Vineyard Church Cardiff

We spoke to Matt Meads from Vineyard Church Cardiff about their journey as a church, and how a Kingdom Bank mortgage has helped them purchase a key building in their city.

Can you tell us a bit about life at Vineyard Church Cardiff?

Vineyard Church Cardiff was planted about 15 years ago from Trent Vineyard in Nottingham. We began as a single site congregation, but five years ago launched as a multisite church and now have around 500 adults and 200 children meeting across three locations in the city.

We feel a particular calling as a church to restore our city and renew our nation. This shared vision means we run a variety of compassion projects in the local area, including help for those experiencing food poverty, and supporting vulnerable families and single parents. We also have a house in the city centre which provides supported housing for five vulnerably housed men, and have planted two churches, one in Cornwall and one in Pembrokeshire. Honestly, there is always a lot going on, but we still feel there is so much more to do!

What particularly excites you about your work?

I think as a church, because we have a really clear sense of vision and what God is calling us to, there is a real energy within our church family. Our main aim as a church is to give people a vision of Jesus, which has pushed us to have a big enough vision of Jesus ourselves, in order to live up to our vision for the city. We are being transformed so that we can go out and transform others.

God has consistently been bringing us new people, leaders, and fresh ideas of how we can be a blessing in our community. Every week we have new people joining us, many of whom haven’t been to church before, so there are always exciting stories to be shared and encourage each other with. We don’t want to just gather together; we make it a priority to have a great sense of church family.

Where did the vision for this building come from?

When we first planted Vineyard Church Cardiff, we had a real sense that this space would be where we would meet if we could, and that it would be a great venue for a church to gather. ‘The Gate’ was originally a 19th century Presbyterian chapel in the heart of Cardiff, but by the 1990s the building was dilapidated, and the Presbyterian church had closed. The building was renovated, and turned into a
community art space and theatre.

The trustees of the building at that time had decided that no church would meet there, but in 2013 it was agreed that we would begin renting the space for church services. By 2016 the art centre was struggling, and the trustees reached out to our church leadership team to see if we wanted to support them. As we felt such a sense of calling to this building, we began to provide the management of the building as an art centre.

When the pandemic hit, the art centre was locked down completely, and our management was ended. As a church, we felt like we were losing our venue, but we prayed and felt God was asking us not to give up on the building. The only option left on the table was to purchase the building, but previously the asking price had been far too high for us to afford.

But this building was a key cog in our multisite vision, as Sunday venues are hard to come by, and it was a central location. So, we spoke to a member of the church who is a mortgage advisor, he investigated our options and was firm in his recommendation that we needed to approach Kingdom Bank if we wanted to move this forward.

How was your experience of working with us?

Before we officially approached Kingdom Bank, it was clear that you support churches well. When we were ready, we made contact and quickly heard from Andrew, the head of the Kingdom Bank lending team, who travelled to see us and get to know the project better.

When we first met with Andrew, we felt that he listened and understood the story of us reaching this point with the building. It was a joy to be working with an organisation who shared our kingdom values. He came into our space of prayer and worship, and understood what we were trying to do, so it really didn’t feel like your average mortgage meeting.

Another positive was working with the Kingdom Bank team as a whole. The lending team were available to answer questions and were very patient in the conveyancing process which took a while, as ‘The Gate’ is a Grade II listed building. We already had our insurance with Kingdom Bank, but the insurance team worked with us on amending our policy to reflect the purchase. There were several individuals at Kingdom Bank who were great throughout this process.

What has the Kingdom Bank mortgage enabled?

This is a new chapter for us as a church, as we haven’t owned a building before. Owning something which we felt led to for so many years is both a joy and a relief! Over the years we have hired spaces, and so it’s great to know we have been able to make this investment. God calls us to steward our money well, so investing in this property is a great place for us to be in. But it’s also humbling, as this historic building is well known in the city, it has a bit of a profile and repute, so it’s humbling to now own it as a church.

This building has really become a hub for our church. Practically, we now run the church staff team from the building, and we run two compassion projects a week from the space. There is a whole plethora of ministries being enabled through having this building; we now host our leadership college training here, our discipleship year cohort meets here, and it provides a home for our ongoing student work. Just being able to put things up without having to take them down again is a blessing! We really are so thankful to God for his provision.

 

If your church is considering a property project, we would love to see if we could help! You can find out more here, or please do get in touch to discuss whether a Kingdom Bank mortgage could be right for you.

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