The old function of the charles church
Charles Church was an important centre of spiritual life for the city for 300 years since it was built; boasted a number of important ministers; and was the mother of many existing churches. It was well-known and was the pride of the city at that time. Every week, there are many people went there to pray. And it seems that some parts were used for worship. A wedding is recorded on 10 May 1644, baptisms from January 1645 and burials from 4 August 1646 (some pages have been lost so there may have been earlier ones). However, after the Battle of Britain phase of World War II, the air raids on Plymouth were rapidly intensified and the Charles Church was destroyed by fire during the night of 20-21 March 1941.
The morden function of the charles church
When peace came it was decided not to rebuild Charles. Plymouth had expanded and the population was in the new suburbs not the centre any more. It was decided to turn Charles into a living memorial of the 1,200 civilian deaths in the air raids. On Saturday 1958 at a service conducted by the vicar of the parish, J Allen James, the church was dedicated as a memorial. The commemorative plaque on the north wall reads:
The church is occasionally used for services of remembrance or of special importance and the current Vicar of Charles with St Matthias is responsible for them. Modern use has been for the University carol concerts and a special service of reconciliation between Germany and Plymouth was recently held (2001) there with the German ambassador present.