A SCHEME to completely revamp a South Oxford church is nearing completion.

The £500,000 project at St Luke’s Church in Canning Crescent started in February and is due to be completed in October.

The Rev Jane Sherwood said: “We have got to the stage where the building is coming together quite nicely.

“The roof is finished and the windows are all in and the rooms are beginning to take shape.”

The cash needed for the physical project was collected in full earlier this year.

Now the goal is to raise some £50,000 to fit out the building and prepare for a range of activities.

Ms Sherwood said: “The big project was to build it, while the big project plus is to start to fit it out with equipment and furniture and to provide the community projects we will be setting up.”

Of the money needed, £1,500 has come from Oxfordshire County Council’s Chill Out Fund, with a further £1,900 from Youth Ambitions Fund at Oxford City Council.

Both of those grants will be for specific projects rather than physical fixtures and fittings, for which about £15,000 will be needed.

Ms Sherwood said: “We are still thinking of how to raise funds for fixtures and fittings. We are considering perhaps having a buy a chair fund.”

The revamped church uses large parts of the old building, but is substantially refurbished. It has better storage, better office space, an improved kitchen, disabled toilet facilities and a ‘chill-out’ room.

The biggest donations to the fundraising campaign came from Veolia, which gave £100,000, and WREN, which contributed £75,000. Ms Sherwood said bad weather had left the project about three weeks behind schedule, with opening now likely to be delayed from the beginning of October to the end.

The church has effectively decamped to the South Oxford Christian Centre, with worship and regular activities taking place at the centre in nearby Wytham Street.

Ms Sherwood said: “It has worked as well as it could have done in the circumstances.”

It is planned for a community opening before Christmas and an official opening, hopefully attended by the Right Rev John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford, and major donors, in spring 2014.