Friday, 03 December 2021

Extension of church approved

AN extension will be carried out at the church in Bix to turn it into a community hub.

The parochial church council at St James’s Church originally submitted the plans in 2018 and received consent from South Oxfordshire District Council.

The work, which will involve the creation of a new kitchen and toilet block, never started and so the permission expired.

An identical application was submitted in June, which has been approved by the district council.

It will cost roughly £330,000 to complete the project and about 75 per cent of this has already been achieved.

The church council says: “We believe that with these changes, we can better provide a church for the modern community, increase its usage by a wide range of local villagers and community groups and provide the meeting space hub they currently lack.

“This will truly establish St James’s as fit for future purpose and preserve the heritage of this wonderful building.

“We believe the church can continue to provide opportunities for spiritual growth and religious observance, but also as a venue fit for the future, helping us to build a deeper and more united community.”

The church council decided to focus on improving the church after it sold the village hall to the parish council in 2009.

Bix Montessori School became the primary user of the hall which secured the future of the venue but this has meant there is now nowhere for other children and community groups to use. 

The church council says it can solve this problem by extending the church. It said: “We see the potential for this wonderful building to meet the current unmet need of our local population and serve as a multi-purpose community hub.”

The church was built in 1874 as the original Norman church at Bix Bottom was replaced by a new building at the top of the hill.

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