The parish of Saint Charles goes back to the late eighteenth century when Father Howard used to travel down from Burton Constable Hall to minister to the small catholic community in Kingston-upon-Hull. The Mass was celebrated in the Posterngate chapel. These were still dangerous times for Catholics and the little chapel was destroyed in the Gordon riots. There was a need for a new chapel and the Catholic community in Hull was blessed by the appointment of Abbe Foucher. He was an émigré priest who had come to England during the French revolution. He used his own resources to help build the chapel in North Street. There is still a painting of the Nativity from there which the Abbe bequeathed to Saint Charles.

The present church was built in 1829. However, the church as it is seen today is really due to the work carried out in the late nineteenth century under the direction of Canon William Sullivan.

“One of the most opulent and dramatic interiors of any nineteenth century church in England – a fantastical Roman church, with a heavy touch of Austrian rococo”.

Christopher Martin, A Glimpse of Heaven