The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

A convenience worth the inconvenience: St Wilfrid’s new porch and loo win a Civic Award!

The new porch with its accessible lavatory at St Wilfrid’s Catholic Church in Ripon has won a Civic Award for fine craftsmanship!

Parishioner Barrie Price accepted the award from Ripon Civic Society on behalf of the Parish, which since last year has been celebrating the completion of a building project many years in the making.  Following a first phase of repair, relighting and redecoration of the interior of the church in 2021, the new porch extension containing an accessible lavatory was installed to the west-end of the narthex in December 2023.

St Wilfrid’s Catholic Church in Ripon was originally opened in 1862. The architect was Joseph Aloysius Hansom, working in collaboration with Edward Welby Pugin. The building is listed as Grade II* and it serves the Catholic community in the City of Ripon and surrounding areas.

The new works incorporate the highest standard of traditional craftsmanship, using materials and design in harmony with the existing building. The scheme adapts the south-west entrance into a principal entrance into the church in addition to the current north-west entrance which leads directly on to the busy Coltsgate Hill. The new extension creates a welcoming and inviting entrance with contemporary facilities and it retains the character of the Victorian church.


With thanks to grant-funders the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation and the Benefact Trust, and to all those parishioners who, with their Parish Priest Fr Ian Smith and with help and support from the Diocese of Leeds Property Office, raised funds for the new porch and facilities – and who bore with patience the ‘inconvenience’ which building works always bring!

Thanks also to the skilled contractors (listed below) whose designs and craftsmanship – using tiles, green oak timber and glass – have given St Wilfrid’s this award-winning resource!

Principal Contractor: Tom Willoughby Ltd
Address: Tom Willoughby Ltd Standard Way Industrial Estate Northallerton DL6 2XE

Oak Frame Joinery: Houghtons of York
Address: Houghtons of York, Common Road, Dunnington, York, YO19 5PD

Architect & Principal Designer: Purcell
Address: The Liquor Store, The Chocolate Works, Bishopthorpe Rd, York YO23 1FT

Quantity Surveyor: Thornton Firkin
Address: Old Brewery Court, 157 Sandyford Road, Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE2 1XG

Civil & Structural Engineer: Mason Clark Associates
Address: Partnership House, Monks Cross Drive, York, YO32 9GZ

M&E Engineer: PrestonBARBER LLP
Address: 2 Foxoak Park, Common Rd, Dunnington, York YO19 5RZ

During the building works, much time and money was saved by the architect’s suggestion that the water supply should come via a simple trench from the Presbytery’s rising main, rather than hacking through the wall, foundations and concrete floors of the church to take a supply from the Sacristy.


The completed, award-winning new entrance to St Wilfrid’s, containing an accessible lavatory to complement the existing loos on site in the Parish Centre.


St Wilfrid's Award from Ripon Civic Society

The current project for which St Wilfrid’s Ripon is fundraising is to have the very special pipe organ – an instrument of national significance given to the parish – installed in the West Gallery. Please consider using our secure online donation to contribute!