For the last few years the main thrust of our Gift Days has been raising money for our Serenje HIV / AIDS project in Zambia. With that season of our involvement in Serenje coming to an end (although I'll be talking soon about what we'll be doing beyond the end of the project to make sure everything that has been achieved there continues) we feel it's time to invest locally for growth again. This is especially with a view to us meeting in Sandhurst from September, as well as looking to continue to grow on our Bracknell site.
Therefore this year we want to raise £310,000 by the end of September, over and above our regular giving, in order to fund growth. This is made up as follows:
Finish Paying for Reception - £99,000 - in the summer of 2011 we did a big project to refurbish the whole of the reception and entrance area, as well as building the Brook Lounge, moving the tech desk from the balcony to downstairs in the auditorium and buying a digital sound desk. We still need to raise £99,000 to finish paying for all those changes.
Launch the Sandhurst Site - £100,000 - we will need funds to launch the Sandhurst site, and make sure it is of the same quality as the Bracknell site. This will include the set up and hire costs for the venue, equipment which we will need to buy, publicising what we are doing and a whole host of other things.
Improve the Bracknell Site - £50,000 - while launching Sandhurst we want to continue to improve the Bracknell site. This money will allow us to replace the carpet in the auditorium, buy a vision mixer, redevelop the Rochdale and Spurgeon rooms and the main office now the staff have moved out and buy display screens for K2 and a number of rooms in the Kerith Centre.
Allow us to buy the College House - £30,000 - we are in negotiation with Bracknell and Wokingham College to buy the house which is immediately behind K2 (often referred to as the caretaker's house). We will take out a mortgage to buy the house, but this still need to find the money for the deposit, legal fees and some improvements which will need doing. In the short term we will use the house for Academy students, longer term there are a range of ideas on what we might do with it.
Tithe on the Income - £31,000 - we want to give away 10% of all the money which comes in. This will go to churches and other organisations both in the UK and overseas.
We will be having Gift Days on the first Sunday of every month, starting this Sunday (3rd March). I'm going to be writing another blog tomorrow, helping us think about what we might give, but for now please take a moment to look at the list above and think how amazing it would be if we were able to do all those things by the end of 2013, and how it would set us up to grow in 2014 and beyond.