History of St Michael’s

1841 

Revd Nicholas Chudleigh was appointed Curate for St Columb Minor and was determined to assert an Anglican presence in Newquay.

Aided by Revd Dr Charles Henry Hutton, retired Rector of Great Houghton, who held services in his home before moving to a sail loft over the Unity Fish Cellars on Beach Road.

1858 

Encouraged by Dr Hutton and Revd Edward Bouverie Pusey, a leading figure in the Oxford Movement, Revd Chudleigh built a ‘Chapel of ease’ in the heart of Newquay (on the site now occupied by Poundland and Peacocks).

9th September 1858               

First services were held in the new Church

3rd October 1858          

Allarina Geziah Tinney was the first child christened in the new Church

1896  

St Michael’s Church had been twice enlarged in size, a north and a south aisle being added and its capacity increased to 500; however by the turn of the century it was inadequate to hold the summer congregation and Morning Prayer had to be held twice – the church being full at both services.

1903

New Vicar of St Columb Minor, Canon Augustus Vansittart Thornton, wasted no time in promoting the building of a new and larger church.  

In September 1903 a minute of the church council recorded that “Canon Thornton reported that he had received a letter from The Revd W. S. Mitchell offering ½ acre of land for £500 for the purpose of building a church.” 

The council thought the price too steep, but started negotiations, nevertheless.

1904

The site was purchased

March 1906

J N Comper, later to become Sir Ninian Comper, was appointed architect

July 1906

Comper produced his first plans to meet the brief of a church ‘of a Cornish type…to accommodate 1,000, at a cost of not in any event exceeding £10,000’

7th September 1909

The foundation stone was laid

12th July 1911

The church was consecrated by Dr Stubbs, Bishop of Truro.

The total cost, including purchase of the land, was just under £11,000.

27th October 1918

Revd and Hon. Reginald John Yarde-Buller was instituted as the first Vicar of Newquay (1918 – 1926)

The Church was further beautified over the years, with stained glass (some designed by Ninian Comper), by the rood screen, also designed by Comper, which was installed in sections

1926 – 1934

Charles Stanley Fleet – Vicar of St Michael’s

1934 – 1951

Henry George Blomfield – Vicar of St Michael’s

1951 – 1969

Charles Kelland Peeke – Vicar of St Michael’s

1961

A gift of the late Revd Mitchell saw the dedication of a Nicholson of Worcester organ and also funding for the tower; Comper’s original plans included a tower at the east end of the church; however, this was unable to be constructed due to a lack of funds.

1969

The tower, designed by Comper’s son, Sebastian, was completed standing at 64.76 metres.

1969 – 1974

Harold Ernest Hocking – Vicar of St Michael’s

1974 – 1984

John Donald Shepher – Vicar of St Michael’s

1984 – 1993

Hugh Martin Williams – Vicar of St Michael’s

29th June 1993

At 1.50pm on St Peter’s Day smoke was spotted coming from the roof over the north aisle.

50 Firemen from 9 stations attended the scene; but by the end of the afternoon most of the roof had been destroyed and several tons of roof timbers, slates and plaster had fallen on the pews and floor. 

The organ and half of the pews were destroyed beyond repair; the figures on the rood screen were badly charred and broken by falling debris; water had seeped into the heating ducts and basement vestries leaving the several inches deep in water, but by the efforts of the Fire Brigade and parishioners many portable treasures were saved.

A police investigation into the cause of the fire showed that it had been started deliberately, but forensic tests of samples taken from the charred remains of the church proved inconclusive. No one was charged in connection with the fire.

16th January 1995

Rebuilding commenced with Richard Church and John Tanner, of Bazeley Miller-Williams and Corfield of St Austell appointed as architects, and K. H. J. Trethewey & Sons Ltd of St Erme as the main contractors.

As far as possible all sub-contractors, suppliers and materials were from Cornwall.

1995 – 1999

Michael Harry Fisher – Vicar of St Michael’s

29th September 1996 – The Feast of St Michael and All Angels

Rededication of St Michael the Archangel, Parish Church of Newquay

1999 – 2014

Michael John Adams – Vicar of St Michael’s

2016 – 2021

Jeremy S Thorold – Vicar of St Michael’s