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Church reopens after £400k renovation
A CHURCH in Stokenchurch, which was closed for six months, has undergone a £400,000 refurbishment.
St Peter and St Paul's will be back open for worship this weekend after being closed for all services in March this year.
The nave floor has been levelled to enable access for people of all abilities; the decaying pews have been replaced with oak benches; a new heating system has been installed; a vestry has been added into the north aisle; the pre-Victorian balcony has been reinstated; and a kitchen has been installed under the tower.
At the same time the church room was extended – doubling its size – and new storage and toilet facilities were added.
This Sunday at 3:30pm the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev John Pritchard, will open church.
A significant portion of the funds to carry out the restoration came from legacies left to the church by Joan and Sidney Alyes and Mildred Tranter.
The church also received some small grants from the Allchurches Trust, the Bucks Community Fund, the Garfield Weston Trust and the Stokenchurch Educational Charity.
And nearly a quarter of the money came directly from members of the church and community.
As part of the opening celebrations the Bishop of Oxford will be unveiling a community mosaic- over the summer the church worked with Jane Stevens, a mosaic artist, to produce a design that reflected both the church and our community.
The design includes several local features – the tower, the cutting, Red Kites, and of course, the church.
Then in August more than 100 people, aged between two and 92, turned out to help put it together. It has been placed on one of the inside walls of the new church room as a symbol of the church and community working together.
Rev Dr Alistair France said: "We are really excited at being back in our church building and starting to use it in new and creative ways to serve God and to reach our local community. The opening service, for us, is a special part of this, and we are expecting to see a full church to celebrate our re-opening."
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