Saints Thomas Minster or Newport Minster is civically recognised as the main Anglican church on the Isle of Wight. Unusually, it is dedicated to both Thomas Becket and Thomas the Apostle.

The original late 12th-century church was dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury (Thomas Becket) (1118–1170). Later, under the rule of King Henry VIII of England (1509–1547), when Becket was declared to have been a traitor, the Canterbury part of the name was dropped. Its name and the ambiguous dedication to St Thomas was thereafter, over time, assumed by many to refer to Thomas the Apostle.

From the 18th century its deterioration made any renovation futile, and funds were raised for a new church on its site. The new church was built over the years 1854 and 1855 to a design by the architect S. W. Dawkes of Cheltenham. Reflecting the building's history, but arguably unusual, the new church was dedicated on the feast of Thomas the Apostle to both him and St Thomas of Canterbury. The tower contains a ring of 12 bells.

To honour its importance in Island and civic life, but conferring no official status within the Church of England itself, the church was designated as a Minster at Easter 2008 by its diocesan bishop Kenneth Stevenson, Anglican Bishop of Portsmouth.

Princess Elizabeth of England, daughter of Charles I and Henrietta Maria is buried to the church. A memorial was given by Queen Victoria in 1856 and made by Carlo Marochetti.[



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Founded: 1854-1855
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Gillian Ephgrave (2 years ago)
Lovely looking Church from the outside, hope to be able to go inside one day. It was exactly 168 years ago on the 24th August that Prince Albert laid the foundation stone here.
T (2 years ago)
Beautiful inside, all the windows are different designs with lovely stained glass Very friendly,welcoming people. Little tea and coffee area inside, nice for a peaceful drink
Jon Cass #11 (2 years ago)
What a truly amazing venue and church. We watched the Medina Community Choir, who were amazing, and a breathtaking performance on the night. The church is going through lots of refurbishment but once completed should look fantastic.
Ross Taylor (2 years ago)
Stunning architecture & fantastic acoustics!
Valerie Hinchliffe (3 years ago)
A beautiful and welcoming church that offered a peaceful respite from the bustle of the town. Was greeted by a very nice lady who proudly showed me the church's most interesting historic feature, the poignant Victorian memorial to Princess Elizabeth, a daughter of Charles I, who died when she was just 14 years old. Plenty more of interest to see and a little café that serves coffee and cakes. The Minster looked just as impressive outside and there were a few market stalls selling confectionery and honey in the square.
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