Following a generous grant from the Garfield Weston Foundation and further donations from the village, funds raised for the extension project now total almost £174,500 - £4,500 over the original target. This is a marvellous outcome and, coupled with the provision of a Faculty by the Oxford Diocese which is the final approval hurdle, ensures that the project can now go ahead. The next steps?
Ongoing discussions with the selected contractor are aimed at commencing building work by 1 March with a five month construction period. We have not ceased fundraising as any excess over target gives some comfort in the face of inflationary pressures on building costs, higher than budgeted professional fees and additional fixtures and fittings that may be desired. In the encouraging event that the project is completed for less than the total funds raised, the £15,000 contribution from the Church’s own resources will be reduced accordingly with the excess going towards other building needs such as a new heating system. All grants and donations made by individuals and institutions towards the extension project will be used as intended.
It’s been a great journey
Fundraising started in June 2009 and reaching the target in some two and a half years would not have been possible without tremendous support from the village, through donations and fundraising events. The Appeal Committee is extremely grateful for this patronage and hopes that the events – concerts, sponsored walk, open gardens, safari suppers, midsummer ball, bridge drive, art sales, son et lumiere, pub quizzes and many others – have been enjoyable as well as financially successful. No doubt many of these will continue in the future.
Support can be shown as follows:
St Agatha’s Building Fund 15,000 8.6
Local events 29,886 17.1
Local donations 32,095 18.4
Institutional grants 97,475 55.9Institutional grants
It has been very encouraging that, despite the currently difficult economic environment, charitable and other bodies are willing to support worthy causes. The Committee is most appreciative of these grants:
Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd (WREN) 35,600
Southern Oxfordshire LEADER Scheme 20,000
Oxford Diocese 11,000
Garfield Weston Foundation 8,000
Oxfordshire Historic Churches Fund 7,000
NatWest CommunityForce 6,275
Allchurches Trust 3,000
Church and Community Fund 2,000
Brightwell Community Association 1,300
Brightwell-cum-Sotwell Parish Council 1,000
Archdeacon’s Fund 1,000
Brightwell Free Church 200
Abingdon School 100
While all of these grants are very welcome, perhaps the most satisfying was that from the NatWest CommunityForce Scheme, since it was the consequence of some very hard work by so many in the community in getting people to vote for us.A notable omission?
You may be surprised to see that SODC does not feature in the above list, despite having £500,000 to award to local causes last year. At an early stage in the project visits were made to a number of nearby churches that had built extensions, including those in Elsfield, Goring and Wallingford, to learn from their experiences. In each case a significant grant had been awarded by the SODC Community Investment Fund, ranging from 20% to as high as 45% of the total funding requirement. Last year a presentation of the St Agatha’s project was made to the SODC CIF. Despite sterling support from our own Councillor and from the CIF administration team we were awarded not a penny, while Aston Rowant with a similar proposal received a substantial sum. I hope it is only my cynical nature that suggests councillors were swayed by other issues between SODC and our community!
Once the extension is completed there will be some form of opening ceremony and a donors’ book will record the names of people who have contributed to its funding. Our thanks again to all who have offered support and we encourage everyone to make good use of the new facility when it comes on stream.
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