Saint Patricks Logo
Saint Patricks Logo
 
left side of main aisle of saint patricks church

St. Patrick’s Parish


St. Patrick's Parish was founded by Father William Dillon in 1923 when he was based at St. Nicholas' Church, Lawford's Gate. There was no house or church - and only six parishioners! Father Dillon lived with Parishioners until the house was purchased on Blackswarth Road.

father Dillon, saint patricks original priest and the old church

It was a proud day when the New Church, now a community hall, was opened in 1923. It cost £14,000. Father Dillon became a prominent public figure and was honoured by both his adopted city, where he was elected on to the Education Committee and by the Church - he became both a Monsignor and a Canon. He never moved from St. Patrick's and remained parish priest for 32 years until his death in 1955. His funeral was one of the largest ever seen in Bristol. The police lined the streets from the City Centre to Avonview Cemetery and over 100 cars followed the hearse.

Canon Dillon has become part of St. Patrick's folk history and in his foresight he purchased a site extending over six acres. This made the present redevelopment possible.

He is remembered by the Parish in two special ways: firstly the new complex is named after him - Dillon Court; secondly, his portrait hangs in the entrance (Narthex) of the New Church. In his picture, painted by Ramon Gaston, Canon Dillon looks as good natured as he was, and is dressed in the robes of a Canon and Monsignor.

It was his original intention that the small church opened in 1923 would one day become the parish hall and a New Church erected on Grindell's Field, which he purchased for this purpose. He has had to direct this part of the plan from Heaven and we hope he likes the result.

The parish has now grown to an active community of 500 adults and children engaged in a wide variety of activities, all with the same purpose - helping us to love Jesus and to show His love to others.

THE RECENT PARISH RE-DEVELOPMENT

In 1988 Father Gregory Grant was appointed parish priest of St. Patrick's.

ordination of the new st patrick's church by father gregory grant

With the co-operation of the Sisters of the Divine Saviour, the Diocesan Trustees and of course, the people of the parish, an ambitious redevelopment plan emerged that would transform the facilities of the parish.

The £2.25 million project included:

⦁    A new Church seating 350 parishioners

⦁    22 Retirement Flats

⦁    New Convent housing up to eight Sisters

⦁    New Parish Function Room

⦁    New Presbytery

⦁    The conversion of the old church into a Parish Centre

⦁    New Playground and Adventure Play Area for St. Patrick's School

Work began on the first stage of this phased redevelopment in 1992, and the project was completed in June 1995.

Dillon Court and The New Church building Access into the new complex is from Netham Road into Dillon Court. In the evenings and at weekends the entrance from Blackswarth Road into the site is also used. The landscaped gardens of Dillon Court provide an attractive setting for the New Church. The 22 Retirement Flats are south facing, and all the living rooms and kitchens to each flat look out over the garden square.

Whilst enjoying their own privacy and independence, the residents of Dillon Court organise various outings, activities, coffee mornings and parties that help develop the Community Spirit.

All the residents are excellent supporters of parish functions and are always well represented in the spiritual and social life of the parish.

The Parish Sisters and Parish Priest also live in Dillon Court and their respective homes, The Convent and the Presbytery, face the Retirement Flats.

The New Church building is on two levels and divided into three sections. Half of the ground floor is the home of the Parish Priest and the other half is a self - contained function suite known as The Shore Gallery. Upstairs is the New Church which can be accessed either through The Shore Gallery, or through the main Narthex.

All the different buildings in Dillon Court are designed in brick with stone relief and traditional grey slate roofs. There is a great harmony to the buildings which were all designed to complement one another.