Continuing Celebrations

Our Grand Opening Celebrations began on Saturday and will continue for slightly more than a week. We enjoyed a great day on Saturday. Perhaps as many as three hundred people joined with us at some part of the day.

We began with an open house in the morning, serving tea and coffee. Our structured events began with the ribbon-cutting at 2.30pm. Joan Coupe, our longest serving active church member who at 94 continues to be as engaged in the life of the church community as ever, did the honours. Send me you pictures and I’ll post one here.

I led the service of dedication so it is not really my place to say it was good but it certainly seemed well-received. There were numerous highlights for me. The  children’s music group performed and led us in ‘Sing with joy to the God of all creation’; the children were great! For me, every aspect of the service was meaningful and I was delighted by the support we received from friends from all walks of life. Thanks to all of you who came along. We were honoured by your presence and it would not have been the same without you! The day was brought to a close with a  music concert. After a busy day, it was a great joy (for me) to sit back, relax and enjoy an excellent event.

I am grateful to God for our new building. I am impressed by all the changes and additions but what matters most is that an accessible, functional building is now available to us. I hope it will be a place where God is encountered. I hope it will become a vibrant centre for worship, ministry and mission.

We are open all this week in the mornings if you’d like to drop by for coffee. On Wednesday, Pat Took will be with us. I’ll say more about that in my next post.

Grand opening of our newly refurbished church building

After years of fund-raising and planning and after seven months of holding our church services at Beaver Road Primary School, we are delighted to be back in our own building. Our century-old church building (built in 1900 actually) has been renovated and extended. It now has a new main entrance and foyer on School Lane. New rooms include an office, a small meeting room, kitchen and toilets. The sanctuary has been completely refurbished and new windows are currently being installed. The ground floor is entirely accessible throughout. Extensive renovations have also been made to the Beaver Road entrance, foyer and hallway. The Marion Scott Playgroup and Beaver Road PlayStation are now fully operational at the Beaver Road end of the building and other community groups have now resumed their evening activities in the upstairs hall.

Celebrations to mark the opening of our newly refurbished building will take place from Saturday 14 January 2012. These will include:

Saturday 14 January
2.30pm Ribbon cutting
3.00pm Service of Dedication and Thanksgiving
7.30pm Celebration Concert

Monday 16 – Saturday 21 January
Open Week
10 am – 12 noon
display exhibition
tea and coffee served

Wednesday 18 January
Visit of Pat Took (President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain)
12 noon Meeting for ministers and clergy
7.30pm Evening Celebration

Tuesday 24 January
7.30 pm Convivia in Concert

If you can make any of these events, we’d be delighted to see you.

An accessible sanctuary is taking shape

A major aim of our building project is to make our sanctuary more accessible for wheelchair users. In the past, the ground floor had a number of levels each accessed only by steps. When the project is finished the entire ground floor will consist of only one level. To accomplish this our contractors have begun by raising the floor level in the sanctuary. Now completed, this one improvement already dramatically improves the space. If you have never been in the building you might not appreciate how much better it looks even now.

We at DBC know that a church is not a building but a people. Still, we are looking forward to the new opportunities that will arise when we have a more adequate and accessible space for worship, ministry and mission.


And now the windows!

We don’t really like spending money on buildings at Didsbury Baptist Church. Still, we recognise that a church building can be important as a centre for worship, ministry and mission. Our own building has become so well used by others that we can barely get access to it ourselves. This means we can rarely invite people, host activities, or generally operate out of our own building except at weekends. That is why we have been fund-raising for eleven years and have now begun construction to renovate and extend our building. When the project is complete both we and the child care groups that meet there daily will be able use the building simultaneously.

Our problem now is that we designed our project without paying enough attention to the windows. We had hoped we might renovate these later. It has become obvious now that we cannot wait. Originally stained glass, the windows have deteriorated and have been patched up over the years so that they are now a mishmash of stained and non-stained, repaired and unrepaired panes. Worse, some panes are now falling out and all of them, we now discover, are leaking and therefore damaging the surrounding brick and plaster work. We simply have to replace them now.

We plan, then, to replace six window expanses with plain double glazed units made to fit the current outline and to do so in such a way that colour design work can be added soon after if we decide we want it. This means we have to raise between £45,000 and £73,000 pretty much immediately. I know, for some churches this is peanuts but for a smaller congregation that already feels like it has given its right arm this is a lot. Even so, we know the job has to be done, so, with the help of God and the kindness of God’s people, we will do it. Pray for us if you would; help us if you can. Cheques can be made payable to DBCC Project and sent to Didsbury Baptist Church, Beaver Road and School Lane, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 6SX. Further details and response form can be downloaded from our church life page.

Building Progress

Work on our church building is now clearly underway. The following slides show progress through week one (thanks to Steve for the photos).

Building work begins today

The day has finally arrived! The members of Didsbury Baptist Church have been raising funds and planning to remodel the church’s building for many years. Today the builders are scheduled to arrive on site and start the work that will open up all kinds of new possibilities for our ministry and mission.

Last week we cleared out the sanctuary so that building work can begin. Thank you to all our friends, especially Didsbury United Reformed Church, for storing our furniture and equipment.

An empty sanctuary

Last Sunday, we held our first service at Beaver Road Primary School. We will be meeting there every Sunday until our new sanctuary is completed.

First Sunday at Beaver Road School - almost ready

This Sunday Stephen Ibbotson will be our preacher at the school. If you do not already worship elsewhere or you are visiting Didsbury, you would be very welcome to join us on Sunday at 10.30 a.m.

Final Service in Current Sanctuary

Last Sunday (22 May) we held our final service in our current sanctuary. This was an all-age service in which we celebrated all that has happened in the church building and looked forward to all that will be possible when our building project is completed. As part of the service we showed slides featuring people and events associated with Didsbury  Baptist Church over the last 30 years or so. I will post the slides here later this week. Our sanctuary is now closed for refurbishment and will reopen later in the year. Until then, we will meet on Sundays at Beaver Road Primary School Hall. If you are near Didsbury any Sunday, you would be very welcome to join us there.

Thank you Scott!

Model of DBCIf you have ever been to Didsbury Baptist Church and if you know anything at all about our building project, you just have to see the work of Scott Miller! I have never met Scott (though I hope in the New Year to do so). A third-year BA (Hons) student in Modelmaking at the Arts University College in Bournemouth, Scott has (almost) completed a 1:100 scale model of the proposed developments for our church building.

OK, I know nothing about model-making but to my mind Scott has done an outstanding job of representing our building as we hope it will soon become. He has documented his creative journey on his blog at If you take a look, you’ll find some exquisite pictures of the (more-or-less) finished product. But don’t stop there; read Scott’s archives and follow the process from beginning to end. Scott’s journey is fascinating and the model, brilliant!

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