for Him in their heart. They become fruitful, strong, reliable and empowered for purpose. That’s what is happening to this congregation as walls are put up and seats laid out. A devoted space makes room for hundreds more to gather each Sunday – we’re just getting started.
To see a video of the latest developments, check out hopecity.church/kl
Sold! That’s where the journey continues (at the time of writing). After nearly four years of waiting, negotiating and a lot more waiting, the Leeds Megacentre, in July 2018, finally exchanged hands to a developer who will turn it into apartments. It really is the end of an era.
Many lives have been impacted within these walls and more importantly by the people who have gathered here. But as of January 2019 we will enter a new chapter and we wish at this moment in time we knew exactly what that looked like. As usual God likes to keep you walking forward one step at a time and that’s exactly what we are going to do.
What we do know, is we have an amazing building right around the corner that God is leading us to. In 2014, Pastor Phil Pringle prophesied over us the following words – unbeknownst to him (and all but 4 people) at the time we had just decided to put our building on the market. He prayed: ‘“Fear not, for I am with you” says the Lord. “No door that is closed against you right now will remain that way, it will open. If you knock, I will open,” says the Lord. We see a beautiful building that God’s going to give you. You need to knock on the door to get that building.
We need a new home, and we’ve been looking everywhere! There are a number of opportunities for us which we’re excited about out. We’ll keep you posted!
We’re busrting at the seams and are really excited about stepping into new territory in Liverpool as plans are afoot for a new home for us in the city. Stick around!
We are believeing for a new season of growth and we need a bigger space. We’re expectant and are in talks for our next venue coming soon. Stay tuned! ■