St Mary's Church, Bungay

Inkpen Downie Architecture & Design, Bungay, Suffolk, 2013


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discrete space 

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Insertion of structure into Grade I listed Church for community to provide comfortable, independent meeting space

The dissolution reduced half the church to a ruin leaving the west part as a grand parish church.

The building was vested in the Churches Conservation Trust, in 1978, the daily activities of the parish consolidated to nearby Holy Trinity, and St Mary’s used for occasional services and civic events.

This project involved providing a meeting room, toilets and kitchen facilities in order to attract a wider range of users and more diverse activities. The design had to provide a room that could be separate or integral with the church, and simultaneously provide for the continuance of the main processional route.

To achieve this the new room stands within the space similarly to a rood screen or chapel, being separate but part of it, discrete and private or capable of being thrown open and part of the wider celebration.

The new structure consists of an oak clad steel frame with fine section aluminium glazing and some structural glass elements. Floor levels at the west end of the building were rationalised and finished in ceramic tiles and clay pamments matching the 19th century floor on a limecrete base incorporating underfloor heating.


  • Begun: Dec 2012
  • Completed: Jun 2013
  • Floor area: 60m2
  • Sector: Religious
  • Total cost: £184,453
  • Funding: Grant funding and community fundraising
  • Procurement: JCT minor works
  • Address: St Mary's Church, St Mary's Street, Bungay, Suffolk, NR35 1AX, United Kingdom

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