The Catholic Church in St Ives is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the patroness and name saint of St Ives, St Ia. The new Church was blessed on 21st September 1908 by Bishop Charles Graham, and solemnly opened with the celebration of Pontifical High Mass on 24th September 1908. The wooden statue of St Ia was carved by a parishioner, Faust Lang of Oberammergau, from a thick section of Austrian Oak found floating in St Ives Bay.
Faust Emanuel Lang was born in Oberammergau, Bavaria in 1887, the son of local wood carver Andreas Lang. The family decided to move to England in 1934. They initially lived in Mawgan Porth near Newquay in North Cornwall and Lang became a British citizen in 1938. In 1938 he also met a certain Harry Adams, a Scotsman on holiday in Mawgan Porth who had a connection with Wade Ceramics, who recommended Faust to the company. He was commissioned to carve a series of what were to become amongst the most beautiful and prestigious figurines produced by Wade, finished in the 'Copenhagen' style.
At the outbreak of WWII, Lang's brief connection with Wade ceased when all giftware production was halted at the Wade factories.After the war, Lang joined the thriving artist's colony in St Ives in 1950, and spent the rest of his life in England. He died in 1973 and is buried in St Ives.
works and access
Access to works: The wooden statue of St Ia (the name Saint of St Ives) in the Catholic Church in St Ives