Information for 24th April Congregational Vote

Author: Sally-Rae

Thank you for all the interest and questions raised as a result of the upcoming congregational vote. A summary of the situation, key questions and answers and the proposed motion are outlined below. Because of the level of engagement, we will delay the vote until the 24th of April 2016, at all services, to allow time for this information to be absorbed and to respond to any further queries. We are really excited about where God is leading but realise the need for this to be well communicated. If you have any other questions please feel free to contact us.

The Situation

Recently the Elders spent the weekend over at Living Spring for their annual retreat. They had a wonderful time together and experienced a very tangible and deeply moving sense of God with us and leading us to forge ahead with the building programme, finishing the race He has called us to. The elders also reviewed a prophesy given through David Blee presented to the October 2014 Elders meeting. This was shared at the Sunday services on the 3rd April 2016 along with a full statement and copies of these are available by request.

What now?

The Elders believe God is leading us to keep pressing ahead with plans to build at West Melton and India proceeding as soon as possible, with Rolleston to follow as God enables.  Alongside this, there was also a sense of needing to wait in terms of the Hornby complex. Concept plans for West Melton, Rolleston and the building in India have been drawn, and these plans have been put out for indicative costing which will be peer reviewed. These plans are available for viewing in the foyers of the churches and on the website. They are concept plans and obviously details of what is to be eventually built will be added in due course.

Next steps: As concept plans are now available and confirmation of indicative costings is pending, the Elders feel it is prudent to complete a feasibility study of funding potential from within the congregation and from other sources, including the wider Presbyterian church. To do this effectively there is a need to contract professional advisers on funding to do an initial study. The indicative minimum cost of this will be around $16,000.
Once that is done, the Elders will be in a position to come to the congregation with a fuller picture of what needs to be done, the cost, and the potential we have to resource it. At this later time, in the light of that information, major decisions will need to be made by the congregation.

Questions and Answers

  1. Why Professional Advisers?The scale of this project is different in size from any other fund raising we have been involved in. So the approach needed to raise the capital is different. However we are not in this alone as a number of other churches and mission led organisations have faced similar challenges and there is a small group of professional advisers in New Zealand who understand how to raise this kind of capital.  Visioneering Studios, in guiding us through the pre-concept stages, were adamant about the need for a funding feasibility study at the concept planning stage. They have extensive experience in church building globally. Their experience tells them there is a need for a sense of call to build backed up by good solid homework. They will not proceed with churches who are not prepared to do feasibility studies.The Presbyterian Church of Aoteroa New Zealand (PCANZ) also recommended that Hope Presbyterian engage with professional advisers on funding as they have been helpful to other congregations working through similar building processes.  We have met with three people who have lots of experience in helping churches and faith based organisations. We were surprised to learn that most of the financial contributions come from major donors, trusts, NGO’s  and local or central government. They also advised against a long term funding programme because of the potential negative impact it can have on other ministries and we have been encouraged to hear about other churches and faith based ministries that have raised substantial amounts in short focused campaigns. It became clear to us that there was more to this than we expected and getting help from the people with experience made sense to the Elders and the Building Committee. It is firmly believed that the advisers will bring real skill in knowing who to ask and how to ask, providing a clear indication of the ability to meet the indicative build costs.
  2. What do we get for the money?The advisers charge for their time and direct costs for the feasibility study in the same way that an accountant or architect would. Their fee is in no way connected with the amount raised.  Their key input will be: working with us on the story we would take to potential funders; working on a list of potential funders; helping us to have initial discussions with a few major potential funders to see if this is the sort of project they would fund; and then making an assessment on how much we could reasonably expect to raise based on a combination of their prior experience and the interviews. It is important to note that the proposed fee is approximately 0.16% of the proposed build cost!
  3. How will this be funded?We have received grants for the development phase for West Melton and this will cover their component of the capital feasibility assessment costings.  The remainder for the study relating to the Rolleston assessment will come out of the Hope Presbyterian wider property and building fund or specific Rolleston giving.  We feel this is a wise move and good stewardship as we lay the foundation and gather the information for informed, prayerful decisions ahead.

The Proposal

Taking into account the information received, the Elders and Building Committee recommend engaging professional help around the funding feasibility study. This is a decision which we should get congregational input on, and the Elders and Building Committee has always intended bringing this matter to the congregation. Accordingly the Elders and Building Committee would like to bring the following motion to the congregations for a vote at all services on Sunday 24th April: That Hope Presbyterian Building committee contract funding experts to do a feasibility study for the building projects at West Melton, India and Rolleston.

The Elders ask that you continue to pray and lift the building programme to the Lord and to thank Him for His leading to date and for his ongoing guidance and provision.

With Blessings,
Hope Presbyterian Elders and Building Committee

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