Video Q and A
Plains & Pegasus Campus
Why are we changing the service time at Pegasus?
Our growth is constrained when we gather at a time that is not ideal for everyone. At Pegasus, we feel if we move to a morning service, it will make church more accessible to the community. Due to a lack of resources, we have not been able to run two morning services in North Canterbury but with this shift, we feel a 9am service at Plains and an 11am service at Pegasus will help us reach more lost people and create room for growth.
Why would we want to buy another building at Beach Campus?
We want our facilities to be able to cope with our growth and help us to be as effective as possible. Over the last year, Beach Campus general attendance has grown, as have are our kids and youth programmes. Our under 18’s have increased by 20-25% and we are at capacity at our current facility. Like Tuam St, Seafield is a building for our future that will not be available when we need it. We’d love to take the opportunity to purchase while we can. We already need part of it every Sunday for our primary and secondary aged groups and we are currently renting it at the moment.
What will we use the extra building at Beach Campus for?
We are in the process of praying about this and making decisions around how we best make use of this facility. On a Sunday we will use this for some of our kids, intermediates and youth environments and during the week we are looking at ways to fund the ongoing costs of the facility through what we do there. Many people are asking whether they can rent office spaces from us at Beach Campus, so we expect that in the short term, some of the space will be used to fund the ongoing costs. We believe this facility has the potential to fund itself long term.
Why are we planting out West?
With the growth of our City Campus and the growth of the population out West, we feel this is a great next step to plant a West Campus. We have talked about it for a number of years and feel that now is the time. God has been speaking to Alexis and Rocky Stocks for a number of years about this and they feel it is their next step too. We as a team, feel they are the right campus pastors for this new plant as we have prayed together.
Projections show Halswell is facing an extremely high population growth, of up to three times its current population, over the next twenty years! The result is an increase from 14,680 up to 40,825 residents by the year 2030, making Halswell the fastest growing area in Christchurch. Rolleston is already one of the fastest growing towns in New Zealand, and while it will continue to grow, it will be joined by West Melton, Wigram, Prebbleton, Lincoln, and Halswell as becoming the fastest growing areas in the South Island. We feel with the increase of people, there needs to be a corresponding increase of churches in these areas. We are not sure exactly where the campus will be located, but we are looking in and around the Halswell area.
There are already churches in the West, why should we plant there?
To see a city transformed it will take lots different size and types of church. The Vineyard has a unique flavour and a key role in bringing light and life to the Western suburbs therefore we do not see an additional church as competition but helping in the overall building of God’s Kingdom. Also with the growing population, we need more churches.
Tuam Street / City Campus
Why can’t City Campus stay at Ferry Rd?
Ferry Rd is just a stepping-stone to our permanent site and is not suitable as a long-term City Campus location for a number of reasons.
- We do not own the building and the landlord generously made it available to us at a discounted rental on the understanding we needed somewhere to hold Sunday morning services again, having met at Southwest Baptist in the afternoon since Feb 2011. There are many ministries that we would love to get started, but are currently on hold until more space is available.
- It is too small. Prior to the quakes, our morning services were so full that we were at risk of exceeding our fire limit (for people inside the building) on a weekly basis. Sadly, this meant turning people away at the door with a ‘Church Full’ sign. We are reaching being 70-80% full and this a limit on growth.
- The land has poor quality soil. Many of the buildings in and around Phillipstown suffered the same fate as ours, whereby the liquefaction-prone soil can cause ongoing problems for the building. We do not want to be the church that is like the man who, “built his house on the sand”.
- Rebuilding at 150 Ferry Rd would be very expensive given the groundwork required to support a building and prevent future liquefaction damage. Added to the fact the site is too small, we are better using our insurance payout on a larger building with better soil underneath it.
- Limited parking. There is a decreasing amount of parking available on Sundays. On weekdays, it is extremely hard to find a park, which limits our ability to have any meetings during the day.
- We are unable to hold any meetings larger than 400 people and therefore we have to use other churches for funerals, conferences, etc.
- Many of our ministries do not have room to grow.
- There is not enough room for our children’s programs.
Why do we need such a big building in the City Centre?
Prior to the quakes we were so full we were turning people away. We are now growing quickly and don’t want to be in the same situation again.
In addition to the extra space we want for a main auditorium, we would like a facility large and flexible enough in its uses, to cater for a huge range of activities that are central to our mission. Ultimately, our new building and every other property we hold are just tools for mission. They are spaces where God is encountered and worshipped (UP), community happens (IN), and where people are trained, equipped and sent (OUT).
Our building needs to be an asset that serves the city. It is not only for our use, but also rather a collection of well-designed spaces that thousands of people will utilize throughout the year. It is going to be a facility that has the space to engage the community in a relevant way.
How much did Tuam St cost to buy?
The final negotiated, conditional offer was for $6m. The building was not on the market and had been leased by Trents as a wholesale food warehouse. We had tried to get the owners to agree to sell for more than two years, but this proved difficult, as insurance settlement negotiations had not been finalized. Given its prime location and close proximity to CPIT, the Innovation Precinct, the New Stadium and the East Frame housing development, we thought it was a very good deal. Last year, we had paid off the entire site through previous building campaigns and our insurance settlement for 150 Ferry Rd.
When can we move into Tuam St?
The simple answer is, the quicker we can raise the money needed to pay for the construction and fit out – the sooner we’ll be able to move in.
God’s vision for the city is a long term one and the part we have to play in seeing that vision fulfilled is also a multi-generational, long term vision. Other examples of great facilities around NZ and overseas have unfolded in stages over decades.
As a leadership team, we’d obviously love to be moved in and operating as soon as possible but we feel God is reminding us that He’s more interested in HOW we get there than WHEN. This is a discipleship journey He’s taking us on as a church, that will see us transformed from the inside out. When we are ready to occupy the new building, we won’t be the same as when we started this journey. We’ll have built strong spiritual foundations with our lives anchored in worship, prayer, generosity and dependence on Him. A single multi-million dollar donation that paid for everything would be convenient in some ways, yet would take away the opportunity for our whole church family to contribute and walk the journey together.
Why the CBD location?
We currently have ministries to the inner city poor and homeless and only see this increasing in the future. With new businesses being established all the time and plans to have 20,000 residents living in the city there is a great opportunity to get established right in the midst of a vibrant new city.
The city is also an easy to reach central location for people to drive to from any direction. We want to be a, “Church in the city, for the city”. The words that God has given us over five years add up to a strong mandate that could be summed up as: “I want you to help rebuild the spiritual foundations of the city”. We believe that our location relative to the people we seek to serve, is very important and in order to be an effective tool for mission, our building must be where the people are.
Why has this process taken so long at Tuam St?
Over the last number of years, we have looked at 31 potential sites, eventually walking away after fully investigating their suitability. As a large church, we have some very specific requirements for finding a suitable site.
In terms of council compliance, we need a site with the right zoning. One of the first things we considered when looking at a potential site is, “could we get resource consent to operate here?”
Why don’t we buy land and build from scratch?
We have investigated a number of bare land options over the years and in the end opted to pursue an existing building based on cost, timing and zoning. We have concentrated our efforts on finding a large shell (like a warehouse) in a good location that could be fitted out for our needs.
In addition, our first costs for the build came out very high therefore we are now looking at how we cut costs.
How much will Tuam St cost us?
We are currently working with our project manager to determine an exact cost. We should know this figure soon. We would love to be able to give a figure to help us with a target but we do not know exactly how much the construction, fit out and professional fees will be as soon as we know this, we will begin to communicate this.
Is Tuam St currently lying empty? Is that not a waste of money?
We are currently renting out our space at Tuam St to different tenants. Currently, this is making us over $200,000 a year in rent. Also in August, we launched our first ministry in Tuam St called Kairos. This is led by Beth Hutt, who is part of our City Campus evening service congregation. They collect fresh food from cafes at the end of the working day and rather than see this go to waste, it goes to those in need. They then distribute this from a shipping container at Tuam St during the week on certain evenings. It is exciting to start our mission there already.
If we are moving to Tuam St, why are we spending money on Ferry Rd?
To be ready for a bigger facility, we need to make decisions that will help us build towards our future. We are experiencing growth at City Campus and need to make room for that. We do not want to turn people away today who will be our church of tomorrow. It may seem like a waste of money investing in Ferry Rd but as we are not moving into Tuam St tomorrow, there are some upgrades we feel we need to make to make room for our growing environments e.g. Unit 5. We are doing this as cheaply as we can and also much of the equipment we are purchasing now we will transfer to our Tuam St facility.
Wouldn’t it be better to spend all the money on the poor/missions?
With a long-term vision, we understand the need to invest in facilities that enable the mission to continue and grow well into the future. Helping the poor and providing funds for missions is both important and central to what we are all about. To be missional and effective at reaching the lost - you need tools. Good facilities are just that — a tool for mission. We believe it is a case of both/and rather than one or the other. Both are needed to get the mission accomplished.
A great example of sacrificial investment to leave a legacy of multi-generational blessing is the Living Springs complex near Governors Bay. The faith-filled obedience, foresight and courage of Peter and Anne Morrow and David and Eddie Down has created an amazing asset for the city of Christchurch and has provided a place for hundreds of people to encounter Jesus over the last 40 years.
Why not plant more churches rather than have one big church?
One of the key ingredients to healthy satellite campuses is a strong central campus that provides administrative support and specialist expertise. Our size allows us to provide a higher quality of ministries like worship, kids programs and the like because centralized resources and training are available to the campuses. Efficiencies provided by centralized accounting and administration functions allow the satellite campuses to get on with the job of making disciples. It is also vital to have at least one larger venue for conferences and special ‘all in’ days.
Will we be closing down any of the other campuses when we open up Tuam St?
No. Strong multisite churches typically have a healthy central campus that serves the satellite campuses in other parts of the city. As each additional campus joins the family, we become stronger and more diverse. Each campus has its own unique characteristics and strengths but are also part of the wider family, sharing core values and most importantly - each campus has a part to play in the wider mission of seeing the city saved and brought into relationship with Jesus. We actually see us launching more campuses over the coming years.
With the stadium announcement, should we not sell Tuam St for a profit?
We have had many requests to sell but Tuam St is in a prime location to serve the city. We are not an investor for capital gain - we are an owner-occupier, which means its purpose is to serve our mission. If we sold Tuam St, we would still have the same issues outlined above.
Why do we need a large auditorium?
Gathering together in unity to worship, is a key practice of the Vineyard and something that the early church was very good at. Having at least one large gathering space in the city is valuable. It serves us well for weekend services as the City Campus continues to grow, is great for church-wide gatherings and conferences but also is there to serve the city. We want to host school concerts, corporate and theatre events along with conferences. The polytechnic across from Tuam St have already mentioned they would like to use the venue when available for different larger events.
What size is Tuam St compared to Ferry Rd?
At 5.3 times the floor area of 150 Ferry Rd, we have a large building with plenty of room for future growth. The total floor area of the drive though car park, main warehouse, storeroom and amenities is 4850m2. In addition to this, 309 St Asaph St (previously the Global Living building) is included. The total land area of the whole site is 7719m2.
Will our building be available for mid-week activities?
Yes. One of the key things we are determined to provide once we are in our own place again is access to good meeting spaces for midweek groups and activities. We believe that its location and layout will accommodate even more mid-week activities than we have been able to offer in the past.
Who is currently managing the project at Tuam St?
John Peez was our project manager for the beginning of the project. John did an incredible job doing all the initial work, getting building consent and taking us to this stage in the process. Recently, we have contracted Joseph Stradwick for the next phase. He was recommended to us by several churches in New Zealand and has built over 30 churches across New Zealand. He founded the construction company, Stryde, and has many years of experience in construction and project management. He also attends Life Church in Auckland. Since April, Joe has been helping us take the next steps in this project, as he brings his experience in helping churches build facilities for the right cost and for the right purpose.
Do we have a resource consent for Tuam St to use it as a church?
Yes. We already have a resource consent to use the building as a church. Our site is zoned as "Central City Mixed Use" in the Christchurch City Plan. The zone provides for a wide range of uses, spiritual facilities, community facilities, and cafes are all permitted activities in this zone.
How have we heard from God on all this?
Every Wednesday our Key Leaders Team meets together for half a day, worshipping, waiting on God, praying and discussing God’s leading on the key challenges we face as a church. This group is David MacGregor, Clark Alcock, Simon and Charlotte MacGregor, Sarah-Jane Peez, Rocky and Alexis Stocks, James Renwick, Bridget Underhill, Scottie Young and Bazi Baker. Instead of coming up with lots of our own clever ideas and asking God to bless them, we earnestly seek His direction and leading with an open mind to all possibilities and discuss as a group what we feel He’s saying. In addition to what we have discerned God saying, we have had prophecies and encouraging words from pastors both in New Zealand and around the globe about future next steps.
After discussing and praying through what we feel are the next steps we ought to take, when it comes to buildings and facilities, we then communicate with our advisory team. This group then discuss the ideas we have and ask, “Does this make good business sense?”
Who are the advisory team?
There are four individuals on our board of Trustees:
- David James: Director of Powell Fenwick Consultants
- James Leggat: Lawyer and Partner of White Fox and Jones
- Neil France: Chartered Accountant and Director of Winstone France Chartered Accounts Ltd.
- David MacGregor: Senior Pastor of Grace Vineyard