About this church
The parish dates from 1837, having no church until the arrival of Father William Young, a charismatic, visionary young priest from Ireland. The foundation stone was laid in July 1841. The nave of this great church was completed for opening on 26th October 1843 at High Mass sung by Fr Casimir Aubert, English Provincial representing the Bishop of Marseilles St Eugène de Mazenod, Superior of the Oblate Fathers of Mary Immaculate. St Eugène visited the parish on his English Visitation tour in 1850.
It is Victorian Gothic Revival, with similarities in style to that famous Catholic architect AW Pugin. His work can be seen on a grave brass in the crypt chapel. The west front is a sophisticated example of Perpendicular Gothic, in dressed Penryn granite, using buttresses to great effect and creating the appearance of a tall and narrow street frontage with impressive soaring verticality. Above the entrance is a niche with a crocketed canopy over a statue of Our Lady.
The Lady Chapel and south aisle were added in 1869 by John Hardman Powell. There are two Hardman of Birmingham windows with Marian motifs dating from 1869, and three Goddard & Gibbs windows depicting the Mysteries of the Rosary from 1993. Two more windows including The Immaculate Conception were added in 2018, our 175th anniversary.
A fine High Altar of polished Cornish granite and serpentine was added in 1868. Since 2005 extensive restoration of the church has been undertaken, including redecoration in Polychromatic fashion using Pugin style colours.
Above the High Altar is the magnificent east window of Christ in Glory with 18 saints and angels, including local saints Piran and Cuthbert Mayne. The decorated gothic crucifix hangs five metres from the fine hammer beam roof above.
The organ was built for this church by George Tucker of Plymouth (1884) and was restored in 2009/2010.
The parish still maintains a good musical tradition, whose choir repertoire spans a thousand years, including Plainsong and Polyphony.