Bristol’s oldest building, the St James Priory, has re-opened following a £4.4 million restoration

Bishop Declan Lang of Clifton celebrated Mass to mark the occasion in the almost 1,000-year-old building. About 500 people attended.

St James Priory, in the heart of Bristol, was founded in the 12th century by Benedictine monks who helped the poor and sick people of the city.

Nearly 1,000 years on, the priory is home to the St James Priory Project which runs a residential drug rehabilitation centre, carrying out similar healing work as was done by the priory’s founders. Mass is still celebrated in the priory every Sunday at 8.00am.

The conservation and redevelopment of the Grade I-listed building took two years and cost £4.4 million. It was made possible thanks to a £3.2 million investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

St James Priory charity raised an additional £1.2 million for the project.