In 2020, St Giles’ Church will celebrate its 900th anniversary. We want to do this in a style which respects the spirit of our church. Plans are being drawn up for our anniversary year in which we rejoice in the diversity of the life of the church and its inclusivity. This is your invitation to become involved with the celebrations and our plans to serve the needs of the community as it reshapes itself in the coming years.
THE LIFE OF ST GILES’ CHURCH
Through its long history, our church of St Giles has been a centre of worship and it continues to be so today. St Giles’ church is a lively centre, rejoicing in a diversity of musical activities of high standard for all ages. In its lunchtime talks, it discusses spiritual topics and engages with the social issues of the present day. St Giles is the patron saint of wanderers and the homeless and so the parish continues to be actively engaged with homelessness and works closely with the Gatehouse charity. All aspects of the life of St Giles’ will feature in our plans for our 900th anniversary year.
CARING FOR THE BUILDING
Historic buildings like St Giles’ require a continual programme of maintenance. In the past twenty years, we have retiled the roofs of the chancel and the Lady chapel, replaced the heating system, retuned and rehung the peal of bells, along with many other repairs and improvements to beneﬁt worshippers in the church, visitors to events, talks, concerts and other activities. The starting point of the building work for Project 900 will be the retiling of the roof over the northern vestry area at a cost of around £120,000.
The second phase will be the removal of the nineteenth-century organ as this instrument is close to the end of its useful working life and has been assessed as being not worthy of repair. Our aim is to replace the current instrument with a new purpose-built organ, which is necessary if St Giles’ is to maintain the high standard of its music and also its work as a training centre for choristers and musicians playing keyboard instruments.
The installation of a new organ will release space both under the tower and in the northern vestry. We plan to create a room above the kitchen for discussion
groups and teaching and a storage room under the tower and behind the organ. While the organ is out of the building we will also have the opportunity to redecorate the church.
LINKS WITH THE WIDER CHURCH
St Giles’ is looking outward and is developing connections with the wider church. In 1919, this took the form of supporting the rebuilding of St Giles’ Church in Estevan, Canada. Over the last twenty years, links have emerged with both the Oratory at St Aloysius and Littlemore. More recently we have been forming links with Bankeryd parish in the Vaxjo diocese of Sweden. Our aim is to develop these links so that we broaden the perspective of our parish in the world-wide community of churches.
We aim to raise £900,000 to cover the costs of the proposed works.We will apply to a variety of funding sources, including grant-giving trusts and gifts from individuals. As a ﬁ rst step towards this goal (which we know is ambitious), we aim to raise £100,000 before St Giles’ Day 2017 from people associated with the life of St Giles’ Church, past and present. This ﬁrst phase of fundraising will show our commitment to Project 900’s investment in the future and provide evidence of support when asking for assistance from outside funding agencies. In this way, we can start our shared endeavour to celebrate our 900th anniversary in a very positive manner.
Can you help us reach our initial target?
If you would like to make a donation to Project 900, you can:
• Send a cheque to: St Giles’ PCC (Project 900)
Please send cheques and Gift Aid declarations to:
St Giles’ Treasurer, c/o The Vicarage, Church Walk, OX2 6LY
• make a payment online:
bank details – St. Giles’ PCC Oxford: Acc No. 00017039. Sort Code: 40 52 40.
Registered Charity no. 1135236