WORK on an extension to a North Oxford church is to begin after its congregation helped to raise more than £2m.
St Andrew’s Church, in Linton Road, was granted planning permission for the work by Oxford City Council in May 2012.
The church has been raising funds for a two-storey extension christened the Jubilee Project.
Work is to begin in the next week and it is set to be completed by October.
The Very Rev Robert Key, Dean of Jersey, and a former vicar of St Andrew’s, dug the first turf.
The extension will include a new hall, large meeting space, meeting and youth rooms, creche, kitchen, café area and offices.
It will be connected to the existing church through a glazed corridor, to double as a concourse.
The church community has helped to raise £2.1m for the work.
Project leader Alistair Booth said: “The extension along the south side of the church will used for all the church activities.
“On average about 100 people a day use the church Monday to Saturday, from lunch clubs to toddlers to congregation members, then on Sunday about 800 people use the church.
“In our parish there is no community centre, so at the moment we have to use sites like Wolfson College. We have outgrown the size of our buildings in their present form.”
Mr Booth, of Wheatley, added: “It’s down to the effort of the church congregation that we have raised more than £2m.
“The donations have come from past and present members.
Rev Andrew Wingfield Digby, vicar of St Andrew’s, said: “Our building urgently needs an annex to welcome in and serve all the people God is bringing to us in the 21st century.
“I truly believe this annex will be a great resource for Christian mission and service in our community for generations to come.”
Charles Darby, director of the Grove Street architects MEB Designs, said: “A vast amount of the money raised has come from within the church community.
“There has been a huge fundraising effort.
“It is a very committed congregation.”
The work is not yet over.There are two more phases to improve facilities and fit out the kitchen and café.
The church is continuing to fundraise. Visit standrewsoxford.org