In 2015, Stewardship was privileged to assist The C3 Church in Cambridge with finance to assist them in developing their first building, which they constructed from the ground up.
We've been so delighted to witness the incredible growth and impact The C3 Church has continued to have in their community since we recorded this interview, we thought we'd revisit how it all began.
Having been pastors of the church for 30 years prior to that period, Steve & Angie Campbell had been leading the church in a search for a home of their own. After a long process of purchasing the land, securing permission to build, and constructing the building, the church finally opened their new building in 2017. The interview takes place part way through the construction of the building, discussing how Stewardship had stepped in to help finance the project and help it get to completion.
Today, the building stands proud on the Brooks Road/Coldhams Lane roundabout in Cambridge, a thriving hub for the church community which has enabled The C3 Church to grow and develop its ministry not just in Cambridge, but now with new congregation sites in Bury St Edmunds, Colchester, and online.
*We have since renamed our Mortgages team, the 'Lending team'. Stewardship offers loans on a secured basis to Churches & Christian Charities across the United Kingdom.
Steve: So, we got to the position where we had planning permission, we had the design of the building, we had the builders lined up, but the only obstacle now was we didn’t have a mortgage. We were talking with the number of High Street banks and trying to explain to them the faith element of what we are involved in.
Angie: And you say, ‘well the congregation are going to support, and they are going to give regularly, and they are going to pay for this building'...
Steve: It didn’t always sit easy with them. They couldn’t quite understand some of the language, some of the risk elements involved.
Angie: But Stewardship, they really get it!
Steve: We had been hiring a school, which has been great, and we have a good relationship with the school, but that’s only been for a few hours a week and because of all the community work that we were doing, we needed to hire buildings all over the place.
Angie: Presently, we have food bank distribution centres, we have a CAP (Christians Against Poverty) debt centre and a CAP recovery course. We are going to be starting a CAP job club and we also have a lunch club for the elderly. As a church family we really want to see these projects come together under one roof.
Steve: I was at an event with Mike O’Neil from Stewardship [then CEO], and I was sitting next to him, and he asked me how the building program was going. I said, ‘Our only obstacle was we don’t have a mortgage’ and he said, ‘Why haven’t you come to us?’. I said, because you don’t do mortgages as high as we need, we need £2.5million’. Mike just said ‘Well, maybe we could talk, why don’t you approach us?’ and that began the relationship with Stewardship.
In the position we are at now, we can look back and realise that a lot of the delays were divine delays and that meeting for us on that day with Mike O’Neil was a divine appointment and it has meant that, as we’ve gone forward, we are working with not only a professional organisation, but an organisation that understands faith and Kingdom dynamics and principles.
Angie: They [Stewardship] have a heart towards what we are doing here in Cambridge, its not just lending money but it is building relationship and I know that they prayerfully support us in what we are doing here.
Steve: It feels like a family relationship yet on a professional basis.
Angie: When we have the building finished, we will have a hub, we will have a centre, where people can come in.
Steve: We have always been very clear to the church that this building is not the vison, though it is a great tool to aid us in completing the vision. Stewardship, in partnering with us and helping us with the mortgage and other services they have given, has meant for us the vision has taken a huge leap forward - there is still more, but we are well along the way on that journey of fulfilling our vision.
Photo reference: Images kindly provided by The C3 Church
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