Parish hall to be sold to fund £250,000 church upgrade

The Oxford Times: Father John Salter Buy this photo » Father John Salter

A VILLAGE church plans a £250,000 overhaul to let it open all week to community groups.

The Church of the Holy Trinity in Charlton, Wantage, wants to install a new kitchen with a stained glass window, under-floor heating, and disabled toilets.

But to fund the work it would need to sell the parish hall next door, built in 1850 as a school for the then hamlet of Charlton.

The hall has not been a school for 50 years and the cost of insurance and maintenance means it costs more than it earns.

Father John Salter, parish priest, said: “The hall isn’t listed and disabled access is impossible because of a flight of steps.

“Meanwhile the church building has no modern facilities such as disabled toilets.

“The plan is to change the church into a building to be used by the whole community.”

Father Salter is also keeping an eye on the growing population. He has a congregation of 70 who attend mass every Sunday but developers plan to build 1,500 homes in the new Crab Hill estate surrounding Charlton.

Father Salter said: “We are aware of Crab Hill and we need something this end of town.

“The facility we have is less than adequate. I am looking to have a building open seven days a week.”

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If all goes to plan the sale of the parish hall will pay for the renovations at the church.

To sell the hall, Father Salter has applied for permission from Vale of White Horse District Council for the hall to be turned into a home. The council is to decide on January 10.

 

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