The area served by Holy Angels includes the Torquay districts of Chelston, Cockington and Livermead. Chelston is the most populated part, while Livermead includes a section of the seafront with some large hotels as well as smaller hotels and guest houses. The historic and picturesque village of Cockington is a tourist draw; beyond are acres of farmland covering rolling hills and valleys. Also found within the parish bounderies are the two Torquay grammar schools and the two railway stations.
Holy Angels church dates from 1938. Hilda and Edith Robinson came from a wealthy Lancashire family. They settled in Devon bout 1918. The diocese of Plymouth benefitted greatly Holy Angels church dates from 1938. Hilda and Edith Robinson came from a wealthy Lancashire family. They settled in Devon bout 1918. The diocese of Plymouth benefitted greatly from their faith and generosity, as they financed the building of five churches all designed by Fr James Tymons. The first of these was Blessed Sacrament in Heavitree, Exeter, of which Fr Tymons was Parish Priest. Holy Angels was the last of the five. Fr Tymons became the first priest at Holy Angels.
The church follows the design of a typical Roman basilica, brick built with a pitched copper roof. Inside, the nave is topped by a roof again reminiscent of an ancient basilica. Three rounded arches, supported on Corinthian style columns, grace the entrance to the sanctuary. The altar is fronted by a bas-relief Last Supper after Leonardo da Vinci. Above and beyond the altar is the tabernacle in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved and a six foot high bas-relief showing the sacrifice of Isaac (top), the sacrifice of Calvary (central) and below that the sacrifice of the Mass. Either side of this altar piece are red lamps, signifying the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus. These are housed in beautiful wrought iron holders fashioned by the blacksmith in Cockington’s well-known forge.
Good quality stained glass fills seven of the rounded windows of the church. The church is also blessed with excellent carved wood statuary: the fourteen stations of the cross, the images of the Sacred Heart, our Lady and St Joseph as well as the figures of St Michael and the angelic orders were all made in the Italian workshop of Ferdinand Stuflesser for the opening of the church. (In the church, a full history and guide – ‘Walking with Angels’- is available. It was published in 2000 and written by Fr David Annear, Priest at that time.
Holy Angels’ congregation includes people of a number of nationalities, with a sizeable group from the Indian state of Kerala. When a priest of the Syro-Malabar rite is available, Mass is celebrated in the Mayalalam language of Kerala. The average age of those who attend Mass is surprisingly low.
We hope you will enjoy your visit to our website. You will receive a warm welcome at Holy Angels church, whether you are a permanent resident in Torquay or temporarily here to enjoy a holiday in this lovely part of England. May God bless you.
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