26th July 2018

Update from Cath Storey (Project Manager Fundraising & Marketing) about Vineyard House - the project planning for Phase II is taking shape.

It’s been a great first month for Sam Lewis and I. Sam has been looking in detail at the church’s finances and at the renovation costs for the project. As well as project planning and risk management, he has also been meeting with and learning from churches who have done similar projects. Sam will be presenting to the trustees later this month.

The project team visited the building last week, the first visit for Sam and I and a whole year since David and Alison had been able to gain access and see inside again. There is much work to do for us to renovate the building, in particularly to the upper section and lean-to on the side of the building. But I was reminded of the amazing sacrifice, the Leeds Vineyard community has made in getting to this point of being able to purchase this beautiful Grade II Listed building which needs tender loving care. The journey we are on is a God-given one and part of the growth of the church. The Building project (and fundraising) will be a finance challenge and a walk of faith.

You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the lord your God will bless you and in all your work and in all that you undertake.  Deuteronomy 15:10

Here is the current layout of the building;

Building Layout

Here are some internal shots of the building from the visit a year ago, clearly showing the difference between the already inhabited areas of the building on the ground floor which are in good repair and the first floor which needs extensive renovation work to be brought back to former glory and kingdom ministry.

Upper floor
Blog photos 2018-07-26

Blog photos 3 2018-07-26

Ground floor
Blog photos 2 2018-07-26

I have been looking at some of the options for how the space in Vineyard House might be used to support the local community and making inroads with third sector contacts who work with the homelessness and who support refugees. I have also been considering the aspects of the fundraising strategy for Phase II - the process, approach, need for a business plan, strong case for support, sources of funding and need for lead gifts. I have enjoyed spending time looking at the words brought by the church through prayer since STEPS began to create a moodboard for the project which will give a general visual idea for the Vineyard House project as it stands. I’d like to thank Hannah Green in helping me with this and of course to the wonders of Pinterest and other image reference sites! This will be visible somewhere near you very soon!

Sam and I attended a meeting with Face Facts Research, based in Headingley. Face Facts carried out on- street surveys for us in the local community. 261 people were surveyed, there was a good spread of demographics and the sample was representative of the population. Interestingly, 8% have heard of Vineyard Church and 3% had visited.
The key findings were as follows:

  • Greatest need identified was provision for Homeless - (Drugs Recovery programme, Life Skills training, Gym);
  • Also need for Debt Advice provision and Foodbank;
  • Provision for Elderly;
  • Provision for Children, particularly under 5s;
  • No clear Business needs identified. 

In today’s competitive funding environment, evidencing community consultation is important. Demonstrating that Vineyard House project plans can meet the needs that are felt in the area is key before making approaches to larger grant makers.

Sam and I also attended our first Leeds Vineyard Engine Room this month. It was really encouraging to us both to be supported with prayer ….” Keep us patient O God to listen to your voice. Give wisdom to Cath and Sam as they look at all the words”, seeing a picture of the front of the church being very open for all to come. To be open to all not just the church HMC but Vineyard House. Other words and scriptures which came to the fore on the evening were; ease of decision making – flow, abundance, heritage – children and families, students, and wellspring. There were a few gardening analogies – the Lord is going to grow more – grow His church. DIG for victory - the Lord is digging for victory. Picture of cheap compost – not taking the first option because it looks the cheapest, doing it and doing it properly. The Lord is bringing life to the compost and stirring it up.
Please do come along to the next Engine Room in September. Coming together in this way specifically for contemplation and prayer for Vineyard House is vital for the project. We want to hear Him lead us in our decision making; “Calling us deeper still – as a church we need to go deeper – there is more to come, and we need to go deeper with our trust and seeking of God for Vineyard House.”
In early September, we hope to be able to arrange an open morning or afternoon one Saturday so that those of you that would like, can come and have a look round the building for yourself. More details of this will follow once plans have been finalised.
If you have any comments or thoughts you would like to share with either myself or Sam on the Vineyard House Project Phase II, please do email us via the church office email.
Cath Storey