Photo for the Hall

The Colne Harmony Barbershop Choir

Cardinal Bourne Hall

Current List of Activities

Booking Procedure


History of the Cardinal Bourne Hall

Current List of Activities

Every Sunday after 10:30am Mass

2nd Sunday of Month after Polish Mass - Sunday 3.00pm - 4.00pm

1st Sunday of Month after Filipino Mass - Sunday 5.00pm - 6.00pm

The Cardinal Bourne Hall opens it’s doors every Tuesday and Friday morning from 9.00am until 11.45am throughout the year, where volunteers led by Josie McIssac, provide free coffee and sandwiches for the needy of Colchester, this is a meeting point for homeless people, the year ends with a Christmas party including entertainment, all guests leave with Christmas cards and presents provided by volunteers.
Contact No. 01206-870929

This group meets every Monday lunchtime from 11.30 - 1.10pm and every Teusday from 12:10 - 1:30pm throughout the year and consists of a fellowship of men and women, who share their experience strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

This group meets every Monday from 7.00pm - 9.30pm

This group meets every Thursday evening in Cardinal Bourne Hall from 7-9pm. All parishioners welcome to play socially at all levels, do come and join the fun!

Every Tuesday & Friday 5.30pm – 7.30pm (Term time only)

This group meet every Wednesday 7.30pm - 9.30pm

Every Thursday 10.00am - 11.30am

LITTLE TOTS (Mother & Toddler Group)
Every Wednesday 8.45am - 11.00am (Term time only)

Booking Procedure

Management of the Hall changed in September 2020.

For bookings please email Parish Office or leave a voice message on 01206 866317. Supply the following details for costing purposes: your name, address and post code, the date you wish to hire the hall, with a description of usage together with starting  and finishing times.

Payment must be made by Bank Transfer, Bank details will be given after signing a Hall Hire Agreement Form and payment must be made prior to or on the day of the booking.

Under the terms of the Licensing act of 2003 (section s18) the CB Hall holds a ‘Premises License’ to play recorded music, live music and dancing and in association with Colchester Borough Council has the facility of a ‘Temporary Event Notice’ system to operate a licensed bar.

Under the terms of the ‘Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988’ The Cardinal Bourne hall holds a ‘Performing Rights Society’ (PRS) License, this body represents the copyright owners ie the composers and music publishers of all music played in the UK.

PPL LICENSING (Public Performance Limited)
This organisation owns the copyright of 99.9% of all music on a worldwide basis, this means that in the case of music played to the general public within the premises, then the producer of the music ie Disc Jockey, Live Bands, or recorded music on tape or CD are required by law to obtain a PPL License.
There are certain exemptions which result in most cases not needing to obtain a license, but due to the complexities of the law, it is advisable to consult the hall manager.
It is the responsibility of the hall management to ensure that all music played within the premises is supported by a PPL License. Where a third party is involved, it is essential that the prospective hirer of the hall is made aware of the situation and makes appropriate enquiries to the third party before booking.

History of the Cardinal Bourne Hall

On the 17th June 1902 Dean Angelo Lucas, the then rector of the Catholic Mission at Colchester, died. His successor was Father John Bloomfield, who came to Colchester from Hertford, Essex.
Essex was (until 1917 when the Diocese of Brentwood was established) part of the Archdiocese of Westminster. Father Bloomfield took up his predecessor’s plans to extend the Church of St James the less, Priory Street (the Catholic Church of Colchester), and indeed decided to make this project a memorial to Lucas.
Dean Lucas had left a legacy of £2000, augmented by a further £780 raised by appeal to enlarge the Church and to build a hall.
Between 1904 and 1910 Father Bloomfield completed several building projects. The first, the extension and refurbishment of the Church, was completed in 1904, on 28th June of that year Archbishop Bourne who had succeeded Cardinal Vaughan as Archbishop of Westminster in 1903, came to Colchester to reopen the Church for public worship.
Father Bloomfield was also appointed Acting Chaplain to the Armed Forces at Colchester in 1904, taking responsibility for the Catholic soldiers and their families.
He had a particular concern for the welfare of soldiers and also the young men of the parish and wanted somewhere for them to meet.
A vaguely neo-Norman, red brick hall (present dimensions 2,722 sq feet) which includes two rooms and toilets added in 1936-1937 & new cloakrooms & new toilets added in 1961), seating 200-300 was subsequently built at Father Bloomfield’s own expense, and was built in 1910-1911 and completed in 1913.
The architects of the Cardinal Bourne Institute as it was known then, were Canon Alexander Joseph Cory Scoles (1844 -1920), who was parish priest of Basingstoke from 1901-1920, and Geoffrey Raymond (1881-1972) his junior partner and from 1920 successor in architectural practice. The architectural practice was known as Scoles & Raymond, and the builders were Messrs H. Everett of Colchester, Essex.
Canon Scoles, the priest-architect, was the younger son of Joseph John Scoles (1798-1863), architect (1837) of St James the less Church, Priory Street.
It was known as the Cardinal Bourne Institute because Archbishop Bourne was then Archbishop of Westminster (he was created Cardinal in 1911), and because Father Bloomfield was a personal friend.
As students for the priesthood they had been companions at the Seminary of St. Sulpice, Paris, and were both ordained in 1884, Bourne for the Diocese of Southwark and Bloomfield for the Archdiocese of Westminster.
In fact, the present Bishop of Brentwood (Bishop Thomas McMahon, who was a curate at Colchester from 1959 to 1964) was also a student at the same seminary, although much later of course (in the1950’s). Father Bloomfield named the hall after his friend, Francis Alphonsus Cardinal Bourne who officially opened the hall in 1911.
The hall served as a meeting place for parish groups. During the First World War (1914-1918)  Father Bloomfield, opened up the Bourne Institute to soldiers of all religious denominations for use as a club, which included billiards and a reading room. This use of the hall continued until May 1920, when the building reverted to parish use.
In 1918 Father Bloomfield was named a Canon of the new Diocese of Brentwood. He died on 7th January 1932 and is buried in Colchester cemetery. He left a generous legacy to the parish, which enabled all the debts of the School, the Church and the Hall to be paid off.
In the 1930’s a Catholic library for children was operated in the hall in addition to the many activities held there. During the second world war (1939-1945) the Bourne Institute was again called into service as a servicemen’s club, under the auspices of the Knights of St. Columba (a Catholic laymen’s organisation) - which still meet regularly in the hall today.
There was some slight damage to the hall by enemy action in 1941, Further repairs were undertaken in 1957. Substantial external repairs were made to the hall in 1967, including the gable ends at the entrance which were toppling over and were dangerous.
In 1939 the Catholic Elementary School began to use the hall for P.E. and other activities and, after the opening of St Thomas More Primary School in 1954 the hall was in due course used as an overflow classroom and a lunch canteen until the early 1970’s.
Today, the hall now referred to as the ‘Cardinal Bourne Hall‘, is widely used by the parish and other communities and is financially self supporting. An internal refurbishment programme is in place to contribute to the future ongoing success of the premises.

Information provided by Francis Coulter, February 2007.

With special thanks to Father Stewart Foster - Diocese of Brentwood, for his kind contribution to this information.


Find out about our latest events here ....


Each week we publish an online newsletter.

Parish Directory

View our Parish Directory.

Stewards of the Gospel

View Reports.

A cross