Touchstone has been looking for new premises for over ten years. 32 Merton Road has served us well but it is not disabled friendly and is no longer large enough to accommodate Touchstone's growing vision of 'Listening for a Change'.
Numerous options have been pursued and subsequently discarded - including the possibility of moving to the proposed Great Horton Centre; leasing a unit in the Bradford Science Park behind the University; or extending and redeveloping 32 Merton Road.
On 7th March 2012, Touchstone finally completed the purchase of the former Beechfield Hotel and MacRory's Bar at 4 Easby Road, Bradford - literally fifty yards down the back alley from the current Touchstone Centre.
Neighbours are delighted that this prominent building is to be brought back into use and that it will still be available for community use.
Having been empty for five years, the building is derelict and needs completely refurbishing before Touchstone will be able to move in.
As part of the deal to purchase 4 Easby Road, 32 Merton Road has been sold but it has been leased back and will continue as the Touchstone Centre until MacRory's is ready for occupation.
The former bar area in the basement will be our welcoming/hopitality/kitchen space and creative arts area, where stories can be told and heard.
The ground floor will be the administrative hub with office space for staff and other users, eg BEACON.
A conference suite will be located on the first floor with screens to make smaller rooms, offering a whole range of new opportunities.
The second floor will be a 'listening room' that looks out across the city. This will be dedicated space for worship, quiet reflection and intentional listening, including group work with children and students. Small counselling rooms will also be at this level.
All floors will be fully accessible.
The whole project to purchase and refurbish the new premises will cost £1,025,000. Touchstone has already sourced nearly £500,000 of this but help is needed in securing the remaining £525,000.
Over £200,000 has come from Methodist Church Grants, £160,000 from the sale proceeds of 32 Merton Road and the remainder from fundraising and donations. The West Yorkshire District has formed a Fundraising Team to help with grant applications to charitable trusts and to encourage philanthropic donations.
On the next page, you will find details of Roger Walton's Table Tennis Challenge - just one of the fundraising events in progress at the present time.
Your donations or pledges of £5, £50, £500, £5,000 ... or more! will be gratefully received. Either hit the Donate button under the menus on the left or forward cheques made payable to Touchstone, gift aided where possible, to David Howarth at Touchstone, 32 Merton Road, Bradford BD7 1RE. Thank you.
To launch the serious fundraising for the refurbisment of MacRory's, our Annual Celebration in April 2012 was transformed into a Hooray Day! - on a Saturday afternoon on MacRory's car park and in the basement. This proved to be a very successful occasion and certainly put us on the map!
The event included drumming workshops, facepainting, weaving, bunting making, Asian cookery demonstrations and a variety of stalls. Over £1,000 was raised.
The day concluded with a symbolic candlelit procession from the Touchstone Centre to MacRory's and prayers on the car park.
Needless to say ... there was cake ...