Redeveloping the front of our premises

After several years of planning, Didcot Baptist Church sees a major new redevelopment taking place between June and November 2020.

With the church growing and an increasing breadth of projects being run from the premises, the Church decided in 2019 to go ahead with the £0.5m redevelopment of the front of the premises.

Church members have personally given over £375,000 with anticipated grants supplying the balance.

The new development will deliver an enlarged, flexible space to match the growing need of church and community groups who use the facilities each week. In addition, upgraded toilets and disabled facilities will create a truly welcoming environment.

In 2019, thirteen different community groups were using the facilities regularly, in addition to multiple groups run by the church, bringing the facility into use 7-days a week. These represented 1405 distinct users with a total number of people visits to the premises amounting to 48,300 over the course of the year.

Alongside Sunday services, church and community projects serve ages from new-borns to those in their 90s, including those who come to learn how to do Dance and Mum’s using music therapy to aid childhood development. Adult groups include three different U3A groups, from photography to Playing the Ukulele, alongside projects offering support for adults with learning difficulties.

Senior Pastor Tim O’Brien commented: “The Church developed a new mission statement a few years ago and this in large measure has driven this community-facing development. The Vision is ‘to be a welcoming community, following Jesus, and making him known’. We want this church to be seen as a home for all who seek spiritual and practical help; a community where we can be together and grow together.”

Associate Pastor Louise Brown added: “Our mission is centred on Jesus and focused on serving the Didcot community. This has always been the case, but this new community facility will take us to another level. Plans for how we use the new facility are already under development.”

Project Leader Andrew Snell, who also runs the Didcot Foodbank from the church premises, stressed that the disruption for neighbours will be kept to a minimum: “Pre-commencement meetings with our contractors, Beards, have focused on safety on site, especially in relation to social distancing and hygiene, but also on minimising the disruption for neighbours.”

Sunday services since lockdown are taking place live online via Zoom at 10:30am on Sunday morning, and this will continue over the summer. If anyone from the community would like to join us for these 45-minute services, please contact the Administrator below and we will send you a link.