Building for Life at St Paul’s
Our thriving, welcoming church
This undertaking is the most important development since St Paul’s was originally built to sustain and expand our church community. Over the next 12 to 18 months we aim to raise a significant amount of money to transform the interior of St Paul’s – Phase 1 of our plan. Once this is achieved we will turn our attention to the rest of the site.
St Paul’s site no longer fit for purpose
Throughout the year, an average of around 1,300 people come each week to the St Paul’s site to worship, play, learn, dance, pray, sing, meet, exercise and attend concerts. But sadly the church itself lacks facilities that are viewed as normal in the 21st century, with no toilet or kitchen, and a floor on many levels which makes access very challenging. On one Saturday in May this year we welcomed 917 people for our Community Day. It was a wonderful event but also a reminder of how we struggle to cope with such numbers.
Putting St Paul’s at the centre of our community
At a time when so many people are suffering real hardship, both locally and in more distant places, through homelessness, migration, poverty, mental illness or loneliness, we will continue to look beyond ourselves, too.
We are convinced that building projects are actually people projects.
By investing in our buildings – making them fully accessible, safe, warm and even more welcoming – we believe that we can develop St Paul’s as a centre that serves the local community and also reaches beyond itself to places and people whose needs are so challenging.
On 9 July 2017 we launched an appeal within our church communities to raise £850,000. This is the estimated cost of the internal re-ordering and new facilities in St Paul’s. The response has been stupendous. Thanks to many generous pledges, donations and some wonderful match-funding, an astonishing £245,000 has been offered. We’re also really grateful to all involved in fund-raising events, which have so far included Peter Seal’s 24-mile Clarendon Way walk, a concert given by Winchester Camerata and our Autumn Fayre. Together with money assigned from the Wilkins bequest, a charitable donation and funds from the Friends and the Community Day, this means we are now over half way towards our target. It’s an amazing milestone to have reached. We are hugely encouraged and thankful, and we ask for continued prayers, please.
Building for Life is supported by a specific prayer team and the following prayer underpins all our development work.
God our Father,
we give you thanks for all the blessings
you have shown your people in this city and this parish.
We seek your continued guidance
on our journey as pilgrim people.
We ask that through your Holy Spirit
you will bless our efforts
to embrace the Building for Life campaign.
Open our hearts and minds
as we take these next steps
and so enable us to continually grow
as a community of believers. Amen.