Oratory150: Plan of Works
Our church will be 150 years old in 2025, and we want to restore it to its lost beauty. To prepare for the future of our thriving ministry in Oxford we are embarking on the following major works.
We are currently fundraising for Phase 1. We need to complete this work before we can put the finishing touches to our plans for the later stages, but the architect’s plans for the later phases have all received the necessary planning permissions.
We are working again with ADAM Architecture, who designed our beautiful new altar for the Sacred Heart chapel in 2019, and Cliveden Conservation, who worked on uncovering the test patches of decoration in the sanctuary in 2022.
Phase 1: Restoring the sanctuary murals
We will uncover and restore Gabriel Pippet’s murals of the life of St Aloysius in the sanctuary. This first stage will unlock all the key information for the decorative scheme which we will reinstatethroughout the church.
Work on this phase is beginning soon. Read more here.
Phase 2: Sanctuary & Sacristy
The original altar was removed in the 1960s making the dignified celebration of the liturgy more challenging. We will restore the original plan of the sanctuary with a beautiful new high altar.
Meanwhile, the sacristy has developed structural problems and its flat roof is failing. The new plans provide a modern and carefully planned sacristy, doubling the floor space and storage.
Phase 3: Restoring the nave, new heating & lighting
In this phase we will install more efficient underfloor heating, replace the electrical wiring that has reached the end of its working life and install LED lighting throughout the church. We will uncover the natural stone and beautiful panels of Italian marble, which have been covered in modern paint since the 1950s.
We will re-render the interior with lime plaster and replace broken and damaged stonework. We will also commission and install a new pipe organ in this phase of work.
Phase 4: Little Oratory & Baptistery
We will extend our church with a new baptistery and Little Oratory, a chapel dedicated to St John Henry Newman, and complete necessary repairs to external masonry.
Help us complete Phase 1: Uncovering the Sanctuary Murals.