The Oxford Oratory's ‘Reaffirmation & Renewal’ Campaign started in 2007. The aim is to raise £5 million in order to carry out extensive building work and renovation on the Church and its associated buildings.
So far, we have:
- Restored the Lady Chapel of the Church (in 2007)
- Repaired and redecorated the Sanctuary of the Church, which had been damaged by damp (2008–2009)
- Cleaned and repaired the 52 statues of the Reredos behind the High Altar (2008–2009)
- Fitted new energy-efficient lighting in the Sanctuary (in 2009)
- Repaired and restored the Relic Chapel (in 2009)
- Repaired and replaced flooring in the Church that had been damaged by damp (in 2010)
- Built the Shrine of Blessed John Henry Newman (in 2010)
There is still a lot to do!
In the Church, we still need to:
- Redecorate the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes (work to begin in 2012)
- Redecorate the ceiling of the nave
- Restore the Sacred Heart Chapel
- Redecorate the remaining parts of the Church
Over time, the parish rooms and office have become run down and inadequate for supporting the some 1000 people who attend Mass here on a Sunday. Our library is too small for the 10,000 volumes we now own, and inaccessible to the public. There are now 9 Oratorians living in a house designed to hold 8 people.
So in 2012 we plan to:
- Build a new accommodation block containing 5 bedrooms, to relieve pressure in the house and to let us accept new members, students and visitors
- Build a new parish office, and a new kitchen and bar for the existing parish hall
- Redecorate the parish hall and install new heating and proper insulation
- Convert the upper floor of the existing parish centre into a library
Once those steps are completed, we hope to:
- Build a new chapel dedicated to Blessed John Henry Newman, the founder of the English Oratory
- Build a new baptistery to house the font and provide a worthy space for performing baptisms
- Build a new cloister, or cortile, linking the Newman Chapel with the parish centre, to provide an outdoor space for parish events
We have planning permission for all of our building work! The most important thing now is that we raise the money we need to complete it.