Victoria Methodist Church, Bristol - 'Faith in the Future'

18 March 2021

VICTORIA METHODIST CHURCH, BRISTOL - Bristol and South Gloucestershire

This imposing Methodist chapel of 1863 by Foster and Wood was listed Grade II in 1977. It is built in the French Gothic Revival style and is constructed of polychromatic limestone and sandstone ashlar. It has a very impressive rose window and a number of elaborate features including Tudor flowers and corner gargoyles. Despite its location; set back from the main road, it maintains a very important role within the streetscape of this part of Bristol. C. Crick in his Victorian Buildings in Bristol (1975) considered it to be, "one of our prettiest C19th chapels". 

The project saw a range of external and internal physical alterations and enhancements to the building, including:

Reinstatement of the original entrance, extension of foyer (Narthex) with tea point and toilets, removal of pews and introduction of flexible seating scheme with benches and chairs, lighting installation for the Sanctuary, new access ramp and lobby, and new passenger/disabled access lift to large hall in the basement. It also included a new raised gallery handrail. Later phases included the remodelling of the large hall underneath the sanctuary, a new atrium and internal staircase and a covered walkway ("cloister") to improve the lighting and access to the rooms to the rear.

photo_victoria-methodist-church_lowres_-4-1185x790      All photographs are copyright of STRIDE TREGLOWN

Transforming the sanctuary enables the church to promote and support high quality worship through a wide variety of worship styles to reach a wide variety of people, including Messy Church, services in the round, interactive worship and quiet spaces for private prayer.  Similarly the Narthex provides a smaller, flexible, more intimate space for Sunday and midweek worship with potential for story-telling, folk nights, acoustic café, poetry workshops, film clubs, parenting and marriage courses.  Media and arts organisations are a significant part of Bristol's economy and the transformation of the building allows the church to work with them to explore new ways of engaging with faith and spirituality. The church encompasses the artistic and creative traditions of all cultures, forging a link with new sections of the community e.g. Changing Tunes and Prodigal Arts. The church also uses its spaces to provide support to services such as Alcoholics Anonymous and the Mental Health Group which are reliant on Victoria to provide their meeting places.
For further details and photographs please follow this link to the STRIDE TREGLOWN website or visit the church website here.