Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Lowestoft
|Our Lady Star of the Sea Church|
|OS grid reference||TM548931|
|Founder(s)||Society of Jesus|
|Heritage designation||Grade II listed|
|Designated||21 June 1993|
|Architect(s)||George Baines and F.W. Richards|
|Completed||5 June 1902|
Our Lady Star of the Sea Church is a Roman Catholic Parish church in Lowestoft, Suffolk. It is situated on Gordon Road in the centre of the town. It was founded by the Society of Jesus in the 1850s and it is now administered by the Diocese of East Anglia. The church is in the Arts and Crafts style, the architects were George Baines and F.W. Richards, and it is a Grade II listed building. It is the most easterly Catholic parish church in the entire British Isles.
From 1850s, the Catholic community in Lowestoft was served by a Jesuit mission from St Mary's Church, Great Yarmouth. The Catholics would worship in a chapel, in the first floor of a house in the outskirts of Lowestoft. In 1881, the mission became a parish. However, the chapel become too small to accommodate the increasing congregation, so fundraising was started so that a larger location could be bought.
Construction of the church began in August 1900 when the foundation stone was laid. The architects were from the local area, George Baines and F. W. Richards. They designed the church to be i the Arts and Crafts style. George Baines was born in 1852 and started work in Great Yarmouth. Although, most of the churches he designed were for the Baptists, he also designed churches for the denominations. F. W. Richards had his practice on Stanley Street, Lowestoft and also designed the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Oulton Broad, Suffolk. On 5 June 1902, the church was opened and it hosted its first Mass.
At some point in the 20th-century, the Jesuits left Lowestoft and handed the church over to the Diocese of East Anglia, who continue to serve the parish.
St Nicholas' Church in Pakefield is in the same parish as Our Lady Star of the Sea Church and is a Grade II listed building. From 1955, there was a chapel of ease to Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in a former billiards hall. However, in 1995, the church bought a disused congregationalist church originally called South Cliff Congregational Church.
The former congregationalist church was also designed by George Baines and F. W. Richards and in the Arts and Crafts style. The foundation stone of the church was laid on 8 May 1902, a month before Our Lady Star of the Sea Church opened, and construction was paid for by Sir Jeremiah Colman. Some time after 1961, when the church was renamed Pakefield United Reformed Church, the church closed. In 1995, the Catholic community in Lowestoft bought the church from the United Reformed Church. On 11 August 1995, an ecumenical ceremony took place that involved the handing over of a Gospel book from the United Reformed Church to the Catholic community.
Our Lady Star of the Sea Church has two Sunday Masses at 5:00pm on Saturday and at 10:30am on Sunday. St Nicholas' Church has its Sunday Mass at 9:00am.
- Media related to Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Lowestoft at Wikimedia Commons
- Society of Jesus
- Diocese of East Anglia
- Our Lady Star of the Sea, Waveney from British Listed Buildings, retrieved 20 July 2018
- Directory from Diocese of East Anglia, retrieved 20 July 2018
- Our Lady Star of the Sea, Lowestoft from SuffolkChurches.co.uk, retrieved 20 July 2018
- History from OurLadyLowestoft.com, retrieved 20 July 2018
- George Baines from Trafalgar Street Church, Hull, retrieved 20 July 2018
- Norma Virgoe, Oulton Primitive Methodist Chapel, Suffolk from MyPrimitiveMethodists.org.uk, retrieved 20 July 2018
- Funding boost to repair and open up Suffolk church from Diocese of East Anglia, 6 April 2017, retrieved 20 July 2018
- Roman Catholic Church of St Nicholas, Pakefield from British Listed Buildings, retrieved 20 July 2018
- St Nicholas' Church from SuffolkChurches.co.uk, retrieved 20 July 2018