Plans revealed for redevelopment of historic 1930s Bristol church

St Barnabas Church in Knowle WestSt Barnabas Church in Knowle West
St Barnabas Church in Knowle West
The redevelopment could include a new community and worship building as well as housing

Plans have been revealed for the possible redevelopment of a historic church building in south Bristol.

The priest in charge of St Barnabas Church on Daventry Road in Knowle West says it is ‘facing several challenges’ and he has to explore options for its future.

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Rev Clive Hamilton says redevelopment of the 84-year-old site could include a new community and worship building as well as some housing.

In a statement, he said St Barnabas are exploring options for the future redevelopment of the existing church building, the vicarage and available land.

“The current (church) building is facing several challenges including the limited configuration of working space and poor accessibility and associated facilities,” said Rev Hamilton.

“It requires significant work to address these alongside issues with roof, drainage, lighting, and windows.

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“We also recognise the need for the building and facilities to be both fit for purpose and sustainable to operate financially and environmentally.

“Despite these challenges we feel that there are also big opportunities for creative community focused redevelopment that ensures that the church continues to be one that is "proud to be serving the people of Knowle West and beyond.”

Inside St Barnabas Church in Knowle WestInside St Barnabas Church in Knowle West
Inside St Barnabas Church in Knowle West

The church, which first opened in 1938, also hosts weddings, community activities and a food bank.

The building is opposite the entrance to The Park community centre and backs onto the Northern Slopes nature reserve.

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Rev Hamilton went on to say that redevelopment of the church may include ‘a ‘new’ shared use community building and worship space’ and ‘desperately needed social housing’.

“We have no set ideas or plans at this stage,” he added. “We are looking to carry out some high-level feasibility work to understand any site constraints and community listening conversations.

“We would be pleased to hear from people and parties interested in helping draw out, inform and cocreate this new vision.”

St Barnabas was built in 1938, replacing a temporary church erected in 1933.

The church previously proved too large for the needs of the local parish, with its nave demolished in the 1980s and replaced by housing.

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