A Brief History of the 253 Colombo St Project
In July 2018 the Burridge Family Trust purchased 253 Colombo St with a view to the building being developed for use as a church building for Trinity South Christchurch. This was a remarkable act of generous faith, and it took place before any venues had been secured for church meetings following disaffiliation from the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. Trinity began services in October 2018, meeting at Hillview Christian School on Sunday afternoons and later securing Archer Retirement Village on Sunday mornings.
A Building Subcommittee was formed in November 2018 with a view to exploring the development of 253 Colombo St, with collaboration from the Burridge Family Trust and South Christchurch Evangelical Trust. Work began in assessing the potential risks and costs of the project.
The Church met in September 2019 to discuss the principles of owning a property, with this particular project in mind. There followed a period of prayer and discernment leading to pledges being made. The positive response coming out of this gave the Parish Council confidence to continue exploring the 253 Colombo St project. The aim was to come to the point at which there could be a more accurate estimate of the financial cost of development. In order to achieve this, there needed to be project plans which had received consent from Council.
Much work was undertaken by the Building Subcommittee in engaging with professionals and Council in order to form consented project plans. This process came at a financial cost and took longer than anticipated, due to requirements from Council and also the delays and pressures on the building industry created by the Covid Pandemic. However, plans were developed and received Resource Consent (granted in June 2020) and Building Consent (confirmed in May 2022 and currently expiring in February 2024).
In January 2022, the Church met and agreed to form the Trinity South Christchurch Property Trust in order to purchase 253 Colombo St from the Burridge Family Trust. This was not a decision to proceed with the development project, but a decision for wise investment of received pledges for the building fund, and a decision in order to keep the 253 Colombo St project open as an option. This purchase was completed in April 2022, with significant funds provided by SCET. The TSCPT trustees engaged Avon Dickie Construction for a conservative estimate of the project costs, which was received in May 2022. Work was done over the following year in assessing the financial options available to make this project viable, which is detailed in the financial analysis document.