The Parish of St Saviour on the Cliff, Shanklin is within the Portsmouth diocese and is of Anglo-Catholic tradition, and St Saviour's is a member of 'The Society' under the patronage of St Wilfred & St Hilda. The Bishop of Portsmouth is patron of the parish with episcopal oversight provided, under provision of the Five Guiding Principles, by the Bishop of Richborough.
St Saviour's stands alongside the clifftop path near the cliff lift at the southern end of Shanklin. It was designed by Thomas Hellyer of Ryde. The foundation stone was laid on Ascension Day in 1867. The first phase of the building - nave,chancel vestry and organ chamber was consecrated by Bishop Ryan, formerly the first Bishop of Mauritius, on May 7th 1869. The south aisle and porch were added in 1871, the north aisle and church hall five years later. To complete the church the tower and spire were added in 1887, eight bells manufactured by Mears & Stainbank of Whitechapel were installed in 1888, extensive restoration work was carried out on the bells in 2002. The narthex, now known as the Galilee porch and the baptistery appeared in 1905. Most of the church is built out of local sandstone which has not worn well on this exposed site on the cliff. Throughout its history St Saviour's has been faced with fabric problems beyond its resources.
The interior of the church is very impressive with exposed stone and dark timber hammer beams and infill planking, the nave and side aisle floors are of victorian red and black diamond tiles, with carpeting around the nave altar. The original box pews form the main seating in the nave with single wooden chairs around the Lady chapel. St Saviour's has been richly and generously furnished over the years, along the walls of the north and south aisles hang a large set of the Stations of the Cross. These trace Our Lord's Passion from his sentencing to death by Pilate to his burial in the tomb, walking the way of the Cross, as detailed by this stations, is a weekly Lenten discipline in this church.
There is a nave altar where the Parish Mass is celebrated on Sundays and holydays. The high altar is occasionally used, two side altars the Lady Chapel being in the north aisle and the memorial altar in the south, which are both used in conjunction with Masses every week.
St Saviour's maintains the very highest standards of worship, it stands within the modern catholic tradition - colour, music, ceremonial, incense and vestments feature in our worship. A team of servers, some members of the Guild of Servers of the Sancuary, attend to the priest's every need around the Altar. The laity read the lessons and lead intercessions. St Saviour's has three licensed readers who help with the running of the services. The music forms an integral and important part of the worship at St Saviour's. The Parish Mass is sung every Sunday with different settings and includes a motet during the Mass. A robed choir of around 10 leads the singing on Sunday’s and holy days The organ is by J W Walker and was installed in 1874. It is two manual and is maintained to a good standard. Traditional hymns are taken from the New English Hymnal.
On the north wall, we have a statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, and a Cell of the Society of Our Lady of Walsingham has been established within the Benefice. Every Sunday at the end of the Mass depending on the season, the Angelus, Salve Regina or Regina Caeli is sung. St Saviour's has good connections with Walsingham, members from the church make an annual pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady.
The Blessed Sacrament reserved permanently in the tabernacle on the high altar.
After the Parish Mass on Sunday tea and coffee are served and we encourage people to stay and chat. During Lent on Fridays in the church lunches are served in the form of bread and soup. We also hold harvest suppers and numerous social events throughout the year - 'plenty of masses and plenty of parties,' is how Bishop Norman Banks described St Saviour's! We would like to welcome you to our church so please pop in if you are passing and, even better, join us for worship. A warm welcome awaits you.
Sunday 8.00am Mass (traditional language)
Sunday 11.00am THE PARISH MASS
Monday and Friday 6.30pm Mass
Wednesday 10.00am Mass, followed by Lectio Divina
We are a joint benefice with the Good Sheperd, Lake, Mass being said there on Tuesday, Thursday and Satuday at 6.30pm, 10.00am and 9.00am respectively. The Parish Mass at the Good Shepherd is at 9.30am on Sunday.
The priest in charge is Father David Lawrence-March, who may be contacted on [email protected]
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