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

Update: Bullfinch: More than 350 youngsters potential abuse victims as campaigner calls for action not apologies

Oxford Mail: Marilyn Hawes

7:46am Monday 2nd March 2015

MORE than 350 youngsters in Oxfordshire have been identified as potential victims of groomers, the Oxford Mail understands.

UPDATE: All lanes reopened on M40 northbound between junction 8 and 9 after serious crash

Oxford Mail: Lorry jackknifes on M40 causing traffic tailbacks

3:52pm Monday 2nd March 2015

The M40 has reportedly been closed northbound between J8 and J8A near the Wheatley services due to an accident.

UPDATE: Kanye West delights crowds in Oxford at talk at Museum of Natural History + video

Oxford Mail:

2:01pm Monday 2nd March 2015

International rap superstar Kanye West is expected in Oxford this afternoon for a talk at the Museum of Natural History.

Discovery: Remains of a woman and a coin dating from the 1600s are unearthed

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Monday 2nd March 2015

THE SKELETON of a woman thought to be nearly 400 years old has been unearthed at an Oxford college.

Parents across Oxfordshire discover fate of child's secondary school place

Oxford Mail: New Oxfordshire county council logo

8:44am Monday 2nd March 2015

PUPILS across the county will find out today whether they have got their first-choice of school as Oxfordshire County Council issues places for secondary schools today.

Grannies put on a unique trolley dance

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Monday 2nd March 2015

TWO dancing grannies took over the streets of Oxford as the city’s main annual dance festival got into full swing.

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