Friends of Horspath Objectives
The Friends of Horspath was established in September 2010 when members of St.Giles Horspath Parochial Church Council decided to strengthen community spirit in Horspath. The original objectives of Friends of Horspath were:
Making Horspath a sustainable community;
Supporting local special interest groups.
To celebrate and consolidate their first year, a meeting was held on 30th November in the Methodist Chapel in its roll as a village meeting place, and a great deal of interest was put onto the value of the Chapel as an asset to the village.
A report of that meeting is available here. With help and support various events took place during 2011 and 2012, and all of the events were most successful. A list of events is available here (you might need to click twice on the link).
Many of their meetings and events took place in Horspath Methodist Chapel and Meeting Place. During 2010 the Oxford Methodist Circuit decided that due to very low numbers attending the Horspath Chapel it would no longer be a place of worship and in early February 2011 they made a planning application for change of use and conversion of the Chapel into a residence. The District Council granted planning permission in April 2011. Thereafter followed several meetings between members of the Methodist Circuit with Horspath Parish Councillors, members of the St Giles Parochial Church Council and Friends of Horspath. It was hoped that the Methodists would agree to leasing the Chapel to one or other of the organisations in Horspath so that it could be retained as a village meeting place. In December 2012 the Methodists wrote that they had decided to sell the Chapel and Meeting Place.
In November 2011 the new Localism Bill came into force which gave communities the right to bid for community assets that were for sale with extra time being allowed for funds to be raised. A group of members of Friends of Horspath and the Parochial Church Council researched how Horspath Methodist Chapel could be registered as a Community Asset, and how funds could be raised to bid for it. The group called a meeting in December 2012 to update interested people on the discussions and to work out the way forward. It was suggested that Friends of Horspath might be able to register as a charity to assist in applying for grants.
In December 2010 Friends of Horspath carried out a comprehensive survey to determine Horspath residents' views about the potential loss of the Methodist Chapel. Despite having to be carried out in the run up to Christmas, questionnaires were delivered to all the households in the village and 130 were returned with the overwhelming majority of these in favour of retaining the Chapel as a village asset. Many ideas were put forward as to how the Chapel could be used. With this information an open village meeting was arranged for 3rd January 2013 to constitute Friends of Horspath. A draft constitution was read out to the assembled group ( 30 in attendance ) and with the agreement of the whole group it was voted on and passed. Now Friends of Horspath is constituted as a "Small Charity" and thus is able to apply for community grants and to apply for the Chapel to become a Community Asset. A copy of the Constitution is available here. A small group have agreed to become Trustees. We now need people who could give some time and thought on our fund-raising and bid writing working parties. Please let us know if you would be interested in helping in any way by joining Friends of Horspath, see Join Friends of Horspath below.
Join Friends of Horspath. We now need as many people in the village as possible to join Friends of Horspath, not just for the keeping of the Chapel, but to help fulfill its charitable aims - "To improve and advance the lives of those who live and work in the community of Horspath". Please download this "Friends of Horspath Membership form", fill it in and return it to email@example.com or to the address on the form.
Latest update 21 June 2013