Here are some questions that have been commonly asked about the 253 Colombo St project:
Questions around the use of the building
Questions around pricing of the building
Questions around giving
Is this the best building for Trinity?
We believe that it is. It doesn’t give us everything that we could ever want, but no building ever does. This is particularly the case when we consider location, cost, size, etc. See here for more on the suitability of this building for our church.
I feel like I can’t contribute much financially – what can I do?
That’s a pretty normal feeling with the big numbers were talking about! A few things to remember: It’s not the size of the gift so much the attitude of the heart which gives it which is important. We are concerned about partnership in this venture – we can all take part in some way. Lastly, your prayers, encouragement, reflection, engagement in the process is vitally important.
Questions around the use of the building
What if Sunday School needs more space?
Wouldn’t that be great! The spaces upstairs and in the foyer have been designed to be open and multi-use. We think that these spaces could easily accommodate a Sunday School / Children’s ministry of up to 50 people. This could be possible with a congregation of about 200, at which the whole building isn’t big enough (which is the point at which we would be thinking about church / congregation planting.
What groups will be allowed to use the building? Can we earn income from renting the building out?
We hope that this building will a blessing to the community around it, as the gospel is proclaimed and lived out. Our primary focus will be to run ministries from the building, rather than using it for income generation, although there is the possibility for one-off or regular rental if this doesn’t restrict in any way the ministry of Trinity Church. The activities / purpose of any groups using the building would need to be not inconsistent with our purposes and beliefs as a Christian church.
Is there enough parking?
Parking is an issue. We think we can make 6-8 carparks (including some accessibility parks) work on the property. Within 150 meters there are about 75 on-street carparks. There will also be secure bike-parking onsite, and there’s a bus stop 20 meters from the front door.
Questions around Pricing of the Building
Is it possible to know how much the development will actually cost?
The short answer is no. In fact we won’t know how much it costs until after the development is finished. But on the basis of the current proposal, taking into account an increased contingency, etc. we believe the figure we are aiming to achieve in pledges / gifts (a total of $2 million) is an appropriate target. Once we know what finances we have, we will reengage with contractors to ensure the best price for the development.
Can we get a fixed price on the construction?
The advice we’ve received is that, because of the nature of the building industry, a fixed price contract is likely to be significantly more expensive than a materials and labour contract.
Can the building be done in stages?
Because of the nature of our building (location of toilets / kitchen, etc.), and that much of the engineering / earthquake strengthening work is tied to the installation of the first floor, everything really needs to be done at the same time. Also, the kitchen / toilets are part of the foyer development, and so even if we could develop the auditorium part of the building it would be without plumbing!
What will the fit-out costs be?
There are a couple of aspects to the fit-out costs. The first are those things necessary and connected to the building (painting, aircon, carpet, lighting, etc.), and these are included in the cost. The second are moveable – chairs, projectors/TVS, office equipment. We are currently investigating these costs, noting that we already have some of these things (e.g much of the office requirements), and that some things will need to be determined once we see how the budling works (e.g. large TVs rather than projectors depending on light, etc.)
Questions around Giving
Can we afford it?
That’s the great question, and what this time of discernment and pledging is to find out. We believe that the whole church – working together in partnership – can do this. But, if we can’t, then we still need to think about what buildings will support and sustain the ministry of the church into the coming years.
Can the funding be staggered?
We appreciate that some may want, or need, to stagger their giving over a period of time. On the pledge form you’ll see that we’d like people to indicate when they think they might be able to give. This not only helps us all to give, it will also allow careful management of the building process to ensure that we have money to pay bills when required.
Can we seek bequests from people’s wills?
There are a number of ways in which people might want to pledge to the church, and bequests are one of those. If you’d like to explore this more, please get in touch with David Wong.
Do we have a large enough giving pool to fund repayment on loans?
Taking out a loan is our very last option! We believe that the regular repayment of a substantial loan would quickly become the dominant feature of the church’s budget, and would shape our decisions about ministry and mission. However, there may be the necessary to explore a small loan with either a private lender or a friendly organization. This would only happen if we were confident that our regular giving was at a level to maintain and grow our ministry, and that funds to service this loan were secure. If you think you may be in an position to give regularly, in addition to your normal church giving, please get in touch with David Wong.