Press Go has granted $25,000 towards South Kaipara Presbyterian Parish's refurbishment of its new Helensville premises. From only 12 adults six years ago, the church has quadrupled its congregation by developing innovative, community-facing ministries. The congregation is about to shift into a larger, more flexible facility, and has grown to 40 adults, with an average age of 40, and 10 children. Many of those being reached by the church are struggling with significant social issues and the church has plans for new ministries to meet these needs.
A new programmes coordinator for St Andrew’s Waipukurau’s booming youth ministry is being funded by Press Go. The Press Go board granted $60,000 towards the new position and has made available an additional $60,000 interest-free loan for six years. The new role focuses on the “faith based” side of St Andrew’s youth and children’s work, with about 200 children and young people involved in its Sunday school and youth groups. At least another 200 are involved in the church’s community-facing work, which is managed, together with the ministry work, under the umbrella of Epic Ministries. The church's work is having a huge impact on the Central Hawke’s Bay town, which has a population of 4500 people.
Press Go has granted Knox Waitara $500,000 for a building replacement project. This church is having a huge impact on its small town, which scores poorly on socioeconomic indicators. The congregation has doubled in the past five years but further growth is being curtailed by the lack of room and substandard facilities. The church owns the property next door and has the option of purchasing the property on the other side, giving enough space to develop a multipurpose community facility that will seat 300. There are some conditions to the Press Go grant, including that it will be paid out only when Knox has received commitments to fund the entirety of the project, which has an estimated cost of $2.6 million. To that end, Press Go has granted an additional $20,000 for a fundraising feasibility study and plan, and we will be actively helping Knox secure more funding from other donors and congregations.
Press Go has granted $85,000 to Bethlehem Community Church to train one person in church planting, over the course of a year. This project is about changing the culture of our Church; shifting away from maintenance to create a deliberate focus on growth and mission. The Rev Jim Wallace will mentor the person selected, who will already be an ordained minister. After completing the programme, the person will go on to plant a church in another area, and will be bonded to the Presbyterian Church for five years. Selection of the person will take place in consultation with Bethlehem, the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership, and the Press Go Board.
Crossroads has been given a loan of $300,000, to be repaid over 6-10 years, to develop a regional conference centre at Mangatangi. The church, which is the largest in the area, is growing and aims to double its attendance in the next five years. Its vision is to develop an "epicentre" for conferences, leadership development, and youth events such as its successful Faithfest. Developing a new facility will provide a base for these events, for worship and for other community programmes. The church already owns the land, has raised a substantial amount of money and has a vision to engage with and equip the entire Presbyterian Church.
Press Go has granted $250,000 over three years to establish a ministry at Welcome Bay Presbyterian Church, in Tauranga. The history of this site is complex, with a group that refused to identify as Presbyterian evicted earlier this year after a long period of negotiations. On leaving, this group took everything movable, even light fittings, leaving the church a shell. The presbytery has given the new, growing congregation some initial funding; the Press Go grant will allow the development of a self-sustaining ministry in this growing area. A full-time minister will be appointed, in consultation with the presbytery and the Press Go Board, and the church will come under the oversight of a neighbouring large parish.
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