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West Oxford church plans £50,000 facelift
A PROJECT to upgrade a West Oxford church has been launched.
The £50,000 revamp of St Frideswide Church, in Botley Road, is set to start in May next year.
A new heating system is to be installed and the main entrance stripped back to its original door to look more open and inviting.
A public consultation was launched this month and will run until November 1 for residents to give feedback.
The Rector of Osney, the Rev Clare Sykes, said: “The aim of the project is to bring the building up to standard for wider community use and for the comfort of regular worshippers.
“Our current heating system has failed and we need to replace it with a new system which preserves the building.
“We also want to spruce up the front entrance. It looks like it is permanently shut so the front needs opening up.
“The main thing is for the building to be comfortable and accessible to use 365 days a year. At the moment it is freezing in the winter.”
A new sound system for the hard of hearing is to be installed and broken guttering repaired.
Church warden Anne James said: “We are trying to keep the Grade II-listed building safe by looking after it. In this whole area the ground is very soggy and damp, so we urgently need to protect the building with a new heating system.
“It will be much more comfortable and welcoming.
“The building is at the heart of the community for everyone to use.”
At the moment the church is only used regularly for Sunday services.
But sessions such as arts and yoga classes could potentially run from the building in the future.
The plans are set to cost more than £50,000, although full costings have not yet been drawn up.
Ecclesiastical planning permission is required from the Diocese of Oxford diocesan chancellor Rupert Bursell.
The project is the third of a three-phase scheme to improve the church.
Over the last 10 years toilets and a kitchen have been installed, new flooring has been fitted and the Hunter organ restored.
To give feedback, email Ms Sykes at firstname.lastname@example.org
A community meeting is set for November 28 and a fundraising campaign to raise the money will be launched on December 1.
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