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St Boniface Church, Bonchurch facts for kids

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Coordinates: 50°36′00″N 01°11′13″W / 50.60000°N 1.18694°W / 50.60000; -1.18694

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St Boniface Church, Bonchurch
St Boniface Church, Bonchurch, Isle of Wight, UK.jpg
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Liturgical
Website [1]
Dedication St Boniface
Parish Bonchurch
Diocese Portsmouth
Province Canterbury
Rector Revd Hugh Wright
Organist(s) Mr George Westcott

St Boniface Church, Bonchurch is a parish church in the Church of England located in Bonchurch, Isle of Wight.


The church dates from 1847 and 1848 by the architect Ferrey. It was built to replace Old St Boniface Church, Bonchurch, which nevertheless has escaped demolition. The church is cruciform in shape with a south porch and two north vestries and an organ chamber. The bell turret contains a single bell which weighs 4cwt and is tuned to the key of Eb. Much of the funds for building the Church were paid for by Captain Swinburne, father of Algernon Swinburne, the poet.

On the screen dividing the Rector's Stall from the nave is a memorial to Lord Admiral Earl Jellicoe of the Battle of Jutland, who worshipped here.

Triptych East Windows are an early work by William Wailes and depicts various scenes of Christ's life on earth. The roundel window crowning the triptych depicts The Angels appearing to the Shepherds announcing Christ's birth. The windows around the church feature many saints including the East Anglian saints, St Benedict Biscop, tutor to the Venerable Bede, and St Edith. Much of the glass is by Henry Holiday and Shrigley and Hunt.

Parish Status

The church is within a group which includes:


  • Algernon Charles Swinburne 1909. Poet
  • Henry De Vere Stacpoole 1951. Author

The Reverend James White and family, devoted friends of Alfred Lord Tennyson who used to visit them in this parish.


The church has a pipe organ by Forster and Andrews dating from 1872. It is a two manual tracker organ and pneumatic pedal board. The beautiful organ casing painted with Fleur-de-lis and Tudor Roses was brought forward on a canopy above the console in the 1930s by Herbert Morris which hold the Great Open Diapason pipes. The organ has 21 stops and is Grade II listed. It was restored in 1995 in memory of a former parishioner.

The first organist of the Church was Miss Elizabeth Sewell whose brother was the founder of Radley College, Oxford. Miss Gwladys Williams LRAM FRCO was Organist and Choir mistress here from 1921 to 1978. Mr. Ian D. Snow MBE LRAM FRCA LTCL was organist and Choirmaster here from 1978 until 2006. The Church has a strong musical tradition and is affiliated to the RSCM. A specification of the organ can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register.

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