Project St Michael's Appeal Launch Party

September 28th 2012

The Bells were rung by our brilliant Bell Tower from 6 00pm and Bishop Colin gave the address in a brief service at 6 30pm. The Appeal for the Repairs to St Michael’s was then launched by two brief presentations and the school entertained us with a song and violin solo.

Then it was party-time proper with free wine, beer and juices, and finger food, and more music. People (130 in all) dropped in for all or part of the evening to learn about progress, enjoy the hospitality and meet friends and neighbours.

The Bishop, Colin Fletcher, Bishop of Dorchester, also blessed a beautiful banner designed by schoolchildren and also a plaque commemorating the bellringing on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, honouring the wish of the daughter of its captain who lived in Leafield.

Last year we renewed and extended the underground drainage of the church. Currently we are completing the first stage of a two stage project to recover the north and south aisle roofs, together with the south chapel, organ chamber and vestry roofs, the repair of the rainwater goods, replacement of the roof boarding inside the church and re-pointing of stonework.

The stage one work this year is costing £32,000. English Heritage gave us a grant of £24,000 towards this. The repairs planned for next year will cost £293,000. For these we have promises of a grant of £171,000 from the LHF/EH Funds, of £50,000 from WREN and of £5,000 from the Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust. Further, the VAT bill for the repairs of £46,000 is 100% reclaimable from the government Listed Places of Worship grant scheme.

So we are left with £21,000 to find. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure the fabric of our wonderfully iconic Parish Church of St Michael and All Angels for a hundred years.

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St Michael's Church - Leafield - Oxfordshire - OX29 9PG