Walking along the Strand on the Island of St. Marys in the Scilly Isles, you could be excused for not spotting this Catholic Church…. indeed, it is just one building in a line of terraced buildings of shops but mainly houses. But a Church it is…..
“Our Lady, Star of the Sea”
The date on the chimney is 1860. It was in fact the island Primary School and was a school till 1906. It became a Church in 1931 when the Duchy of Cornwall who owned the building (and most of the Scillies) were approached by the Roman Catholic Diocese in Penzance and Plymouth, for permission to hold Services in the building.
A member of the Clergy would travel out by the Ferry from the Mainland on a Saturday and return home on the Monday Ferry.
It was in 1949 that the Church successfully sought permission to buy the building.
The Church is unique in that Ministers still travel from the Mainland. There is a Flat incorporate in the building. Ministers from across the country can apply to holiday in the Flat and in return they conduct the regular Sunday Services.
As is always the case, the Church fulfills other community roles. On the day we visited St. Mary’s there was a function taking place. We didn’t intrude, so hence no internal pics to share.
A shame as we were told that much of the interior had been skilfully constructed by local craftsmen…. even a quiet garden to the rear.
Our Lady Star of the Sea was a surprise find on the Island, one we could have so easily missed….. indeed, it was the plaque above the door that captured our attention. Otherwise, a very unlikely building for a Church.
It is Sunday, I hope you can relax and reflect on the past week and plan for your week ahead…
and as always, whatever is ahead of you….
Please Remember ….
Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other
(C) David Oakes 2023