Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Quarry Residents Still Dubious About Alterations to C.S. Lewis's Parish Church

The Friends of Headington Quarry held a meeting on November 12th where the vicar expounded his revised plan for an extension to Holy Trinity Church. 


There was still a lot of opposition to these plans, and it was clear that many local residents whose relatives are buried in the churchyard had attended the meeting specifically to protest against the scheme. Several people said that the new building would disturb or destroy the resting-places of their loved ones in an insensitive way.


The vicar claimed that the new building could be somehow erected from inside, without disturbance to the dozen or so graves immediately outside the line of the planned new wall. There was general scepticism about this. Most people thought that any building needs foundations, particularly when built in an area such as Quarry, notorious for subsidence and suffering from chronic flooding problems. To build foundations would mean digging down deep and necessarily going beyond the line of the projected wall. A committee member noted that when the neighbouring school was extended, the piles had to go down 14 metres into the ground. 
The case for repairing the vestry roof was the only one that was not controversial. One person suggested putting the new disabled-access toilet here on the ground floor, and then building a meeting room directly above it. Others queried whether the northern fire-exit of the planned building would invite people to walk right over their family graves. They thought the scheme still needed shrinking further. The vicar estimated that the building would cost £400,000. Since most building projects cost about twice the original estimate, if the plans ever get the go-ahead after all the diocese and city council vetting procedures, we ought not to be surprised if the final bill is nearer a million. Rather a lot of cake sales. 

You can write to Canon David Knight at: 12 Bankside, Headington Quarry, OX3 8LT or <davidcknight45@gmail.com> by no later than 28th November with comments on
these plans. Any comments received will be considered by the buildings sub-committee.

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