DorsetBOURNEMOUTHStStephen(maxpixelCC01.0)1 MaxPixel

St Stephen

Sir John Betjeman wrote that it was 'worth travelling 200 miles and being sick in the coach to have seen inside this many vista'd church'.

Bournemouth, Dorset

Opening times

Open everyday.


St Stephens Road

It is like a small version of Truro Cathedral which is also by architect JL Pearson. St Stephen's has also been described as being like a French cathedral found behind the Town Hall. 

Pearson is said to have designed a church 'which brought people to their knees'.

The building was completed in 1898 as a memorial to the town's first vicar Alexander Morden Bennet who had died in 1880. His son Alexander Sykes Bennett was the first vicar. 

A successor was composer Anthony Douglas Caesar who later became the Queen's resident chaplain.

The high standard of music is highlighted during the annual May Festival music weekend. Former organists and directors of music include composer Percy Whitlock.

The Swedish Church occasionally worships at the church. In 1888 Prince Oscar of Sweden was married here to Ebba Munck in a Lutheran ceremony in the presence of the Queen of Sweden. 

St Stephen's maintains the Anglican catholic tradition of its foundation when Keble College was the sole patron. The church is now part of the town centre parish with the mother church St Peter's.

  • Wildlife haven

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Social heritage stories

  • National heritage here

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Famous connections

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Church of England

Contact information

Other nearby churches

St Peter

Bournemouth, Dorset

St Peter's was completed in 1879 to a design by GE Street as the founding mother church of Bournemouth.

The Annunciation

Bournemouth, Dorset

Designed by George Gilbert Scott Junior and GF Bodley.