Adding steel to a church capital appeal
Crowthorne Baptist Church
“David’s presence and diplomatic skills helped us hold our nerve at a difficult time and put everyone on a similar footing, with a common vision of what might be achieved. There is a certain authenticity to someone external and trusted being involved, which really helps to move people’s thinking along, and David is very good at presenting information that’s hard to take in all in one go.””
Peter Forbes, Crowthorne Baptist Church
Back in 2014 we were approached by Peter Forbes, at the time Deacon for Outreach at Crowthorne Baptist Church, regarding a capital appeal project that had been ongoing for some 20 years. The church was perfectly situated in the middle of Crowthorne high street and church membership was on the increase, but the building itself needed attention. The church hall, located at the back, was no longer fit for purpose. The plan was to rebuild the whole structure, putting the sanctuary at the back and the hall at the front, where it would be a more integral part of the high street and thus the community. Fundraising had reached close to a quarter of a million pounds but much more was needed. Peter, who had joined the church in 2011, had met David Saint at a conference and felt his support as a third party consultant might help church members rededicate themselves to the project.
The church leadership team agreed to invite David to look at the current state of the capital appeal and put forward a plan for galvanising the congregation behind the project and taking the fundraising forward with renewed vigour.
By acting as an independent third party, listening to all opinions, we were able to provide a level of calm objectivity, which helped to stabilise the mood around the project and open minds to what was possible. This also helped those church members who had been deeply involved in the project by giving them the confidence that the whole congregation was on board. Any sense that you don’t have the full backing of the congregation can really undermine a capital appeal.
We recently received news from Peter that the appeal had raised sufficient funds, matched by a loan from the Baptist Union, to enable demolition work shortly to begin. Fundraising continues and there is a buzz about the place, with membership continuing to increase and with a strengthening desire to help build a Christ centred community in Crowthorne. The future for Crowthorne Baptist Church looks rosy.
Every now and again, an external stimulus and objective view is all that’s needed to jump-start a process. In this case – after 20 years – it is hardly surprising that momentum had been challenged. The church had also experienced a number of unexpected setbacks with the project, which made it very hard to see a clear way forward.
We were delighted to be able to play some small part in the church’s journey and it was great to get such a positive update from Peter. CBC’s tenacity and patience is finally paying off!