Get the facts about City Harvest Church’s move to Suntec Singapore and other pertinent issues.
Contributed By Theresa Tan
On the weekend of Feb. 19 and 20, senior pastor Kong Hee, briefed his congregation on the upcoming move to Suntec Singapore following the expiry of its lease at Singapore Expo in end February. The congregation responded with rousing applause: it was clear to see that the church family was all ready to move into its new worship location.
City News reports on the details:
City Harvest Church will move into Suntec Singapore on March 19, 2011. This is a long-awaited day for the church, which went through five years and 26 plots to find its space in the city.
CHC is making adjustments to its seating plan, so as to be in compliance with the new URA guidelines for religious organizations using commercial properties for religious activities.
The original plan before these new guidelines was to potentially have a 12,000-seater hall. However, the URA guidelines state that the maximum space used “shall not exceed a total Gross Floor Area of 10,000 sqm at any one time.” Halls 601, 602 and 603 on Level 6 of Suntec Singapore have a combined area of 10,600 sqm of exhibition space, which exceeds the allowed space.
CHC is now finalizing details of the seating arrangement with the various authorities. The number of seats has not been confirmed.
To comply with the guideline that the use of commercial space for religious activities “shall not exceed two days a week including Saturday and Sunday,” CHC has opted to use Suntec Singapore on Saturdays and Sundays for its worship services and activities. On weekdays, the area licensed to CHC will be marketed by Suntec Singapore’s management for MICE events and other public events. The proceeds from these events (after administrative charges to Suntec Singapore) will be paid to CHC.
CHC has been licensed for 47 weeks in the year—the church will move out five weeks to allow for other major conventions to be hosted in that space. However, Suntec Singapore has requested for CHC to vacate the Halls seven times in 2011 due to prior commitments. For the two extra weeks that CHC moves out, Suntec Singapore will compensate the church. These adjustments do not in any way impact the license agreement between CHC and Suntec Singapore.
CHC’s dream for a space to fit all its people has come true at Suntec Singapore. The English services will take place in Halls 601 and 602; the Chinese Church in the Level 2 Theatre. Indonesian services, Filipino services, Dialect Church and JAMs Church will take place in all the various Meeting Rooms on Level 2.
CHC’s Jurong West building will still be heavily utilized for the School Of Theology, counseling, prayer meetings, ministry training, weddings and other happenings. The church’s outreach activities to the elderly and people with intellectual disabilities will continue to be held at Jurong West, as these activities have busing and other unique requirements.
Children are VIPs at CHC and they will feel it at Suntec Singapore. There will now be five rooms for the Nursery (compared to two at Singapore Expo) to cater to the church’s growing number of newborns. Children’s Church will now organize toddlers into separate groups by age (2-, 3-, 4-year-olds will have their own rooms). There will be more registration counters to cut down the queuing time for the children.
To aid the less-able in the congregation, there will be a holding area for the elderly, physically-challenged, pregnant women and parents with babies. They will be able to enter the main hall without having to queue.
Members and newcomers will learn more about the various ministries in CHC and be encouraged to sign up at the new Ministry Booths located at Hall 603.
City Harvest Church would like to invite all readers to join them for their inaugural worship services at Suntec Singapore on Mar. 19 at 5 p.m. and Mar. 20 at 10 a.m.
Visit www.chc.org.sg for the latest updates and news pertaining to CHC.
Two members of the pastoral staff resigned in 2010 from the current 24-strong team of pastors and assistant pastors. Former assistant pastor Darren Tan left to start his own church. He submitted his letter on Dec. 1, 2010 and his last day of employment was Jan. 31, 2011. CHC’s Management Board and leadership feel that it would be best for Darren’s new work to be independent of CHC at this moment of time until God leads otherwise. Tan Chee Kiang, a former pastor, and David Yem, the former music director of the church, resigned for personal reasons.