The Encyclopaedia of Plymouth History
CHURCH OF SAINT JUDE THE APOSTLE
The Anglican Church of Saint Jude the Apostle is located in Beaumont Road, Plymouth.
This ecclesiastical parish was formed on May 4th 1877 from the parish of Charles.
The church is in the Early English style and was erected in a field previously called Higher Barn Park.
Saint Jude's was designed by Mr James Hine, of Plymouth, and constructed by Messrs Blatchford, of Tavistock. Tthe work was well under way when the memorial stone was laid by Bishop Temple, the Bishop of Exeter, on October 26th 1875. At that time it consisted of chancel, nave, aisles, transepts, and a west porch. Bishop Temple consecrated the Church on Monday November 27th 1876.
The cost of construction was reputedly around £5,000 and was met by a grant of £1,000 from the Three Towns Church Extension Society, £3,061 subscribed locally, and a generous donation from the Reverend T A Bewes of Beaumont House (now Beaumont Park on the opposite side of the road). The latter gentleman also paid for the installation of the organ in 1878 and the erection of the tower and spire in 1882. Although the tower only contained one bell the frame was built for a peel of bells.
Messrs Hele & Company of Plymouth supplied the organ at a cost of over £500 and the keys of it were presented to the viar, the Reverend Thomas Henry Howard, on December 12th 1878.
On the afternoon of Thursday June 23rd 1887 the foundation stone of a church room was paid by Miss Catherine Bewes, the niece of the Reverend T A Bewes of Beaumont House. The Reverend Bewes had donated £1,000 towards the project. The trowel used by Miss Bewes had been previously used for similar ceremonies at Holy Trinity Church in 1840, the vicarage for Charles Church and for many of the local parochial schools.
Prior to the ceremony the Charles' Boys' School fife and drum band played a selection of music. Also present were the vicar of Saint Jude's, the Reverend T H Howard; the vicar of Charles Church, the Reverend J M Laycock; the churchwardens, Mr H Howard and Mr A Hooper; and Miss Evelyn Bewes, Catherine's sister.
It transpired that a lady had been invited to lay the stone because it was in celebration of Her Majesty Queen Victoria's Jubilee and it was felt that a lady should therefore perform the duty.
Mr James Hine, of Messrs Hine & Odgers, designed the parish room and it was built of local limestone, with Bath and Portland stone dressings. The sculptures were the work of Mr Trevenen. The contractor was Mr Philip Blowey.
In addition to the main hall, which measured 50 feet by 26 feet and was capable of seating 200, there were two class-rooms. The parish room was officially opened on the afternoon of Wednesday March 21st 1888 when the annual congregational tea and social gathering was held.
In 1905 the Church received a gift of £700 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and acquired land nearby for a Sunday School and parsonage. The foundation stone of the Lower Church Room was laid by Doctor Hingston on July 11th 1906. The architect was a Mr Shires and the contractors were Messrs Stevenson & Company. It was officially opoened by the Honourable Mrs Bingham, of Kitley House, Yealmptopn, on November 26th 1906.
Grenville Road Mission Church
Saint Jude's ran several Missions Churches. Work began on the first, in Grenville Road, on February 9th 1891, with the foundation stone being laid by Doctor Hingston on March 25th. Designed by a Mr Keats and constructed by Messrs Tozer & Son, the Mission was opened on October 28th 1891, St Jude's Day. The Mission Church is built of Plymouth limestone rubble, with arched windows and brick detailing, and this building is still in use today as a warehouse. It was extended twice,in late 1900 and again in December 1907 and on October 1st 1916, during the Great War, was requisitioned by the Army as a billet for soldiers guarding the munition works near Laira Bridge. It was reliquishwed in December 1917. It saw further service during the Second World War as a first aid post.
Higher Street Mission Church
A further Mission Church was opened in Higher Street in September 1907 and this remained in use until 1925.
The Excelsior Mission was also in Higher Street and was run by a Miss Lewin until the Higher Street Mission took it over on March 7th 1919. It also closed in 1925.
Exeter Street Mission
A Mission Church in Mrs Blake's property at number 64 Exeter Street was opened in 1925 to replace the Higher Street Mission.
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