Tuesday, February 07, 2017

New security measures for church in bid to deny trespassers

The Sacred Heart Church, BournemouthANTISOCIAL behaviour has driven a Bournemouth church to make a bid for CCTV cameras. 

Plans submitted to the council would see seven small cameras fixed to the exterior walls of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Albert Road, as well as two new gates to fence off alcoves. 

The Grade II listed building was Bournemouth's first Catholic church when it was built in the late nineteenth century. 

In its application, the church says: "As a result of antisocial behaviour problems in the area surrounding the church, the parish applied for and has received a grant from the Home Office for the installation of CCTV cameras and additional security gates. 

"The proposal is to install CCTV cameras to cover each of the main public elevations of the building. 

"These will act both as a deterrent to antisocial behaviour and an aid in catching the culprits." 

The church says the planned security measures are "the minimum necessary" to stop people accessing the building's "secluded areas and alcoves". 

A spokesperson for the church declined to comment further on the proposed measures. 

The Sacred Heart Church was built by Jesuits to replace an existing wooden church on the same site, not long after Bournemouth's expansion from heathland hamlet to thriving town began. 

Alongside the neighbouring presbytery, the church was finished in 1875 according to the designs of prominent architect Henry Clutton. 

Six of the town's other nine Catholic churches were founded by Jesuits from Sacred Heart. 

It was greatly expanded and remodelled in the latter years of the nineteenth century. 

In 2013 the church reopened after a £270,000 restoration which unearthed hidden architectural features, including a small skylight or 'oculus' in the ceiling of St Joseph's Chapel. 

Historical studies link the building with writer and linguistics expert JRR Tolkein and philanthropist, novelist and biographer Lady Georgiana Fullerton. 

Much-loved comedian Tony Hancock is thought to have delivered his first performance at the church hall.

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