The Bishop of St Germans got more than he bargained for when he was asked to bless a new facility at a Truro church – the toilet.
St John’s Church in Lemon Street Truro has been fitted with a new disabled toilet, baby changing facilities and kitchen, making the place of worship more accessible for older and disabled people.
During a special service, Rev Christopher Goldsmith blessed the new facilities and admitted he had never been called on to bless a toilet before.
The 1828 Grade II listed church had an existing kitchen and toilets on a lower ground floor, but stairs and poor access made it difficult for people to use or enjoy post-service refreshments.
CAD Architects, also based on Lemon Street, carried out the work, which involved the creation of two “pods” under the existing balconies, in the body of the church.
The architects firm called on the experience of their in-house heritage consultant, Sam Mayou, to ensure the design of the new work respected the church’s unique character and aesthetics.
Working closely with the church and the contractor, the CAD team managed to achieve completion within a tight timeframe.
Mark Dawes, managing director of CAD Architects, said: “The new facilities make the church much more inclusive, creating a space for social gatherings and refreshments.”
Jeff Smith is a member of the congregation at St John’s Church who acted as the client. He said: “The bishop admitted he had never blessed a toilet before!
“He asked one of the children to hold the door open and another to flush the chain while he carried out the blessing.
“On a more serious note, it has made a significant difference to how we use our church. With the kitchen and toilet all on one floor, it’s meant more people now stay for coffee and a chat after service.”