A Community Hall for all
The hall was fully re-opened for users on 17 September 2021. However, some sensible precautions related to Covid could still apply and we recommend hirers to reference our relevant special booking conditions.
As the name suggests, St Mary’s Church House Hall started off its life as a church hall. It has, however, been a general community hall since 1999 – though still open to church bookings.
The hall is available for meetings, lectures and classes and for other forms of recreation and leisure time pursuits to all users, without distinction of political, religious or other opinions.
The extensive community usage of the hall was typified by bookings in 2019 and early 2020 such as: four different dance groups, a ‘tots’ playgroup, dementia-friendly activity, exercise and health classes such as yoga and T’ai Chi, choirs, dog-training, some church activities and small commercial concessions such as Slimming World and Weight Watcher groups.
The hall welcomes one-off bookings for events including weddings, birthday parties, talks etc, depending on availability.
St Mary’s Church House Hall – Past and Present
The hall was built by a trust originally established in 1918. The trust was an unregistered charity until August 2019 when it became a registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). Whilst originally set up as a church hall, the hall became independent of direct church involvement in 1999 although its facility is available to all in the local community including church-related bookings. The Trust wording was modernised when it became a CIO to reflect its now main function as a community hall, much used by the people of Bridport and its surrounding area in West Dorset.
St Mary’s Church House Hall Management Committee runs the hall on behalf of the Trust. The Committee is made up of volunteers from representatives of current and previous hirers of the hall. The Trust itself has five trustees.
If you would like to support the committee by volunteering some of your time, please send us a mail.
Source of income and expenses
All income derives from hirers and the hall is intended to run on a non-profit making basis. Over many years annual income and expenditures have largely been in balance. The Committee does not run events itself or profit from such.
The hall is leased to the Trust by Magna Housing Association, but the Trust is responsible for all internal matters – cleaning and necessary ‘caretaking’, decoration, utilities provision, maintenance, repairs and renewals as needed with an old building.
We make no charitable grants but do allow use of the hall to some charitable/community hirers and the church at a negotiated reduced or waived hire fee.
To make enquiries about hiring the hall, please visit the How to Book page.
St Mary’s Church House Hall, South Street, Bridport DT6 3NN