In June 2015 we had the exciting opportunity to take over a building of our very own, but it needed a lot of work…. We named this ‘Fit For Purpose’- to see our new premises turned into a centre for the AV community to reach out even further into the town that we love! We wanted a place, not just for Sunday mornings but for the entire week. Somewhere that could serve and build up Ashford, and get right into the heart of our community.
We moved into the offices on 22nd September 2015, after months of amazing volunteers and craftsmen working hard to make it happen, and that’s where the fun began. On 14th November, we celebrated as phase one of our redevelopment was completed- the office, lobby, toilets and kitchen became fully functional! We had so many people and companies to thank for making it all possible, so our grand opening was a brilliant time to celebrate, thank everyone for their hard work so far and inspire for the next stage.
THEN phase 2 began. After being given planning permission for change of use, the downstairs could begin its transformation from just a warehouse, to ‘The Warehouse’- a community hub, ready to serve Ashford in ways we could only have dreamt about!
Here are two videos of the work in action:
After a long process, thanks to an amazing building team, volunteers, and a whole lot of prayer, on the 10th April 2016, we held our first Sunday morning celebration service. That was a wonderful day in the history of Ashford Vineyard.
But that is NOT where the story ends.
We want Sundays to be the least of what we do, and since completing phase 1 and 2, we have been able to develop our community groups, start compassion projects we never thought possible, and build relationships with local businesses. (For a look at all that we do head to our compassion page, or activities page!
Phase 3 has begun (15th August 2016)! We have started to transform our upstairs area into multiple use meeting rooms for AVKids, meetings, prayer rooms etc.
Here is a look at how it looks now, and a tiny vision of how it may look when it’s done!
All that we have done, and all that we would like to do, comes at a price. We don’t expect anyone who doesn’t consider themselves a part of the wider Ashford Vineyard community to contribute, but if you would like to, then we are running two campaigns:
10% – This is for people who already give into the life of AV (or perhaps haven’t up until now) but would like to consider increasing their regular giving by 10% a month. This would give us a little more scope to do what we need to do. If you have never given regularly into the life of AV but would like to, click here. It’s simple, and quick to do!
Fit For Purpose – This is to raise the capital sum needed to transform the upstairs into workable space. If you would like to be a part of this special one-off fund, then please click here.
It has been a wonderful rollercoaster ride getting this far, and it’ll be an ongoing work-in-progress as we dream big for how next we can impact Ashford! At Ashford Vineyard, we are creating ‘and irresistible church where people who ‘don’t do church’ love to be!’ This building has been a leap of faith, and it’s such a joy to see how The Warehouse is already serving the people of Ashford and beyond!
If you’ve chosen to give towards our building fund, thank you so much, and we hope to welcome you at The Warehouse soon!
If you would like to get involved, or find out more, or even fancy a look around, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to hear from you.
We have been so blessed by too many people to mention, but just some of the local businesses who have contributed to The Warehouse’s development so far:
-C Brewer & Sons Ltd.
-Dobbies Garden Centre: Ashford Branch
-Holiday Extras Community Fund
-Hickmans- Legal Costing Services Ltd.
Marks and Spencer High Street Ashford
And our wonderful neighbours:
-Mavericks Pool Bar
-The Plasticom Group