St Anne's was built in 1900/01 as a mission church of St Mark. It was designed by the young Mr George Oatley. At that time what is now the ritual west end was at the east, and vice-versa (what is now the south-east porch was then at the north-west). A church room was built adjacent, to Oatley's designs, in 1908. The church thrived and before the World War One, plans were drawn up for a great new church, to stand between the hall and Greenbank Road.
This new church would have been a match in size for the neighbouring Castle Green URC church and a match in beauty for anything in Bristol. It was designed by Sir George Oatley, but never built, at least at Greenbank; the plans were modified and eventually used to provide St Monica's Chapel, Westbury-on-Trym. Instead, the hall was turned through 180 degrees, the old west wall demolished and a tall chancel arch inserted, with a short but lofty chancel with a painted "wagon" roof was built. It is in the preferred Perpendicular style of the Bristol architect P. Hartland Thomas, who also designed Shirehampton and Bedminster Down churches. He also provided a new Sacristy and an organ chamber and largely refitted the church. A new west porch was added by Burrough and Hannam in 1966, and the church hall was completely restored and a connecting link with new kitchens, facilities etc was provided in the 1980's.
No one would at first guess that this was once a mission hall, particularly in view of the enhancement of recent years, including the installation of the stunning Kempe reredos from St Simon Baptist Mills, its tryptich panels now separated by the former riddel posts designed by Sir Ninian Comper, brought from St Matthias College Chapel, Fishponds. The Sacrament-House, the only one of its kind in Bristol, was designed by Martin Travers in the 1920's as a Tabernacle for St Jude's Church. A simple church - with many treasures and surprises.
One of the fonts was originally in the church at Hallen, just north of Bristol, which is now converted into a house. One stands for use as a stoup in the west vestibule. The organ and its case came from St Mark's church in Easton, whilst a plaque commemorating the construction of St Thomas in Eastville is displayed on the north wall of the nave.
Much of the information on this page kindly supplied by the Rev. David Cawley, vicar here 1983-1995, and at the time of writing at St Mary-de-Castro, Leicester. The church has equally become home to worshippers in Bristol from the Mar Thoma church (originally from Kerala, SW India) who celebrate Holy Qrbana here at 10am on the 2nd Saturday in the month.
Page created 18th May 2003
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