Oratory Church Restoration Fund


An architectural report on our house, church and related buildings in Spring 2012 confirmed that our beautiful church had suffered over the years from rain coming through the roof damaging not only the roof itself but also the interior of the church, including the mosaics and tiled floors. In November 2012, to help to finance these extensive works, which will ultimately cost in the region of £400,000 we began the Oratory Church Restoration Fund which to date has raised over £157,000.

In addition to fundraising, we also began seeking funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). In June 2016 we received confirmation that we had been successful in our bid to receive funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help restore the North Aisle Roof, which has suffered most from lead theft and related leaks over recent years. We have been awarded up to £74,800 which represent 64% of the projected cost of £117,400. We in turn will contribute just over £24,000 from the Church Restoration Fund. We envisage that the remainder will come from VAT rebates. We have already spent just under £8,000 from the Restoration Fund in architect’s fees for preparatory work on the North Aisle Project. We will also have to spend an additional £3,600 to complete long-term repairs necessitated by the 2014 lead theft. We hope work on the North Aisle Roof will begin in early August 2016.

As part of our partnership with the HLF, the Oratory has undertaken to make the history and heritage of our beautiful church better and more widely known. The first heritage activity, partly funded by the HLF, was the Somme 100 exhibition in the Upper Cloister Hall which was opened on Saturday 18 June at 10am by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Carl Rice.  The exhibition ran daily until Saturday 25 June. In due course we will also revise our church guidebook, produce a new Oratory church trail in a variety of languages and in Autumn 2016 inaugurate a weekly scheduled guided tours.

We offer our sincere thanks to all who have already contributed to the Oratory Church Restoration Fun. We are delighted to have secured the support of the HLF for the North Aisle Roof but still rely on the generosity of parishioners, friends and benefactors. Please give whatever you can. It is always better if your donations can be Gift-Aided, so that we can reclaim the tax. The Fathers and Brothers offer holy Mass and pray regularly for the intentions of all our benefactors, living and departed.


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