TODAY a decision will be made about whether a beloved local church should be demolished and rebuilt - but locals are still divided about the matter.

The potential demolition of the Church of the Holy Family, on Cuddesdon Way, in Blackbird Leys, will be discussed this afternoon at Oxford City Council's planning committee meeting. 

Currently, the proposals to demolish the 20th-century church are set to be approved by the planning chiefs.

Read here: Historic church may finally be demolished 

If it is decided the church will be demolished, it could be replaced with a new church, community centre, and 21 homes and flats. 

The plans have been in dispute since 2018, and locals are still split over the matter, while some fear memories will be lost with the demolition, others are embracing the change.

Adele Baker, from Blackbird Leys, said: "I moved here in 1970 Stuart has been here since 1963 it a shame it has to change.

"I went to Sunday school here and since working went here with school children Easter harvest Christmas lots of memories."

Vikki Davies-Smith, also from Blackbird Leys, said: "I am devastated they will be knocking it down, I have too many memories in that church, good and bad but is a place that is very unique and I wish we could keep it, just wish we could redo the roof."

"Trust me if I had the money I’d pay for it to be done."

The Church of the Holy Family in Blackbird Leys first revealed plans to update their building, with new space to rent and flats to sell, in 2018.

The church, built in 1965, is Grade-II listed due to its unusual heart-shaped plan, intricate interior, and timber roof.

The roof, however, had been leaking causing damp, and would cost almost £2 million to replace, which surveyors have said would not be feasible.

Other residents, however, are welcoming in the potential changes to the church site. 

Lee Jackson said: "I hope it’s agreed and a new church is up and running as soon a possible.

Read also: Demolition of Grade II listed church set to be approved 

"The current church holds a place in many people’s hearts from wedding, christening, and funerals.

"But the community needs their church back.

"Speaking for many residents who have wanted their loved one's funeral there."

Alan Campbell, from Blackbird Leys, said: "Terrible design. Remember the good times and look forward to the new build."

The decision will be made this afternoon at 3pm during the Oxford City Council's East Area Planning Committee. 

You can watch the meeting live-streamed on Youtube.