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Praying for time
A CONGREGATION is launching a £65,000 appeal to replace rotting floor beams threatening to collapse at their church.
Large wooden beams resting on the earth under Holy Trinity Church in Wood Green, Witney, are slowly being eaten away and need replacing.
Part of the church has now been cordoned off and the floor could eventually collapse if not fixed.
Parishioners originally estimated the work would cost about £14,000 but architects have now set the price at £65,000.
Church treasurer Kate Lockwood said: “It is disappointing because it is a very dull way to spend money.
“If someone said you have £65,000 to spend we would much rather spend it on something more interesting than just changing the floor.
“But at the same, I feel each generation that comes along has a responsibility to do what needs doing and leave it in a better state for the next one.
“It just seems the floor needs doing when it is our turn.”
She added: “The building itself is sound, and the suggestion from the architect is the floor will not collapse suddenly – but it is going.
“Time is definitely an element and we are hoping to get it done this year. We have not been given a time limit, just told to get on and do it.”
So far £20,000 has been raised, including £5,000 from the Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust and £15,000 from the congregation itself.
The church held an auction in October that raised £3,500. Donated items included a bottle of House of Commons whisky signed by David Cameron, an England supporters’ shirt signed by Theo Walcott and two framed coins by Jonathan Olliffe, who designed the 50p pieces celebrating the London Olympics.
Parishioners now plan to go to more trusts, and appeal to the wider Witney community to help raise the remaining money.
Mrs Lockwood said: “I think the church is very much the centre of Wood Green – architecturally, spiritually and socially.
“It is an attractive listed building and nobody wants to see it replaced with a block of flats.”
Apart from services, the 160-year-old church hosts functions, concerts and a regular Thursday toddler group.
The church was also the inspiration for Miss Read’s Thrush Green book series and receives tours from the Miss Read Society.
The church will host a cheese and wine event to launch the new fundraising appeal on April 12 from 7pm.