All three parishes have news about their building projects - so here are some updates!
Edgar Taylor is our contractor to build three new stone cottages on the site of Bob Clow's bungalow on Nethercote Road. All preliminaries are in place, and we now have a start date for work of Easter 2018. It's a bit later than we'd hoped, but it means that everything should be done by November.
We are looking to sell two of the three houses, and retain one which we will rent out. Two houses have three bedrooms, one has four, and all have off-road parking and gardens to the rear. If you search 54 Nethercote Road on West Oxfordshire's planning portal you can see the plans for the houses.
If anyone would be interested in approaching us about buying one of the houses - please do contact the Rector, via the contact page on this website.
St Mary's For Everyone is one project in three parts: 1. Restoration of Medieval stone-work on two windows in the Lady Chapel - making the building sound.
2. Creating Better Access - restoring the lichgate and as we do so, creating step-free access from car park to church. We will also replace the path with resin-bonded gravel, and install some lighting.
3. Interior works: so that the church building can be more widely used by our whole village community, we are installing a loo, a servery, and some storage furniture. We hope also to improve a bit of liturgical space at the same time.
Part one has begun, with Trevor Dean working on the window restoration.
With the help of all sorts of people being very generous, and as we have received many donations from grant giving bodies, we are also well on the way to part two as well.
If you would like to donate to St Mary's For Everyone, please send a cheque to "St Mary's North Aston" at St Mary's For Everyone, c/o The Rectory, Fir Lane, Steeple Aston OX25 4SF.
The Diocesan Advisory Committee came to see the project in August and surprised the PCC by following up their visit with a report that brought suggestions which both came from nowhere and contradicted their previous advice.
The PCC pushed a little, and the DAC responded by sending Rev'd Derek Witchell on a further visit. He came with compromise suggestions, and the PCC were keen to work with these. These suggestions fully take hold of the six principles the PCC have always wanted to follow -
Room for Children
The result of this process is that we are behind on where we'd hoped to be in terms of things happening, but have in front of us proposals we very much want to work with. We are awaiting full DAC responses to these proposals, and if all goes well we hope that we might be able to work out a timetable of achieving permissions for a 2019 build schedule.
In the meantime, the congregation are still raising money. With an amazing £32,000 raised so far for architects fees, reports of all sorts and preliminaries of every kind, we still have bills to pay. And on top of this during Lent 2018 the congregation are coming up with all sorts of creative ways of raising funds to buy some new tables and chairs for the hospitality area: whether the whole project goes ahead or not, we want some of the community work already happening to be better done - for everyone in our village.
If you would like to donate to the Steeple Aston building project, please send a cheque made payable to "Steeple Aston Church" to the Steeple Aston Church Fund, c/o The Rectory, Fir Lane, Steeple Aston, OX25 4SF.