CSMV has issued this statement outlining ideas for the future use of the Convent buildings:

A feasibility study examining the possibility of creating a new Church and Education centre of excellence at St Mary’s Convent, Wantage is underway.

The study is a joint exercise by the Trustees of the Community of St Mary the Virgin (CSMV) and the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST), a potential major partner in the venture.

The review of the site and buildings of the Convent, will be undertaken by Abingdon based architects from the Frankham Consultancy Group over the next three months. Their role is to advise the Trustees on how the existing buildings could be adapted for a new use, including greater local community involvement and the costs involved. It is anticipated that the review will be completed in February.

“The potential of the site in Wantage is being explored,” says Alastair Hunter, spokesman for the CSMV Trustees. “While we are at an early stage, the possibility of a creating a new centre is very exciting for children and teachers in the region and for the local community in Wantage”.

The Sisters of the Community of St Mary the Virgin have been actively involved in education for much of their 165 year history. The study will explore new ways to use CSMV’s resources to take forward this work in the 21st century.

“We are delighted to work with the Trustees and Sisters of CSMV in carrying out this feasibility study,” says David Locke, ODST’s Chief Operating Officer. “We recognise we share common aims in our mission to provide educational excellence to school students and their teachers, today and in the future”.

No decision is expected until the Trustees have had a chance to consider the results of the feasibility study next March.