redevelopment of our church halls

We have almost raised the £500,000 we need to start work on the long awaited redevelopment of our Church halls.  We have to raise the final £60,000 in the next three weeks  to enable the work to start this summer.  Please help us to reach this goal!

Introduction & Background to the redevelopment of our Church Halls

Our church halls, located beneath the Church on Richmond Hill, had been neglected over many the years and overlooked in terms of meeting the needs of the parish and the broader local community. The extensive Church buildings front onto three roads in the heart of Bournemouth making our halls a focal point and hub for numerous outreach services. With the arrival of The Oratorian Community there is a strong desire to continue developing activities that work to build on this.
The Church’s distinctive architectural style is French Gothic, and grade 2 listed, and the Halls (beneath the Church) suffer greatly from a design and layout that could not have foreseen the standards and expectations relevant now. In particular, accessibility, noise control and image have been identified as key issues limiting use.

Our vision is to create a space that:

  • is fully accessible to all;
  • contributes significantly to parish and community life;
  • supports individuals and groups; and
  • provides an income stream.

The plan for our halls has been developed and guided by inputs from our Bishop Philip Egan, the Oratorian Community, the parish, the local community and external experts and consultants.


Bishop Philip Egan’s vision in inviting The Oratory to his Diocese of Portsmouth is for the Sacred Heart to be a “powerhouse of prayer, a focus for formation in the Faith, and a hub for the broader community in the heart of Bournemouth”.

The Bishop recognises the need for a permanent community of priests and brothers providing a centre for Catholic Formation and Catechetics for the New Evangelisation, and a hub for the community – particularly the needy – in this increasingly deprived city centre where the Fathers are also Chaplains to the University, minister to students of two dozen language schools and other student institutions, and where addictions to alcohol, drugs, gambling and sex enslave many into powerlessness and desperation.

Some images of the exterior and interior of the halls as they are now

Left Image: The steps leading to the entrance to the Halls.


Right image: Once inside the foyer, more steps to access the main hall.

Left Image: View of the main hall taken from the stage.


Right image: View of the stage in the main hall taken from the window end of the hall.

When completed

When completed, our Church halls will have:

  • Fully accessible facilities from the external road directly into the halls and from the Church above via a platform lift. The facilities will be open to those with limited mobility or those requiring wheelchair access
  • Flexible meeting space for groups and individuals. In particular this space will continue to serve the current support groups using the existing halls (SVP, AA, NA) and offer new opportunities for community groups, parish, and family events.
  • Hall availability at all times for parish, local community and other events, including those organised within the parish or through hire of the facilities, and charitable uses.
  • A community café serving snacks and light meals to the local community in a safe and welcoming setting, and including a delicatessen.
  • A shop selling Catholic devotional items and books, and items of general interest.  We plan to add some unique and distinctive items to the range of goods sold in the shop.
  • A parish office with improved visibility and accessibility.

Our community cafe will be supported by external groups such as Autism Unlimited and COAST (BCP Council’s Community Outreach & Support Team) keen to have access to a place of work for individuals to gain valuable work experience and build self-esteem for long term benefit. The café will operate on a mix of grant support, sponsorship, donations and revenue from sales.

To see to impressions of our redeveloped halls CLICK HERE.