In August 2016 we celebrated a major milestone in the life of our church, as we officially opened our new building.

This was three years in the planning and construction, and resulted from the sale of our Templestowe Orchards retirement complex to Baptcare.

The building, located in Doncaster East, was designed by architect Chris Manderson and constructed by Victorian Extension Design. It incorporates a stunning church auditorium, as well as gathering spaces of various sizes, suitable for many different kinds of community activities. There is a dedicated room for our playgroup, as well as an outdoor barbecue area. A cafe fronts onto Andersons Creek Road. A large parking area is in the basement.

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Here is how architect Chris Manderson describes his design concept:

The architecture for the church was conceived as a spirit of place – where its people and its ministry activities are transparent and engaging to the community. 

The building form is derived from its connection to its place in the community and within the surrounding context. To the East the building is integrated into the natural contours of the falling slope and references the gum trees and significant natural environment in Andersons Creek Road. To the West the building rises up with the auditorium, glazed cross and cantilevers, as if to reach out to the surrounding suburban houses. 

Uniquely for a church typology, the building is made of a vertical stack of uses:

– The lower layer provides an internal carpark at the base, and becomes the common entry for the building.

– The middle layer provides flexible ministry spaces and engaging outdoor terrace and  garden areas of reflection or for children’s play.

– The upper layer is made of three parts: 

(a) The main cafe, administration and counselling offices create the social and administrative hub for the building, and are designed as the “front door” for all activities.

(b) The auditorium is created as a place of worship, a space of serenity within the concrete walls, a place which is made dynamic in its interplay of light from the glazed cross on the white walls and which also  provides internal views to the surrounding community.

(c) The atrium space is a connecting social space which acts as a hub for all of the activities and links all of the levels and uses. 

Architecturally, the folding form of the timber canopy to the entry and cafe was designed to act as a contemporary “sign” to identify the church and signify that this is a place which is relevant to today’s contemporary society. The steel cross within the reflection pond emphasises that God is at the centre of this church. 

At night the canopy glows as a “lantern” which sends out the message that God is working within this place for the surrounding community.

The official opening was a special occasion for our church. It was attended by more than 550 people, including former pastors and many former members. The Mayor of Manningham Paul McLeish and our local federal and state politicians, Kevin Andrews and Matthew Guy, were also in attendance.

Official opening