Steadfast in Tradition and Faith
St Francis of Assisi Church is grounded in the catholic faith and seeks to continue to serve the parish of Charminster Bournemouth, by proclaiming the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ through the traditional creeds, authority and teaching of the Church and sacraments.
We are an inclusive church and give a warm welcome to all, irrespective of age, denomination, race, nationality, disability, gender, or background.
Firmly established in the Catholic tradition of the Church of England, Saint Francis Church has been witnessing to the Christian faith and serving the people of Charminster since 1930.
The parish is located on the northern outskirts of Bournemouth, Dorset, and serves a suburban area containing approximately 7,000 people and 5 schools, first, junior, secondary and grammar.
Worship at St Francis is in accordance with the request of the founder and benefactor, Helen Reckitt (of Reckitt and Colman), that the full catholic faith should be taught. This has been faithfully respected over the years. Services are modern and lively, with full lay participation.
The main service on Sunday is the 10 a.m. Parish Mass.
Children are especially welcome and a Junior Church runs alongside our Sunday mass.
At a recent meeting of the PCC, Resolution C was dropped, and a majority voted against adopting the new Resolution put forward by the House of Bishops. By doing so, the parish recognises the ordination of women as priests. The PCC will ensure that the catholic tradition of St Francis will continue as the parish moves forward. Episcopal oversight for the parish is now provided by the Bishop of Winchester.
Designed by the architect, J. Harold Gibbons, in the Italian Romanesque style the church stands prominently on a hill, which accentuates the campanile (bell tower). It is plainly rendered inside and out, and has several architectural features associated with St Francis: including carvings of squirrels and birds. John Betjeman referred to St Francis in his 1949 essay on Bournemouth and in his illustrated book English Churches (1964); he says that St Francis "looks like the church of some Anglo-Catholic mission in South Africa".
The interior is dominated by a large painted crucifix, and a beautiful carved baldicino or canopy over the high altar. For more description and history, click history.