St. Stanislaus – Dulverton


The Parish

The Catholic parish of Dulverton occupies the southern half of Exmoor.  


During World War II the Hon. Mrs. Aubery Herbert of Pixton Park established a chapel in a building that had been the laundry.  It was served by visiting priests until 1944 when a full-time priest was appointed.

Mrs. Herbert persuaded her friend, the architect Prof. Albert Richardson, to adapt a disused stable off the high Street that had come onto the market.  Much of the wood for the new building was locally sourced and prepared in the Pixton estate sawmill by Fr. Whelan assisted by volunteers from the parish.  The church was opened in 1955.

The dedication of the church to St. Stanislaus is credited to Auberon Herbert, Mrs. Herbert’s son, who fought with the Polish forces during WWII and is thought to be unique among English parish churches. St. Stanislaus was a Pole of noble birth who was ordained after education at Gnesen.  Later, he was given a cononry by the Bishop of Cracow, who made him his preacher.  He became much sought after as a spiritual advisor and was made a bishop in 1072.  However, he incurred the wrath of King Boleslaus the Bold when he denounced him for excessive cruelty and for kidnapping a nobleman’s beautiful wife.  Subsequently, the king personally murdered him while he was saying Mass.  He has long been the symbol of Polish nationhood.  (His feast day is 11th April)


The crucifix hanging above the altar is by the eminent sculptor, Eric Gill (1882-1940).  Eric Gill’s biography can be found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Gill
Fumed chesnut stature of St. George, on the right of the altar, is by Septimus Waugh whose website can be found at: http://septimuswaugh.co.uk/  The statue was a gift by Sir Mark Lennox-Boyd.
The statue of St Stanislaus, on the left of the altar, is possibly 16th Century Hungarian.
Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem, above the main door, is by Richard Rothwell of Morebath.