The historic medieval church of St Peter and St Paul in Swalcliffe is set to benefit from some new facilities to help it become a real community hub again.
The improvement project is set to become a reality thanks to successful fundraising by the village, some generous individual donations and three very timely grants.
The church PCC has just been awarded £5,000 from the Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust, £5,000 from the local Banbury Charities fund and £10,000 from The National Churches Trust.
In a recent survey of all Swalcliffe residents, 80 per cent of respondents said they see the church building as a community asset and want it to be used more often for village concerts and events.
With encouragement from the Oxford Diocese to revitalise the life of our historic churches, Swalcliffe PCC made it its mission to transform the church into a more attractive venue and make it central to the life of the community beyond a place of worship.
Vicar Rev Ronald Hawkes commented: “Swalcliffe Church is a beautiful building that deserves to be enjoyed by the local community as well as the large number of visitors that come to admire its fine architectural features
“I am delighted that we are now on our way to achieving our mission to make it fit for use in the 21st century.
“With the funding now secured, work to construct a toilet and a kitchen/servery in the church will commence soon and hopefully be completed ready for the popular Christmas Market on December 5.”
Swalcliffe is one of only 36 churches and chapels to be awarded a grant this year by the National Churches Trust.