EMMANUEL Church in Bure Park is looking forward to a bright future after being made an equal partner in the Bicester family of churches.
Emmanuel was established in 2002 as an offshoot of St Aldate’s and St Ebbe’s in Oxford, and has now been granted its own parish by Church of England commissioners and St Edburg’s Church.
Although based in Bure Park School for the moment, a new £1.5million church centre is under construction just across the road, and should be ready in late 2012.
The Rt Rev Colin Fletcher, Bishop of Dorchester, visited the site on Tuesday afternoon.
He said: “It’s the first new parish and new church building we’ve created in Oxfordshire this century, and they’ve done a fantastic job so far.
“It’s costing £1.5million, and they’ve raised coming up to £1million so far.
“It’s enough to build the shell and ground floor, and the first floor will follow when they’ve raised the money.”
Church warden Roger Winson said: “Bure Park School has been a great provision, but as we grow it will be helpful to have more space, as well as a hall for use by the community.”
Team rector at St Edburg’s Church, the Rev Canon Theresa Scott, said Emmanuel’s recently-retired vicar Chris Boyce had left a great legacy for his successor.
She added: “They’re very much a part of the Anglican team of churches, and we work very closely together in Bicester.”