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St Nicholas, Southbourne-on-sea


The building of St Nicholas Church was commenced in 1958 when Bournemouth Corporation made available a site on The Broadway at the approach to Hengistbury Head. The first section was completed in 1961.

The ceremony to lay the Foundation Stone of St Nicholas Church took place on 8th April 1961.

St Nicholas is the daughter church of St Katharine’s and at that time was the first Anglican church to be built in Bournemouth for seven years.

On the 9th December 1961 the Bishop of Southampton, the Rt Rev. K. N. Lamplugh, conducted the Service of Dedication of the ’Fellowship Hall’, which acted as a church and meeting place.

Women members of St Katharine’s made all the vestments and linen. The beautiful carvings on the six-sided font are the work of a local schoolmaster Mr J. Derbyshire. Another schoolmaster supplied a pair of candlesticks for the altar. The Sunday School, which formerly met at Wick Barn, transferred to St Nicholas’.

Work continued and on 25th March 1971 the completed church was dedicated by the Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Rev. Falkner Allison.

On the 7th March 1977 the 33ft high Cross was set up outside the East end of the church. The Cross is set in a concrete base weighing 19 tons and can withstand wind speeds up to 100 mph. There is a smaller cross on the other side of the church, which was intended to be temporary when the original small hall was built.


The key note of the design of the church is simplicity. Solidly built externally of Purbeck stone, the light from all windows is focused on the East wall throwing a warm glow inwards into the church.

In 2001 there were great celebrations to mark the fortieth anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone. Father Raymond Jones, formerly both Assistant Curate and Vicar of the Parish, was the guest of honour.