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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Devon

by Peter Kessler, 12 June 2020

Exeter Part 22: Churches of Exwick to Stoke Hill

New Hope Baptist Church, Exwick, Exeter, Devon

New Hope Baptist Church meets in the comparatively new Exwick Community Centre, on the southern side of Kinnerton Way, about sixty metres west of the roundabout that connects to Lavender Road. Around 2017 the congregation left its purpose-built Riverside Baptist Chapel on Lower Combe Street (see links), and also the location's long history of worship. It refounded itself under its present name and started meeting in Exwick to cater for the people of this new estate.

Church of St Andrew Exwick, Exeter, Devon

The Church of St Andrew Exwick occupies the north-east corner of the Station Road and St Andrew's Road junction. This Victorian Gothic structure was erected in 1841, consisting of chancel (towards the back of the building in this photo), nave, and bell turret using the local Heavitree red stone. Upon completion it was a slightly smaller building than it is today. Consecrated by Bishop Philpotts on 26 September 1842, it was extended in the 1870s to its present size and shape.

Church of St Andrew Exwick, Exeter, Devon

Inside it has two aisles that are separated by three distinctive bays with clustered, polished marble columns. These have free stone capitals, crowned with lilies and passion flowers. The roof in both nave and northern aisle (on the far side of the building) has open painted panels that are elaborately decorated in blue and are studded with gilded bosses. On the south side, below the chancel arch, is a carved oak eagle lectern while the altar is of Painswick stone.

Exwick Community Church, Exwick, Exeter, Devon

Exwick Community Church currently (2020) meets in the parish hall next to St Andrew Exwick, on its eastern flank. The River Exe and the main line railway to London Paddington lie to its east. This congregation is independent, affiliated to the Baptist Union since 1996. It is a daughter of St Thomas Baptist Church which is located relatively close to its south (see links). It is also a member of the South West Baptist Association and the Baptist Union of Great Britain.

Church of St Clement, St David's, Exeter, Devon

The Church of St Clement was located close to the south-east corner of Old's View and Station Road, with the site now occupied by these two sidings alongside the Paddington main line, at the north end of Exeter St David's station. The small medieval chapel here was built on swampy land next to the River Exe, liable to flooding. It belonged to St Nicholas Priory (see links). It still existed in 1537 when the priory was closed but, now abandoned, was in ruins by 1571.

Exeter University Chapel / Mary Harris Memorial Chapel of the Holy Trinity, Exeter, Devon

Exeter University Chapel stands at the heart of the Streatham campus, south of the Queen's Building and flanked to its own south by the Roborough Building and the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. It was consecrated on 26 June 1958. Formally known as the Mary Harris Memorial Chapel of the Holy Trinity or Mary Harris Chapel, it offers a contemporary and inspirational space, designed by architect Dr E Vincent Harris OBE who presented it to the university in memory of his mother.

The Old Gospel Hall / Pennsylvania Christian Fellowship / Exeter Calvary Church, Pennsylvania, Exeter, Devon

The Old Gospel Hall stands on the southern side of Edgerton Park Road, just thirty-files metres or so east of the junction with Pennsylvania Road. It was seemingly built before 1890 at the eastern edge of a cul-de-sac on the southern side of Edgerton Park which opened out onto Pennsylvania Road. Pennsylvania Christian Fellowship, a Plymouth Brethren meeting, used the hall for many years. More recently it has provided a home to Exeter Calvary Church.

Exeter Vineyard Church, Pennsylvania, Exeter, Devon

Exeter Vineyard Church sits at the northern end of a broad alley which leads north from Prospect Park, at the junction with Old Tiverton Road. Part of the Vineyard Movement of churches (see links), Exeter Vineyard has been meeting in the city since 1995, offering a relatively standard form of service but in the relaxed, informal way of many Evangelical churches in Britain. Exeter was also responsible for the extension into Taunton in Somerset in the year 2000.

Church of St James Stoke Hill, Exeter, Devon

The Church of St James Stoke Hill sits inside the south-east corner of the Prince Charles Road and Mount Pleasant Road junction. It is not to be confused with the earliest St James in Exeter which stood within the city walls (the 'old church' - see links), built before 1190 but seemingly demolished by 1386-87. It is also not to be confused with that church's successor, St James's Church Sidwell, which stood on St James' Road from 1836 until destroyed by bombing during the war.

Church of St James Stoke Hill, Exeter, Devon

This St James was built because the church authorities were refused permission to demolish the old St Anne's Chapel a short way to the south. Built in yellow brick, it was dedicated in 1956. Its general design is traditional (east-facing, with a sanctuary, chancel, and nave), carrying architectural references to Santiago de Compostela, and with a general post-war style of building. The interior is airy and is designed so that natural light enhances its architectural features.

All photos on this page by P L Kessler. Additional information from Discovering Exeter 1: St David's, Joyce Greenaway (Exeter Civic Society, 1981), and from Discovering Exeter 7: Lost Churches, Exeter Civic Society, 1995.

 

 

     
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