CUCKFIELD BAPTIST CHURCH
Some years ago the church at Cuckfield wrote: “The present Chapel building is over 270 years old and unsuitable for the 21st century. The lack of flexible accommodation limits many activities, particularly amongst the youth and older persons in our community. The existing kitchen facilities are small and limit what catering can be provided. Access for those with restricted mobility is very difficult with disabled toilet facilities being inadequate. There is therefore a pressing and urgent need for a new purpose built facility that is attractive, open, welcoming, accessible and flexible yet of a contemporary and sensitive design that is appropriate for its village context.”
The church approached the Corporation – among others – for financial aid. The church sold the old chapel (assisted by the Corporation) and work on the new chapel commenced in 2015, on land previously used for parking by the church.
Digging and laying of foundations
Main meeting room in various stages of building
Baptistry Stairs & lobby area Upstairs area
Exterior of the new chapel in different stages of development
Main meeting room from different angles
Kitchen Crèche/Sunday School Room Upstairs Lobby coffee area
The new building was opened in January 2016.
We received the following report from the church a few months later:
"The new building has proved a great asset for the gospel – being an open, welcoming, flexible and accessible space to meet for our various activities as a church. The building offers us a totally new dynamic with great circulating and gathering spaces for meeting the requirements of different meetings. The new catering provision with servery has been brilliant. The new AV and sound systems have vastly improved what we can do and the storage facilities have proved really useful. Easily stackable and moveable chairs have allowed us to be able to transform spaces quickly for different events. The efficient underfloor heating and thermal efficiencies of the new building with different zones have given us useful control over heating costs.
We have seen a steady stream of visitors to various outreach events since the opening with ministries like Toddlers and community lunches / coffee mornings having significant increases in attendance. We have run various Christianity Explored groups and are longing that the Lord would graciously save those who have heard the gospel of God’s grace in Christ. It has been a joy to welcome those with restrictive mobility and know they will have the dignity of being able to use and access all parts of the building. It has also been a blessing to see the building fully utilised for big events such as our church weekend at home, community open days, and funerals / weddings with receptions afterwards.
The building has also been hired by a variety of Christian organisations for national and regional gatherings which has been encouraging. Other churches have hired the building too for men’s, women’s and leader’s away-days. Given our rural location yet located close to the A23 / M23, and with ample parking provision this has meant the facility has had strong appeal. The community has also reacted very positively and we have a growing demand for hiring, which has led to many coming into the building that never did before.
So all in all we are so thankful to God for his generous provision. We are most grateful for members and other donors (including GBTC) who have generously made this building possible. It has been worth of the struggles, heart-aches and tense moments as we prayerfully planned this project over 10 years and looked to God to lead his people and provide for us.
It is our longing that God will help us to make the most of this new facility for the cause of Christ as we seek to reach the community around us with the gospel. We pray that we and the generations to come of Lord’s people will be ever thankful to God for the facility yet always remembering that bricks and mortar should never become a substitute for God’s people living Christ centred and cross shaped lives for Christ. May Christ have the pre-eminence and may buildings be seen as no more than useful tools for proclaiming the gospel, showing the love of Christ in a variety of ways and effectively engaging local people with God’s Word of grace. We have been so appreciative for the help given by GBTC in the sale of the old building and the financial assistance in the provision of grant funds for this new church and community facility.”