I thought yesterday's AGM went well. Admittedly the scheduled timings that Colin and I had planned were abandoned almost immediately we started. But overall there was a great atmosphere and a sense of encouragement and faith. The big announcement was, of course, about the scheduling of the Go and Grow project into 2 distinct phases. This has not been a decision that we've come to lightly. It has involved detailed examination of the Quantity Surveyor's figures, a taking account of what we anticipate getting on our Holden Road site, a circumspect view on the feasibility of our fundraising plans, extensive work on our 5-year business plan and being harshly realistic about how attractive we are to lenders when seeking a mortgage. The decision was the subject of considerable discussions at our PCC, and we ended up deciding to plan to proceed with the Go and Grow project in two phases but to get planning permission on the entire scheme from the outset.
It has also been important for me to go back to first principles and ask what is it that God has shown us to do? We believe that God identified this one building, Solar House, as the place that we should move to, through multiple prophetic words and a remarkable series of circumstances. But as part of that guidance process I also believe God showed us, through the architects that we ended up appointing, the way in which this building could be transformed from an office block into an amazing church centre. However, what God has not shown us to date is the timescale that all this should happen. So whilst the plan that we believe God has directed us to pursue remains unchanged and intact, when we do the various aspects of it has changed as we've more fully understood the sheer size of the project.
I would of course prefer the entire scheme to go through all at once immediately without any obstructions or difficulties. But I have to ask myself if that is my own desire for a quiet easy life? The walk of faith is never easy or short. I don't think God intends it to be.