Church Building Project

Our church building is often bulging at the seams, so we are seeking to extend the current premises to allow the current work and outreach to continue to grow. Thank you for your interest and support.

The need:

Since Shepherd Drive Baptist Church (SDBC) was re-planted in 2007, the church and its activities have grown significantly.

A few facts and figures before Covid-19:

  • The Sunday congregation was averaging around 100 people, including 20-30 children, and we are currently holding two Covid-secure services on Sunday mornings.
  • Our Messy Church events attract over 100 parents and children, and our ladies’ outreach evenings often have up to 100 present.
  • At times, our parent & toddler group and the clubs for children and young people have had waiting lists as we have not been able to safely accommodate the numbers wishing to attend.
  • Our two Christmas outreach services both attract numbers of 160-220.

Yet besides the main hall (which can comfortably seat about 150) we have only one classroom as a meeting space (with space for about 20 children) which is why we would like more space.


What became SDBC began on the Chantry estate, Ipswich, in 1973 with a Sunday School, supported by what is now Cauldwell Hall Road Baptist Church (CHRBC) with a view to planting a new church on the estate. In 1995 a modern church building was built and opened on land leased from Ipswich Borough Council.

Developments in recent years:

The congregation and those attending church events continued to grow and in 2017 the church appointed an architect to prepare plans to enlarge the building. Ipswich Borough Council gave their approval in principle in late 2019, allowing the application for planning permission to go ahead.

The church maintains a high profile in the local community through its activities and outreach supported by its website ( and its Facebook page ( The fellowship enjoys good links with local schools and the local Sue Ryder Home, and runs a range of contact groups for people in the area. These include a craft group, a senior citizens’ club, a ramblers’ group, children’s and youth groups, and men’s and women’s events. Almost 90% of those attending church events live within 4 miles of the church, with 30% living within 1 mile.

The building project:

The scheme will have a phased approach. Latest costings provided by our quantity surveyor are shown below (costs include professional fees).

Phase 1 (cost estimated at approx. £440K)

  • build a church hall which will have toilets and kitchenette and so be capable of being used independently of the existing building.
  • move storage space into the new hall which will increase seating in our main meeting area to use for services
  • move to a more economical and environmental heating solution

Phase 2 & 3 (cost estimated at approx. £895k)

  • build an extra floor over the current entrance area to provide further office space and meeting rooms
  • create a coffee shop which we hope will become a social centre for the community
  • re-structure the internal layout of the building to support this new design, moving the kitchen to a more central position (to enhance our ability to provide meals we lay on during events) and construct a larger and more welcoming entrance
  • create an external fenced garden for use by children

Current position

During late 2019 our landlord, Ipswich Borough Council, gave its permission for us to submit a planning application to Babergh District Council. Planning approval was granted during early September 2020.

Fundraising continues and our funds will be assessed in January 2021. At that stage we hope to have sufficient funds to invite tenders to build Phase 1.

Target: Phase One estimated cost                                             £440,000

The funds for Phase 1 have continued to grow throughout the year. We are thankful to the Trusts which have recently given their support.


The Beatrice Laing Trust                                £5,000

The Lord Belstead Charitable Trust             £5,000

Allchurches Trust                                           £15,000

IBC SW Area Committee                                 £2,000

Garfield Weston Foundation                        £20,000

During November ’20 Church Members gave or pledged over £45,000, which shows a huge commitment to this project.

This means that we have only £30,000 left to raise.

Invitations to tender for Phase 1 were issued to 4 main contractors on Friday 19 March and tenders have to be returned by noon on Tuesday 20 April ’21.

We plan to submit a capital grant application to Babergh District Council once we have received tenders for the work.