Back in 1870 the Baptist believers in what was then the Middlesex village of Childs Hill erected a spacious building on land provided for them by a generous Hampstead based cotton merchant called James Harvey. Other buildings were added over the years and to this day the chapel is the home of Childs Hill Baptist church.
Childs Hill is no longer a village but part of the vast conurbation that is London.
In recent decades we have sought to be good stewards of this building, which has had a number of problems, including a major problem with subsidence that we were thankfully able to put right, though at great expense.
A few years ago we began to consult with a Christian architect, Paul Scott. He has been a tremendous help to us as we have endeavoured to tackle two major issues. The first is that the lower ground floor rooms at the rear of the building are rather wet and in great need of work in order to stop the ingress of water. This in itself will be a costly project.
At the same time, we are conscious that these rooms on the lower ground floor are not used and are not fit to be used. To ignore this is not good stewardship before God. We ought to be making some use of what was once a storage area and a schoolroom but that now serves no purpose.
After long consultation, we have come to the view that the Lord wants us to turn the unused area we have into space for accommodation. There is a manse two streets away and a family flat in the church but we can see scope for more accommodation, and so we have recently submitted a plan to the local council for three more self-contained dwellings.
Accommodation would help us to house at least a few people nearby including perhaps an extra church worker for example. The cost of housing in the area is very high and in the past some have reluctantly had to leave us for that reason. If we could stem the flow a little and help Christians in need of living space in the area that would be a great help to them and to us and, we hope, would be a means of advancing the kingdom.
We are doing this conscious that it is bound to cost a huge amount of money. We have already spent a good deal of money to get this far but to go further we will need not thousands but hundreds of thousands of pounds. We have never been a large church or a rich one but, hopefully, always a generous one. We recognise, of course, that many churches are smaller and poorer than we are but not all and we feel it is right to appeal people outside the fellowship at this time.
London is a strategic part of the UK. It is the capital city and it teems with people of all sorts, more arriving every day. Most of them do not know the Saviour. In light of this, we are appealing then to former members and to other individuals and churches to help us at this time by praying for us and by providing whatever financial support they can.
We are, of course, enquiring what grants we can obtain from charitable sources but we believe that, at such a time as this, help is most likely to come from individuals and churches who for one reason or another have us on their hearts.
If you are able to help us or if you simply want to know more, then do contact us. It would greatly encourage us to know that others are praying and supporting us in this demanding project.
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