The Journey -How we got to here.
Since 2017 the Tatura congregation has been going through a process of “mission motivated development”. We have been looking at the current and future needs of the congregation and the community in which we live and serve. We want our buildings to better serve our vision for mission and worship in ways that will grow our congregation to be a sustainable place where people in our growing community can find faith, hope, meaning, grace and community.
In 2018 the joint congregation of Tatura/Toolamba decided to concentrate all its activities at Tatura. The Toolamba church buildings were sold and we originally planned to use the funds realised to redevelop the existing church buildings at Thomson St, Tatura.
This process proved to be expensive and difficult due to the costs of replacing the asbestos roof and associated plumbing upgrades for downpipes, stormwater pipes and sewerage. Most of our money would have been used just bringing the building up to the current building code.
In late 2020 we became aware that the Gallery Café was for sale on a walk-in/walk-out basis.
The Gallery Café, is located in the heart of Tatura (in the main street – 115 Hogan St).
The building is 12 years old; the front façade is heritage listed, but the rest of the building is tilt-slab concrete panels.
It has two indoor areas capable of seating 65 people in each and an outdoor setting for 40. The rear section was used as a functions area and has hosted many funeral wakes and weddings. The front section and outdoor setting was used as the café. It includes a 3-bedroom residence upstairs.
The plan below shows how we envisage using the new premises.
- Reverse cycle air-conditioning (heating and cooling)
- fully fitted and working commercial kitchen
- 6 toilets, including a disability accessible toilet
- audio visual setup for the function areas
- 48 solar panels on roof (12.5kW)
- There is a public car park at back
- The sale includes extras like dining tables, chairs, amplifier, projector and screen.
Discerning and Deciding
The congregation spent some time evaluating the pros and cons of continuing the renovation of existing buildings verses buying and re-purposing the Gallery Café. As we prayed and reflected and talked together there was a clear consensus from the congregation that we should pursue the option of buying the Gallery Café and selling the existing church buildings.
We received strong support from the Presbytery and generous financial support from the congregations of Rutherglen, West Wodonga and North Albury.
Time to dream
We are both excited and scared as we venture and will continue to listen for God’s leading and guidance. We aim to create a prominent, warm, inviting place with space for worship, fellowship and explore new opportunities for outreach and mission.