Friday, February 03, 2017

Parishioners object to function centre plans

St James Church, Brighton
More than 400 parishioners have railed against plans to build a "function centre" in the burnt-out St James Church in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton, the Bayside Leader reports.

The Catholic church was destroyed by fire in March 2015, leaving just a shell at the North Road site.

Since the blaze, there have been discussions on how to reconstruct the 1892-built church between the Catholic hierarchy, parishioners and the neighbouring parish school, but some are unhappy with the outcome.

Timothy Lynch, a parishioner for 35 years, said plans he had seen included a new section at the rear designed as a meeting space, with a separate mezzanine level.

He said the 400-plus strong group did not want a meeting hall or "function centre", and the church must be rebuilt the same as it was before the fire.

"We love this place – it is an architectural jewel," Mr Lynch said.

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