Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Here it is

– Number 63 our church community house. It’s home to 6 people who are committed to living in the heart of Hackney and involving themselves in the local community and the church. Between them they help run our monthly community meal, our weekly urban table homeless drop in, our church services and make a lot of music and cake.
Since we bought the house it’s provided accommodation for 12 adults and 2 children as residents as well as over 100 short-stay visitors. The house itself has been hub of activity with some of residents sharing resources and supporting each other along the way.

This is Rod.
Rod is our main musician in the church and has lived in the community house for the past 4 1/2 years. He says "We have managed to get head and heart space to do local community and church work. Our part of east London felt like a war zone in July 2011 and we were very close to the burning cars and smashed shop windows. But we are so grateful for those people who had had the vision to place their money into this house for a few years." They remember that Jeremiah bought a field in a war zone (Jeremiah 32:9) as a sign that God hadn't given up on his people. The supporters are acting much like Jeremiah did - in prophetic loyalty. "

The story so far…
Nearly five years ago Clapton Park URC bought a house to provide affordable accommodation for a group of people working to develop the church and community in Hackney. The cost of £460,000 came from 19 individuals, 3 churches and a well established Christian housing association (who also manage the property). The original plan was to sell in the house in 2012 but it was going so well we thought we would try and continue for another five years.  That’s where you come in. The majority of supporters are leaving their money in but some are taking it out and we want to find new supporters to make up the shortfall. 
How will it work?
It’s a very simple model. If you put in £1000 or £20,000 in April 2012 we’ll work out your proportion of the total value, then when the property is sold in 2017 you’ll get back the same proportion. If the value of the house increased by 10% so would your £1,000 or £20,000. There are no other costs – all the maintenance and any repairs are covered by the nominal rent that we charge the residents. It’s a model that worked well for the last 4 ½ years and is being used by other churches in the area.

It’s better than leaving your money in a bank for 5 years
You’ll be supporting a vibrant initiative which is enabling people to make a really positive contribution in one of the most deprived parts of London. Hackney house prices have remained strong, and although there are no guarantees it is highly likely that at the end of it you’ll see a return which is better than leaving your money in the bank. This isn’t just the Olympic factor (which is pushing up prices); there is also an underlying trend that has continued for a number of years. We can’t do without banks but here’s an opportunity to use your money to make a difference, and get a decent return, without making the banks any richer!

One of our current supporters commented:
At the time we had no pressing need for the £10,000 which was sitting in our bank account, but neither did we want to let it go for long, as we didn't know what our situation might be in years to come. So a five year commitment seemed like a good compromise, and we trusted the Housing Association. What surprised us was the sense of having a story to tell. We wanted a way of putting our money into a project with so much life and vibe, and then to have it come back five years later having grown somewhat. Win, win - so why doesn't everyone do this? We've been more than happy to part of this creative and innovative community house and we're excited at the prospect that it will have a further reach beyond the original five years.”
Donations welcomed too!
You may feel inspired to support the community house, but prefer to make a donation. Any donations will enable the church to increase its equity in the house, which will help us in the future.

Are you interested?
If you or your church are interested in supporting us and want to find out more please get in touch and we’ll try and answer any questions you have. You can email here us write to us here or phone us on this number. We might be able to come and visit you and explain what we are doing. Or better still – come and visit Hackney and see the community house for yourself!

Next steps
If you just want to make a donation, please make a cheque payable to Clapton Park URC and  send it to Ron Hasler, Clapton Park URC, Powerscroft Road, London E5 0PU

If you want to become an supporter or have any questions please contact Neil. ( or 07866547173 or Neil MacInnes Clapton Park URC, Powerscroft Road, London E5 0PU)