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UK Christian bank awards largest loan in its history to fund new London church

by Chantalle Edmunds
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Kingdom Bank has made a £1m loan to Dundonald Church, part of the Co-mission church planting movement, to fund a new 650-seat church in Wimbledon.

The flats will be sold to private occupiers and the profits ploughed back to help homeless people in southwest London.

The new church building will comprise a main hall, meeting rooms and a youth club games area. The scheme is being project managed by Dundonald's partner Green Pastures, the Christian housing charity, which has been working to end homelessness in south London since 1999.

Kingdom Bank CEO Paul Houghton spoke to Premier about the new church: "It's a major project in southwest London and something that we're able to back and support and it's exactly the kind of thing that we want to be doing as Kingdom Bank. It's transforming a building to be a brilliant new 650-seater church auditorium with some other halls, meeting spaces, offices, and, it really will set them up for the next generation. We're just thrilled to be able to support it."

"We'd love to be doing more lending at that kind of level. But clearly, that's not the average church that will need to borrow and is in the position to borrow a million pounds. This year, so far, we've agreed to support about 37 or 38 churches across the country with different sizes of loans."

Kingdom Bank has a history going back more than 60 years and has recently come under new ownership. 

"We've been little known because of a variety of reasons. But under the new ownership from a group of evangelical investors and stewardship last year, we're now able to get out and support churches in a way that we've never done before. So our main prayer at the moment is that we can serve churches, but to do that we need to be better known. So we would love to be better known by churches across the UK," Houghton added.

Green Pastures said in a statement: "It's been a delight for Green Pastures to be the developer of this fabulous project and work alongside the Kingdom-minded Dundonald team. Since constructing our first block of flats in 2010 we have grown so much that we can assist many other like-minded ethical people build their dreams across the UK, thereby enabling them to have a greater impact on their communities. 

"The Dundonald church and apartments development aligned with us, creating a tool for community use and dwellings for open market sale. We aspire to create a bed in the housing market for every bed we buy to house the homeless. Any surplus created by developments is used to buy more homes for the homeless and provide the support required. We look forward to seeing the Dundonald church continue to help more in their community and improve their lives".

The Wimbledon church development started in December 2020 and the new church building is set to open in September.

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