Monday, 4 February 2013

No Major Change to C.S. Lewis's Church

It seems that the PCC at Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry, has decided not to pursue its scheme to build a major extension to the church building. There will be changes and adaptations inside but they will be kept to a minimum. That is a relief to many local people who did not want their family graves built over.
    The church is a small one with a villagey feel, partly due perhaps to the yew trees in the churchyard. It is not very old, only Victorian, but designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, and made special by the fact that C.S. Lewis attended it for thirty years and is buried there. There is going to be a C.S. Lewis Festival at Holy Trinity this year on the 19th-22nd September, which is the 50th anniversary of his death.

To me it seemed extraordinary for the church to contemplate spending sums in the region of £600,000 + on an extension at a time when there is so much austerity and hardship with people losing their jobs and their homes. We are told that 128,000 people in the UK now rely on food banks. How is this possible in a supposedly advanced Western society? Only by dint of having a series of grossly incompetent and irresponsible governments.
If there are charities that can  raise anything like that sort of of money for a church extension, how about donating it to one of these worthy causes. For a start there is this homeless people's charity in Oxford:--

A favourite charity of mine is Help for Homeless Veterans:-

Around 10,000 ex-service personnel are homeless in this country. Former soldiers and airmen with front line experience are now unable to find a job and often suffering mental or physical injury as a result of their stint in the army. They are lucky to get a place in a hostel and if they can't's the streets. H4HV tries to find homes for them and when it can't house them it provides winter survival kits for those sleeping rough. Sometimes ex-servicemen do manage to get a council house or flat but have no furniture or bedding. H4HV can supply second-hand furniture and equipment donated by supporters. It also offers help writing a CV and coping with job applications, and H4HV even has a scheme in Yorkshire where they are renovating a row of derelict cottages to provide homes for ex-servicemen.
The group Soldiers Off the Street (S.O.T.S.) does similar work specifically in Liverpool.

Then looking further afield we could support persecuted Christians in Nigeria where churches are being bombed or burnt down by Boko Haram and people murdered or made homeless just because of their faith.

OpenDoors Charity for persecuted Christians:-

There are so many more urgent causes at this moment than a church building extension.

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