Emmanuel, Mannamead

Plymouth Emmanuel Memorial Chapel Altar and Reredos
Plymouth Emmanuel Memorial Chapel Altar and Reredos

Emmanuel was the chosen church of Hubert Minchinton, for many years a senior carver to Violet Pinwill. So, as one might expect, there is quite a lot of Pinwill carving in the church. Only some of it is represented in the albums at PWDRO, but a church inventory made after 1921 lists other items.

Memorial Chapel Altar, Reredos and Screen – Photograph (PWDRO 116/6 & 244/2); 1919

A faculty petition was submitted in 1919 for the memorial chapel altar, reredos and entrance screen that includes plans for each piece by architects Sedding & Stallybrass (DHC DEX/9/a/2/PlymouthEmmanuel/4) but only the altar and reredos are represented in photographs at PWDRO. Interestingly, a plan exists at CRO for the altar and reredos in a highly coloured design (CRO X272/87/6), which must have been rejected, as the pieces are left plain. A newspaper report states that the carving of the memorial screen was also the work of the Pinwill company (Western Morning News, 1919). The chapel is a memorial to 2nd Lieut. Edward Arthur Jago (died 1916) and Captain Henry Harris Jago (died 1918) and their initials and military details are carved on the cornice of the screen.

Vicar’s Stall – Inventory (PWDRO 1429/64); 1925

The inventory for Emmanuel lists a vicar’s stall of carved oak in memory of Revd George Benton Berry, Vicar 1879 to 1912, carved by Rashleigh, Pinwill & Co. and costing £68. It was dedicated in 1925.

Chair (2) – Photograph (PWDRO 116/116); date unknown

An unannotated photograph of a rather plain sanctuary chair, with only the shape of a Celtic cross as part of the back support, was identified on a visit to Emmanuel in February 2012 as one of a pair sitting behind the desks below.

Litany Desk (2) – Photograph (PWDRO 116/6) Inventory (PWDRO 1429/64); 1933

The inventory for Emmanuel states that these two oak litany desks were given in memory of Gower Alfred Hardy and carved by Miss Pinwill at a cost of £38. They were dedicated in 1933.

Reredos and Panelling (East Wall) – Inventory (PWDRO 1429/64); 1949

The oak reredos and the panelling on the east wall are listed in the inventory for Emmanuel as being a gift in memory of Melville Conrad Percival Holmes, RAF fighter pilot killed in the Battle of Britain in 1944. It was the work of V. Pinwill and cost £610. A newspaper article reports that a design for the new reredos and panelling by V. Pinwill had been accepted by the PCC (Western Morning News, 1948). This work was dedicated in 1949, together with the panelling below (Western Morning News, 1949).

Sanctuary Panelling (N and S walls) – Inventory (PWDRO 1429/64); 1949

The inventory for Emmanuel states that this oak panelling was given in memory of Russell Winnicott, killed in action in 1917, and Robert Reginald Winnicott, who died at Dieppe in 1942. It was executed by V. Pinwill and cost £292 7s 5d. This work was dedicated in 1949, together with the panelling above (Western Morning News, 1949).

Altar – Inventory (PWDRO 1429/64); probably 1950

According to the inventory for Emmanuel, parts of the previous altar were incorporated into this new larger one, which was given in memory of Jessie Beatrice Mallord Turner who died in 1944. This must have allowed for considerable savings, as the work carried out by V. Pinwill cost only £65. The inventory gives the date for all the sanctuary furnishings as 1949-50, although all the panelling and the reredos were completed by May 1949 (Western Morning News, 1949), so that the date of 1950 must apply to the altar.

Lectern – Newspaper article (Church Times, 1954); 1954

A small piece in the Church Times in January 1954 reported that a lectern carved by Miss Pinwill was dedicated at Emmanuel church in memory of Miss Dallas (died 1952), for many years the headmistress of Moorfield Girls’ School in Seymour Road.


Church Times (1954) Diocesan News and Notes. Exeter. Headmistress’s Memorial. 29 January p. 77.

CRO X272/87/6 Plan. Plymouth Emmanuel. Holy Table and Reredos in Memorial Chapel.

DHC DEX/9/a/2/PlymouthEmmanuel/4 Faculty. Plymouth Emmnanuel. Memorial Chapel Altar, Reredos and Entrance Screen.

PWDRO 116/6 Photographs. Plymouth Emmanuel. Reredos, Altar and Lectern.

PWDRO 116/116 Photographs. Various. Chairs.

PWDRO 244/2 Photograph Album. Various. Woodcarvings.

PWDRO 1429/64 Inventory. Plymouth Emmanuel. Church Inventory.

Western Morning News (1919) West of England News. 23 December p. 6.

Western Morning News (1948) Pilot’s Memory. Gift of Reredos to Emmanuel Church. 6 August 1948 p. 3.

Western Morning News (1949) Altar Work as Memorial. Plymouth Church. 27 May p. 3.