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

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

Mum-of-two from Oxfordshire leads fight against Ebola

Oxford Mail:

5:43pm Wednesday 17th September 2014

A mum-of-two from Oxfordshire has become the first person in the world to be injected with an Ebola gene as part of a city-led battle against the deadly virus.

Delays for drivers at junction nine of the M40

Oxford Mail: Lorry jackknifes on M40 causing traffic tailbacks

4:37pm Wednesday 17th September 2014

A broken-down car is causing delays on the M40 southbound near Bicester.

Escaped prisoner arrested in Oxford

Oxford Mail:

2:25pm Wednesday 17th September 2014

An escaped prisoner was arrested in Oxford this morning along with a man and a woman.

New: Get Oxford Mail news alerts sent direct to your phone via Whatsapp

Oxford Mail: Whats App logo

11:50am Tuesday 3rd June 2014

OXFORD Mail readers can now sign up to get major breaking news alerts sent direct to their mobile phones with a new service using Whatsapp.

Set for a battle of Blenheim over 1,500 homes plan

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 9th September 2014

RESIDENTS in Woodstock have vowed to “fight until the bitter end” against plans to build up to 1,500 homes east of the town.

Delays of up to 40 minutes on bus services across the county

Oxford Mail: Traffic Alert general

9:00am Tuesday 9th September 2014

STAGECOACH Oxfordshire has warned that passengers face delays of up to 40 minutes this morning.

Comments

Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

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