Stewardship Mortgages: making the 'impossible' possible

By Ruth Leigh | 18 March 2019

junction church

Kate Morris, Pastor of Junction Church in Inverness, is reminiscing.

 

'As I look back over the last seven years, I can’t quite believe that with God’s help, a congregation of 20 achieved the impossible. It’s mental!'  

 

 

The impossible goal Kate’s talking about is the raising of £400,000 by the aforementioned 20 adults. Let’s go back to 2003 when she and her husband, Owen, moved to Inverness to launch the church.  

 

 

'We used to meet in a hotel. We prayed for years for the right building – nothing came up. 2010 became our year of sacrificial giving, with the congregation getting behind the vision, giving to the building fund. We bid on the hall of a redundant church, arranged our mortgage through a high street bank, then watched as it all fell through.'  

 

Although discouraged, they didn’t give up. With the hall gone, for the first time they considered the church building itself, an Inverness landmark, its soaring tower appearing on many images of the city. After more prayer, they decided to try to raise the £400,000 needed to buy the church building and get it fit for purpose. This, remember, with a congregation of only 20.  

 

By the end of 2010, Junction had committed to buying the building. They had a huge sum to raise for a structure which had been neglected and fallen into disrepair. A new upper floor, children’s hall, kitchen and toilets were planned. Over the following years, a combination of sacrificial giving, interest-free loans and help from connected churches in Aberdeen and Thurso raised much of the amount needed, but there was still a significant shortfall.  

 

The church then approached Stewardship for a mortgage for £140,000, and were delighted when they agreed. 'Stewardship want to back churches and facilitate vision. They totally got what we were doing. With a mixture of their expertise and the overwhelming generosity of the congregation, we were on our way.'   With the funds in place, Junction began their Herculean task, keeping their vision for the community in mind as they worked. 'We’ve always focused particularly on children, young people and families, running an Alpha marriage course, youth and children’s groups. We finally moved into the ground floor last January, with no carpet or heating system. Everything was covered in concrete dust and we started making the first of a million cups of tea as we contemplated the enormity of the next task of cleaning and painting we’d set ourselves,' Kate remembers. 'We’ve carpeted now, but it’s a bit chilly without heating!'  

 

Junction’s location by the river and its landmark building status is hugely beneficial. 'People walk in off the street to have a look. Our youth group has grown from a handful to almost 20, we’ve got new faces in the congregation, a 9-13s group and children’s church on Sundays. We want to use our building to engage with our community, offering parenting seminars, toddler groups and opportunities to build families up.' Kate is clear that the church’s vision is to be inclusive and welcoming. 'Our welcome team view all our visitors as VIPs. We want them to feel loved and part of our family.'  

 

After seven years of hard graft, the team aren’t resting on their laurels. 'Our ultimate goal is to raise another £200,000 for a 300-seater auditorium upstairs. We’re not finished yet.'  

 

Check out their progress at: www.thejunction.church

 

 


 

Why use Stewardship’s mortgage service?

 

We understand the unique challenges that churches face when looking to borrow money. Our mortgages are created specifically for churches and Christian charities in the UK, and our application fees start at just £300. 

 

 

Competitive

Mortgage rates available from 3.75% with application fees from £300.

 

 

 

Christian lender

We understand what you want to do and go the extra mile to help you accomplish it.

 

 

 

Flexible

No penalties for lump sum repayments or early completion. We can release funds in stages.

 

 

 

Support

We support a variety of projects; from a large build project to a straightforward property purchase. 

 

How do I get started?

 

Find out more

 


 

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