Parish Submitted

An Anglican church has received a grant of £9,000 to support refurbishment work.

The money from Biffa Awards will go towards roof repairs and refurbishment of the ladies toilets at Oxclose Church in Brancepeth Road, Washington, on Wearside, which has raised £12,000 for the project.

The news comes at a busy time for the church whose food bank team have been overwhelmed by the support of caring local residents

Washington Food Bank, which is based at Oxclose Church, has seen a surge in donations from the public. Schools, businesses and members of the community are among those who have been helping.

Local MP Sharon Hodgson, who represents Washington and Sunderland West, was among those people visiting the church recently to see the important work being done.

The Revd Sheelagh Aston, who is the vicar at Oxclose Church and chairwoman of the food bank steering group, said: “The welcome news of our grant for the church comes at a busy time for us.

“We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity of local people, businesses and schools. There has been a significant increase in the amount of food we have had donated to us. We have about double what we would normally have.

“We want to say a big thank you to all the schools and people in the community who have donated to us.”

The Washington Food Bank was set up in March 2013 and has drop-off points at Asda, the Galleries Library and Blue House Lane Pharmacy. For more information, visit or email

This story originally appeared in the Sunderland Echo here.

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