A CITY church hosted a national faith debate on the future of the Church’s buildings.

The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev John Pritchard, was one of the keynote speakers at Oxford’s St Mary’s Church discussing the role of the Diocese’s properties.

Sir Barney White-Spunner, executive chairman of Countryside Alliance; Andrew Mackie, Third Church Estates commissioner; and Dame Fiona Reynolds, former director-general of the National Trust, joined the Bishop in the debate.

Bishop John said: “We had a very interesting discussion, this Diocese is massive.

“It has 815 buildings, which is more than any other in the country, but they are very expensive so we have to be realistic.

“It was a very good debate and we all agreed that multi-purpose use of church buildings is very important, they should be used not only for worship but also for things like farmers’ markets, concerts and even food banks and post offices.”

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