A New Home for St. John's Vancouver
Why? (Our Mission)
For the past five years, we have been meeting in the Oakridge Adventist Church (OAC) seeking always to advance the vision God has given to our church — to glorify Him and to be transformed by the gospel of Christ, to establish gospel outreach and open doors for newcomers, and to become effective servants of Christ through deeply connected communal relationships. We were graciously welcomed as tenants by OAC and the facility has served us well, however, there has been a growing desire to find a church ‘home’.
Although we can proceed with our mission regardless of our facility, the Trustees and Building Committee believe that permanent facilities are worth pursuing in order for St. John’s Vancouver to fully support the gospel ministries within our church and within the city of Vancouver. We play a regional, national, and international role in the Anglican Church. Gaining a permanent home would allow us more fully to step into this role. We would be able to facilitate gospel ministry long-term and develop a rooted, local witness to Christ. Though our relationship with OAC has been a blessing, there is no long-term guarantee that we will be able to continue renting from them. We operate on short-term lease agreements and pay a significant amount in rent (almost $200,000 per year) that could instead be invested in the future ministry of the St. John’s community.
A permanent church home would also provide us with increased flexibility, time, and space for hospitality. We have strived to be hospitable with our current facilities, and, have experienced God’s grace in the midst of these circumstances. However, we have also encountered numerous limitations on a weekly basis that have hindered our ability to provide for our growing ministries and congregation.
Even though we desire all of these things, we are aware of the concerns that may arise regarding Vancouver’s difficult real estate market. We hope to openly discuss and address these concerns at future building update meetings. We will continue to seek God’s wisdom as we walk down this path and we ask that you join us on the journey.
+ Who is on the Building Committee?
Don Bennett, Dick Richards, David Howard, Bruce Ledingham, Gillian Fullerton, James Klukas, John McKay, Gordon Watts, and Norah Johnston.
+ What options have you looked at?
- Bare properties
- Existing church properties
- Land Assemblies
- Development properties
- Retail Spaces
Existing church properties have emerged as the most cost-effective and practical solutions. These properties are already zoned for church use and tend to be valued slightly below full market value. In addition, the existing church owners may be sympathetic to our cause and we are not faced with competing bids with developers. These three factors lead to the preferred status of the option of finding an existing church.
+ Why can’t we buy Oakridge Adventist?
Oakridge Adventist Church has been very gracious to us and continues to be a cooperative partner. However, they have their own ministries that they want to grow and they feel they need the facility.
+ In five years, we haven’t found anything, what is wrong?
There isn’t much out there. We will need around 50,000 square foot lot (this can be lower with a denser development). There are many small church properties, and developers have deeper pockets. God continues to lead us and teach us His way during this time.
+ What is the average Sunday attendance at St. John’s over the past eight years?
Our church attendance has been very steady over the past 8 years and averages close to 600 people between all 4 services on a Sunday. Our Sunday attendance stats show a low of 400 and high of 800+. These can be seen as lower over say summer holidays and higher on special Sundays’ (Easter, Christmas).