JUST OVER THIRTY YEARS AGO, New Life Presbyterian Church was meeting in a rented gymnasium on Meetinghouse Rd in Jenkintown.  In faith, we purchased the Casa Conti restaurant in Glenside and turned it into a house of worship and prayer.  

NOW, we look back on our history and remember God’s amazing Providence.  Although he has given us the necessary resources to pay off the mortgage early, our building has over $1 million in deferred maintenance.  Modernization, security, and handicapped access are another concern.  

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE, we ask, “What does God have in store for us here in Glenside?”

Capital Campaign

Looking back to the start of this campaign, we set out to improve upon five areas:

Wheelchair Access

Our building is not easy to traverse for those with physical disabilities.

Install an Elevator

Installing an elevator to the ground floor will go a long way towards their overall comfort and ease of movement.

Sanctuary Improvements

The sanctuary area is not well laid out, and could use some new equipment.

Sanctuary Renovation

One plan is to move the stage to the opposite side of the room, and install new doors on the Easton Rd side of the room.

Child Security

There is no security on the ground floor where our KidsLife classrooms are.

A Safe Environment

We plan to install additional bathrooms in each classroom and seal the area behind security doors.

Social Spaces

A church should embody the fellowship of believers.

Community Gathering Space

A large area adjacent to the sanctuary provides a welcoming atmosphere and opportunity for fellowship.

Deferred Maintenance

Many projects haven't been started, such as upgrading the fire suppression system.

No More Deferments

The campaign provides a great opportunity to finally tackle these projects.

With $2.15 million in pledged support, the Building Options Team hired a local Christian architect who specializes in church renovations.  During this process, we were able to revise our initial plans into a more limited, phased approach.  The BOT presents the following options, each successively building upon the previous:

Option 1 - $2.0 million

This is the base plan.  It improves navigation, provides a community gathering space, refreshes the sanctuary “look”, and addresses the most problematic deferred maintenance issues — all without exceeding the pledged amount.

  • Centralized Easton Road entrance
    • New restrooms (including family restroom)
    • Large centrally-located lobby
    • “7-day” elevator
    • Check-in area to secure children’s classrooms
  • Re-grading of the parking lot along Easton Rd
  • Sanctuary upgrade
    • Repair/paint ceiling
    • Rotated stage 180 degrees
    • Paint walls, new window shades
    • Minimal audio/video/lighting (AVL) upgrades – wiring and speakers only
    • Enclose one stairwell and add door for emergency exit from sanctuary

Option 2 - $2.4 million

This plan expands on Option 1.  In addition to the above, it provides:

  • Additional green space and outdoor seating
  • Improved acoustics and lighting in sanctuary, additional investment in AVL equipment
  • Optional 90-degree rotation of sanctuary layout (expands seating capacity by up to 50)
  • Upgrades sprinklers to a “wet” system (reducing rust/corrosion over time)
  • Repurposes south entrance lobby into a new space for youth programs
  • Upgrades HVAC system in sanctuary

May require additional financing of $27k/yr ($2240/mo) in mortgage payments if not funded via additional pledges, as well as an additional $5k-$15k/yr in custodial and maintenance costs, but saves an estimated $5k/yr in energy costs

Option 3 - $3.0 million

This plan expands on Options 1 and 2.  In addition to the above:

  • Constructs a new connector hallway from new lobby to the basement level of the original Weldon Hotel building (aka “Weldon Tower”)
  • Removes, replaces, and renovates Weldon Tower entrances

May require additional financing of $67k/yr ($5600/mo) in mortgage payments if not funded via additional pledges.

Sanctuary Rotation

Options 2 and 3 allow for 90-degree rotation (facing south) instead of 180-degrees (facing east).  Both options present similar acoustics.

A 180-degree rotation maintains current “fan” configuration, with more opportunities to see each other’s faces, but positions the sound booth in a less-than-optimal corner location.

A 90-degree rotation provides a more “traditional” church seating configuration and expands capacity by up to 50 seats, but with the result that seats in the back are further away from stage than currently.

Your input is needed!

The Building Options Survey is available until October 27, 2019 at 2pm.  This survey is an important opportunity to provide input to the Session about building and financing options.  Everyone is asked to participate.

Access the form online (preferred) at or fill out a paper version available in the lobbies.

What's next?

Consider a commitment to the next 30 years of New Life Presbyterian Church.

Commitment Sunday was on November 18, 2018, capping off a month-long season of dedicated prayer and reflection.  However, we continue to pray for how God will use us for his purpose, and for the future of our church here in Glenside.