10th May 2020:  Meadgate Church is now very close to completing on the purchase of The Orchards from Essex County Council.  The relevant documents have been signed by both sides, and we are now awaiting for the exchange of contracts and the subsequent completion to take place.  Meadgate Church has raised £390,000 and the Diocese of Chelmsford is loaning Meadgate Church £260,000. 

 

The story so far:  Meadgate Church has been renting the Orchards since 2014.  We now have the opportunity to purchase the Orchards from Essex County Council (ECC) for £650,000, have agreed terms, and are currently awaiting completion.

 

Once we have purchased the Orchards, we will then need to spend an estimated £150,000 to undertake essential maintenance works.  Essex County Council has generously awarded a community grant of £69,000 to Meadgate Church, subject to the sale completing, and this grant will go directly towards the cost of these works.

 

At the AGM on the 29th April 2018, the Church voted unanimously to proceed with the purchase, and at the PCC held on the 18th May, it was agreed to hold a Pledge Day on Sunday 24th June.  On the Pledge Day itself, an amazing £241,055 was pledged by way of one-off gifts, and £1,605 per month by way of increased monthly giving (both figures including Gift Aid).  

 

In November 2018, Chelmsford Diocese agreed to loan Meadgate Church £425,000, repayable over 20 years.

 

The PCC, at its meeting on the 30th November, unanimously agreed to recommend proceeding with the purchase, and at the whole-Church meeting which took place during the morning worship at 10:30 on Sunday the 9th December, the Church voted to proceed with the purchase (For: 92, Against: 1, Abstensions: 2).

 

In December 2018, we began calling in the pledges.  As of 28 December 2019, the amount raised from gifts stood at £415,613, and the increased monthly giving stood at £1,890 per month (both figures including Gift Aid).

 

Thanks to the amazing generosity of both Meadgate Church members and others from outside Meadgate Church, we now need to borrow the reduced sum of £260,000 and will be looking to pay of the loan early.

 

Rev Canon Tim Ball, Vicar Of Meadgate Church, says: "This purchase project is an exciting challenge for us all. We have a great opportunity before us and we are praying that by God's grace we will see our hopes and dreams fulfilled. It will establish our seven day a week ministry on a firm foundation."