It’s an exciting time for the parish of St Joseph the Worker in Bidford-on-Avon as a planning application to transform the existing site has been submitted to Stratford-on-Avon District Council.

The detailed plans for a new church with community facilities have been submitted following lengthy consultation with people in the village to know what facilities they require and on the details of the proposal. It is hoped the planning application will be considered by the council planning committee in the near future.

The parish has worked painstakingly to provide for the Catholic community in and around the growing Bidford area and it has been clear for some time that the current church, which used to be a workshop, has been outgrown.

The new church will be accompanied by a new parish hall which will be available for local community use. Two new houses will also be built, one of which will become the presbytery.

It is expected the development will cost in the region of £1.5m, with funding coming partially from a generous legacy left by parishioner.

APEC Architects worked closely with the parish to develop the contemporary design. The distinctive form and feature stained glass windows located behind the sanctuary will be visible from the adjoining bypass, increasing the church's presence within Bidford.

The use of natural external materials reflects the humble nature of the church and the emphasis on wooden finishes acts as a reminder that St Joseph, the patron of the parish, was a carpenter.

Parish priest Canon Garry Byrne, together with the parish building committee, has worked tirelessly in recent years to develop a strong business plan for the development.

“The submission of the planning application is a momentous occasion in the life of our parish,” said Canon Byrne.

“We are familiar with the phrase ‘location, location, location’. On this busy road four essential services are now situated: the fire station, the supermarket, the petrol station and St Joseph’s! Fire, Food, Fuel and Faith!

“St Joseph’s parish has been described as vibrant and viable. Our mission is ‘Go Make Disciples’ and we want to continue doing that.

“With a new purpose-built church and community facility we are embracing the future and commitment to evangelise.”

The application has already been well received by the Diocesan Committee for Art and Architecture.

Deacon Paul O’Connor, Head of Planning at the Archdiocese of Birmingham, said: “Bidford is a growing village and has the character of a small town. The new church will be an asset to the village in respect of a wonderful church for worship, but also provide important facilities for the wider community and add to the appearance of the village.

“The Archdiocese has a Vision and this speaks to that: a building fit-for-purpose for the future, resources being used effectively, evangelising.

“The scheme has been a while in the making and lots of consultation has taken place with the local community already. If approved this development will make a statement for Bidford.”

APEC Architects have produced a flythrough video of the proposed structure

The project is also featured on the APEC website 

Artistic Impressions: