20-year dream of Hedge End Catholics comes true
AFTER 20 years of holding services in a converted shop, Hedge End Catholics in the Diocese of Portsmouth saw their dreams of having their own purpose-built church eroded by escalating building costs.
On current prices a simple brick built church would have cost approximately £80,000, a figure way beyond the limited finances available.
However, by using Stocks Bros (Buildings) Limited's 'package deal' pre-cast concrete building system, instead of bricks and mortar, the new Catholic Church of the Assumption at Hedge End has been built in just over six months at a total cost, including site works and car park, of just under £30,000.
One of the prime movers responsible for selecting the Stocks concept was the parish priest, Fr David Quarmby who realised the increase in the local population through new developments would mean that the existing place of worship, the converted shop, would be unable to accept any increase in the size of the congregation. As it was, many of the congregation of 150 stood outside during services if the weather was fine.
The new church will comfortably seat 250 people and features, as part of the Stocks 'package deal' central heating and solid hardwood mosaic floor tiles.
The internal walls and ceiling are faced with a dry lining board, painted in an autumn yellow, which gives the interior of the church a light and airy look.
By facing the exterior concrete wall panels with granite aggregate, and using interlocking concrete tiles on the pitched roof, the church has an air of permanency and individuality, which shows that system buildings, in addition to their lower construction costs, have much to offer in the way of design.
The oblong-shaped vestibule opens onto the 60 ft x 36 ft main hall and mounted in the gable above the altar is a simple red perspex cross framed in hardwood.
Internal decoration has been kept deliberately simple, and adds to the sense of spaciousness accentuated by the ceiling panels following the 42 degree pitch of the roof.
As well as the main hall, there is an auxiliary section to the building, which houses the confessional, boys' sacristy, priests' sacristy and work room.