Supporting a new group in Faringdon

@Derek_sayers is hatching exciting plans for a new repair group in Faringdon, Oxfordshire and has joined the community in the hopes of getting some support. It sounds like there’s already some local interest from potential repairers and that the biggest hurdle is finding a suitable venue. Is that right Derek?

@Clare_Seek - Derek mentioned there’s a disused United Reformed Chapel in the village that might make a good venue, but that he hasn’t had much luck there. Given you host events at a United Reformed Church, do you have any advice/suggestions?

Also bringing in @Alexandra_Mates from SHARE Oxford.

1 Like

Hi @Derek_sayers,

Just googled to see if I could find an address to ask our contact at URC if he knows who best to contact. Is it this place? If not, can you send me an address.

Clare @Portsmouth_Repair_Ca

1 Like

Hi Clare

Thank you for your
email. I will try and put you “in the picture” Our
village is situated about half way between Faringdon and Wantage; “Faringdon”
is included in the address as it is the postal district. The chapel
(which is in Chapel Road,
Stanford in the Vale) has been empty and unused for a number of years.
Luckily it still seems to be in reasonable condition although I gather there is
some wood rot. I have not been in the building so I do not know exactly
what condition it is in. As far as I know the URC in Faringdon has
no connection with it.

I contacted the URC Headquarters in London and they emailed me
the following:

Thank you for your letter to the
United Reformed Church offices in London.

It would be best to contact the
local Synod as they look after the churches (and sale of churches in their

*For the Faringdon area it’s
the Wessex Synod.
with best wishes


Receptionist | The
United Reformed Church

86Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT

I contacted Southampton
and received the following:

We are not currently accepting expressions
of interest to let the building as it is now closed and the property will be
placed on the open market for sale in due course.

As we are bound by strict rules of the
Charities Commission and cannot engage in direct sales, I have retained your
contact details and endeavour to let you know which agent will market the
property when it is put up for sale.

I wish you all the very best with your
repair workshop.

With kindest regards,

Carmen Jones

Trust Secretary

The United Reformed Church (Wessex)
Trust Limited

I did try to point out that we did not want to buy the
chapel merely to make use of it whilst it was empty and unsold. I
gather from other in the village that there seems to be some trouble in finding
the Title Deeds of the building… I have been trying to find out
more about the Chapel but it will cost at least £20.00 to do so I am
trying “other avenues” first

Very best wishes


Sorry, I don’t think I’ll get you any further then, as I’m sure our church leader is linked with the synod in the same place, so they’d just be repeating themselves.

Also, as someone who’s managed a building before, there are quite large implications for people using empty properties, as the owner needs to be sure the building is safe, insured for that purpose, it can also impact business rates etc, so unless you find a very generous and friendly contact, that’s quite a big ask and time commitment.

Do you have any links into places like the local primary stage schools/pubs with large rooms/community halls/libraries? We found that people were really excited about the idea when we approached them, and if you can have a space with tables, wifi, and somewhere to make a cuppa, it’s a great place to start.

Hope you find somewhere soon, and sorry I couldn’t help.


1 Like

Thank you James.

@Derek_sayers : It’s great to hear about your interest in setting up a repair cafe in Faringdon! Would you be able to meet me and other repair cafe organisers and repairers this Thursday 4 April 18:30 - 20:30 @ The Mix,15 Mill St, Wantage, OX12 9AB? We will be talking precisely about this.

Otherwise, find me on this online space and I should be able to share some basics for getting started :slight_smile:

All the best,



Hi Alex

I look forward to meeting you all at the
Mix. The Repair Cafe I am suggesting is in Stanford in the Vale actually,
although I am quite happy to talk about one in Faringdon if we cannot get a
venue in Stanford.

Best wishes


Hope it goes well this evening!

We open for the first time on 22nd June in the local Coffee Shop in Stanford in the Vale. We have a number of “repairer” volunteers. I just hope enough come to the opening! We will be working very closely with our neighbour Repair Cafe in Wantage about 8km (5 mls) away
Wish us luck!



That’s great news Derek! Best of luck with it and feel free to post here if you need any advice; there are a number of experienced organisers floating around.

Say hi to Faith for us too (we’d love to see her here on the forum!)

1 Like