Vineyard House blog Phase II 

Cath-and-Sam-photosUpdates from the Project Managers - Sam Lewis and Cath Storey - about Vineyard House [Phase II], the planning prior to completion on the building, design, fundraising strategy, community engagement, renovation and commissioning for kingdom ministry.



28th August 2018

Update from Cath Storey (Project Manager Fundraising & Marketing) about Vineyard House – questions raised from Phase II Project presentation to Trustees and what is God calling us to do in Headingley?

At the very end of July, Sam and I presented to Leeds Vineyard Trustees and Leadership Group. The presentation was detailed and therefore a long one covering project finances to date, finance projections and renovation estimates. I took the Trustees through the process of undertaking a major appeal to renovate a church community facility and looked at key areas of funding sources. Sam then presented project timelines and defined the next steps. September is a key month for the project to make decisions about what the building will be used for. Sam’s findings from talking with other churches who have completed similar projects gave useful insight and perspective. Sam presented on what the financial impact of purchasing Vineyard House has on the existing church budget. He also looked at the financial implications of income generation ideas, like running a café, room hire and letting out office space vs housing and accommodation. There is still more work to do on the income generation ideas or (Business Rock) in the coming weeks. 

The presentation then moved on outlining all the key project risks and colour coding them – a detailed document was given as a handout to all trustees to add to their summer holiday reading! I then outlined types of activities and tools that will form a communications strategy for the project and looked at how the project might carryout engagement locally. We have already done some local consultation with the Face Facts survey and will certainly look to be working in partnership and collaboration with others together with running “get to know us” sessions with residents and businesses alike. The next few months will see us establish good working relationships with key personnel and organisations locally.

I hope you have had a chance to see the Vineyard House mood board. The objective of this was to create a visual segue between initial thoughts and next drafts of the project, to collate key images and give confidence that Vineyard House will fulfil the church communities hopes and prayers. As we move to appoint an Architect for the project, there will be more specific versions as the design process for Vineyard House takes shape.

Vineyard House Mood Board

Vineyard House Moodboard - web

Questions raised from the project presentation to Trustees on 30th July 

We will be refreshing the Frequently Asked Questions section for Vineyard House Project Phase II on the website shortly, but these were the questions that were raised from the recent Trustee meeting; 

Will we be changing the exterior of the building?
No plans to do this apart from with the garden area at the back. The building is listed so apart from cleaning up the exterior there will be limits on what we can do.

Do we need to apply for change of use?
Yes, probably.

What are your biggest concerns and how can we support you?
Raising the funds needed in time. Praying for the team as we build a funding proposition and approach investors and donors.

When might we be using the building?
It’s hard to say. We may be able to start using it around 12 months from now. It will take another year or two to get fully up and running.

Will we be competing with HEART if we also rent out office space?
No, if we don't try to undercut HEART on price, then hopefully we won't be competing with them and believe there is some share of the market to be had on co-working office space and possibly small room hire space for meetings / community activities. 

What is the purpose in us buying a building that won’t be used for worship?
The “Vineyard Person” stands on two legs: worship and compassion. Although worship will definitely happen in Vineyard House in one form or another, the focus for that building will be compassion whilst the focus for HMC will be worship. 

How will the design process work?
We need to clarify clearly what we are and are not doing first. Then we’ll introduce architects to help us see what is possible and what it will cost. That will enable us to refine our thinking about what we can and can’t do – to start with at least.

How do we deal with the parking issue?
We don’t know yet, but we do know that this is the main planning complication on which we will take plenty of advice.

Who are our neighbours?
Heart, Yorkshire Housing, Residential (long term Headingley residents, older people, students), New Headingley Club, The Taps pub and other local businesses.

How do we make sure we partner with other churches in the area?
We need to find out what they are doing and support it/ fill in the gaps (e.g. with the elderly, young families and young people in particular).

Your specific questions and our communication to you are important to the project team and Sam and me. As the project gains pace, we hope to fill in any gaps the church community might feel they have about Vineyard House, we want you to feel part of the journey and to tell us your thoughts on the project and to tailor communication accordingly. Therefore, in a few weeks, we’ll send out a link to a quick survey that we would like you to complete.  

Acts 7:49-50

“Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.”

What kind of house will you build for me? Says the Lord.

As David has mentioned in his recent news, as a church community we have centred our thoughts on prayer this year and we very much invite prayer to help us with our answer to the question: What is God calling us to do in Headingley?  

The following image shows the position of the two buildings which Leeds Vineyard currently invests in (HMC and the North Lane offices) and the position of Vineyard House on Bennett Road.

Headingley Map

The next steps for the project and as a fellowship are to know and understand the community we are called to serve. God has given and is giving us a heart for Headingley. Deciding what we use the building for over and above what we already have established i.e. a permanent home and improved space for The Vine Child Contact Centre and a bright and fun space for children and young people’s ministry, must be in response to prayer and from relationships with the people and organisations of Headingley. As Colin Mundy has mentioned in a recent prayer journal for Headingley, there is a massive injection of prayer and care needed in the immediate vicinity to HMC and the site of Vineyard House. Colin goes on to reflect; “if we are able, in partnership with God and maybe, with other Churches to “clean” up the area and make a safe, righteous and holy place then there is no doubt that the work / projects we plan will flourish”. Let us all pray for a vision for the project, “that Vineyard House will become both a House of Prayer and a House of Light that shines into the community”.  

We want to hear Him lead us in our decision making for Vineyard House so please do continue to pray for the Vineyard House project individually and in your small groups and if you can, come along to the next Engine Room on Sunday 30th September

Words and scripture collected during July’s Engine Room were; 

  • Ease of decision making – flow
  • Abundance
  • Heritage – children and families, students
  • Wellspring
  • Keep our eyes on the Lord, our ears open to His voice as He teaches us each step
  • Isaiah 59.19-21. Verse 21 – there is a long-term plan for life for this community
  • What is happening in our church will bring life to other churches

There are also small groups already praying in Headingley; Headingley Prayer Walk, The Prayer Room (Tuesday & Friday) and Healing on the Streets. Maybe God is calling you to join in with one or more of these?

Prior to the short survey coming your way, if you have any comments or thoughts you would like to share with Sam or I on the Vineyard House Project Phase II, please do email us via the church office email

Cath Storey
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26th July 2018

Update from Cath Storey (Project Manager Fundraising & Marketing) about Vineyard House - the project planning for Phase II is taking shape.

It’s been a great first month for Sam Lewis and I. Sam has been looking in detail at the church’s finances and at the renovation costs for the project. As well as project planning and risk management, he has also been meeting with and learning from churches who have done similar projects. Sam will be presenting to the trustees later this month.

The project team visited the building last week, the first visit for Sam and I and a whole year since David and Alison had been able to gain access and see inside again. There is much work to do for us to renovate the building, in particularly to the upper section and lean-to on the side of the building. But I was reminded of the amazing sacrifice, the Leeds Vineyard community has made in getting to this point of being able to purchase this beautiful Grade II Listed building which needs tender loving care. The journey we are on is a God-given one and part of the growth of the church. The Building project (and fundraising) will be a finance challenge and a walk of faith.

You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the lord your God will bless you and in all your work and in all that you undertake.  Deuteronomy 15:10

Here is the current layout of the building;

Building Layout

Here are some internal shots of the building from the visit a year ago, clearly showing the difference between the already inhabited areas of the building on the ground floor which are in good repair and the first floor which needs extensive renovation work to be brought back to former glory and kingdom ministry.

Upper floor
Blog photos 2018-07-26

Blog photos 3 2018-07-26

Ground floor
Blog photos 2 2018-07-26

I have been looking at some of the options for how the space in Vineyard House might be used to support the local community and making inroads with third sector contacts who work with the homelessness and who support refugees. I have also been considering the aspects of the fundraising strategy for Phase II - the process, approach, need for a business plan, strong case for support, sources of funding and need for lead gifts. I have enjoyed spending time looking at the words brought by the church through prayer since STEPS began to create a moodboard for the project which will give a general visual idea for the Vineyard House project as it stands. I’d like to thank Hannah Green in helping me with this and of course to the wonders of Pinterest and other image reference sites! This will be visible somewhere near you very soon!

Sam and I attended a meeting with Face Facts Research, based in Headingley. Face Facts carried out on- street surveys for us in the local community. 261 people were surveyed, there was a good spread of demographics and the sample was representative of the population. Interestingly, 8% have heard of Vineyard Church and 3% had visited.
The key findings were as follows:

  • Greatest need identified was provision for Homeless - (Drugs Recovery programme, Life Skills training, Gym);
  • Also need for Debt Advice provision and Foodbank;
  • Provision for Elderly;
  • Provision for Children, particularly under 5s;
  • No clear Business needs identified. 

In today’s competitive funding environment, evidencing community consultation is important. Demonstrating that Vineyard House project plans can meet the needs that are felt in the area is key before making approaches to larger grant makers.

Sam and I also attended our first Leeds Vineyard Engine Room this month. It was really encouraging to us both to be supported with prayer ….” Keep us patient O God to listen to your voice. Give wisdom to Cath and Sam as they look at all the words”, seeing a picture of the front of the church being very open for all to come. To be open to all not just the church HMC but Vineyard House. Other words and scriptures which came to the fore on the evening were; ease of decision making – flow, abundance, heritage – children and families, students, and wellspring. There were a few gardening analogies – the Lord is going to grow more – grow His church. DIG for victory - the Lord is digging for victory. Picture of cheap compost – not taking the first option because it looks the cheapest, doing it and doing it properly. The Lord is bringing life to the compost and stirring it up.
Please do come along to the next Engine Room in September. Coming together in this way specifically for contemplation and prayer for Vineyard House is vital for the project. We want to hear Him lead us in our decision making; “Calling us deeper still – as a church we need to go deeper – there is more to come, and we need to go deeper with our trust and seeking of God for Vineyard House.”
In early September, we hope to be able to arrange an open morning or afternoon one Saturday so that those of you that would like, can come and have a look round the building for yourself. More details of this will follow once plans have been finalised.
If you have any comments or thoughts you would like to share with either myself or Sam on the Vineyard House Project Phase II, please do email us via the church office email.
Cath Storey

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22nd June 2018 - Introduction from David Flowers

As I mentioned on Sunday 10th June, we have now appointed not one, but two Project Managers to take the Vineyard House project through Phase II. They will assist us with realising some of God’s vision for Headingley and a space in which this church community can live out our faith. I am delighted to be able to introduce you to Sam Lewis and Cath Storey. In them we have the perfect balance of skill sets working on Vineyard House at the right time as we look to quicken the pace of our steps towards reaching our goals. Please pray for them as they work for Vineyard House. 

Sam-circleSam Lewis is an experienced Project Manager who, for the past seven years, has been the Operations Manager of Mosaic Church. Having moved to Leeds in 2005, Sam worked as an IT Project Manager at ASDA where he managed distribution, transport and retail projects. He joined the Mosaic staff team in 2010 and was responsible for overseeing and managing all operational aspects of the church. Sam has project managed the setup of The Barn Coffee Shop at Meanwood Valley farm. He is also the co-founder of ExpensePlus - a new online accounting package for Churches and Charities. 

Sam is spending the next few weeks shaping the project journey through in every detail, looking at finances, scenario planning, risks, budgets, short, medium and long-term goals. He will be tracking tasks, tools, people and ensuring timescales and goals are adhered to.

Cath-circleCath Storey is an experienced fundraiser and marketing account manager with a plethora of communications and event management skills. Cath has fundraised for Tree Aid, an international development charity, the ss Great Britain, a maritime heritage tourist attraction in Bristol and most recently for Leeds Mencap. Cath has a post graduate diploma in Marketing and during her working life has fulfilled various marketing roles within the financial services sector here in Leeds both client and agency side, working on large commercial marketing accounts such as Bradford & Bingley, ASDA, Vodafone and CallCredit.  

Cath is spending the next few weeks working with Sam on the budget specifics, identifying fundraising targets for the next phase, looking at potential sources of income, mapping out deadlines and opportunities for the project and collecting information for grant applications. Her focus will also be on communications and community engagement for Vineyard House. She has experience of Leeds Mencap’s capital appeal for The Vinery Centre to draw on – a new home for the learning disability community of Leeds and a much-needed community centre for East Leeds, opened in May 2016. Cath has said this of beginning her work on Vineyard House; 

“As part of the Leeds Vineyard family it is an honour for me to be working on this project, as followers of Christ we are called to help people in need. Jesus demonstrated this throughout his ministry and the parable of the good Samaritan is an example of how practical Jesus makes it – help the person who others ignore, give them what they need. As a fundraiser on this project I am a conduit telling the story of a community that has given and made sacrifices for the progress of Vineyard House to date. I am staggered at the generosity of heart in which the Leeds Vineyard community has given as we worship Jesus Christ, and look to be good neighbours, putting down solid roots of ministry in the heart of Headingley.”

Cath looks forward to providing monthly updates on Vineyard House. Your gifting means each one of you is also part of the Vineyard House journey and both Sam and Cath very much welcome comments and prayers. Please feel free to get in contact with them by email

Do also look out for the next Engine Room evening to worship, reflect and structure our prayer for Vineyard House Phase II. 


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