The History of St. Andrew’s Church
Christians have been meeting on the site of St. Andrew’s for almost 1200 years. The focus of attention has always been Jesus Christ. His resurrection from the dead is great moment in history which has convinced millions to believe his teaching, and it is also the good news which has inspired Christians to build magnificent churches like this one to the glory of God.
New life arising out of the appearance of destruction is an inescapable feature of St. Andrew’s. The whole city of Plymouth endured heavy bombing during the Second World War and in 1941 the church was burnt out left a roofless shell. The next morning someone had placed a wooden board over the North door. On it was the word RESURGAM, meaning “I will arise again” reflecting the Christian hope of new life for all who trust in Jesus Christ. This word is now carved in stone above the doorway through which most people enter the church.
Once inside the building there are many points of interest and beauty which reflect the living faith of Christians who meet here. You will notice several representations of the cross on which Jesus was crucified. The window at the back of the church portrays many of the incidents which surrounded his death. At the Communion table, Christians still gather to remember the death of Jesus in the way he instructed his disciples to do, by breaking bread and drinking wine to signify his body broken and his blood shed for us. The great news which has been passed down through the generations is that by his death Jesus makes possible for us the reality of God’s forgiveness, and by his resurrection he offers a living relationship with God himself.
Over the centuries St. Andrew’s has been associated with many notable figures: Catherine of Aragon, Sir Francis Drake, Sir John Hawkins, Captain Bligh of the Bounty, Sir Francis Chichester. Thousands of people, some famous, most unknown, have knelt here in prayer and thanksgiving.
|8th Century||First evidence of a Christian community
|1087||Ealphege, first named vicar.|
||Administered by Plympton Priory.|
|1370 – 1486||Church enlarged to its present shape.|
||Construction of Prysten House (open to
public) adjacent to church, home of Thomas Yogge.
|1481||Construction of church tower by Thomas
|1501||Arrival of Catherine of Aragon|
|Late 16th Century||Elizabethan seafarers, Drake, Hawkins,
Grenville, attend St. Andrew’s.
|1812||Burial of American naval officers, now
commemorated by the Door of Unity into Prysten House.
|1826||Restoration of church by John Foulston.|
|1874||Present peal of ten bells completed.|
|1941||Church burnt out in the Blitz.|
|1942-1949||“The Garden Church”|
|1949||HRH Princess Elizabeth lays the foundation
stone for the restoration.
|1957||Reconstruction of St. Andrew’s.|