A church in Charlbury has welcomed a grant from the Oxford Diocese development fund.

The fund has awarded grants totalling £100,000 to eight churches, across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, to support a range of local church and community projects including a healing garden and youth work to help combat knife crime.

A new kitchen and baby changing facilities are being provided at St Mary’s in Charlbury.

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The upgrade will include an accessible toilet with baby changing facilities to provide better amenities for the congregation and many tourists, visitors, and concert goers to the church.

Paddy Gallagher, churchwarden at St Mary’s, speaking about the background to the new facilities, said: “St Mary’s is a very active church and used widely by people in the town including a weekly cafe and music and choir concerts, but at present our facilities are limited and don’t meet the needs of users of the church.

“This grant from the development fund will mean the church is more accessible to people in the local community as well as enabling us to host more events and church groups to reach out to more people in the town.”

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The development fund 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.

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF