I want to take some time to provide you with an update about our building project. You’ll know from the announcements last week that the Congregational Committee were to discuss the project on Thursday past.
The Congregational Committee did indeed discuss the project. You will remember that this time last year the project was almost remember to go out to tender. Detail design had been completed and then unfortunately Covid-19 affected our plans.
Since March last year, the Building Project Sub-Committee hasn’t met. The project has been paused and no further decisions have been made. On Thursday night the Committee discussed how to take the project forward and I want to explain some of what was mentioned and discussed at that meeting.
Wilnor Reid provided us with an update about the building industry generally. You may or may not know that the building industry is going through quite a volatile period at the minute. Wilnor shared some percentage increases across a range of building supplies. In the table below you will be able to see examples of some of those increases.
|Jan 2021||Feb 2021||Mar 2021||Apr 2021||May 2021||June 2021||July 2021||Total|
|Doors / Windows||30%||8%||38%|
That’s a limited list of building supplies but the general picture is that materials are now more expensive. That is for a variety of reasons and is not entirely due to the pandemic. That is a significant reason but as well as that increased shipping costs from China, the impact of Brexit and restrictions on international transport channels have played their part. You’ll remember that a big boat got stuck in the Suez Canal in Egypt earlier this year. The economic effects of that channel being blocked are still being felt.
The continuation of the Government furlough scheme has lead to a backlog of work within factories as well. Reduced levels of manufacturing and continued demand have exhausted both stocks and raw materials resulting in serious shortages of materials across most sectors.
Now, how does all of that impact our building project here in Buckna. It effects it in this way: to begin the project now would mean a massive increase in the cost and possible delays in getting raw materials.
The Committee therefore felt that a cautious approach was best. Kirk Session and Committee remain eager to begin the project as soon as possible but that eagerness is balanced by a desire to steward our resources in an appropriate way. It would not be responsible for us to begin the project at this stage.
The decision was made that the Building Project Sub-Committee would reconvene and meet over the summer months to explore a way forward. The Sub-Committee will then report to the Congregational Committee in the autumn. By that stage we hope that the building industry and economy will have stabilised. You know as well as I do that once something increases in price it takes longer for it to return to the price it was before.
Committee were, however, encouraged to hear that our building fund continues to grow. There is will over £1 million in it now and I would like to thank you for your ongoing support of it. We do not take your contributions for granted and wish to express our thanks to you.
I hope that this update is an encouragement to you. It has been a difficult year but there is light at the end of the tunnel. A building like the one we’re planning for would have been extremely helpful during the past year. We all regret the fact that work was unable to start. We should, however, trust that this project is in the Lord’s hands and that His timing and purposes for it are perfect.
I would ask that you continue to pray for wisdom when it comes to the building project. Please pray that the Congregational Committee would continue to show wisdom and leadership. And also pray very practically that our economy would stabilise and that we would be able to get started as soon as possible.