A space for the church – and the community

‘This has been a real journey of faith for the fellowship,’ Peter explains as we survey the new church building going up in the heart of Pembroke, ‘but we are praying it will be completed, somehow, within the next year.’ Mount Pleasant Baptist Church is a group of a hundred or so Christians of all ages drawn from in and around the town of Pembroke, that have been meeting in a local school for the best part of a decade. But now a Baptist Building Fund for Wales (BBFW) loan has enabled their building project to take a real step forward, and we visited to see the new roof in place. 

‘We sold our old chapel building in town ultimately because we couldn’t get the necessary permissions to modify it and make it more suitable for contemporary needs. We weren’t sure and were praying a lot, but God showed us he was in the process so clearly when we sold the manse for £175k and this plot came up for that exact sum – and the owner then told us he wanted it sold to a church!’ Since then, the building project has progressed step by step, and with the exception of two loans from the BBFW, the money has come in from the church itself. Over the last five years, the church has had no minister but has grown and kept its vision even as it has sacrificially given to see this building project to fruition. 

‘Whether part of this building becomes a children’s play centre for the community to use midweek, or a café or some other sort of social enterprise in the town, we are not sure yet. But we want the building to be well used and for people outside the church to benefit from this too, so we’re just still praying about that at the moment – what doors God will open, and what the needs are. We have a couple of hundred thousand to go in order to pay for the internal works and the fittings, so we shall see!’ 

As we walk through the building and into the sanctuary, the wave shaped roof already creates a sense of lightness that will make this a welcoming space for the church to meet. ‘This is exactly the sort of thing the Welsh Baptist Union Corporation exists to support’, says Hugh Tribe, one of its Directors. ‘We are an arms-length body of the BUW whose purpose is to support Baptist witness across Wales, and particularly on the capital and buildings side of things.’ 

Over the past few years the capital loans they have given to churches have included everything from manses to badly needed maintenance such as replacing windows, ensuring disabled access, installing modern toilet facilities and more. ‘We are delighted to help support the church’s witness in this key market town,’ Hugh says, ‘and if other churches want to apply for a loan from us, they are very welcome to do so by contacting the BUW office.’ 

Back in Pembroke, it is heartening to think that Mount Pleasant has existed as a fellowship since 1830, and has been able to testify to God’s faithfulness down the years. The demographic of the church has been steadily changing to a younger congregation and over the last couple of years they have seen young adults baptized, new families attending the church and a growing Sunday School work. “We are both expectant and excited as we wait on The Lord for the next chapter,” says Peter.  

If you as a church would like to talk to the BBFW about loans, you are welcome to do so by contacting the BUW office for a conversation at any time. 

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