The church has no permanent heating so expensive electric bar heaters and portable gas heaters are used, however the lack of central heating means the premises are continuously damp in the winter. The vestry and kitchen are poorly constructed and in a very sorry state of decoration. The outside toilet facilities were added to the church in the early 20th century and are in an extremely poor condition. The majority of the building is not easily accessible for the disabled and in particular there are no disabled toilet facilities.
During Junior Church there is inadequate room for the children to split up into separate age groups. There is also a lack of storage in the building for teaching materials, song books, arts and crafts materials, costumes, properties and scenery. For shows and concerts the building is even more inadequate with the audience entering via a torturous route through the vestry and a narrow door. Meanwhile there are no changing facilities for the cast and currently we rely on using a neighbouring property.
We plan to demolish the vestry, kitchen and toilets and replace them with a new two storey building. The lower floor will provide kitchen facilities, increased storage space and male, female and disabled toilets. The upper floor will consist of two meeting rooms separated by a partition wall to allow them to be used as one large room.
A new entrance directly from the street will give a more welcoming entrance to the building. Part of the existing schoolroom will be used to create a new foyer area.
The church itself will be adapted into a multi purpose hall, with permanent staging and improved facilities for shows and concerts whilst remaining suitable for our services.
Once the project gets underway then full details will be posted on the website so please check back regularly for updates. Meanwhile please consider joining the Friends scheme to support the work of the church in our village.
It costs a lot of money to keep Bladon Methodist Church running. Every year we have to pay in excess of £2,000 as part of our annual ‘assesment’ to The Methodist Church of Great Britain. In addition to this we have insurance, utility bills, maintenance and repair costs as well as a variety of other expenses. In the past our expenses were covered by the weekly offering from our congregation and church membership.
In recent years, although the church is flourishing with a large and active Junior Church, the regular adult congregation has steadily declined and for the last few years the church has been running at a deficit of several hundred pounds per year. Unless action is taken the church will be bankrupt within two to three years.
To help meet the running costs of the church we launched The Friends of Bladon Methodist Church. We hope that parents of children currently attending Junior Church, those whose children have benefitted from attending Junior Church in the past or anyone else who supports the work of the church in the village will consider joining the Friends scheme.
To join The Friends all you need to do is complete a simple application form. There is no obligation to make a financial commitment, just demonstrating your support for the church by becoming a Friend will help. However if you feel you are able to make a small but regular donation it will be really appreciated.
The Friends will benefit the church in other ways. We are also planning to redevelop and refurbish the church premises, which you can read more about below. When we apply for grants it will help if we can show that the church is not running at a loss every year. Also the number of Friends will show the level of support the church has in the community.
If you feel you are able to become a Friend then please download and complete the following form: