28th August 2018

Update from Cath Storey (Project Manager Fundraising & Marketing) about Vineyard House – questions raised from Phase II Project presentation to Trustees and what is God calling us to do in Headingley?

At the very end of July, Sam and I presented to Leeds Vineyard Trustees and Leadership Group. The presentation was detailed and therefore a long one covering project finances to date, finance projections and renovation estimates. I took the Trustees through the process of undertaking a major appeal to renovate a church community facility and looked at key areas of funding sources. Sam then presented project timelines and defined the next steps. September is a key month for the project to make decisions about what the building will be used for. Sam’s findings from talking with other churches who have completed similar projects gave useful insight and perspective. Sam presented on what the financial impact of purchasing Vineyard House has on the existing church budget. He also looked at the financial implications of income generation ideas, like running a café, room hire and letting out office space vs housing and accommodation. There is still more work to do on the income generation ideas or (Business Rock) in the coming weeks. 

The presentation then moved on outlining all the key project risks and colour coding them – a detailed document was given as a handout to all trustees to add to their summer holiday reading! I then outlined types of activities and tools that will form a communications strategy for the project and looked at how the project might carryout engagement locally. We have already done some local consultation with the Face Facts survey and will certainly look to be working in partnership and collaboration with others together with running “get to know us” sessions with residents and businesses alike. The next few months will see us establish good working relationships with key personnel and organisations locally.

I hope you have had a chance to see the Vineyard House mood board. The objective of this was to create a visual segue between initial thoughts and next drafts of the project, to collate key images and give confidence that Vineyard House will fulfil the church communities hopes and prayers. As we move to appoint an Architect for the project, there will be more specific versions as the design process for Vineyard House takes shape.

Vineyard House Mood Board

Vineyard House Moodboard - web

Questions raised from the project presentation to Trustees on 30th July 

We will be refreshing the Frequently Asked Questions section for Vineyard House Project Phase II on the website shortly, but these were the questions that were raised from the recent Trustee meeting; 

Will we be changing the exterior of the building?
No plans to do this apart from with the garden area at the back. The building is listed so apart from cleaning up the exterior there will be limits on what we can do.

Do we need to apply for change of use?
Yes, probably.

What are your biggest concerns and how can we support you?
Raising the funds needed in time. Praying for the team as we build a funding proposition and approach investors and donors.

When might we be using the building?
It’s hard to say. We may be able to start using it around 12 months from now. It will take another year or two to get fully up and running.

Will we be competing with HEART if we also rent out office space?
No, if we don't try to undercut HEART on price, then hopefully we won't be competing with them and believe there is some share of the market to be had on co-working office space and possibly small room hire space for meetings / community activities. 

What is the purpose in us buying a building that won’t be used for worship?
The “Vineyard Person” stands on two legs: worship and compassion. Although worship will definitely happen in Vineyard House in one form or another, the focus for that building will be compassion whilst the focus for HMC will be worship. 

How will the design process work?
We need to clarify clearly what we are and are not doing first. Then we’ll introduce architects to help us see what is possible and what it will cost. That will enable us to refine our thinking about what we can and can’t do – to start with at least.

How do we deal with the parking issue?
We don’t know yet, but we do know that this is the main planning complication on which we will take plenty of advice.

Who are our neighbours?
Heart, Yorkshire Housing, Residential (long term Headingley residents, older people, students), New Headingley Club, The Taps pub and other local businesses.

How do we make sure we partner with other churches in the area?
We need to find out what they are doing and support it/ fill in the gaps (e.g. with the elderly, young families and young people in particular).

Your specific questions and our communication to you are important to the project team and Sam and me. As the project gains pace, we hope to fill in any gaps the church community might feel they have about Vineyard House, we want you to feel part of the journey and to tell us your thoughts on the project and to tailor communication accordingly. Therefore, in a few weeks, we’ll send out a link to a quick survey that we would like you to complete.  

Acts 7:49-50

“Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.”

What kind of house will you build for me? Says the Lord.

As David has mentioned in his recent news, as a church community we have centred our thoughts on prayer this year and we very much invite prayer to help us with our answer to the question: What is God calling us to do in Headingley?  

The following image shows the position of the two buildings which Leeds Vineyard currently invests in (HMC and the North Lane offices) and the position of Vineyard House on Bennett Road.

Headingley Map

The next steps for the project and as a fellowship are to know and understand the community we are called to serve. God has given and is giving us a heart for Headingley. Deciding what we use the building for over and above what we already have established i.e. a permanent home and improved space for The Vine Child Contact Centre and a bright and fun space for children and young people’s ministry, must be in response to prayer and from relationships with the people and organisations of Headingley. As Colin Mundy has mentioned in a recent prayer journal for Headingley, there is a massive injection of prayer and care needed in the immediate vicinity to HMC and the site of Vineyard House. Colin goes on to reflect; “if we are able, in partnership with God and maybe, with other Churches to “clean” up the area and make a safe, righteous and holy place then there is no doubt that the work / projects we plan will flourish”. Let us all pray for a vision for the project, “that Vineyard House will become both a House of Prayer and a House of Light that shines into the community”.  

We want to hear Him lead us in our decision making for Vineyard House so please do continue to pray for the Vineyard House project individually and in your small groups and if you can, come along to the next Engine Room on Sunday 30th September

Words and scripture collected during July’s Engine Room were; 

  • Ease of decision making – flow
  • Abundance
  • Heritage – children and families, students
  • Wellspring
  • Keep our eyes on the Lord, our ears open to His voice as He teaches us each step
  • Isaiah 59.19-21. Verse 21 – there is a long-term plan for life for this community
  • What is happening in our church will bring life to other churches

There are also small groups already praying in Headingley; Headingley Prayer Walk, The Prayer Room (Tuesday & Friday) and Healing on the Streets. Maybe God is calling you to join in with one or more of these?

Prior to the short survey coming your way, if you have any comments or thoughts you would like to share with Sam or I on the Vineyard House Project Phase II, please do email us via the church office email

Cath Storey