Wynyard Baptist's Facility Upgrade
You Just Gotta Ask!
New upgrades make all the difference to community engagement
Wynyard Baptist Church Celebrates with Coffee!
Pictured: New spacious foyer area
Wynyard Baptist Pastor, Owen Muskett, often considers how Wynyard Baptist church can engage the local community. (He's pictured below with his wife, Dawn.)
Man2Man? No worries - we'll do a men's shed!
Carols with the Waratah-Wynyard council? Great!
Funeral services for local personalities? What an opportunity!
All this local connection is wonderful, but at the same time, Owen felt the building was letting them down. The foyer area was cramped and uninviting, and the toilets were due for an upgrade.
In 2019, Owen proposed his vision for a more accessible and inviting building entrance. Meeting with the church leadership, he suggested a few changes to the space occupied by the foyer, crying room, church library, and cleaners' storage, as well as upgrading the out-of-date toilets.
His idea was to create a large and welcoming foyer area with purpose-built cafe and kitchen. He suggested building new toilets as a small extension to the main building, and relocating the library to the back wall of the existing auditorium. As well, a window could be altered to become the main entrance, including a large awning for protected driveway drop-offs.
But the main reason for the change, Owen reasoned, was the potential for greater community engagement.
I see the vision!
Soon after Owen explained the vision to the membership, someone (who remains anonymous) dropped by with an envelope. This person told Owen they "saw the vision and wanted to help"! Asking Owen not to open the letter for at least 10 minutes, they quietly left. Shrouded in mystery Owen agreed, and 10 minutes later, discovered a cheque for $150,000.
Well, now, there was no stopping them!
From plans to action
The church leaders began to make their plans with the blessing of the membership, and by early 2020 it was clear the work would go ahead at some stage during the year. With the church unable to meet from the middle of March when the COVID-19 lockdown began, it was the perfect time to begin the demolition and building works.
To make best use of the money, the church decided to use as much volunteer labour as possible for both project managing and building the upgrade. As a result, many of the retired men of the church pulled together, working about 5-hours/day for several weeks.
Amazingly, the donations kept rolling in, including $20,000 for a new sound system, and physical dioantions such as a dishwasher and other items. Such generosity.
In a few short months, the new foyer area with cafe, and up-to-date toilets, were built. The cafe boasts a state-of-the-art espresso machine, and cups of coffee purchased before and after services contribute to Wynyard's missions work overseas. As well, visitors to the church are now greeted with a much more friendly space, and the good people of Wynyard Baptist are excited to welcome many from outside their fellowship in the years ahead.
In Owen's excitement, he keeps rembering the generous anonymous donation, which is still being spent!
His conclusion? "You just gotta ask!"
Before: Former entrance, to the right side
After: Awning not quite complete
New toilet wing
Read more of your ADVANCE | step by step Dec 2020 >>>