Rev Kevin Arkell
Rev Kevin Arkell

Welcome from Our Vicar

Welcome to Newport Minster, the principle church of the Isle of Wight and the Minster church of the Diocese of Portsmouth.

Set in a pedestrian precinct in the midst of an historic centre of the county town of the Isle of Wight, the Minster provides both a sacred space and a community space. Open daily, serving a choice of coffees and cake, it is frequently a venue for locals, for tourists, for those interested in history and for many a place of quiet, of prayer, for lighting a candle and seeking a listening ear.

The focus of its ministry is one of serving others, irrespective of age, class, race or sexuality. It is a friendly and inclusive venue that reaches out to all parts of the community. It is the natural focus for major Island occasions such as the Law Service and Civic Service as well as for organisations and families. It hosts celebrations for many key island organisations and is the venue for many large funerals. It is a focal point for the joy of celebrations and the sorrow of bereavement.

As a community space, it enjoys providing one of the largest venues on the Island hosting concerts, exhibitions and community events ranging from a “safer driver awareness day” to a parish council fair. The contact with schools and young people’s organisations provides unparalleled access for local history, for teaching specific parts of the RE syllabus and space for large acts of worship.

Music at the Minster is developing from the sacred to whole community events. A growing church choir, a gospel choir and a brass section are supported by a significant organ and grand piano. As the Minster reaches out to serve plans are in place for an autistic choir.

The future of all of this work is at the heart of the Restoration and Renewal Campaign. Coming towards its final bid for funding, it has already spent around £1.5 million on the external fabric of the building. Our final push is to raise £2.5 million of which £1 million is already in place. This will complete the major external work, remove this Grade 1 listed building from the “at risk” register and completely re-order the interior to allow its vision to be extended. This work will allow for modern facilities including toilets, a kitchen, flexible and comfortable seating as well as historic displays and interactive educational screens.

We hope that through this website, our social media or your presence in the Minster you find us a venue of choice.

Canon Kevin Arkell