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: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here

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

FOOTBALL: Mike Ford is relishing challenge after taking over as Banbury United boss

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 23rd May 2015

Former Oxford United captain Mike Ford is relishing a return to management with Banbury United, after spending more than a year out of the game.

Jury told fire started because businessman thought best man was having affair with wife

Oxford Mail:

8:29am Friday 22nd May 2015

A HOUSE fire that forced people to jump for their lives was started by a businessman who accused his best man of having an affair with his wife, a jury heard.

UPDATE: Missing woman Rachel Selby from Banbury found safe

Oxford Mail:

3:16pm Friday 22nd May 2015

A WOMAN who went missing from Banbury has been found, police said

Person hit by train between Slough and Reading likely to affect Oxford rail services to London

Oxford Mail: A First Great Western High Speed Train

3:24pm Friday 22nd May 2015

TRAINS from Oxford could be disrupted after a person was hit by a train between Slough and Reading.

Teenagers arrested after robbery in Hythe Bridge Street

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

3:23pm Friday 22nd May 2015

TWO teenagers have been arrested after a robbery in Hythe Bridge Street.

Oxford United stepping up interest in striker Ryan Taylor

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 22nd May 2015

Ryan Taylor remains firmly on Oxford United’s radar despite the signing of Kemar Roofe, according to head coach Michael Appleton.

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