It has been a long, slow process - with a number of twists and turns - but we have finally moved in to our new office!

It is a widely acknowledged fact that moving house can be a stressful time; I'd suggest that moving office is quite similar in many respects. Whilst the emotional attachment and upheaval might not be quite the same (- for there is no substitute for the intensity of family relationships and memories), the sense of 'special place' can still be significant, and the practical issues are obviously quite considerable. The past few months have undoubtedly been testing.

Shortly before vacating Skywaves House in Worthing in July last year, we held a simple service of thanksgiving - which you might recall having read about in a previous blog post. We remain very thankful for God's provision of that building which served as Feba's UK base for over 30 years, and for all those who served the ministry over that time too. Many hours were invested by a sizeable number of staff in the development and maintenance of the studios and workshop, as well as the conventional office areas, all of which were necessary for the production of content, servicing of equipment, and oversight of the international ministry delivered by Feba's missionaries and partners overseas. The combined impact of all their labours is incalculable.

I had a sense during my very first visit to Skywaves House in August 2013 that if I were to join the organisation then I'd be part of a relocation. I had no idea of what the intervening period would bring - personally or professionally, but in my mind the case for moving became clearer and my conviction stronger. We did explore the possibility of decorative refurbishment and structural redevelopment, but neither was considered viable for Feba to pursue at the time and so the course was set for a sale.

The sale process took far longer than anyone had anticipated, due to a number of aborted negotiations which stalled when different prospective purchasers had their plans rejected by the local planning department. Being a rather quirky, tired building in a somewhat unusual location, Skywaves required someone with vision, resources, and a realistic plan. Whilst several developers had the first two boxes ticked, the only proposal that satisfied all three was local charity Turning Tides, who - working with the council - wanted to build a new hostel for the homeless people of Worthing. You can read more about their plans by clicking here.

The remains of Skywaves House

Although we had looked around tentatively at various points over the years, the search for new premises had begun in earnest when contracts were exchanged, as we had deliberately set a deferred completion date to allow for an orderly departure. Having experienced a period of remote working due to COVID, the team was familiar with and equipped for another episode if required but we had hoped to avoid or at least minimise any such enforced time apart. As things turned out, it would be seven months from vacation of the old to occupation of the new, during much of which time we used a local church hall for one day per week which helped the team to stay more connected.

With the requisite tools being available to enable working from home, there was some rethinking of what the 'need' for an office might actually be: what would a Feba office provide and enable that could not be achieved equally well if everyone were to work remotely? On balance, I believe that the less tangible benefits are of real potential value - not least in terms of culture, creativity, and communication. The general environment has arguably become more important since COVID, as is some degree of flexibility of working practices, with people having experienced the creature comforts of home! To that end, we sought somewhere that would be energising to work, and explored how traditionally rigid patterns of work could be amended.

An office forming part of a small development in a rural setting near Steyning was identified in summer 2023; it seemed to tick all the boxes, and was available to rent almost immediately. Having viewed, reviewed, and obtained Board approval in principle, it took a while to finalise the lease and ensure that some necessary works were undertaken before we could proceed. It would be fair to say that team were growing weary of waiting and hearing the message that "we're getting there", and finally in February things did come together with sights set on a start date of 26th. Seven months after having left Skywaves House, it was finally time to move in.

February morning view from the new office 

It will take a while for the new building to feel like 'home', but we are enormously thankful for God's provision and are delighted to have the keys. We have sought always to trust in His perfect timing, but confess to having struggled with that on occasion! There is a sense of this being the start of a new season for Feba, and we therefore pray that we'd continue to know God's protection, leading and provision - as we have known in the past. The removers are booked to deliver our office contents on 4th and 5th March, allowing 6th for some sorting before the team are due to arrive properly on Thursday 7th.

The outside of 3 Chanctonfold

Aside from the busyness of an office move, we're also in the midst of a period of recruitment with a number of roles we're trying to fill. The most senior of those is the Director of Fundraising and Communications, which has been vacant for many months despite several rounds of advertising. The closing date was 29th February and I'm pleased to say that this time around we received a good number of applications from candidates who appear on paper to be quite well suited; we are aiming to interview in mid / late March, so please do pray for that ongoing process. If you're interested in other vacancies, please always feel free to visit the 'Vacancies' page on our website.

And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.

Exodus 13:21

Just as Moses and the Israelites sought to follow God's leading as provided through the cloud and fire, we seek also to discern His leading and follow Him obediently. We might not always know how to make sense of the journey as we're being led, but we should trust our guide no less for that; please pray with us that we'd keep in step with Him as we look to the future - assured of His presence with us, and depending on Him always.

Thank you so much once again for your interest in Feba's ministry, and for your partnership with us in this endeavour. I can assure you that your prayer and financial support are very gratefully received, as we seek to inspire people to follow Jesus Christ in some very difficult places. It is a privilege to be in this together.

P.S. If you need to get in touch or if you are nearby and would ever like to visit us in Steyning, then you can find our updated full contact details on our 'Contact Us' page. All we'd ask is that you please just call us in advance if you'd like to meet up, thank you.

PRAY: Please click here if you would like to pray for Feba

GIVE: Please click here if you would like to give to Feba

Bob Chambers, CEO, Feba UK

First published 2nd March 2024