Last updated: Thursday 18 March 2021
This page gives updates on the Armstrongs building, including meetings of the Steering Group.
All emboldened text represents a question or an adjustment to a previously answered response…
Key points from the Steering Group meeting of 10 March (full minutes have been circulated to members of the BBC congregation):
- Moving in – we now have the keys to the building. An inventory is being carried out, and we will move our own possessions in over the next few days.
- Utilities and services – Gas and electric have been transferred, water and refuse collection are in process, and we are exploring options for internet and WiFi coverage throughout the building.
- Alcohol and Music licences – will be progressed as needed
- Building alterations – a provisional plan for the refurbishment and remodelling of the interior of the building has been drawn up. Quotes have been sought on different sections of the work, to see what is feasible within our budget.
- Disability access – Expert advice has been sought on issues relating to disabled access including ramps, disabled toilet, and signage.
- Branding – Steering Group considered drafts for branding and logos. Further work will now be undertaken.
- Funding – various potential sources of funding have been identified and applications are underway.
- Room bookings – work has begun on hiring policies, prices, and terms & conditions of hire.
- Press release – a press release has been sent to a variety of news outlets and posted on a number of local Facebook groups.
- Previous steering group updates:
- Planning – application for change of use of the building has been approved.
- Legal – lease has been agreed and signed. We are now the legal tenants of the property.
- Licencing – we have investigated this in more detail, and agreed that we will keep an alcohol licence for the building as this is the easiest way of allowing groups hiring the space to operate a bar if they wish. But our recommendation continues to be that we do not stock or staff a bar ourselves. Further decisions on music and other licences may still need to be taken.
- Building alterations – we are currently awaiting indicative pricing on a number of options, so we can make a recommendation on what changes to make. Detailed proposals will be put to a Church Meeting for decision. We will actively ensure that everything we does at least meets all legal requirements for disability access, and exceeds them where that is desirable.
- Funding – A number of potential grants have been identified for building works and also for staffing. We are considering these alongside discussions about the alterations we may wish to carry out.
- Branding – We are in the process of considering possible designs for logos and branding of the building, and will consult more widely as this develops. We have also talked about signage, and are beginning to consider our website, online presence, and marketing.
- Church Use – A survey has been circulated asking people to identify particular ministries or activities which they feel they would like to help facilitate from the building. Decisions on our planned church mission will be taken, and as necessary booked into the diary, before the building is made available to outside bodies, as it remains our firm intention that this is first and foremost a mission opportunity for Beverley Baptist Church.
- Staffing – The survey also asks if people are able to commit time to assist with more general tasks such as cleaning, caretaking, or administration. Once we know what we can cover from within our existing resources we can take further decisions on paid staffing.
- Bookings and pricing – We have talked about the need for booking policies, terms and conditions, and a pricing structure. Further work on these will be limited until we have a better idea of what spaces we will have available and our target audiences.
Thank you for your prayers for the Steering Group as we continue in our work. Much of what we are doing at the moment is practical in its nature, but the use of the building for us as a worshipping community and a mission resource for the church remains central to our thinking, and we need all to be praying that God will reveal how we make most effective use of this resource with which we have been blessed.
The steering group met on 25 November. Here is a summary of the discussions. Frequently asked questions, and answers, are further down the page.
A full report on steering group recommendations will be available before the Special Church Meeting, but we wanted to update people on our progress, and to enable the conversation to continue. Thank you for your prayers, and please do continue to pray for the work of this group.
Key points from this meeting were as follows.
Use of space
The Steering Group looked at some potential plans for how the internal space could be configured, including moveable partition walls in the current billiard room, and possibilities for relocation of the office to the current beer cellar, with the door at that side of the building becoming the main entrance. There are still questions to be answered, but we were happy this would give us sufficient space and flexibility for our own Sunday use and also room lettings. It would provide the 3 rooms we currently need for Sunday School, with options to facilitate a separate creche in an additional space if that became necessary. A proposed plan will be circulated before the Church Meeting.
We also looked at the provision of storage, and concluded there is sufficient onsite for all our church belongings.
After detailed discussion of options for the bar area, the Steering Group recommendation is that we do not aim to stock or run a bar, either alcoholic or non-alcoholic. The physical bar area will be retained and made available for those hiring for functions who wish to hire in external bar provision, or they can bring their own drinks. We are exploring options for local companies who we could work with so that we could offer to arrange the bar as part of the booking package, for an appropriate additional fee. The part of the bar area adjoining the main function room will be equipped with facilities for provision of tea, coffee and soft drinks for our Sunday services and also during the week.
The Steering Group considered headline figures which showed that working up to a 40% occupancy for lettings at a base rate of £12 per hour would mean running at a small deficit after the deduction of fixed costs and necessary salaries. But it would still be a saving on our current room hire and office costs. We would also have use of the building for church activities the other 60% of the time. There was some feeling that 40% occupancy was optimistic, but also a question as to whether £12 per hour was underselling ourselves. A Finance subgroup has been set up to explore models based on other prices and occupancy rates so we can agree a preferred option.
Ideas for use of the premises
Questions had been asked around possible uses for the building, both by BBC and external users. The following list is simply ideas: we probably will do some of these, we certainly won’t do all of them, and there may be others not listed.
Possible church ministries:
- Lunchtime club for older people
- Toddler Group or Messy Church
- Prayer Group for families
- Youth Club/Drama groups
- Board Games Café
- Community Laundry
- A base for chaplaincy to Flemingate and/or the wider town centre
- Prayer corner/quiet prayer space available during the week as well as on Sundays
- Noodle Bar/Milkshake bar, or other such
- Provision of Office Space/Hot Desking facility
- Some form of outreach to East Riding College
- Holiday Clubs
- Tea & Toast drop in – possibly with short prayer services on occasions
Possible external lettings:
- Toddler groups/children’s activity groups
- Nearly new sales
- Sports groups
- Children’s Birthday Parties
- Evening dinners/functions
- Food pantry/community food project
- Youth Club
- Dance clubs
- Slimming World or similar
- Small conferences
- Business meetings