Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: November 14, 2018
Webpage updated: November 15, 2019




The Three Towns Church Extension Society was formed on Tuesday March 23rd 1897 at a public meeting in Plymouth chaired by the Bishop of Exeter.  The Bishop of Crediton was elected Chairman, Mr W H May, of 10 Princess Square, Plymouth, was selected as Secretary and Mr J P Paige was made Treasurer.  Mr May was assisted by a Clerical Secretary, the Reverend W Howard Coates.

As the population of Plymouth, with East Stonehouse and Devonport, was growing, so too was the need to provide additional accommodation for their pastoral needs.  The census in 1891 had revealed that the Parish of Saint Andrew's had nearly 11,000 inhabitants and the Parish of Charles nearly 12,000.  Nearly 12,000 parishioners, mostly poor people, lived within the Parish of Saint Peter and and another 12,000 lived in the Parish of Stoke Damerel.  The average population for other parishes was between 6 and 8,000.  The greatest increase in population was, not surprisingly, in the parishes on the outskirts of the Three Towns, particularly Plymouth.

The Anglican Church of Saint John the Evangelist, Sutton-on-Plym, had accommodation for just over 800 people yet had a population of about 8,000.  The Anglican Church of Saint Jude the Apostle could hold only 600 worshippers in the Church plus 270 in the Mission Hall, but the population of the Parish was 11,000 people.

Seven new places of worship were planned by the Society.  They were to be: Saint Mary the Virgin and Saint Mary Magdalene, at Cattedown; Saint Thomas the Apostle at Keyham; Saint Augustine of Hippo, Lipson Vale; Saint Gabriel the Archangel, Peverell Terrace, off Hyde Park Road, Mutley; Saint Simon the Apostle, Salisbury Road; and Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr, Saint Budeaux; and Saint Philip the Apostle, Weston Mill.

It is not known when the Three Towns Church Extension Society was dissolved.