Christ Church Kenilworth (CCK) Working Group for 16 Summerley Rd – Interim report

The Working Group (WG) was constituted by Pastorate at the beginning of March this year with a mandate to facilitate planning for the usage of the property at 16 Summerley Rd, given the decision of the church meeting in November 2018 that staff would relocate from the building to the Annex in the first half of 2019, and that the property would not be put up for sale.

It was, and still is anticipated that this would lead to the church being able to take a decision by November 2019.

The WG comprises Geoff Everingham as chair, Barrie Jack, Sheila Clow, Gareth Mellon, David Curry and Laura Richter, thus reflecting all three congregations, as well as Andre Frieslaar who has come off the WG due to other commitments but remains available as a sounding board. Claire May has provided admirable admin support.

Since March, the WG has met on 10 occasions, including one session for a thorough inspection of the site and buildings. The WG took the view that input and proposals should be invited from the congregation and that we should be open to proposals from elsewhere as well, not least from within the wider St John’s parish. It was agreed that realistically this could only be done if there was adequate information available as to the nature of the site, including matters such as layout of the main building, its heritage status, zoning rights and limitations, running costs, and the like. The WG also felt it would be helpful to provide a context in terms of the journey of visioning which CCK had undertaken. Finally, it was felt that preparation of a formal proposal as to the usage of 16 Summerley Rd  would be a fairly onerous task and that provision should be made for those who would wish to make their ideas known without going the route of a full proposal (what became referred to as an ‘Ideas Drop’).

Accordingly, the WG prepared and published (on 26 April) on the CCK website documents setting out the CCK journey of visioning (hugely assisted by a document prepared by Corina Ash), the parameters governing usage of the site, and templates for ‘Ideas Drop’ and for a formal proposal. As it was possible that Ideas Drops might develop into formal proposals (as later proved to be the case) a two-stage deadline was put forward, 21 May for Ideas Drops and 28 June for formal proposals. Additionally, an evening briefing was provided for on 30 April, attended by about 20 members of CCK.

In the event, 18 Ideas Drops were received as well as a number of emails. While there was no obvious consensus, the focus was on providing Christian ministry rather than putting the site to commercial use. In particular there was interest in using the main building to provide accommodation, provision of conferencing and training facilities, helping the poor and marginalized and ensuring that the CCK congregation would be engaged in, rather than detached from the use of the site – and related to this, the notion of intentional Christian community.

From this process (and a slightly extended deadline into the beginning of July), 6 proposals were received, 4 of which dealt comprehensively with usage of the site, focusing on the usage of the main building (a fifth contains specific suggestions in relation to the garden only, and the sixth was a general motivation not to sell the property). There was one external proposal from a Christian NGO which is attractive in its own right and though it did not provide for inclusivity of the CCK congregation, remained open to that possibility. As there is also a degree of overlap among the remaining three proposals, the WG considered that it might be possible to accommodate all proposals in some way that might meet multiple objectives in a united way. Thus the four proposer groups were asked, and agreed to share their proposals and the NGO agreed to revise their proposal by the end of this month.

We have therefore provisionally set 31st August and 14th September as dates on which the WG and 4 proposer groups will gather together, having reflected on and had conversations around the proposals, to see whether a common way forward may be discerned. This may on the face of it appear a difficult task. Nevertheless, challenging as it is, it also represents a great opportunity for CCK. The WG has been greatly encouraged by the prayers of the congregation and the openness of the proposers to reconsider their proposals, and believe that this must be attempted as our next step.

14 August 2019


The Working Group steering the process of discernment met with the various proposers as planned on last Saturday and made some headway in terms of finding a single agreed approach to the use of the site. There’s more work to be done, so please continue to hold this in prayer, particularly the next meeting on the afternoon of Saturday 14th.

5 September 2019

Please continue to pray for the Working Group as they discern the way forward. 


If you have any questions, please contact Claire ( 



Christ Church Kenilworth  |  Cnr Summerley & Richmond Road  |  Tel: +27 (021) 797 6332  | E-mail:
Service Times: Sunday Worship  8.00am, 10.00am & 6.30pm  |  Wednesday Service: 10am   | Tuesday Quiet Service: 6.30pm (fortnightly)

Taryn Galloway, 06/05/2015