Bicester residents can leave a message to the future

Bicester Advertiser: Left to right, Colin Duckworth, Christine Styles, Janette Hathaway, Matthew Clements, Laurie Ekins and the Rev Maggie Durran Left to right, Colin Duckworth, Christine Styles, Janette Hathaway, Matthew Clements, Laurie Ekins and the Rev Maggie Durran

PEOPLE in Bicester are being given the chance to leave their mark on the future.

Over three days residents will be able to write a message for future generations which will then be put in a box and buried under St Edburg’s Church’s new floor.

The new floor is not expected to need replacing again for several hundred years so the box could lay undiscovered into the 23rd or 24th centuries.

Time capsule organiser The Rev Maggie Durran, who has worked in churches around the country, believes it is the first time it has been done.

She said: “When you leave a message you have no idea who’s going to find it and when they are going to find it.

“It has been 120 years since the last time the floor was replaced and I’ve got a feeling it will probably be much more than that as stone lasts longer. I expect it will be many hundreds of years.

“We want everyone to know about it and get involved. It doesn’t matter how many people come along, if we run out of archive paper we’ll get some more.

“As far as I know it’s the first time this has ever been done and I have been fundraising in churches all around the country.”

People will be asked to make a minimum donation of £5 which will go towards the £170,000 needed for the latest phase of the church’s refurbishment work. From Friday, November 30, to Sunday, December 2, between 10am and 4pm, people can drop into the church, in Church Street, Bicester, to write their message to the future. Special A5 size archival paper and ink will be provided and people can write whatever message they like.

Suggestions include a personal message for people hundreds of years’ time; a memorial for a friend or relative; or a thanksgiving for the blessings of marriage, baptism or anniversary.

Residents are also encouraged to get their children involved in the initiative.

The heritage box will then be sealed on New Year’s Eve, wrapped in lead and buried under the new stone flooring next summer.

Rev Durren said: “People can leave a message, anything they would like to tell people in 100 or 200 years’ time.

“It could be a memorial or to celebrate an anniversary or just say ‘this is me’.

“I will put something in memory of my parents and I shall probably put in my family tree and include my grandchildren.”

Cash raised from the initiative will be used to provide toilets, a servery, new flooring to replace rotten wooden floors and improved disabled access.

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