Bristol - Our Lady of Lourdes and St Bernadette

Hanham Road, Kingswood, Bristol BS15

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A functional brick design of the late 1930s, originally intended to become a school assembly hall.  

A mission was established in Park Road, Kingswood, by the Redemptorist Fathers in 1901, when a small iron church dedicated to St Joseph was built. In 1911 the Redemptorists withdrew and the iron church was re-erected at Fishponds before going on to Chard (qqv). In 1937 a new parish was established, served by the Oblates of St Mary Immaculate, and a large house called Woodlands in Hanham Road, with ample grounds, was purchased. This served as a presbytery and a supposedly temporary new church was built in 1938, intended eventually to become the assembly hall of a new school. It is not clear whether an architect was employed; the builder was William Barnes of Liverpool. In the event the building remained in use as the parish church after the new school was finally built alongside in the mid-1960s. The church was slightly enlarged at both ends in the early 1980s. The old presbytery and the parish hall beside it were demolished in the mid-1980s and replaced by a new presbytery, hall and some sheltered housing. Shortly afterwards, in 1989, the Oblates withdrew from the parish, which has since been served by secular clergy.

The church is a plain and functional building, whose round-headed windows give it something of the air of a Nonconformist chapel. The walls are of yellow-brown brick laid in stretcher bond, the pitched roof is covered in slate. The church is rectangular on plan, with a modern (1980s) lean-to narthex at one end with the central section of the nave continued across the sloping roof, and sacristies at the other. The side walls have simple round-headed windows to the central section of the building, with smaller windows at either end.

The interior, entered though a narthex, is a single space with rendered walls and a segmental ceiling covered with acoustic tiles. There is no spatial or structural separation between the nave and sanctuary. The windows are clear-glazed 

Diocese: Clifton

Architect: Not established; builder William Barnes of Liverpool

Original Date: 1938

Conservation Area: No

Modifications: 1982

Listed Grade: Not listed