St Stephen's Church, Bournemouth

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St Stephen's Church, Bournemouth
St Stephen's Church, Bournemouth from the Town Hall.jpg
50°43′24″N 1°52′51″W / 50.7232°N 1.8807°W / 50.7232; -1.8807Coordinates: 50°43′24″N 1°52′51″W / 50.7232°N 1.8807°W / 50.7232; -1.8807
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Anglo-Catholic
Website Official website of St Stephen's
Dedication Saint Stephen
Parish St Peter with St Stephen
Deanery Bournemouth
Archdeaconry Bournemouth
Diocese Winchester
Province Canterbury
Vicar(s) Rev. Robin C N Harger
Organist(s) Ian F Harrison

St Stephen's Church is an Anglican church in Bournemouth, Dorset (formerly in Hampshire). The liturgical life of the Church was rooted in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. The Church has a magnificent Lady Chapel, once celebrating Marian masses, benediction and recitation of the Rosary for the Society of Mary. Devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham was also encouraged.


Designed by architect John Loughborough Pearson, the church was built in stages between 1881 and 1898, as a memorial to Alexander Morden Bennett, first vicar of St Peter's Church, Bournemouth. A spire was never added to the tower.

Legend has it that Pearson's aim when he designed St. Stephen's church was to create a building "which brought people to their knees."[citation needed]

It is a grade I listed building.[1]


  • 1881–1911 Fr Alexander Sykes Bennett
  • 1911–28 Fr George Philip Trevelyan
  • 1928–44 Fr Philip Harold Rogers
  • 1944–52 Fr Geoffrey Heald
  • 1952–58 Fr Francis John Michael Dean
  • 1958–62 Fr Charles Edward Burnett Neate
  • 1962–70 Fr George Percy Wilkins
  • 1970–73 Fr Anthony Douglas Caesar
  • 1974–83 Fr John David Corbett
  • 1983–87 Fr John Catlin
  • 1987–94 Fr Paul Hastrop
  • 1994–2012 Fr Robin Harger


Aside from its architectural design, St. Stephen's church is also known for its music and songs, as performed by the church's choir. Each summer, the choir renders a classical series of music by Mozart, Haydn and Schubert.[citation needed]

The church has an organ by William Hill dating from 1898. A specification of the organ can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register. There is also a small 5 stop chamber organ dating from 1870. The specification of the chamber organ can also be found on the National Pipe Organ Register.

List of organists[edit]

  • 1881–93 T.J.Baker
  • 1894–1930 Henry Holloway, D.Mus. FRCO
  • 1930–35 Percy Whitlock
  • 1936–66 Cyril Knight, FRCO,FLCM
  • 1967–75 Spencer Fackerell
  • 1976 Roger Hill
  • 1976–82 Cyril Knight
  • 1982–88 Ian Harrison, BA, FRCO, FTCL
  • 1988–94 Anthony Wood, ARCO
  • 1994– Ian Harrison


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Name: CHURCH OF ST STEPHEN List entry Number: 1324756". English heritage. Retrieved 25 July 2014.