After getting to know our Bridgeport property by living here, and completing the purchase last year, we were getting a handle on how our needs fit – or didn’t fit – with the buildings and grounds. We identified a number of needs. Seeking expert help, and not wanting to address things piecemeal (lest we have to redo one thing later to fix another), we commissioned Cram and Ferguson, that venerable church architectural firm, to look at the situation and make recommendations. (This is the same firm that designed Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston, which is now our cathedral.) These drawings show the result.Among the significant issues we identified are these:
- lack of handicap accessibility everywhere except the nave level of the church
- longstanding cracks in the walls of the church tower, source unknown
- tower appears squat from the street
- lack of attractive and acoustically usable meeting space in the parish house
- interior church issues: formica, obviously fake marble, dim lighting, an Italian rather than English character
- ugly exterior shelters over the side doors to the church
- lack of outdoor space usable for summer coffee hour, kids’ play, etc.
- general lack of attractiveness of outside of parish house
A careful examination of the drawings will show the creative solutions which the architects have come up with. All the recommendations are related to our mission – both locally in the Bridgeport community, and as an Ordinariate parish, bringing people into the communion of the Catholic Church. Bishop Lopes has made this point in his comments to the parish.
Needless to say, effecting these changes will be expensive. The money is not currently in hand. Our assumption is that we will not be able to do all the work at once, but will work away at it as funds are available. The St John’s Building Fund receives contributions towards the costs. Your contribution would be welcome.You may make a tax-deductile donation to our building fund in one of two ways:
a) Mail a check, payable to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church with "Building Fund" in the memo, to:
St. John's Rectory
502 Ford Street
Bridgeport, PA 19405
b) Donate to our building fund PayPal account: