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Mission Possible

Mission Possible is an exciting project to add an annexe to our premises to improve community and drama facilities in support of our Mission work, particularly amongst young people.


Before Mission Possible

We were challenged a few years ago to review our Church's Mission:

  • What could we do better?
  • What new initiatives would enable us to spread the good news of Jesus in our community?

Our Church Strategy Team looked at four strengths of our church:

  • The variety in our forms of worship;
  • Involvement in community life;
  • Our work with young people – mostly not on a Sunday!
  • The emphasis placed on drama – from pantomimes to drama in worship.


How can we capitalise on these?

Oakworth Methodist Church has always been keenly involved with work amongst children and young people. JIGSAW (Sunday School) no longer attracts the numbers it used to but more recent initiatives during the week, such as Messy Church and Kool Kids, balance Christian input with fun activities and these are proving more popular. We have hosted the annual village children’s pantomime for many years and several of the key members of the pantomime team are church members. The cast of 40 enthusiastic young people aged 8-18 present the pantomime to over 1200 people from the village and surrounding area during eight performances and the response is always brilliant! The KYDZ Youth Theatre group also rehearses weekly in our Hall and they put on three smaller shows each year at the front of Church. Pre-School, Rainbows, Brownies and Guides are just some of the other community groups who regularly use our premises. In fact, over 300 children and young people come through our doors each week.

We are seeking to encourage all these activities even more as a way of developing the Church’s Mission. However, our facilities are in urgent need of expansion to enable the Vision we hold for this work to flourish and reach its full potential. 

Mission Possible is our response to this.


So, how are we moving forward?

Initial plans were drawn up for a project to extend the building, which addressed all the identified needs. A feasibility study was undertaken which confirmed it was physically possible. Extensive discussions with Church Council, local community groups and representatives from the Methodist Circuit and District, helped us to put together a package to address our Mission needs, bring practical benefits to the Church and enable us to meet our legal and community obligations.

The process seemed like “Mission Impossible” at times but the package received enthusiastic, unanimous support from church and community alike ... and Mission Possible was born!


The package

This is the Mission Possible package we have adopted:

  1. The new Circuit Youth, Children and Family worker will support us for ten hours a week ...
    • To capitalise on Mission opportunities in existing and new groups of young people
    • To encourage the use of drama in worship and as a tool for Mission
  2. An ambitious building project will be undertaken ...
    • To make the church more visible and welcoming and reduce our carbon footprint
    • To improve the building layout and storage with everything under one roof
    • To meet Ofsted requirements for Pre-School and legal Health & Safety obligations

Our aim is to add a two-storey annexe to the rear of the Church and remodel the Sanctuary area to create more space and flexibility for All Age Worship and drama productions - and to provide much improved stage facilities in the process. The self-contained annexe will provide additional toilets and a new Meeting Room with its own tea-making facilities, which will enable more church and community groups to use the premises concurrently. Safe storage areas will be provided for scenery, costumes and all the other equipment we need for our drama work, as well as for church and other user groups. A new Front Entrance and Lobby facing the road will make the Church more visible and welcoming and other improvements will enhance the premises.


Progress to date

Church Council and Circuit Meeting responded enthusiastically and unanimously to the package and the District Property Panel have given their approval. Final consent will be received when 80% of the funds have been raised. 

Jo Dolman was appointed Circuit Youth, Children & Family Worker in September 2016 and is now working on various new projects across the Airedale Circuit.  Check out the latest Newsletter or posters at church to see what she is doing at the moment.

Detailed plans were drawn up for the building work. Local Authority Planning Approval and Building Control approval have been given.

The project went out to tender in September 2016 but the tenders came back much higher than anticipated.  A long and complex value-engineering exercise followed, to reduce the cost of the project to a more acceptable level without compromising what we set out to achieve.  This was finally completed in June 2017 when a new budget was set at £425,000 - a cost saving on the whole project of over 30%.  

Meanwhile, a 48 page business plan has been completed to support grant applications to various charities and other bodies.  

The response to our Mission Possible Appeal has been tremendous:

  • local fundraising/donations have already reached £86,664 towards our £90K target;
  • two bequests totalling £65,000 have been earmarked for the project;
  • Methodist Church grants of £139,600 have been secured, with the expectation that this figure will rise to £156K in early May;
  • a further £35,158 of external grants have also been secured so far;
  • This brings the total project amount secured to date to £324,750 with a further £21,410 of income sources identified.
  • This means that 76% of the budget is secure, rising to 81% when the additional sourced income is confirmed.
  • A number of charitable trusts have been asked to support us in raising the remaining £78,840 – we await their responses, most of which are expected in April/May.

The project is currently out for re-tendering but our professional advisors are confident that the revised tenders will still enable the project to be completed within our £425,000 budget figure. We are aiming to commence building work in June/July 2018 and to complete the project by the end of the year. An interest free loan is available to us should there be a shortfall of up to £35,000 in the funding package at the start of the building work.      

The project continues to receive enthusiastic support from church and community alike ... and local fundraising continues - see the Mission Possible Appeal page above for details.  Thank you for your support!