We have a vision to be a large missional attractional church
This means that we believe in being good news out and about in our community, and also that we believe there is value in having a visible, welcoming home that allows people to come to us. In recent years, we have significantly expanded our efforts to achieve the first of these aims, through exciting ventures like the Finchley Jam, Healing on the Streets and our weekly homeless lunch. Now we want to do the same for the latter.
People are drawn to us from a wide swath of North London and beyond. We have a vision to expand our role within our local community and to reach beyond our immediate surroundings to bring, and be, good news to people across North London.
The successful purchase of Solar House gives us the opportunity and ability to fufil this vision in each of our ministry areas.
We want St Bs to be a friendly and welcoming place to be, somewhere where people can make friends and find their place in our family easily. The large attractive foyer / café area on the ground floor at Solar House provides the space and the ambiance for this to happen.
Children and Families
With their own dedicated area our Children and Families work we will be able to expand this ministry in a safe, purpose built environment benefiting both our weekday and Sunday activities.
Our Youth provision has proved popular and innovative but has previously been hampered by its cramped location in Portacabins behind the Holden Road site. With a High Street location and the provision of a dedicated space for our Youth work this should add considerable impetus to our efforts to engage young people from our wider community and see the impact from this area of our work grow rapidly.
Many churches hold their head in their hands when it comes to the so-called missing generation (18-30s). However, at St Bs we are determined to buck that trend. We already have a vibrant and growing community of young adults. These young men and women are often in the forefront of what the church is doing. Our new home on the High Road is likely to energise this key group and make them even more effective in reaching out to others.
We have a dedicated but small community of older people engaged through our Wednesday Club. With a large number of older people living nearby (and a growing older population projected across the borough), our new home with better transport links and greater visibility should help this ministry flourish.
Neighbourhoods and Estates
St Bs has a growing ministry to local estates. Our new church centre would provide a place for building relationships outside the confines of isolated urban estates, providing opportunities for training and up-skilling. It would also enable us to offer debt counselling and money management courses, and to bring the food and clothes bank we support onsite.
We believe that God has raised us up to be a regional hub church, capable of sending out numerous workers, planting churches, and resourcing others. Our new home would provide better space for training and resourcing, as well as more suitable accommodation for meeting, mentoring and counselling.
Prayer is a big part of our life as a church and in recent years we have enjoyed some amazing times of prayer and fasting, and have hosted fantastic 24/7 prayer events. Our new church centre will have a dedicated space for prayer and contemplation, which will be open during the week to members and anyone looking for a quiet space to meet God.
So why did we need to move?
St Bs is a church that places a high value on care for creation and good stewardship of resources. We recycle everything we can, we buy ethically sourced coffee, and we work hard to make sure that every penny we receive is invested wisely.
Our old building - while undoubtedly beautiful - was very environmentally inefficient. Despite the best efforts of our buildings team, we are very limited in what could be achieved to reduce our environmental footprint. Partly as a result of this inefficiency, our running costs continue to be considerable.
In addition, our church centre is now a very old building. Built a century ago, it was in reasonable condition for its age and we worked hard to patch it up over the years. However, there were significant aspects of the fabric that would have needed renewal in the next 30 years. These included parts of brickwork, the roof, electrics and the heating system. Even if you only experienced the building on a Sunday, you will have known what its like to have been there in winter when the heating has failed - hardly a welcoming atmosphere.
The challenges continued outside, where our location on a small residential back street resulted in regular congestion and parking difficulties along Holden Road. This caused headaches for people trying to come to the church and frustration for our neighbours - neither of which serve our desire to be good news to those around us.