Wynyard Baptist Facility Upgrade
Wynyard Baptist Church Celebrate
New upgrades make all the difference to community engagement
Wynyard Baptist Pastor, Owen Muskett, often considers how to enable Wynyard Baptist church to engage the local community.
Men’s Shed? No worries!
Carols with the Waratah-Wynyard council? Great!
Funeral services for local personalities? What an opportunity!
Local connection is wonderful, but at the same time, Owen felt their building was letting them down. The foyer area was cramped and uninviting, and the toilets were due for an upgrade.
Late in 2019, Owen explained 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to the space occupied by the foyer, crying room, church library, and cleaners’ storage, as well as upgrading the out-of-date toilets.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 café 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.
Funding the Wynyard Baptist Facility Upgrade
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 $100,000.
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 both build, and project manage, the demolition and construction using as much volunteer labour as possible. As a result, many of the retired men of the church pulled together, working about 5 hours/day for several weeks.
In a few short months, the new foyer area with entrance, the café and brand-new toilets were available for use. The café 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 greeted with a much more friendly space, and the good people of Wynyard Baptist are excited to welcome many people from outside their fellowship in the years ahead.
In Owen’s excitement he keeps coming back to the generous anonymous donation, which at time of writing, is still being spent on the Wynyard Baptist facility upgrade.
His conclusion? “You just gotta ask!”