St Mary's Church, Great Yarmouth
|St Mary Church|
|Founder(s)||Society of Jesus|
|Heritage designation||Grade II* listed|
|Architect(s)||Joseph John Scoles|
|Bishop(s)||Rt. Rev. Alan Hopes|
|Priest(s)||Fr David Jennings|
|Deacon(s)||Rev Peter Glanville|
St Mary's church is a Roman Catholic Parish church in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. It is situated on Regent Road in the centre of the town. It was originally built by the Society of Jesus in the late 1840s and it is now administered by the Diocese of East Anglia. The architect was Joseph John Scoles who also designed the Anglican St Mary's church in the Southtown area of Great Yarmouth and it is a Grade II* listed building.
In 1824, the Jesuits started a mission in the town for the Catholics of the area. It began under a Fr Tate. Originally, he purchased a house and warehouse in the town for the congregation to worship in. However, by 1841, the congregation had become too numerous and a new larger location had to be sought. Fr Tate's replacement, Fr Lopez, bought the land for St Mary's and construction started in 1848.
The church was completed two years later and it was opened by the Bishop of Northampton, William Wareing on 24 September 1850. The architect was Joseph John Scoles who designed numerous churches for the Jesuits, such as Immaculate Conception Church, Farm Street in London, St Francis Xavier Church in Liverpool, St Ignatius Church in Preston and Holy Cross Church in St Helens. In Great Yarmouth, he also designed the Bure Bridge in 1829 and the Anglican church in Southtown in 1831, which is also dedicated to St Mary. Despite the Bure Bridge collapsing on 2 May 1845 (because construction workers made the bridge wider than specified), Joseph Scoles was still invited back to the town to design St Mary's church. At some point in the 20th-century, the Jesuits left Great Yarmouth and handed the church over to the Diocese of East Anglia, who continue to serve the parish.
The church has stained glass windows from Franz Mayer & Co. installed in 1860 and 1890 as well as glass by Hardman & Co. in Birmingham, installed in the 1850s. The church organ was installed in the 19th-century and has 1032 pipes.
The parish has a close relationship with the nearby St Mary's Primary School. The school was originally founded for the children of local Catholic families, and now it accepts children from all faiths and communities.
The parish is the main Catholic church for Great Yarmouth, so it has four Masses for Sunday, 17:00 on Saturday afternoon, 9:00 and 11:00 on Sunday mornings and 17:00 in the afternoon. There are also daily Masses interspersed throughout the week.
- Heritage Lottery Fund retrieved 16 December 2013
- Parishes from Diocese of East Anglia retrieved 16 December 2013
- Church of St Mary from English Heritage retrieved 16 December 2013
- British listed buildings retrieved 16 December 2013
- Norfolk Churches retrieved 20 October 2013
- About from StMarys-Primary.co.uk retrieved 16 December 2013
- Mass Times at StMarysGY.org.uk retrieved 16 December 2013