Roman Catholic

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The earliest Roman Catholic place of worship after the Reformation was hidden in the roof space at Torre Abbey this is believed to date from 1644 and was a private chapel for the Cary family. In 1779 part of the old Abbey buildings was renovated to allow the formation of the chapel which is shown here. Until 1854 it was the only Roman Catholic place of worship in Torquay. It is still in occasional use

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In 1854 the Catholic Church of the Assumption was opened in Abbey Road, it was extended in 1858. Will accommodate 400 people. Before 1905 a Presbytery was added to the right hand side. The extension on the left was the school house. Still in use today. Also contains memorials to the Cary Family

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Interior view of the Church of the Assumption, undated

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Modern view of the church, with the Presbytery on the right

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In 1864 the Bishop of Plymouth invited the Dominican Nuns to open an orphanage called St Mary’s Priory and so “Southampton Villa” in St Marychurch was purchased, and an orphanage building was erected. Mr Potts Chatto proposed to the nuns to build a church in the grounds of Southampton Villa. In 1869 the partially completed Church of Our Lady Help of Christians & St Denis was opened. It was built at the sole cost of Mr W. J. Potts Chatto, of the Daison. A convent was built adjoining and was opened in 1871, it contained a high class day school, and an elementary school for nearly 200 children. The tower and spire were erected on the site of the original Southampton Villa. Mrs Potts Chatto paid for the organ and for the Lady Chapel

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Modern picture of the Church of Our Lady Help of Christians & St Denis

St Marychurch Catholic Church and Priory

The Church & Priory from “THE BUILDING NEWS” 11th July 1879

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The Church of SS John Fisher & Thomas More, Hele Road, built originally as a chapel of Ease to Our Lady Help of Christians & St Denis. Work started in 1935. Sadly now (2006) demolished and houses built on the site.

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The Church of the Holy Angels, Queensway, Chelston, built in 1938
Still in use

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St Vincent’s Orphanage founded in 1889 by the Catholic Sisters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul. The building was formerly used as a private school. Now closed and a private hospital built there- BUT the chapel remains but is closed and declared redundant, is now falling into disrepair and is shortly to be sold, there has been talk about demolishing it to extend the hospital

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An interior view of the St Vincents Chapel

There is also a thriving catholic community of the Order of Filles de la Croix at Stoodley Knowle, a private school for girls which achieves brilliant exam results. The Order first came to Torquay in 1903 and moved to Stoodley Knowle in 1925. A new chapel of the Holy Cross & St Cyril was dedicated in 1967

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