Work on church to go ahead as drive for cash continues

Oxford Mail: St Luke’s Church will be undergoing a major revamp in February. Reverend Jane Sherwood is pictured front at a drop-in session Buy this photo » St Luke’s Church will be undergoing a major revamp in February. Reverend Jane Sherwood is pictured front at a drop-in session

A £500,000 revamp of a South Oxford church will start in February – but there is still £40,000 left to raise.

Reverend Jane Sherwood, vicar at St Luke’s Church, is confident that the building work will go ahead in two months, following two years of fundraising, but is still calling for donations and support.

A variety of fundraising events and grants have contributed to the total so far.

Ms Sherwood said: “The revamp should have a huge benefit to the community.

“The church is used as a community centre and we want to improve what we offer.”

A smaller side hall is being added to the church in Canning Crescent to include new office and storage space, a kitchen and bathroom facilities.

The foundations of the church will be kept with the timber structure, and asbes-tos and rotten woodwork will be removed.

The building will be fully insulated during the work, which is expected to finish by the end of October 2013.

During the work, the church will be joining with the Salvation Army at South Oxford Christian Centre in Wytham Street.

Ms Sherwood said: “Captain Mark Wolstenholme has kindly given us use of their building on Mondays for our midweek groups – a toddler group, two children’s groups and a youth group – to meet.

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“Our Wednesday drop-in group is also invited to join with their OAP lunch club, which also meets on a Wednesday.

“We will be sharing Sunday worship with the Salvation Army during the building works too.”

She added: “We are hoping to continue fundraising, but we are confident that we can get the £40,000 in by February.

“We have some promising grant applications in the pipeline and donations coming in.

“It is a major revamp, it will look quite different at the end.”

The building is leased from Oxford City Council and the church is in the process of agreeing a 125-year lease.

St Luke’s launched the drive to redevelop the building two years ago after city councillors approved the plans in 2010.

Find out more or make a donation by visiting stlukesoxford.org.uk

Comments (1)

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12:31pm Thu 6 Dec 12

Myron Blatz says...

Interesting that City Council only wants to give proper community Centres a three-year Lease, but seems happy to give St. Luke's a 125-year Lease. Even more interesting is the history behind how City Council 'obtained' the property in the first place, and the way it has apparently tried to increase rent for the refurbishment and building work which the Church is paying for - if true, then it is nothing short of outrageous behaviour by Labour-Led Oxford City Council and whoever is responsible for its Property Management and Portfolio Holder.
Interesting that City Council only wants to give proper community Centres a three-year Lease, but seems happy to give St. Luke's a 125-year Lease. Even more interesting is the history behind how City Council 'obtained' the property in the first place, and the way it has apparently tried to increase rent for the refurbishment and building work which the Church is paying for - if true, then it is nothing short of outrageous behaviour by Labour-Led Oxford City Council and whoever is responsible for its Property Management and Portfolio Holder. Myron Blatz

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