St Simon's

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St Simon's Church interior in 1867

St Simon's Church is in Great Union Road, St Helier. To its rear is the Roman Catholic St Thomas's Church.

Building

The church is in the early Decorated style with a nave and chancel and south aisle. A north aisle and campanile were included in the original design but could not be afforded by the building committee. The foundation stone was laid in July 1865 and the church was opened the following year by the Bishop of Mauritius (the Bishop of Winchester was indisposed having fallen off his horse). The debt was paid off by 1869 and the church was then consecrated.

The building is constructed of granite and Caen stone. It was designed by the architect, George Frederick Bodley, whose designs for the restoration of the Town Church had earlier been rejected.

On the right of the altar is a carved stone recess which was found at 14 Royal Square and brought to the church. It is made of Chausey granite and dates from the latter half of the 14th or early 15th centuries.

Description

C E B Brett's Buildings in the town and parish of St Helier describes the church as "suprisingly large but rather grim inside".

"A Gothic revival working man's church of speckled granite, rather overshadowed by the much taller Roman Catholic church at its rear (St Thomas's). Most curious wooden roof structure, deceptive to the eye (it seems full of non-existent concavities), constructed so as to look like plywood cut into shapes on a fretsaw. Very curious heavy ornate seven-legged pulpit. Stained glass windows to Charles I King and Martyr, and William Laud, Archbishop and Martyr; also an unexpected memorial to nine persons whose combined ages came, on the death of the last in 1891, to 831 years. The piscina is the pre-Reformation one cast out of the Town Church and is inscribed Hanc piscinam olim ex aede S Helier abreptam in sacros usus jujus S S aedis prothesin restituit Carol Georg Renouf AD 1866. The font and altar designed by Bodley; the crucifix and candlesticks on the altar designed as a war memorial by Ninian Comper, 1919, as also the statue of Our Lady and Child commemorating E J Le Quesne."
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