The church in Tintagel was founded by the Canons Regular of the Lateran, which is an international order of priests and lay brothers based in Rome and with 15 communities in Italy, and others in France, Belgium, England, Poland, Spain, Brasil, Argentina, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic Their most recent venture (2004) was in the Central African Republic. Since 1959 they have formed part of a wider confederation of Augustinian Canons, the members of which are present in many other parts of the world. The CRL were asked to come to Cornwall and in 1881 resettled in Bodmin (they had been there in the Middle Ages, but the Priory was suppressed in the time of Henry VIII). For more history please visit the Parish Website.
The early years were very difficult for them and there was some talk of abandoning the mission, but in the early part of the 20th century things improved, and the new priory in Bodmin was started. By 1971, Bishop Cyril Restiaux of Plymouth was writing that Cornish Catholics were highly indebted to the Canons, as they were responsible for about half of the at least 35 chapels and churches in Cornwall, including St. Paul.
The land on which the church and house are built was bought just after WWII, thanks partly to Mr. Robert Lund who left the money in his will. His wife later paid for much of the rest of the church.
Building started in March 1967 with "pegging out."
The architect was Mr. Vyvyan Salisbury.
The church was opened on the 23rd February, 1968 by Bishop Restiaux.
See About us - "Photos of our church" for more information about the windows and interior.
Photographs are © Mollie Dishman 2011. Reproduced with permission. We are indebted to the book by Ambrose Whitehead, CRL, entitled "Ninety Years in Cornwall, 1881 - 1971," published at St. Mary's Abbey, Bodmin, for much of the above information and to the linked websites in the text for most of the rest.
40th Anniversary Celebrations
February 2008: Father Bryan cutting the 40th Anniversary Celebration Cake (also in close-up).