Grid Ref SX036521
Church Road, Charlestown, St Austell, PL25 3NS
The Parish of St. Paul’s, Charlestown, was created in 1849 out of the parish of Holy Trinity, St Austell. The Church was built in 1851, but owing to a lack of funds, was missing it’s stone spire and was furnished with rather inferior pews. The nave roof is reputed to be the highest of any parish church in Cornwall. The stone used for it’s construction was not the best of materials; it was a local stone from Stenalees and is both porous and rather flaky. This has caused numerous problems with major repairs over the building’s history.
To celebrate the centenary of the Church in 1951, a beautiful nave altar was added within a project to reorder the east end of the nave. It is believed to have been one of the first permanent nave altars in England. In 2001, the 150th. anniversary was celebrated with the creation the Lady Chapel in the north transept. The plain oak altar was transported from Wolverhampton courtesy of English China Clays (as the company was known in those days).
In 1971 under the chairmanship of A.L. Rowse, moves were made to furnish the stunted tower with a spire and a ring of bells. The project was completed in 1972 with the installation of a fibre glass spire, (placed on the tower by a crane) and a ring of six bells cast by Taylor’s of Loughborough. At the time the bells were the lightest ring of six in Cornwall. The treble bell was named Noel after its donor, the late Sir Noel Coward.
The old pews, which were both very uncomfortable and in a very poor state, were replaced in 2007 with a new hard-wood floor and chairs, which have given both comfort and flexibility for liturgical and community use. The Church is now used by different organisations in the locality for their meetings as well as by Charlestown Primary School for their Christmas and end of year services.
Liturgically, St. Paul’s has always been within the Catholic Tradition of the Church of England, with the Sunday Parish Mass being the main act of worship.