Leys church is praying for pennies from heaven rather than rain

Leys church is praying for pennies from heaven rather than rain

The Rev Heather Carter at the Church of the Holy Family

The church needs a new roof, at a cost of £400,000

First published in News
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys. Call me on 01865 425403

A CHURCH in Blackbird Leys is facing a mammoth fundraising task as it is faced with a £400,000 bill to replace its leaking roof.

The Holy Family Church in Cuddesdon Way needs a new roof to stop the congregation getting rained on each time the heavens open.

The roof, which was designed in the 1980s, dips in the middle so water collects in the lowest part and leaks through – meaning buckets littered around the church when the weather turns.

Vicar Heather Carter said: “We had a full roof survey and we have to have a whole new roof with specially-made scaffolding to go over the top to keep it dry.

“It seems to be that it’s a design fault. The drainage is not good enough.”

Ms Carter said: “When it rains I need to have 12 buckets out in the church.

“At the moment we pay £10,000 every year to get it patched with rubber to make it vaguely waterproof during the winter.

“This will be the third roof in 50 years, and it’s a phenomenal amount of money for a congregation that has 40 people.”

The 52-year-old said that the Diocese of Oxford could not contribute unless the roof design was changed altogether.

She said: “We have to redesign the roof so that it doesn’t leak and that it lasts for hundreds of years.”

This has raised the question of the longevity of the building as a whole.

Ms Carter, who lives in the vicarage next to the church, said: “The church was originally built in the 1960s.

“Will the concrete last another 100 years? There’s no point building a new roof only for the walls to crumble under it.

“The other issue is the regeneration plans for the Blackbird Leys area from Oxford City Council going on around us.

“It’s all going to look nice and bright and shiny and then you have this concrete church in the middle.

“Is there a case to redesign part of the building, or even all of it?

“These are all questions that are hanging in the balance, we have made no decisions, nothing is finalised.

“We will need to fundraise a huge amount whatever we do.”

Debbie Dallimore from the Diocese said that there had been no formal application for funding from the church, and that no official decision has been made.

She said: “It’s not that we’ve said they can’t have a roof, it’s about the right kind of roof.”

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.


Our top stories

Pothole payouts in Oxfordshire double

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Wednesday 28th January 2015

THE amount of compensation claimed by Oxfordshire drivers for pothole damage more than doubled in two years.

No snow for Oxford again but chance of white morning in Chipping Norton and Banbury

Oxford Mail: Pictures of snow from across the county

6:45pm Wednesday 28th January 2015

SNOW is no longer expected to hit the majority of the county tomorrow morning.

Travellers leave Botley Road Waitrose site after being handed eviction notice

Oxford Mail:

5:52pm Wednesday 28th January 2015

Travellers left the Waitrose site in Botley Road today after being handed a 24-hour eviction notice.

Jayden trial: Jury in Jake Blakeley case sent home until Tuesday

Oxford Mail: Jake Blakeley, 18, from Didcot

5:49pm Wednesday 28th January 2015

THE jury in the trial of Jake Blakeley will continue considering its verdict on Tuesday.

UPDATE: Delays on Cotswold Line between Oxford and Worcester after person hit by train

Oxford Mail: A First Great Western High Speed Train

4:30pm Wednesday 28th January 2015

THERE are delays of up to 40 minutes on rail services between Oxford, Worcester and Hereford this afternoon due to a person being hit by a train between Moreton-in-Marsh and Kingham.

UPDATE: Tesco Metro in Bicester to shut wih 56 job losses after firm announces national closures

Oxford Mail:

1:19pm Wednesday 28th January 2015

Tesco Metro in Bicester will close on April 4.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree