Wednesday 20th December 2017
When the Ordiariate was able to purchase a redundant Methodist church in Torquay to become the base for the Torbay Ordinariate Mission it also acquired two church halls. It was always the intention that the upper Victorian Hall might, some years down the line, be used to house the priest and his family. The Mission's priest, Fr David Lashbrooke, was however determined that the soon to be Ordinariate Parish Church of OL of Walsingham and St Cuthbert Mayne should have a resident Parish Priest priest, not one living many miles away. With the help of some of his lay people some partitions were erected, some minor changes to the plumbing made and the family moved into the Church Hall.
Work then began on planning the permanent conversion, obtaining the necessary planning and listed building consents and, most importantly raising the funds. Thanks to two extremely generous private donations and some successful grant applications work has now started.
Local architects Narracotts produced a design for a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom house within the existing Hall and office and meeting space within the structure linking the Hall to the other buildings. The design reinstates the original vaulted ceiling in the lounge and kitchen areas and by doing so reveals the original windows in their full glory. Work began at the beginning of December and is expected to last around 6 months. Already though, as the photographs show, the underlying structure of the renovated building is beginning to be visible.