St Asaph Cathedral

Vicar flushed with complaints over toilet plan

Tue 13 Feb 2018
By Eno Adeogun

A vicar has sparked a row with parishioners over plans to install toilets into the church.

The proposed unisex toilets could become part of a refurbishment of St Mary the Virgin in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, which some church members deem as following a "current fad".

Pauline Jones opposes the plan and told The Telegraph: "Some people believe that it is the thing to do without giving it any serious thought. When there is a reasonable alternative, why have anything as undignified as a lavatory in a church?"


Currently those needing a lavatory break are forced to travel 30 metres to a nearby building.

Alicia Collinson, deputy chancellor of the diocese of Gloucester highlighted in a Church of England Consistory Court judgement that the toilets are not accessible to disabled people.

However, in a letter opposing the idea, church member Brian Jones told the court: "There is no compelling need to have them in the church since there are already two in the Parish Room which is no more than thirty yards from the North Door.

"Lavatories in a church is a current fad, but I see no reason why we should blindly follow it. The expense is quite unjustified."

The letter also points out a list of objections to the toilet plan including noise disturbance and distraction during services, smells, as well as the concern that "toilets attract children".

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