Webpage created: July 02, 2017.
Webpage updated: July 02, 2017
ANGLICAN CHURCH OF SAINT SIMON THE APOSTLE
The Anglican Church of Saint Simon the Apostle is situated in Salisbury Road, Plymouth, at the junction with Farringdon Road.
At the time of the early development of the Saint Jude's/Mount Gould area, services were held in a room of a house in Durham Avenue. The congregation grew so quickly that soon the whole house was being used and even this overflowed. A mission hall was then built at the corner of Salisbury Road and Durham Avenue. Although it sat 400 people, it was full on Sundays and there was a Sunday School of some 300 children.
In January 1900 the Bishop of Crediton presided over a meeting at the Anglican Church of Saint Jude, when it was decided to create a new parish and erect a Church. In the middle of the year the Reverend F Wiltshire was appointed curate-in-charge.
By 1901 some £3,000 had been raised towards the Church but the first part to be erected was the parish hall. Accommodating 400 people, this could then be used as a church until the proper building was completed.
Mr Harbottle Reed, a church architect, of Exeter, designed what was by then known as the Saint Simon's Mission Hall and it was built by a local contractor, Mr Ambrose Andrews. The foundation stone was laid by the Bishop of Crediton during the late afternoon of Wednesday June 12th 1901. Among those in attendance were the curate in charge of St Simon's, the Reverend F Wiltshire; the churchwardens, Messrs F C Hellings and W H Ambrose; the treasurer of the building fund, Mr J Y Woollcombe; and the organist, Mr W G Nelder.
The brick-built hall was opened on Saturday November 22nd 1901.
Amid great pomp and ceremony, the foundation stone of the Anglican Church of Saint Simon the Apostle was laid on Wednesday November 8th 1905 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Randall Thomas Davidson, who was visiting Plymouth to speak to the Diocesan Conference about Church Extension in the Three Towns. Using a silver trowel presented to him, he pronounced: 'Here let true faith, the fear of God, and brotherly love ever remain'. The foundation stone was supplied by Messrs Wakeham Brothers.
Designed by Mr Harbottle Reed of Exeter, the Church is of local limestone outside, in the Perpendicular style, and purple-grey Dulverton stone inside. It was designed to accommodate about 750 worshippers.
The ecclesiastical parish was formed in 1907 from that of Saint Jude's and the Anglican Church of Saint Simon the Apostle was consecrated in September of that year, even though it was still unfinished. Indeed due to financial constraints, and two World Wars, the Church had a "temporary" galvanised-iron west wall until July 1957 when work started on erecting a stone wall. The stone that was used apparently came from the old Granby Barracks in Devonport. This work was finished in July 1958.