Back in 1994, the Trinitarian Bible Society moved from a smaller building into our large headquarters at Tyndale House, Dorset Road, London. By the grace of God, from these premises, millions of Scriptures and Scripture portions were sent out. Bibles, New Testaments, Gospels, calendars, tracts, cards and other Scripture items were despatched to over 150 countries, in many different languages.
Society’s old premises
However, the march of time affects all things, and our Dorset Road building was no exception. By summer 2013, it was apparent that Tyndale House would need major refurbishment, costing a large sum of money which the Society did not have. In addition, the comparatively large staff that 20 years ago worked at Tyndale House had dwindled. A number now work remotely around the UK, some employees are based overseas, and, with modern working practices, others can work at home, making the office space at Tyndale House too large for the relatively few staff working there on a regular basis. Therefore, the decision was taken to sell the Dorset Road property and seek new premises in the London area.
Sale of Tyndale House
Once Tyndale House went on the market, interest in the property was huge. By the time the bidding process had concluded, the Society had received over 50 bids from a variety of developers and other interested parties. After the final round of bidding had taken place, surprisingly the successful bidder was Her Majesty’s Government, who purchased the site for a very handsome sum with the intention of adapting the building for use as a free school. We were pleased to learn that the school is to be managed by the Chapel Street Trust, who seek to run their schools according to a Christian ethos (readers can learn more about the school at parkcommunityschool.com).
During the time when we were receiving many expressions of interest in the Dorset Road property, the search for new premises was initially not very encouraging, with only a few marginally suitable buildings in far-flung corners of outer London available. However, one day our General Secretary had a closer look at 29 Deer Park Road, London — a property in the industrial estate next to Morden Hall Park (and less than one mile from Dorset Road).
He saw the potential of this site, even though it was home to two large derelict buildings. He therefore raised the possibility of the Society having new purpose-built premises developed on this plot of land. His suggestion was prayerfully and enthusiastically taken up by the rest of the management team and the Society’s general committee. In due course, the Society was able to contract with the developer, Chancerygate, for the purchase of the large industrial building they were constructing on the site, comprising two units both with warehousing and office space. Further, the Society has been able to significantly influence the specification of the building to its own needs.
We had to vacate Tyndale House by March this year, but as our new premises would not be ready until late 2015, we needed to move to temporary accommodation. In the Lord’s goodness, a suitable building was found nearby at 15 Lyon Road. Over recent months it has been exciting for us to see the Deer Park Road site being cleared, the steel frame erected, the external cladding placed, the roof completed, and then the work inside progressing bit by bit. The accompanying photos taken in July show the extent of the construction work on the two semi-detached units. God willing, later this year the Society will move into unit 2 (on the right as one looks at the front of the building, and the larger of the two buildings, which has appropriately been named William Tyndale House). Unit 1, John Wycliffe House, is to be rented out, and we hope it will provide a regular source of income for the Society.
We praise God for the years at Dorset Road and are thankful for the months in Lyon Road, but we look forward to the forthcoming move into the new building at Deer Park Road. We would value the prayers of the Lord’s people that the remaining construction work and internal fit-out would be completed safely, satisfactorily and on time, allowing us to occupy William Tyndale House in late autumn this year.
May the Lord enable us, for many years, at these new premises to continue our work of distributing the Word of God among all nations!
Philip J. D. Hopkins is Editorial Director of the Trinitarian Bible Society