Mullion - St Michael and the Archangel

Meaver Road, Mullion, Cornwall

A very modest structure of the 1920s, extended in the 1930s and 1950s. The most notable external features are the toy-like tower and the granite memorial cross to Fr Joseph Dobbeleers, the Belgian priest who established the mission. The interior is notable for the murals and furnishings introduced by Fr Dobbeleers, and for some fine pews. 

In the early 1920s a Belgian √©migr√© priest named Fr Joseph Dobbeleers was put in charge the mission covering the Lizard peninsula. In the summer of 1924 Mass was said in a large tent erected on the site of the present church, but this was sadly destroyed by a fire in the autumn of that year.  A more permanent church, the nave of the present building, was built in the following year, being opened and solemnly blessed on 5 April 1925.  Ten years later the north aisle (containing a Lady altar), and the toy-like west tower (somewhat similar to that at St Catherine, Wimborne, built in 1936) were added. A south aisle, containing the Sacred Heart altar, was added in the 1950s.  

The church is orientated north-south, but this description follows conventional liturgical orientation, i.e. as though the altar were facing east.

 

The church consists of a nave and north and south aisles, west tower and lean-to sacristy at the east end. It is built of rendered masonry or blockwork under pitched artificial slate roofs, with UPVC windows, eaves and bargeboards.  The tower is of two stages, with a miniature battlemented parapet, and a pyramidal top terminating in a cross. As at Wimborne, the entrance was originally through the side of the tower, but a larger new round-arched opening has more recently been formed on its west face, to facilitate access for coffins and the disabled.

 

The simple interior has plastered and painted walls and in the nave a black painted timber rafter roof with tie beams and queen-struts. Crudely formed arcade openings to the aisles, which also have exposed rafter roofs.  The interior is homely and charming, lent distinction by the Continental furnishings and decoration introduced by Fr Dobbeleers. These include a mural in the east gable over the altar, of angels adoring a stained glass representation of St Michael in the central small lancet window.  The mural is signed as the work of Joseph (?) Linthout studio, St Croix,Bruges,Belgium. The small painted and framed Stations of the Cross are in a simple and effective Nazarene style and are also presumably of Continental provenance. In the south aisle there is a more recent and good painted triptych (artist not established) in front of which is placed a statue of the Sacred Heart. The latter is a standard repository item, but other carvings of greater quality include a figure of St Michael the Archangel trampling down the dragon, placed externally on a corbel at the west end of the north aisle,  and a figure of Christ blessing in a shallow pointed recess placed low on the south face of the tower. Some of the pews in the nave are of distinctive quality, with carved panelled ends; these are said by Mr Mangnall to have come from Immaculate Conception,Penzance.

Outside the church by the roadside is a large granite cross with carved crucifix, erected in memory of Fr Dobbeleers. 

Diocese: Plymouth

Architect: Not established

Original Date: 1925

Conservation Area: No

Modifications: later additions

Listed Grade: Not listed