Work starts this autumn to revive churchyard
A Southville church is teaming up with university students to transform its churchyard into a positive and welcoming space for the local community.
St Paul’s Church in Southville Road is drafting in the help of students from the University of the West of England (UWE) to carry out the project, which is due to start this autumn.
A community grant of £3,000 has been secured from UWE for the project, with the help of church member and researcher at the university’s centre for transport and society, Jonathan Flower.
Detailed plans for the scheme are yet to be revealed and will be drawn up in August.
As published in the November issue of South Bristol Voice, St Paul’s Church – which is often used as a cut-through from South Bristol to Goal Ferry bridge – has been plagued with anti-social behaviour in its churchyard and at the end of last year, a serious sexual assault was reported.
CCTV has since been installed, which church minister Revd Nick Hay says has impacted positively on the area.
But he recognises that improvements need to be made to make the churchyard a more positive space.
Curate Jacqui Kean, who is leading on the project alongside Jonathan, said: “While we have no idea of what we want the space to look like yet, our vision is that we want it to be a space that offers hospitality and somewhere that brings hope. We want our church to be a beacon of love within the local community.”
As part of the project, the church will also be collaborating with Seeds of Change – the initiative behind the harbour’s floating garden – to explore the narrative of the area and how this can be reflected in the improvements made to the churchyard.