It is with great pleasure (and with a few tears of joy) that Tammy and I are pleased to announce the completion of the purchase of 42 Sheep Street today. It's been a long 9 month journey, but now the fun begins.
This building will put Central Vineyard and our compassion ministry Re:store Northampton in the centre of Northampton, right next door to Northampton's biggest leisure and entertainment development in over 40 years.
What's next? well we need to get the utilities up and working and we are waiting for building control on a couple of things - once that is in place the refurbishments can begin. It's going to happen in phases with the first phase being the Office and Food Bank moving in.
These are exciting times ahead for us as a church and for our city.
Thanks for all your support
Steve & Tammy
We're still making progress and we are now just £21,000 away from meeting our refurbishment target. This new total includes a £3,000 grant from the Allchurches Trust (www.allchurches.co.uk) which we received today.
This week we also had our architect come to measure up and we're also starting to get quotes and make plans for practical things like alarm systems and what we need to do to make the building secure. We also got to show a Regeneration Offices from the Council around the building and share what we plan to do there - she was very positive and excited to welcome us into Northampton Town Centre.
We're still waiting for the legal process to take its course and still waiting to receive a firm exchange and completion date from our solicitors.
We have a lot to be grateful for in the past week, here are the highlights:
So what is next? well at this moment our solicitor is doing all the Land Registry Searches, our accountant is writing a Section124 advisory letter (which is needed when a charity borrows money) and Matt Harrison (who works in Tax) is sorting out the zeroing the VAT on the building. We also need to get Insurance for the building and hope (subject to funds) to have an Architect do some drawing and help us plan out the space ready for refurbishments.
We hope to have an exchange date fairly soon and once that is in place we and the vendor are then fully committed to the purchase / sale of the building. Then finally once all the legal work is done we have a completion date (it could still be in May I tell you) and we will take ownership of the building.
There is still a little work to do behind the scenes and I'm in the process of re-writing next years budget in light of the building, we also need to register the building as a place of worship, which will zero the business rates.
We initially estimate the cost for fixture and fitting (things like chairs) and refurbishment to be around £45,000 - this may not get everything done completely how we want it, but it will make the space secure, habitable and ready to use throughout the week and on Sunday's.
What a journey we've been on as a church - to think before October last year none of us knew this was happening.
Steve & Tammy
Well today is the last day for consultation - meaning if anyone wants to make a comment or objection to our proposed change of use, then today is the last day they can do so. From there the council have until the 4th March to say yes or no to our planning request, so please do pray... and then pray some more that we hear soon!
The other prayer point is the valuation, it's one thing for the bank to say yes they will lend us the money, but in reality this is all still subject to a valuers report and their verdict on whether the building is actually worth the £500,000 asking price. Once this is done and is hopefully favourable - we can start the process of exchanging contracts and completing on the sale.
Talking with the trustees yesterday we thought it would be helpful to give a clear break down of our expenditure over the next few months and also highlight what is left for us to raise.
You can download that here: http://bit.ly/1oE9e5I
Finally below are a couple of mockups Pete has put together to show some potential signage - we think it looks great :)
Steve & Tammy
Waiting for planning to go through for change of use is a slow process. The consultation period comes to an end on 15th February and we should know if change of use is granted by the 4th March. We've also had a fairly solid mortgage offer and are awaiting another in the coming weeks - both of which are subject to valuation.
It became apparent to us as a trustee team that if we are to secure a competitive interest rate on our mortgage we would need to increase our deposit from 25% to 30%, this is achievable with everything we have raised so far, but it does mean we still need to raise money for the refurbishment and moving in costs.
One of our trustees has offered to look a possible grants that may be available in relation to refurbishments and we already have a kitchen, donated by Howdens Joinery waiting to be installed. But we still need to raise funds for some basic things, like paint, new doors, new flooring, material and trades man costs. We will also need to buy chairs and we have a few samples arriving in the office in a few weeks time - chair testers welcome!
As a result of increasing our mortgage deposit we still need to raise around £45,000 - taking the total needed from £180,000 to £205,000.
Our kids and youth have been doing a great job in helping us get there, with their first fund raising event a few weeks ago - which added another £83 to the building fund - well done everyone!
We've also updated the website with some new internal photos:
Thanks once again for your continued support
With every blessing
Steve & Tammy
Well it’s been a busy week, last Tuesday we discovered that the building actually has the wrong planning consent for a place of worship and community use. As a result we’ve had to turn around a planning application to Northampton Borough Council. The application has been submitted today and we now have to wait at least 8 weeks for the process to go through.
Once we have a change of use in place it puts us in a stronger position to exchange contracts and process the purchase.
On the brighter side we received our first mortgage offer last week and had some fairly favourable comments from the lender. We have decided to use a local mortgage broker who specialises in mortgages for churches and charities and hope to have some other offers over the coming weeks.
Although having to go to planning has delayed things slightly, it does give us more time to continue to raise our funds for the building. So if you are still looking to make a donation then there is still plenty of time.
Simply follow the link below and it will explain how best to give:
As we enter the Christmas period please continue to pray for God's favour on this process. As with any purchase of this kind it does come with many of hurdles and things to navigate which can be quite stressful at times.
With every blessing
Steve & Tammy
Things are continuing to progress with our building purchase. This week we confirmed our intention to buy with the agent and appointed a solicitor. Heads of terms are with the vendor and we have also started the the mortgage application process and hope to see some mortgage offers coming our way fairly soon.
We are still collecting quotes for surveyors and hope to appoint someone next week. We mentioned the issue of VAT on the building. We have still not established if or when the previous owners 'opted to Tax' the building. If they have and it was more then 20 years ago then the vendor can revoke the option to tax at the point of sale. If it is less than 20 years then we can certificate to disapply the option to tax because of our intended charitable use. Either way we are confidant we are not liable for VAT on the purchase.
We are also still waiting for the council planning department to confirm in writing the D1 status of the building - this is needed to support the mortgage application - so please pray they speed up.
Donations and gifts continue to arrive, if you have already let us know your intention to make a lump sum donation, please could we gently encourage you to make the donation soon, especially if that donation can be gift aided. This will enable us to make the gift aid claim sooner rather than later. If you need any information on how to donate directly to the church account, please visit our site here.
We are just £32,000 away from our target for lump sum gifts.
We would also like to reach the target of £15,000 per year in pledges - if you would like to make a pledges over and above your usual giving over the next 2 to 4 years, then again please visit the website link above.
There is still a journey to be had, so please continue to pray for a smooth and efficient process.
Any questions please do drop us a line
Steve & Tammy
It was a real pleasure to announce this morning that our building campaign total now sits at £141,500 - this is a combination of existing reserves, lump sum gifts and the wonder of gift aid. This means we have crashed through our first two targets and are well on the way to reaching our £180,000 grand total.
It also means we have been able to put an initial offer on the building and hope to receive feedback from the agent this coming week. Please pray for continued favour with the agent and the vendor who is based in London. If our offer is accepted (possibly after further negotiation), we then need to action a building survey and the mortgage application process.
The other wonderful news is that we have already received over £26,000 in pledges which will contribute to our building costs over the next 4 years. This also puts us in a positive position when it comes to showing to the mortgage lender our ability to meet our repayments.
If you are still praying and thinking about what you should give - please don't worry time isn't running out. We would really like to reach our £180,000 target over the coming months and pledges (many not starting until January 2016) will benefit us over the longer period, so either way there is still time!
All the information on how to give can be found on our website:
We are still blown away by the way everyone has responded to this, we are truly humbled and grateful to God for such a wonderful church family.
With much love,
Steve & Tammy
Tammy and I would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has given one off gifts and pledges over the last 10 days - we are now very close to our first target of being able to make an offer on the building (subject to survey) and start the mortgage application.
We are just blown away and truly humbled by people's generous and sacrificial giving.
If you have let us know your intentions to give a lump sum, can we are asking where possible if those funds can reach the church account by 20th November - just so we can show the agent the proof of funds in our account.
If you still plan to give but need more time that isn't a problem, especially as we move to our next target to reach our grand total of £180,000.
We are also inviting people to pledge over a 2 to 4 year period, this may be a better option for you if giving a lump sum is not possible. Simply download the gift and pledge form and send it to us and we will do the rest for you.
If you missed Sundays talk, then it is now online so do have a listen to the vision and what we feel God has been saying to us in this process. We have also uploaded the slides so you can see what is being referenced in the talk.
PODCAST | SLIDES
These are exciting time for us as a church family and we are grateful for your faithfulness in standing with us and supporting us.
Steve & Tammy