Mike Warrillow, chair of the parochial church council buildings team told the Herald : “For a long time the church has not had any toilets and that’s been a big problem for us.

“People are being forced to go to the parish centre or alternatively to the toilets in the RSC gardens, and that’s a fair walk for children or elderly people.”

Mr Warrillow stressed that the extension would be in keeping with the rest of the church, parts of which date back to the 13th century.

“It will be made out of stone,” he confirmed. “It’s a modest design that’s in character with the rest of the Grade I listed building, and that’s important for the character and heritage of Stratford.”

In the past, thieves have ripped off the lead drainpipes at Holy Trinity. The flattish roof will look like lead, but will actually be made of terne steel. 

“It looks like lead but it isn’t lead, so it’s not so valuable if people steal it,” said Mr Warrillow.

The extension is not designed to drastically change the look of Holy Trinity.

“I don’t think it will spoil anything,” said Mr Warrillow. “It doesn’t change the view across the river and it doesn’t change the view as you walk down the path.”

The extension will be designed to look like the existing building (top) and will contain toilets and a clergy vestry (bottom).

As well as providing toilet facilities, the new extension will also house the clergy vestry, freeing up the south transept and allowing the old chapel to be restored to how it was at the beginning of the 20th century.

An unusual stained-glass window of Christ weeping, recently recovered after being hidden in the organ case for around 100 years, will also be housed in the extension, making it visible again.

Although the plans have been approved by English Heritage and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the church still needs planning permission from the council, and final approval from the Diocese of Coventry.

Mr Warrillow hopes to get this in the first half of next year, and wants work to get underway in the second half. 

He estimates the extension, which will cost £400,000 plus VAT, will then take six months to build.