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.
Our top stories
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.
12:09am Sunday 5th July 2015
THERE are concerns for the welfare of Mary Davis who went missing from her home earlier today.
8:55am Saturday 4th July 2015
HELEN and Douglas House founder Sister Frances Dominica has been told not to return to the hospices following allegations of historic sexual abuse, it was confirmed today.
8:30am Saturday 4th July 2015
THERE are fears the £75m overhaul of Oxford Railway station may not take place for almost a decade.
8:31am Saturday 4th July 2015
TWO men died last night after the microlight they were flying in crashed at Enstone airfield.
3:48pm Saturday 4th July 2015
THE final five bodies of the Britons killed in the Tunisia terror attack have today been repatriated back to RAF Brize Norton.
2:01pm Saturday 4th July 2015
THESE dramatic pictures of a lightning storm over Woodstock were taken last night.