Building to Serve

In recent months at St Mary's, God has been extending our vision to serve the town in an exciting, ambitious and creative way at a time of substantially increasing need for many within our community...

Our vision is two-fold:

1. In our town… to acquire a vacant landmark building on our Market Street (‘The Old Bank’ - formerly the NatWest) and to transform it into a vibrant centre of social activity serving a wide cross-section of the community, and into a visible and accessible source of practical support for some of the most vulnerable in our town;


2. In our church building… to enhance our historic church building, enabling it to serve better as both a place of worship and as a valuable resource for the town, equipped for today’s needs and and for those of future generations, making sure that there is no barrier for anyone, young or old, and regardless of physical impairment. 

We would love you to catch this vision and join us in seeking to transform the lives of those most in need in Chipping Norton!

Artist's impression of church with pews removed

Current status of project (29th November 2019):

In October the final paperwork went through enabling us to exchange and complete on the purchase of the Old Bank on Friday 4th October! On Sunday 6th October, with providential timing, we also launched our 'Building to Serve Campaign'.

Alastair Ewer, our Project Manager, continues overseeing both aspects of the project (St Mary’s itself and the Old Bank) and, with the help and support of our Buildings Team (a subcommittee of the PCC), has commissioned initial design feasibility drawings from Banbury-based architects, Acanthus Clews, for both the church and The Old Bank. These designs are currently on display in the church.  Now that the purchase is complete the next stage is to begin pre-planning preparations in order to submit the plans for various permissions (Planning, Listed Buildings, DAC etc).

Georgina Orchard, our Campaign Director, is now shaping the fundraising campaign, so please be praying for her as she gets stuck into shaping up our appeal. Now that the campaign has been launched, we are seeking to encourage the people of the church (and also the town) to become integral parts of it to share the life-changing love of Jesus, and to serve even more widely in our community.

This project has prayer at its foundations.  For this reason we have established a weekly time of prayer in The Old Bank when we can lay the project before God, seeking his guidance and provision for the vision he has give us to serve the people of Chipping Norton.  Please do come and join us, Mondays 12 to 1pm.  We have installed heaters so we can pray warmly!   Regular requests for prayer are also circulated via the Prayer Tree.  Please contact Georgina or Peter Williams if you would like to recieve these.

Open Day
On Wednesday 11th December we are inviting members of the public into The Old Bank to find out more about the vision for this project, our detailed plans, and share their views with us.  Please do feel free to come along and invite others to come too.  The doors will be open from 10 to 12pm and 5 to 7pm.  This forms a part of the consultations that we are having with all stakeholders in this exciting project.  We have already had extremely encouraging conversations West Oxfordshire District Council, Cottsway Housing Association, the Police and Crime Commissioners, primary and secondary schools, the Mayor, the Town Council and St Mary's church congregation regarding the scope of our vision to serve the town and local area through the Old Bank.  

In the comming months we will also be making approaches to individuals and corporations who may be in a position to provide substantial sponsorship for this project, as well as making detailed applications for financial support through local grants and trusts. We will continue to provide updates about plans and further developments here.  

If you have any questions or suggestions about how to support the campaign either practically or financially, or have specific questions about the details of the project please do contact Georgina on  She will be delighted to hear from you.

Buildings Team:

1. Alastair Ewer (Project Manager)

2. Georgina Orchard (Campaign Director)

3. Tim Woolcock (Churchwarden)

4. Graham Povey (Churchwarden)

5. Mary Smith (PCC)

6. Bill Rees (PCC)

7. Nick Grant

Ex officio: James Kennedy (Vicar)

[The Buildings Team is a subcommittee of the PCC, reporting at each meeting, but with delegated responsibility for operational decisions]


What's happening soon?

Men United Curry Club Sun 23rd Feb Spice of India, Chipping Norton More info
Lent Supper Wed 4th Mar The Methodist Church More info
Women's Breakfast Sat 7th Mar The Crown and Cushion More info