William Sweetland’s organ installed in St Michael’s church in 1849 represents one of his earliest instruments and has continued to provide music to its congregations and visitors for over 150 years. As a celebration of his life, we are delighted to offer our church as a venue for the 2010 Sweetland Music Festival and The Celebrities of Bath Exhibition.
The Church of St Michael with St Paul was designed in the Early English style of Gothic architecture by the city architect C. P. Manners, who is said to have been inspired by the ornamentation and general appearance of the Lady Chapel at Salisbury Cathedral.
Construction of the present church (the fourth on the site) began on 21 April 1835, and the church was consecrated on 4 January, 1837 at a ceremony attended by the City's Mayor. By reason of its confined site, and the fact that the building is much larger than its predecessors, the church stands North and South, instead of facing East towards Jerusalem.
The church itself was fortunate to survive unscathed during the Second World War, unlike many other churches in Bath. It was in fact a physical as well as a spiritual refuge, because the crypt became a large air-raid shelter.
In 1951 the parish was amalgamated with that of St. Paul's Church Holy Trinity, Queen Square) - hence the full name of St. Michael with St. Paul.
In 2006/7 St Michael's church closed to carry out a major re-ordering that included removing the pews to make a flexible space for services and events, replacing the gallery, rebuilding the entrance and installing a lift to provide full access into the building, putting in facilities for a café, restoring the organ and commissioning artwork to welcome visitors into the church.