God has opened an exciting door for us to purchase property adjoining the church. This fits with our vision and desire to be a growing church that is growing people passionate for Christ.
If the Lord wills it and provides us with this property at 9 Lombard St, it would have 2 immediate benefits:
- with some repairs, we could house a staff member there and save the annual church budget around $30,000 a year in rent
- we could use the very large backyard as extra space to help us in our ministries on Sundays, during the week, and at special events
Our prayer is always that we would be a growing church, growing people passionate for Christ. This new property would give us space to do just that – to grow, with new possibilities for gospel ministry into the future. We don’t know the exact details of what exciting plans God has for our church and this land, but together with our existing blocks 5 and 7, 9 Lombard St could possibly be developed into new youth and kids facilities, new admin and ministry spaces, new accomodation for ministers, as well as car parking.
In pursuit of gospel growth and the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have been thinking strategically about the best way to utilise the property God has given us through the generosity of those who’ve gone before us. Acquiring 9 Lombard St gives us extra space to consider even more possibilities to allow more people to come, our congregations to grow, and God’s word to be taught.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are we funding?
We’re funding the purchase primarily from two sources of funding:
1. Parishioner donations (what we’re currently asking people to pledge)
2. Mortgage backed loan from a bank.
By necessity, given the price of Sydney property, we know we’ll need to borrow funds to make this happen. The question for us right now, is how much? If the pledges we receive are sufficiently high to reduce the mortgage to the level that is manageable for our church, then we’ll be able to proceed. If however, the resulting loan would result in ongoing repayments that we deem are not affordable for our church, then we won’t be able to proceed.
Other options that people could consider are whether you’d be willing to make a no-interest ‘parishioner loan’. These could be any amount, but ideally for $100k or more, where you could commit to lending the church the funds, on a “no interest” basis, with the funds to be repaid to you later on. Obviously these loans need considerable thought & documentation, so if you’re considering this, please speak with us with what you have in mind.
How was the value of the property and price determined?
The price is $1,900,000. The short version is that the price is what the current owner stated as his lowest offer which was a $300,000 reduction on his opening offer. The long version is that current owner offered the property for sale for $2.2 million which took into account from his perspective the development potential. The current owner advised that he is ready to commence a development on the site for 2 dwellings and a granny flat. He justified his asking price by reference to recent sales of property similar to that which he plans to build as well as an offer received from a well-known real estate agent in the area. The Parish Council commissioned a desktop valuation report into the land ‘as is’, not taking into account any development potential. That report revealed a valuation range of $1,500,000 to $1,625,000. After sharing this with the current owner we offered $1,750,000. After some further discussion the current owner and the Wardens met via zoom where he agreed to offer the property to the church for $1,900,000. Since that time, 10 Thomas Street Northmead, which is approximately half the size, sold for $1,316,000. The Wardens and Parish Council believe that the price offered, whilst significant, represents market rates for a property of this size and proximity to Parramatta and the Hills.
How will the property help gospel ministry?
Growing a church means two things: 1. developing in maturity and Christlikeness, and 2. increasing in numbers of disciples of Christ. Both of these are about getting together to live and proclaim God’s mighty word, and trusting him through prayer.
More property simply means more space for us to welcome people, more possibilities to start new forms of evangelism such as an Easy English group/service, and more room for more people to meet together.
Will the fundraising impact our ability to do gospel ministry?
Whilst the opportunities that purchasing No. 9 Lombard present are massive & obviously very desirable, the Wardens & Parish Council have made the decision that we will only proceed down this path if we’re comfortable that doing so will not impede on our existing or desired Word ministry needs. For the sake of clarity, this means that if we needed to drop staffing levels in order to repay the loan, we won’t proceed. We believe our foremost goal is to spread the Gospel, not develop property. However, if we can do both we believe this will allow our church to grow and do even more Gospel ministry in years to come.
When do you need the money?
We’re looking to lock in to this deal by the end of the year, which is not as long a timeframe as we’d like. Given the various Diocesan governance hoops & financial institution barriers we need to jump over, our timeframe looks like the following:
- 7 November = Deadline for pledges
- 30 November = Deadline to receive pledges (if proceeding)
- 31 December = Deadline to ‘lock in’ with the vendor
Whilst we won’t be settling the transaction straight away, we expect the banks we’re dealing with will want to see the funds in an account prior to final approval of finance. As such we’ll need the funds sometime in early December.
How do I win as many competitions as Phil does?
If the odds are only 1-in-a-million… you only need to enter 1 million competitions to win something! Get to it.