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Church and community projects awarded over £167k

Nine parishes, across the Thames Valley, have been awarded grants to support a range of local church and community projects including feasibility studies, new youth, children and families workers, and new facilities for community hubs.

The Development Fund, now in its thirteenth round, assists churches across the Diocese of Oxford to provide vital support for their communities and meet the needs of the growing population in the Thames Valley. Churches are encouraged to explore and engage with their local contexts to be a more Christ-like Church for the sake of God’s world, to discern where God is at work in their communities, and to be missionally creative and sustainable in response to local challenges.
In Maidenhead, a grant will support the installation of new furnishings in the chapel at Altwood Church of England Secondary School to help create a warm and welcoming space for pastoral care and school chaplaincy. 

The Revd Jo Ellington, Chaplain at the school, said:

“The grant from the Development Fund means we can make the chapel at Altwood C of E secondary school a much warmer and welcoming and hospitable place for the school and its lunchtime chapel and chats for spiritual growth and Christian discipleship. 

“It will be exciting to see how the change in environment will affect the change in depth of conversation and connection. I showed the pupils the plans again last week and they were very excited!”

St Mary’s, Black Bourton, aims to become a community hub for the community with the help of a grant to cover the cost of installing a kitchen, WC, mains water and drainage. The new facilities will make the church more accessible to the community and improve outreach. 

Lawrence Clark, Churchwarden at St Mary’s, shares the background to the project:

“As the only community building in the village, St Mary’s attracts many visitors to its 13th Century murals, 60 war graves and over 500 graves and memorials in the adjacent Carterton cemetery. The church is also a focus for celebrations, meetings, entertainment and self-improvement in the village. 

“From an extensive survey it was clear that the village needed a year-round multipurpose community facility that could serve as a village hall when not being used for worship. The addition of new amenities, mains water and drainage will enable us to sustain the provision and continue serving the community for the long term.”

Notes to Editors

For media enquiries, please contact Madeleine Hayden / 07880 716 761 in the press office. 

About the Development Fund

The Development Fund was launched in 2019 to enable missional creativity and assist churches in the Diocese of Oxford with their vision to become more Christ-like and support their local communities. Since its launch, the fund has donated over £3 million to more than 170 local church projects across the Diocese of Oxford. 

  • St Peter’s, Chavley – Feasibility study for the adaptation of St Peter's Church to meet the current needs of a diverse and disadvantaged area. 
  • St Mary’s, Chalgrove – installation of a permanent screen projector to support growth in community outreach and engagement.
  • All Saints Boyne Hill – flexible furnishing for the school chapel to create a warm and welcoming space for pastoral care and Altwood School Chaplaincy.
  • Church on Berryfields (Aylesbury Parish) – new youth leader and children and families leader to build stronger relationships and grow discipleship with families outside of the church.
  • St Francis of Assist, Terriers – developing plans for a new kitchen and toilet facilities, upgrades to the church hall, to grow church outreach.
  • St Mary and St Berin, Berinsfield – Christmas outreach workshop for children and families to increase knowledge of the gospel and strengthen relationships with the community.
  • St John’s Crowthorne – relaunching Crowthrone Summer Activities to enable greater engagement with local children and families.
  • Goring and Streatley with South Stoke – employing a Children and Families worker to lead children and families to know the love of God and grow in faith.
  • St Mary’s, Black Bourton – installing a kitchen, WC, mains water and drainage, to turn the church into a community hub.
Page last updated: Friday 14th July 2023 12:15 PM
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