Bladon Methodist Church is a small Christian community in the Oxfordshire village of Bladon. We have a particular passion for working with young people and are home to one of the largest Junior Churches in Oxfordshire – Bladon Junior Church. Up to 50 children, teenagers and young adults meet every Sunday for worship and a wide range of other activities.
However our premises date back to 1843 and are no longer fit for purpose in the 21st century with limited disabled access, outside toilets, poor kitchen facilities and a desperate lack of space. We are seeking funds to improve and expand the building. Through the redevelopment project we aim to create a flexible worship space, provide extra rooms, create an improved performance space and provide modern, flexible facilities for use by the community.
Youth work is a huge part of our mission, with children and teenagers from Bladon and surrounding villages regularly attending church. This project will give us the space and facilities we need to continue and to develop the work we do with young people. The project will also create additional space in the church itself to give increased flexibility for the special services we lead. Currently, we are unable to fit everyone in at times like Easter, Mothering Sunday, Church Anniversary and Christmas. The new multi-purpose hall will also significantly improve our facilities for the Junior Church's shows and concerts. This remains a significant part of our outreach. Many of our young people are first brought into Junior Church through such events. A more flexible worship space would also enable us to more readily facilitate more creative forms of worship in order to provide new opportunities for people in the village.
The village of Bladon does not have a village hall. Efforts to construct a new hall have failed due to the inability to identify a suitable site within the village. Development of the Methodist Church would provide vital community facilities that would benefit all sections of the village. The building is already occasionally used by local organizations, however, the condition of the building and poor cooking and toilet facilities prevent increased usage. The Oxford Home Education network use the facilities for drama and musical theatre courses and workshops although the lack of space and poor disabled access is hampering this initiative. The potential of the Methodist Church as a community facility, particularly with its central position in the village is an exciting opportunity.
We believe this project can make a real difference not only to our current work but also to the wider community in providing improved facilities for the entire village to enjoy. We have already raised £360,000 through grant applications and local fund-raising, however since the initial tender from the contractor the cost has increased due to difficulties in accessing the very restricted site. We urgently need to raise a further £50,000 in order to complete the project and re-open the church. We really hope you will be able to support us.
For more details about the church and the project please download our business plan
To read about progress with the project to date please visit www.bladonchurch.site
Some of the Junior Church:
The cast of Cats:
A church service: