The congregation had outgrown its previous church building and had long been searching for a more suitable venue, to continue serving the Lord and the community.
The new building, called Central Offices, was brought to the attention of Daniel Grimwade (the co-pastor) in June 2013. The church had considered other local buildings and sites, but none had proved suitable.
Let’s buy it!
The building was originally home to Cutwel, a tooling supply company, who have since moved to Cleckheaton. The premises had a small call centre and stores and thus there are three good-sized spaces; these have been transformed into a main meeting room, lounge and hall. In addition, there are numerous other small meeting rooms, offices, kitchen and toilets.
The church members were invited to view the building on a Saturday in June and later had a meeting to discuss the possibility of purchasing it. After prayer and enthusiastic discussion, the decision to buy the building was made and the sale was finalised last October. It was funded through donations from members, gifts from trust funds and other churches, and an interest-free loan from the Particular Baptist Fund.
‘The process was very straight-forward’, Daniel said. ‘We’re really thankful for the way the whole project ran so efficiently and came together, including the change of use of the building, selling the old church building, and buying and renovating the new property. It has been an amazing journey as we have experienced God’s goodness towards us. We have seen that God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine’’ ’.
As Daniel commented at DEC’s official opening: ‘We have experienced God’s power financially, practically and in the peace, unity, and generosity that have marked the whole project’.
The total cost has been just over £500,000 and yet the church only needed to borrow £50,000. The building was VAT registered, but as the church is a charity they did not have to pay this. However, this cost the vendors £20,000 in VAT clawback so the church offered to cover this. However the vendors insisted the church pay no more than £10,000 and then thanked DEC for their generosity!
Daniel said: ‘We’ve learnt to trust in God and “just go for it”; our hope and desire is that this mind-set will permeate all our plans for the future’.
Space to expand
To refurbish the building, DEC worked with a local firm of architects and a Mirfield-based builder, in addition to eager members researching, supervising, giving, praying and tackling the never-ending list of jobs provided!
‘We’re really excited to meet once more for Sunday services in the middle of Dewsbury, with plenty of space to expand and grow, as we seek to make known the good news of Jesus Christ.’ Daniel said.
Since moving in, the church hosted open days in early April for people in the local area to come and look round, including their local MP Simon Reevell. There was also a more formal thanksgiving service on Sunday, April 6, attended by friends of the church and other local supporting churches.
Confidence in God
Graham Heaps, who has been pastor of the church for the last 41 years and is due to retire at the end of the year, preached on Psalm 126; the theme of the sermon was to acknowledge how God has been at work throughout the project, which should therefore give the church confidence to look to God for future blessings.
The church hopes that their bigger, better, more-equipped building will help facilitate their outreach work. They currently run a variety of groups for the community, to reach out to children, young people and adults of all ages, including a group seeking to help those for whom English is a second language.
‘We want people to hear the life-transforming news about Jesus Christ!’ exclaimed Daniel. Graham agreed, adding: ‘The most memorable moments at Dewsbury have always been when people have told us that they’ve become Christians!’.
However, the church is eager to engage even further with the surrounding area.
‘We are launching a CAP (Christians Against Poverty) Jobs Club to help those looking for work; it’s a course recommended by the Department of Work and Pensions and we’re really excited about it. Our apprentice, Arron Cook, has trained for the role’, Daniel said.
The new building has allowed the church to consolidate its work in Dewsbury, and they are already planning to attempt a church plant in the nearby city of Wakefield.
The church are rejoicing in God’s goodness to them over this past year with this wonderful provision and are exclaiming with Paul, as written in Ephesians 3:21, ‘To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!’.
Judith Webster is a member of DEC.