We feel strongly that God has been in this process from the start, writes Sarah. We’ve been looking for a solution to the challenges we had with the building – huge premises and a congregation much reduced in size and increasing in age – for a long time. 

When we embarked on the process, we couldn’t have envisaged this outcome as it had always seemed as if we’d have to share the building and give over parts to non-faith activities just to make ends meet. HBC will be able to continue its journey in more suitable premises while at the same time knowing that our current premises are also going to continue to be used for the glory of God and the furthering of the kingdom – this was the condition we put on the future use of the building to honour the sacrificial giving of past members of HBC. 

HBC has always been on the move, originally meeting in a rented house in Rowley Road (now Thornleigh Avenue), before moving into a ‘tin tabernacle’ on the Gloucester Road, then purchasing land on Brynland Avenue and building its first church, and then buying up an orchard behind the church and building the premises on Gloucester Road. This move not only keeps us in the same community but continues that journey. 

We are excited about the future and we now have to discern what God is calling us to do in our new premises. 

We should acknowledge the invaluable help we’ve had from Mike Southcombe from the Baptist Union Corporation and Alastair Watson from Reveal Projects who came to us originally through a project of whole church discernment, and discussion facilitated by Spatial Perceptions based at Spurgeon’s College, and the help and support we’ve enjoyed from Gary Woodall, regional minister from Webnet. 

This is a story that goes against the grain and we believe this is a witness of God’s leading and faithfulness. God has a lot in store for both communities.