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

Funnyman Fry serves up a bit of self-awareness

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 31st October 2014

NATIONAL treasure Stephen Fry met fans in the Bodleian Library for a “hackathon”.

‘Lonely hearts club scam cost me £631’

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Friday 31st October 2014

A MAN left with a £631 phone bill after a relationship with a woman he met on a dating website is warning others to be wary.

Urban dancers prove they can move to the groove

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 31st October 2014

DANCE group Body Politic took Oxford’s Pegasus Theatre by storm as it rolled into town as part of its UK tour.

Mum of drugs death teenager in plea to MPs for law review

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 31st October 2014

A MOTHER who lost her 15-year-old daughter after she took Ecstasy urged MPs to review drug laws yesterday.

£10m community cash for West Way upgrade

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 31st October 2014

DEVELOPERS behind the planned Botley regeneration have revealed they will fund £10m towards community benefits if the controversial scheme goes ahead.

Height row flats' tree screening plan blasted

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 31st October 2014

UNIVERSITY bosses have put forward plans to screen a student flats development by Port Meadow with trees but ruled out reducing its height.

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