Dear friends,

Thank you so much to everyone who has prayed and supported us with our bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for our #LoveHoxton project.

I’m sorry to say that we’ve not been successful in our application for £1.75 million towards the project. The project team will receive more formal feedback in due course, and will have a discussion with the Heritage Lottery Fund about whether we should adjust our project plans and reapply later in the year.

In the meantime, I’d ask your continued prayers and support during this season, as we consider our next steps. I remain committed to the vision - that I believe God has inspired - for a refurbished church and crypt, a new annexe for mission, ministry and community use, and also the provision of affordable housing for local people in Hoxton. God’s timing is often not of our choosing, but I don’t think that God is saying ‘no’, I think it is a matter of ‘not yet’. I already have some ideas about new avenues and approaches to explore.

I appreciate that this will be a disappointment for many of us - especially given the investment of time, effort and prayer from so many people. I’ll be praying for God’s comfort, consolation and guidance for myself and our whole church family. I hope we will still be able to celebrate the achievements of last year, running the Resilient Heritage programme, and learning so much about what we will need in place to undertake a major redevelopment project. That learning is not lost or wasted!

On a personal note, I’m aware that working towards church growth and development comes with a cost - many of us have been struggling to make sense of some of the staffing changes of the past months. I’ve spoken to most of you 121 now about how I think God is leading us to rearrange our resources in anticipation of a new stage of growth and development - but there is no growth without change, no change without loss, and no loss without pain. I have turned often in prayer to the words in John 15:2 which remind us that God prunes even those branches which bear fruit so that they will be even more fruitful. There is no resurrection without first passing through death!



Revd Graham Hunter