Saturday 28 April 2012

New Building: Week 7 - A hole in the wall

The foundations of the new accommodation block are finished, and more bricks are arriving each day. The walls should start to materialise very soon.

Last week we showed you the gap where the stairs used to be. This week we can show the the gap where the wall next to them used to be.

...and here is where the wall has gone

...and, yes, that's the window that was in the wall.

Part of the new work is to straighten the wall out so that the stairs open directly into the outside world. This will give the fathers access to their bedrooms upstairs without having to go through the Parish centre.

Monday 23 April 2012

A Cardinal Patron

We are very pleased to announce a new patron of our fundraising campaign: His Eminence, George Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney.

Cardinal Pell is a graduate of Oxford University. As part of his visit to the city in 2009, he celebrated Mass for the beatification of Blessed John Henry Newman in our church.

He writes:

“I have very many happy memories of the Catholic student community at Oxford from my own time there, and I am only too happy to endorse the appeal as a way of acknowledging the splendid tradition of the Oratorians at Oxford and the many blessings they have brought to Catholic life at the University. I am particularly pleased to see that the spirit of Blessed John Henry Newman continues to be preserved and transmitted at England's greatest university.”

New Building: Week 6 - Asbestos and Stairs

Here is a view of the finished foundations, complete with drains.

There was some asbestos left in the building that had to be taken out. In the papers that were cleared out of the Parish centre before the work started, we have just discovered the health and safety report that said the asbestos had to be put in!

The stairs of the Parish centre have been chopped off half way down at the bend in the staircase. The new staircase, which will lead to the accommodation, will go in a straight line, coming out to a new, separate doorway next to the entrance to the Parish centre.

Meanwhile, the temporary partition in the upper room has been taken down. It was previously a storage room for the overflow from the sacristy and library. This is where the librarian's office will be in the new library.

Monday 16 April 2012

Campaign Total: £2,124,734.23

The total raised so far is:


Sunday 15 April 2012

New Building: Week 5 - Drains and Bricks

The drains being dug into the foundations:

Preparations for the new lift:

A new window behind the old bar of the Parish centre:

...and the first delivery of bricks:

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Information Functions

The Fathers of the Oxford Oratory would like to invite you to attend an Information Function for the Reaffirmation & Renewal Campaign. These Information Functions are a chance for you to learn a bit more about our building and fundraising projects. There is a short, informal presentation and an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. All are very welcome.

The upcoming dates are:

  • Wednesday 18th April at 8:00pm
  • Saturday 28th April at 2:00pm
  • Friday 18th May at 8:00pm
  • Wednesday 30th May at 3:00pm

Numbers are limited to allow plenty of opportunity for questions and feedback, though you are welcome to bring guests. To book a place, please e-mail Fr Nicholas at or phone 01865 315 816.

Presentations take place in the Guild Room, which can be accessed via the Lodge.

Sunday 8 April 2012

New Building: Week 4 - Pumping Concrete

Last week, the builders finished digging the foundations.

Then lots of pipes arrived…

…and a truck-ful of concrete…

…which was pumped through the pipes…

…through the Parish centre…

…into the foundations!

Now the work above ground can begin!

Wednesday 4 April 2012

New Campaign Website

If you haven't noticed it already, take a look at our new Campaign website:

It's not just a new look — there are new pages telling you all about our building projects and how we are funding them.

Once you're there, you can even subscribe to the latest news updates via e-mail.

Monday 2 April 2012

New Building: Week 3 - Still digging

Digging of the foundations is now nearly complete. The concrete will arrive early in week 4 to build the foundations, and then the bricks will arrive.

This is good news. Not only are we making good progress, but we are on schedule — we promised Somerville College that we'd have all the noisy work done before the students get back next term.

The window at the east end on the ground floor of the Parish centre has now been taken out, and the wall beneath it removed too. The same will happen to the window at the west end. This will make it easier to get building materials and equipment straight through to the building site. Once the new building is done, the west window will become the new bar. The east window will be replaced by french windows that will allow parties to spread outside in the summer.