Now, this morning I want to take a few moments to give you an update about our building project. The last detailed update that I provided was back in April.
At that stage, tender documents had been issued and the return date was towards the end of May. Tender offers were received by the Building Project Sub-Committee and the Congregational Committee agreed that negotiations should begin with the contractor with the lowest tender offer.
After some back and forth and a lot of behind the scenes work, I am delighted to say this morning that the Congregational Committee meeting last week it was agreed that Martin and Hamilton be chosen as the contractor.
As well as that the Congregational Committee also made a significant decision in terms of how the project will proceed. Instead of attempting to complete the project in one go, the Committee agreed to phase the project. Phase one will be to erect a wind and waterproof shell and it is hoped that phase two will follow shortly after phase one is complete.
The main reason for the phasing of the project is a financial and economic one. You don’t need me to tell you that prices across all sectors of society have risen following the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The building trade has also experienced significant price rises for reasons that we don’t have time to mention this morning.
The Congregational Committee feel that phasing the project makes it financially more viable. I am not going to go into the specifics of the finances for the project this morning for a reason that will become clear in a moment. In short, by phasing the project we are finally making a start on a project that has been planned and proposed for at least a decade, and obviously predates my time here.
Now, in terms of finance, contributions to the building fund have been extremely positive over the past number of months. At the beginning of January, monthly giving to the building fund was around £3-4k. In the past three months, giving to the building fund has risen to and is consistently sitting at just over £7k.
This is an extremely encouraging sign and on behalf of both Kirk Session and the Congregational Committee, can I thank you for your faithful and generous giving to the building fund. The Bible tells us that generous, sacrificial giving is a sign that the Lord is at work in our hearts. We are very thankful for this visible sign of His grace at work in the life of our church family.
In terms of how the project proceeds from here, the next step that is required is a congregational meeting. The Committee has agreed to phase the project, it has agreed on the contractor, it has agreed to go with a certain tender offer and it has also agreed to formally approach Danske Bank for a loan.
There is currently over £1m in the Building Fund but to complete the first phase a loan will be required. While the Congregational Committee can make decisions regarding contractors and tender offers, the Code of our denomination requires congregational approval to authorise transactions affecting the congregational ownership of, interest in, or plans for, any lands or buildings (Code 46:f).
Therefore, at this point, I am required to make a formal announcement regarding a congregational meeting.
Notice is hereby given that a meeting of the congregation of Buckna Presbyterian Church will be held in the church hall on Monday 15th August at 8pm to approve a loan required for the building project.
This announcement will be made over the next four Sundays. The Code of our church requires that at least two weeks notice is given for a congregational meeting. We are giving you four. We realise that it’s not ideal that a congregational meeting is being held during the summer but to keep the project moving and to avoid being caught by any further price rises it is necessary. The meeting is open to everyone to attend but can I especially encourage voting members to be present.
The congregational meeting will be similar in format to the Building Project Information Night that we held in February. There will be updates about the progress of the project provided by Wilnor Reid and our treasurer, Maureen Currie, will also explain how much we are required to borrow at this stage and how repayments of the loan will work.
In closing, we should be deeply encouraged and excited that the project is now at this stage. A lot of hard work has gone into bringing us to this point and I would like to thank the Building Project Sub-Committee for all their hard work and wisdom. The work of the Sub-Committee has been unseen in many ways but we should be thankful for the team of experts who have kept the project moving.
We should also be thankful to the Lord and for how He has brought us to this point. He has guided us and directed us. He has opened many doors for us to get to this stage. What is required of us now is a step of faith and to trust in His purposes for our church family.
In summary then, what do you need to remember from this update. Simply this:
- The Committee has agreed to phase the project.
- It has agreed on the contractor.
- It has agreed to go with a certain tender offer.
- It has agreed to formally approach Danske Bank for a loan.
Congregational approval is required to authorise the loan and a congregational meeting will be held on Monday 15th August at 8pm in the church hall.
And after that, Lord willing, the project will begin in early September. That is work on site, diggers in the field, work finally starting.
We are going to pray now for our building project but please pray for our church family – especially as the congregational meeting approaches. Pray that we would be united as we move forward. Pray that we would all grasp the vision of this project. And continue to pray that the Lord would be at work in our lives.
With all that said, let’s pray to that end together now.