A MAJOR plan to re-develop the three-storey church hall at St Mary’s RC Church, Warrington has been submitted to the borough council.
The building – originally an office block – is in Priory Court, off Buttermarket Street.
It has been used as a church hall since 2019-20 but, as it was originally three separate office units, does not lend itself for use as a church hall.
St Mary’s, as a Shrine Church, draws congregations from the local area and further afield ans has been steadily growing in use for some years, attracting pilgrims from a wide area.
The proposals are to improve the building for its use as a church hall.
Administrative areas would be on the ground floor, the first floor would be used for church hall purposes and the second floor for clergy and pilgrim accommodation.
Currently, archives, some dating back to the church’s origins in 1877, is stored St Mary’s Priory house, but it is intended to relocate these into Priory Court.
Groups of up to 200 people would use the first-floor area for larger Shrine events and other community uses. Lift access, a kitchen and accessible toilet facilities will also be provided.
Resident clergy are houses in the adjacent presbytery, but other clergy frequently stay and being able to offer accommodation to them and visiting pilgrims or those attending for study or other events would significantly improve the building to enable it to meet the needs of the church community, spread all across the country.
The proposals are currently being considered by planning officers.