Salvation Army church begins re-build of Bristol Community and Family Centre
published on 7 Nov 2019
The Salvation Army today handed over the keys to its community and family centre in Bristol to Contractors Bray and Slaughter in order to commence work on a re-build.
The development will allow it to continue and significantly expand its range of services for families, children, young people and the elderly in the St Pauls, Montpelier and Stokes Croft area.
Earlier this year Bristol City Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the planning application to transform The Salvation Army’s Community and Family Centre next to Bristol Citadel Corps (church) on the corner of Brigstocke Road and Ashley Road in St Pauls.
The centre, which is in its 134th year, currently provides services for the community without any financial support from the local authority or other funders.
Bristol Citadel carried out extensive consultations with local residents and organisations over several years into the possibility of demolishing and rebuilding the centre.
Major Ian Mountford, Corps Officer (church leader) at Bristol Citadel, said: “The re-development will allow greater access to community activities for families, children, lone parents, young people and older people who live in the area. It will also help facilitate relationship building for those on the fringes of society and isolated by factors such as poverty, unemployment, loneliness, age and physical mobility and will enable us to provide a more holistic and all-inclusive programme in a more open, welcoming and attractive setting.
“The centre will also be able to expand the availability of low cost, nutritious food through the provision of a new community Fairtrade café, and will also be home to a new employment programme and an education programme for young people as we seek to provide a listening ear, compassionate support and practical help to the people who come through our doors. Neither the church nor the community centre provides full disabled access so the new community centre connected to the existing church will solve this problem and help us give a friendly and warm welcome to anyone who comes to us.”
The new building will make better use of existing space thus enabling The Salvation Army to provide for additional community activities and groups.
The reduction in running costs and increased environmental efficiency of the new building will be of great benefit to the church and charity, dedicated to caring for people who are vulnerable or in need.
The new building which is due for completion next Summer was designed by Essex based architects ‘Wellesley’ and will be built in red brick in order to pay homage to the building it replaces which has been a landmark on Ashley Road since 1896.
The project has so far received financial support from The Bradbury Foundation and the John James Foundation. It is also being supported by proceeds from its own local charity shops in Stokes Croft, Redland and Gloucester Road.
Members of The Salvation Army are taking part in the Dragon Boat Race at Bristol Harbour on September 14 this year and sponsorship is welcomed. All funds will go towards the building project.
General donations towards the rebuild are also welcomed and can be made directly to Majors Ian and Tracey Mountford – church leaders at The Salvation Army’s Bristol Citadel.