Architect drawings are set to become a reality, with plans for some major improvements to St Petroc’s Church.
There are three priorities: to enhance the church as a place of prayer and worship, to provide better facilities for concerts and events and to present the stories and treasures of the church and priory from ancient times.
A church building, particularly one that is 550 years old, is generally a mix of original, repair and innovation. Much of what you see when you look at it is Victorian repairs to the Medieval remnant. As the largest parish church in Cornwall, it’s also the largest venue in Bodmin.
Solar panels, batteries and heat pumps will be installed to ensure minimal reliance on fossil fuels and keep audiences and congregations warm. More toilets and a more ambitious kitchen will improve hospitality. Step-free access in the main west door will open into a welcome space that will entice and inform. Brides will be able to shelter more comfortably if, heaven forbid, it should rain on their special day.
A Bristol-based practice of up-and-coming Architects, Connolly Wellingham, has sensitively weighed the church’s practical needs with conservation priorities. The nationally renowned artefacts and features will benefit from improved presentation. The organ will be renovated. The stained glass windows will be repaired and cleaned. No congregation of any size can expect to keep such a large and significant church in good repair and working order.
The development of Bodmin Way, with its community initiatives and events, provides staff and business discipline to help sustain such a major facility. With investment of in excess of £1-million required to carry out all these works, funders will need to know that the church can thrive in the years to come.