DISCOVER OUR HISTORY
St Matthew's was built in response to Cockington Church no longer being big enough to serve the growing congregation in the parish. In 1895, the Mallock family who were residents of Cockington Court, donated a piece of land on which the church could be built.
The Architect's practice of Nicholson and Corlette were commissioned to design the church. Head of the firm Sir Charles Nicholson (his portrait is displayed) head of the practice had a considerable reputation as an architect and designer who specialised in ecclesiastical buildings and war memorials. He carried out the refurbishments of several cathedrals, the design and build of over a dozen new churches, and the restoration of many existing, medieval parish churches. The church was described by the renowned architectural critic and historian Nikolaus Pevsner as 'excellent work' by the firm.
On 18th April 1895 Mrs Mallock laid the foundation stone of St Matthews church. On July 1st 1896 the nave was opened and dedicated. The completed building was dedicated by the Bishop of Exeter on 1st January 1904.
Today the church is Grade 11 listed . Its distinctive exterior is built mainly of Rock-faced red sandstone, but what lies within is perhaps of even greater interest.
Influenced by the then popular arts and crafts movement the interior features a considerable amount of beautiful carved woodwork in the sanctuary and choir stalls following the style of the movement as does the reredos screen which is a distinctive feature of the interior.
Look above to the open wagon barrel roof and there you will see a series of 36 individually carved roof bosses which display a series of biblical scenes and religious motifs.
At the west of the church is another significant feature, the monumental baptismal font carved from granite with a font cover made and given by Gerald Moira with a timber cover with a circle of carved angels which is in turn attached by chain to counterweight supported on a very tall carved timber structure. On either side of the font are virtually life size statues of St Mary and St George again in black granite.