IT HAS taken more than 100 years, but a North Oxford church looks set to be finally finished.

A decision was made when St Michael and All Angels’ Church, in Lonsdale Road, was built in 1909 to cut short its nave and erect a temporary west wall due to lack of funds.

Since then the Grade II listed church has never been “finished”, with succesive vicars feeling it was not necessary – until now.

Now Rev Gavin Knight has taken on the project as he wants to expand the church’s role in the community and felt he could combine this with completing the 105-year-old buidling.

An exhibition will be held today for North Oxford residents to view the designs for an extension – estimated to cost £650,000 – that will complete the west end.

Both the Diocese of Oxford and English Heritage have been consulted on the plans.

Rev Knight said: “It will finally finish off the building and we are quite excited. It is a beautiful church, but parishioners who built it simply ran out of money.

“We want people to know about this project so we can hear their views. The designs are meant to blend with the old design but also feel contemporary.”

Most of the designs have now been through the “pre-planning” stages, he added, and a formal application is due to be submitted to Oxford City Council.

The extension, which Rev Knight has called “The Threshhold”, is also being seen as a way for St Michael and All Angels' Church to interract with residents.

It will add toilets, a kitchen, offices, storage and a meeting room. Parishioners first started raising money to build the church in 1904, to replace St John’s Church, which was too small for them.

Work started on St Michael and All Angels’ in 1908 and on February 11, 1909, a foundation stone was laid. It was finished the same year, but only after the decision was taken not to complete the west side.

English Heritage spokeswoman Debbie Hickman said: “We accept that St Michael and All Angels’ Church which is listed at Grade II, was never finished to its original design and that this gives it a curious shape today.

“Providing new facilities in a modern extension is acceptable so long as its main lines are respected.

s The exhibition will take placefrom 10am to 1pm.

For more details, or to take part in the survey, email

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