Members of a Reading church have waited a long time to hold a meeting in their own building. Network Vineyard Church, Reading (NVC) started in 1994 when the Revds Rob and Sarah Gardiner moved to Reading from London.
It is a multisite church with congregations in Reading and Bracknell and is affiliated to the Vineyard movement of churches. It has met in many locations over the years, the last one being a sports hall in Woodley. Now it has its own base.
The move to Woodley Hill House was described by Pastor Rob Gardiner as “an absolute gift from God”.
“We’ve been on this journey looking for a building for quite a few years,” he explained. “When you do that you realise there just aren’t that many suitable buildings around, particularly in Reading.
“The three big things that you want are parking, planning and location and they are really hard to get all in one venue. It just so happens that Woodley Hill House has all of those.
“It’s already D1 as it’s an educational establishment. It has parking and it’s smack bang in the middle of the area that we have been meeting as a church for the last three years.”
NVC was able to buy such a beautiful building thanks to kind-hearted giving by its church members.
“We haven’t had any outside funding at all,” said Rob. “It’s people digging deep, going without holidays, selling stuff, being sacrificial in their giving. Sowing into the vision of what a building could unleash in extra ministry.’
Network Vineyard has a large vision for their new building.
It already houses the church offices but the intention is that it will be used all the time.
“The idea is to work in tandem with church use,” said Rob.
“We will then be using the building as a community building throughout the week for the benefit of the community.”
If you are interested in having a first-hand look at Woodley Hill House you will be made welcome.
“Dress is always casual,” said Rob of their Sunday meetings. “We play a contemporary style of music and there is a large degree of informality. We try to break down barriers, you don’t have to dress up specially and you can have a coffee and a doughnut.”
Network Vineyard Church Reading is now found at Woodley Hill House, Eastcourt Avenue, Earley, Reading, RG6 1HH. Meetings take place at 9.30am and 11.30am on Sundays.