Glass link a clear benefit for Wolvercote Church

Oxford Mail: Peter Bridges in front of the new link Buy this photo » Peter Bridges in front of the new link

A MAJOR development project at a Wolvercote church has passed another hurdle.

St Peter’s Church is spending about £800,000 on improvements over the next couple of years.

And now it has completed the third phase of its project – a glass link between the new parish rooms and the church.

Rev Dr Mark Butchers, the vicar of St Peter’s, said: “It’s quite a flexible space.

“We’ve got glass doors at each end so the link can become part of the room itself and part of it opens onto the outside so in the summer you can have quite an open area.

“It’s a great design.”

Before the project got underway it was estimated building the link would cost about £90,000 but Rev Butchers said the final total had yet to be worked out.

The project, which started in 2009, has already seen the construction of new parish rooms at the church in First Turn.

St Peter’s Rooms will be a meeting place open to all members of the Wolvercote community.

Rev Butchers, who has been the vicar for seven years, said: “We are about to start thinking about the next phase of the project which will involve work inside the church.

“It will include re-ordering the northern aisle and improving the lighting and heating.

“Our organ was on its last legs and is currently in storage so we are working on getting a new pipe organ.

“We did a parish audit a few years ago and what came out of that was the need for provision of better facilities for the community. That’s the thinking behind it.”

The final part of the project is estimated to cost around £100,000.

Peter Bridges, chairman of the fundraising committee, said: “It has been a wonderful fundraising effort.

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“We have been raising this money during the steepest recession any of us have lived through but people have been very generous.”

Funding for the redevelopment has come from a mixture of donations as well as grants from bodies such as Oxfordshire County Council, Waste Recycling Environmental Limited (WREN) and the Tolkien Trust.

An opening ceremony for the new glass link will be held in February.

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