Spirit of England - England and the Catholic Church



The re-establishment of the Catholic hierarchy in England began with the rise of Anglo Catholicism in the 19th Century.
The terms Anglo-Catholic, Anglican Catholic and Catholic Anglican describe people, beliefs and practices within Anglicanism which affirm the Catholic heritage and identity of the various Anglican churches, rather than the churches' Protestant heritage.
The term "Anglo-Catholic" was coined in the early 19th century; but, movements emphasising the Catholic nature of Anglicanism have existed throughout history.
Particularly influential in the history of Anglo-Catholicism were the Caroline Divines of the seventeenth century and, later, the leaders of the Oxford Movement, which began at the University of Oxford in 1833 and ushered in a period of Anglican history known as the "Catholic Revival".
In addition, members of the personal ordinariates for former Anglicans in the Roman Catholic Church are also sometimes referred to as "Anglican Catholics".


King Henry VIII of England
In the kingdom of England, the Church of England (not to be confused with the Church in England) became independent, and was established by law in November 1534 by King Henry VIII.
For Henry, the establishment of the independence of the 'Ecclesia Anglicana' was not a matter of theology, but rather of authority, and it was not his intention to create a theologically Protestant Church - and this is significant when considering the subsequent development of Anglo-Catholicism.
The Act granted King Henry VIII of England 'Royal Supremacy', which means that he was declared the Supreme Head of the Church of England, and It is still the legal authority of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom.
Royal Supremacy is specifically used to describe the legal sovereignty of the civil laws over the laws of the Church in England.

The Act declared the monarch to be "the only supreme head on earth of the Church of England" and that the English crown shall enjoy "all honours, dignities, preeminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, immunities, profits, and commodities to the said dignity."
The wording of the Act made clear that Parliament was not granting the King the title (thereby suggesting that they had the right to withdraw it later); rather, it was acknowledging an established fact.
In the 'Act of Supremacy', Henry abandoned Rome completely.
Ecclesia Anglia
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
He thereby asserted the independence of the 'Ecclesia Anglicana' (English Church), and  appointed himself, and his successors as the supreme rulers of the English church.
As part of the Church Settlement of Henry VIII the 'Act of the Six Articles' was passed which reaffirmed traditional Catholic doctrine regarding:

1 transubstantiation, 2 the reasonableness of withholding of the cup from the laity during communion, 3 clerical celibacy, 4 observance of vows of chastity, 5 permission for private masses, and 6 the importance of auricular confession.

In Christian theology, transubstantiation (in Latin, "transsubstantiatio", in Greek "μετουσίωσις metousiosis") is the doctrine that the substance of the bread and the wine used in the sacrament of the Eucharist is changed, not merely as by a sign or a figure, but also in reality, into the substance of the Body and the Blood of Jesus, while all that is accessible to the senses (the outward appearances - "species" in Latin) remains unchanged. What remains unaltered is also referred to as the "accidents" of the bread and wine.

Royal Arms of King Edward VI
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
A major shift in Anglican doctrine came in the reign of Henry's son, Edward VI, who repealed the Six Articles and under whose rule the Church of England became more identifiably Protestant.
The 'Forty-Two Articles' were intended to summarise Anglican doctrine, as it now existed under the reign of King Edward VI, who favoured a more Protestant faith.

Largely the work of Thomas Cranmer, they were to be short formularies that would demonstrate the faith revealed in Scripture and the existing Catholic creeds.
Completed in 1552, they were issued by Royal Mandate on 19 June 1553.

Thomas Cranmer 

Thomas Cranmer
Archbishop of Canterbury
Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556) was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI.
He helped build the case for the annulment of Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, which was one of the causes of the separation of the English Church from union with the Holy See.
Along with Thomas Cromwell, he supported the principle of 'Royal Supremacy'.
Thomas Cromwell was an English lawyer and statesman who served as chief minister to King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540, and was one of the strongest advocates of the English Reformation.
In January 1538, Cromwell pursued an extensive campaign against what was termed "idolatry" by extreme protestants.
Early in September, Cromwell also completed a new set of 'vicegerential' injunctions declaring open war on "pilgrimages, feigned relics, or images, or any such superstitions", and commanding that "one book of the whole Bible of the largest volume in English" be set up in every church.

Thomas Cromwell
Moreover, following the "voluntary" surrender of the remaining smaller monasteries during the previous year, the larger monasteries were now also "invited" to surrender throughout 1538, a process legitimized in the 1539 session of Parliament and completed in the following year
Statues, roods, and images were attacked, culminating in September with the dismantling of the shrine of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury. 
Cromwell was eventually arraigned under a bill of attainder, and executed for treason and heresy on Tower Hill on 28 July 1540.
At the same time Cranmer was responsible for much of the 1549 'Book of Common Prayer'.
The 1549 book was soon succeeded by a more reformed revision in 1552 under the same editorial hand, that of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury.
During Cranmer's tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury, he was responsible for establishing the first doctrinal and liturgical structures of the reformed Church of England.
Under Henry's rule, Cranmer did not make many radical changes in the Church, due to power struggles between religious conservatives and reformers, however, he succeeded in publishing the first officially authorised vernacular service, the Exhortation and Litany.

King Edward 
When King Edward VI came to the throne, Cranmer was able to promote major reforms.
He wrote and compiled the first two editions of the Book of Common Prayer - a complete liturgy for the English Church.
Cranmer, however, was not really concerned with the principle of 'authority', which was the major concern of Henry VIII, but was rather concerned with the overthrow of Catholic doctrine and usage, and was determined to return the church in England to what he imagined were the principles of the 'primitive' and 'authentic' early church.
With the assistance of several Continental reformers, to whom he gave refuge, he developed new doctrinal standards in areas such as the Eucharist, clerical celibacy, the role of images in places of worship, and the veneration of saints.
Cranmer promulgated the new doctrines through the Prayer Book, the Homilies and other publications.
After the accession of the Roman Catholic Mary I, Cranmer was put on trial for treason and heresy, and was imprisoned, and later executed.

Edwardian Reformation
King Edward VI 
Edward VI (12 October 1537 – 6 July 1553) was King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death.
He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine.
The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch raised as a Protestant. During Edward's reign, the realm was governed by a Regency Council because he never reached his majority.
The Council was first led by his uncle Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, (1547–1549), and then by John Dudley, 1st Earl of Warwick, from 1551 Duke of Northumberland.
The Anglican Church was transformed into a recognisably Protestant body under Edward, who took great interest in religious matters.
Although Henry VIII had severed the link between the Church of England and Rome, he never permitted the renunciation of Catholic doctrine or ceremony (see above).
It was during Edward's reign that Protestantism was established for the first time in England with reforms that included the abolition of clerical celibacy and the Mass, and the imposition of compulsory services in English, justification by faith alone and communion for laity as well as clergy in both kinds, of bread and wine.
After 1551, the Reformation advanced further, with the approval and encouragement of Edward, who began to exert more personal influence in his role as 'Supreme Head of the Church of England'.
Edward's reformed religion, finally divested the communion service of any notion of the 'real presence' of God in the bread and the wine, effectively abolished the mass.
Though the Church's practices and approach to the sacraments became strongly influenced by those of continental reformers, it nevertheless retained episcopal church structure.

Catholic Interegnum

Queen Mary I - Tudor
The Book of Common Prayer was initially used only for a few months, as Edward VI died in 1553.
As the fourth crowned monarch of the Tudor dynasty, Mary is remembered for her restoration of Roman Catholicism after the short-lived Protestant reign of her half-brother.
When Mary ascended the throne, she was proclaimed under the same official style as Henry VIII and Edward VI: "Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and of the Church of England and of Ireland on Earth Supreme Head".

Royal Arms of Queen Mary I
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
The title 'Supreme Head of the Church' was repugnant to Mary's Catholicism, and she omitted it from Christmas 1553.
Mary's first Parliament, which assembled in early October 1553, declared the marriage of her parents valid, and abolished Edward's religious laws.
Church doctrine was restored to the form it had taken in the 1539 'Six Articles', which, for example, re-affirmed clerical celibacy.
Married priests were deprived of their benefices
During her five-year reign, she had over 280 religious dissenters burned at the stake in the Marian persecutions.
Her re-establishment of Roman Catholicism was reversed after her death in 1558 by her younger half-sister and successor, Elizabeth I.
With the coronation of Queen Mary I and the reunion of the Church of England with the Roman Catholic Church, the Articles were never enforced, however, after Mary's death, they became the basis of the 'Thirty-Nine Articles'.

Elizabeth I

Royal Arms of Queen Elizabeth I
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Queen Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death.
Sometimes called "The Virgin Queen" or "Gloriana" Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty.
After being repealed by the Roman Catholic Queen Mary I, the 'Act of Supremacy' was was reinstated in 1559 by Mary's Protestant half-sister, Queen Elizabeth I, when she ascended the throne. 
Elizabeth declared herself 'Supreme Governor of the Church of England', and instituted an 'Oath of Supremacy', requiring anyone taking public or church office to swear allegiance to the monarch as 'Supreme Governor of the Church of England'.
To placate critics, the 'Oath of Supremacy' which nobles were required to swear, gave the monarch's title as 'Supreme Governor' rather than 'Supreme Head' of the church.
This wording avoided the charge that the monarchy was claiming divinity or usurping Christ, whom the Bible explicitly identifies as 'Head of the Church'.
From then on the Church of England was referred to as the 'Established Church'.

Thirty Nine Articles of 1562

In the 'Thirty Nine Articles' of 1562 (see below) the claim to royal supremacy is clearly stated: 

"The King's majesty hath the chief power in this Realm of England, and other of his Dominions, unto whom the chief Government of all Estates of this Realm, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign jurisdiction. We give not to our Princes the ministering either of God's Word, or of the Sacraments, but that only prerogative, which we see to have been given always to all Godly Princes in holy Scriptures by God himself; that is, that they should rule all estates and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evildoer. The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England."

Archbishop Parker
In 1563, Convocation met under Archbishop Parker to revise the 'Forty-Two Articles'.
Convocation passed only 39 of the 42, and Elizabeth I reduced the number to 38 by throwing out Article XXIX to avoid offending her subjects with Catholic leanings.
In 1571, the XXIXth Article, despite the opposition of Bishop Edmund Guest, was inserted, to the effect that 'the wicked do not eat the Body of Christ'.
Arms of the Holy See
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
This was done following the queen's excommunication by the Pope in 1570.
That act destroyed any hope of reconciliation with Rome and it was no longer necessary to fear that Article XXIX would offend Catholic sensibilities.
The Articles, increased to Thirty-nine, were ratified by the Queen, and the bishops and clergy were required to assent.
In 1559 Elizabeth I reintroduced the 1552 'Book of Common Prayer' with a few modifications to make it acceptable to more traditionally minded worshippers, notably the inclusion of the words of administration from the 1549 Communion Service alongside those of 1552.
In 1604 James I ordered some further changes, the most significant of these being the addition to the Catechism of a section on the Sacraments.

Coat of Arms of the Commonwealth
of England Scotland and Ireland
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Following the tumultuous events leading to and including the English Civil War, another major revision of the 'Book of Common Prayer' was published in 1662.
That edition has remained the official prayer book of the Church of England.
It was The Book of Common Prayer that caused major disputes between the Anglo-Catholics and their opponents in the 1920s. - (See 'The Triumph of Anglo-Catholicism')
The Elizabethan Religious Settlement was an attempt to end the religious divisions among Christians in England, and is often seen as an important event in Anglican history, ultimately laying the foundations for the "via media" concept of Anglicanism.
Elizabeth established an 'English Church' that helped shape a national identity.
Those who praised her later as a Protestant heroine overlooked her refusal to drop all practices of Catholic origin from the Church of England.
Historians note that in her day, strict Protestants regarded the Acts of Settlement and Uniformity of 1559 as a compromise.
In fact, Elizabeth believed that faith was personal and did not wish, as Francis Bacon put it, to "make windows into men's hearts and secret thoughts"


The modern Anglo-Catholic movement can be traced to the Oxford Movement of the Victorian era, sometimes termed Tractarianism.
In the early 19th century, various factors caused misgivings among English church people, including the decline of church life and the spread of unconventional practices in the Church of England.
John Keble
The British government's action in 1833 of beginning a reduction in the number of Church of Ireland bishoprics and archbishoprics inspired a sermon from John Keble in the University Church in Oxford on the subject of "National Apostasy".
This sermon marked the inception of what became known as the Oxford Movement.
The principal objective of the Oxford Movement was the defence of the Church of England as a divinely-founded institution, of the doctrine of the Apostolic Succession and of the Book of Common Prayer as a "rule of faith".
The key idea was that Anglicanism was not a Protestant denomination, but rather a branch of the historic Catholic Church, along with the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox churches.
It was argued that Anglicanism had preserved the historical apostolic succession of priests and bishops and thus the Catholic sacraments.

John Henry Newman
These ideas were promoted in a series of ninety 'Tracts for the Times'.
The principal leaders of the Oxford Movement were John Keble, John Henry Newman and Edward Bouverie Pusey.
The movement gained influential support, but it was also attacked by the latitudinarians within the University of Oxford and by bishops of the church.
Within the movement there gradually arose a much smaller group which tended towards submission to the supremacy of the Roman Catholic Church.
In 1845 the university censured the Ideal of a Christian Church, and its author, "Ideal Ward," i.e., the pro-Roman Catholic theologian, W. G. Ward.
1850 saw the victory of the Evangelical clergyman George Cornelius Gorham in a celebrated legal action against the church authorities.
A number of conversions to the Roman Catholic Church followed.
The majority of adherents of the movement, however, remained in the Church of England and, despite hostility in the press and in government, the movement spread.
Its liturgical practices were influential, as were its social achievements (including its slum settlements) and its revival of male and female monasticism within Anglicanism.


Pope Pius IX
'Universalis Ecclesiae' is the incipit of the papal bull of 29 September 1850 by which Pope Pius IX recreated the Roman Catholic diocesan hierarchy in England, which had been extinguished with the death of the last Marian bishop in the reign of Elizabeth I. 
New names were given to the dioceses, as the old ones were in use by the Church of England.
The bull aroused considerable anti-Catholic feeling among English Protestants.
When Catholics in England were deprived of the normal episcopal hierarchy, their general pastoral care was entrusted at first to a priest with the title of archpriest (in effect an apostolic prefect), and then, from 1623 to 1688, to one or more apostolic vicars, bishops of titular sees governing not in their own name, as diocesan bishops do, but provisionally in the name of the Pope.
At first there was a single vicar for the whole kingdom, later their number was increased to four, assigned respectively to the London District, the Midland District, the Northern District, and the Western District (England).
The number of vicariates was doubled in 1840, becoming eight, the apostolic vicariates of the London district, the Western, the Eastern, the Central, and the districts of Wales, Lancashire, Yorkshire, and the North.
The legal situation of Catholics in England and Wales was altered for the better by the Catholic Relief Act 1829, and English Catholics, who before had been reduced to a few tens of thousands, received in the 19th century thousands of converts from Anglicanism and millions of Irish Catholic immigrants, so that Catholics came to form some 10% of the general population of England and a considerably higher proportion of church-goers.
In response to petitions presented by local clergy and laity, Pope Pius IX issued the bull 'Universalis Ecclesiae' restoring the normal diocesan hierarchy.
The reasons stated in the bull are: "Considering the actual condition of Catholicism in England, reflecting on the considerable number of the Catholics, a number every day augmenting, and remarking how from day to day the obstacles become removed which chiefly opposed the propagation of the Catholic religion, We perceived that the time had arrived for restoring in England the ordinary form of ecclesiastical government, as freely constituted in other nations, where no particular cause necessitates the ministry of Vicars Apostolic."
The London district became the metropolitan archdiocese of Westminster and the diocese of Southwark; the Northern district became the diocese of Hexham; that of Yorkshire became the diocese of Beverley; the district of Lancashire became the dioceses of Liverpool and Salford; the Welsh district, with some neighbouring territory added to it, became the two dioceses of Shrewsbury and of Menevia and Newport; the Western district became the dioceses of Clifton and Plymouth; the Central district became the dioceses of Nottingham and Birmingham; and the Eastern district became the diocese of Northampton.
Thus the restored hierarchy consisted of one metropolitan archbishop and twelve suffragan bishops.

Anti-Catholic Reaction

Publication of the bull was met with an outburst of hostility.
The 'Reformation Journal' published an article under the heading 'The Blight of Popery'.
"No Popery" processions were held all over England, and windows of Catholic churches were broken.
And Parliament passed the 'Ecclesiastical Titles Act 1851', making it a criminal offence for anyone outside the "united Church of England and Ireland" to use any episcopal title "of any city, town or place, or of any territory or district (under any designation or description whatsoever), in the United Kingdom".
However, this law remained a dead letter and was repealed 20 years later.

Three Ecclesiastical Provinces

Thus, the metropolitan archdiocese of Westminster came to have fifteen suffragan sees, the largest number in the world.
Accordingly, by the Apostolic Letter 'Si qua est' of 28 October 1911, Pope Pius X erected the new provinces of Birmingham and Liverpool, making these two dioceses metropolitan archdioceses.
There remained under Westminster the suffragan sees of Northampton, Nottingham, Portsmouth, and Southwark; to Birmingham were assigned those of Clifton, Newport, Plymouth, Shrewsbury, and Menevia; and to Liverpool, Hexham and Newcastle, Leeds, Middlesbrough, and Salford.
It had for many years been felt that a division was necessary, but there had always been the fear of causing disunion thereby, especially if, as in pre-Reformation times, the division would be between north and south.
This was obviated by ignoring the precedent of York and Canterbury, and arranging for three instead of two provinces.
Under the new Apostolic Constitution, the Archbishop of Westminster was granted the right to "be permanent chairman of the meetings of the Bishops of all England and Wales, and for this reason it will be for him to summon these meetings and to preside over them, according to the rules in force in Italy and elsewhere." He ranks over the other two archbishops.


Shortly after the re-establishment of the English Hierarchy Pope Pius IX convoked an Ecumenical Council.

First Vatican Council
This twentieth ecumenical council of the Catholic Church, held three centuries after the Council of Trent, opened on 8 December 1869 and adjourned on 20 October 1870.
Unlike the five earlier General Councils held in Rome, which met in the Lateran Basilica and are known as Lateran Councils, it met in the Vatican Basilica, hence its name.
Its best-known decision is its definition of papal infallibility.
The Council was convoked to deal with the contemporary problems of the rising influence of rationalism, liberalism, and materialism.
Its purpose was, besides this, to define the Catholic doctrine concerning the Church of Christ.
There was discussion and approval of only two constitutions: the 'Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith' and the 'First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ', the latter dealing with the primacy and infallibility of the bishop of Rome - the Pope.
The first matter brought up for debate was the dogmatic draft of Catholic doctrine against the manifold errors due to Rationalism.

Papal Infallibility

The doctrine of papal infallibility was not new and had been used by Pope Pius in defining as dogma, in 1854, the 'Immaculate Conception of Mary', the mother of Jesus.
However, the proposal to define papal infallibility itself as dogma met with resistance, not because of doubts about the substance of the proposed definition, but because some considered it inopportune to take that step at that time.
McBrien divides the bishops attending Vatican I into three groups. The first group, which McBrien calls the "active infallibilists", was led by Manning and Senestrey.
This group took an extreme view that argued that all papal teachings were infallible and that papal infallibility was the foundation of the church's infallibility.
According to McBrien, the majority of the bishops were not so much interested in a formal definition of papal infallibility as they were in strengthening papal authority and, because of this, were willing to accept the agenda of the infallibilists.
A minority, some 20 percent of the bishops, opposed the proposed definition of papal infallibility on both ecclesiastical and pragmatic grounds.
They opposed the ultramontane centralist model of the Church because, in their opinion, it departed from the ecclesiastical structure of the early Christian church.
From a pragmatic perspective, they feared that defining papal infallibility would alienate some Catholics, create new difficulties for union with non-Catholics, and provoke interference by governments in Church affairs.
Those who held this view included most of the German and Austro-Hungarian bishops, nearly half of the Americans, one third of the French, most of the Chaldaeans and Melkites, and a few Armenians.
Only a few bishops appear to have had doubts about the dogma itself.

'Dei Filius'

On 24 April 1870, the dogmatic constitution on the Catholic faith 'Dei Filius' was adopted unanimously.
The draft presented to the Council on 8 March drew no serious criticism, but a group of 35 English-speaking bishops, who feared that the opening phrase of the first chapter, "Sancta romana catholica Ecclesia" (the holy Roman Catholic Church), might be construed as favouring the Anglican Branch Theory, later succeeded in having an additional adjective inserted, so that the final text read: "Sancta catholica apostolica romana Ecclesia" (the holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church).
The constitution thus set forth the teaching of the "Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church" on God, revelation and faith.

First Vatican Council - 1869–70 - (formally closed in 1960 prior to the Second Vatican Council)
Convoked by Pope Pius IX - Presided by Pope Pius IX - Attendance 744 - Topics of discussion rationalism, liberalism, materialism; inspiration of Scripture; papal infallibility - Documents and statements - 'Dei Filius', 'Pastor Aeternus'.
The First Vatican Council was convoked by Pope Pius IX on 29 June 1868, after a period of planning and preparation that began on 6 December 1864.


Many of the Anglicans who were involved in the Oxford Movement or "Tractarianism" were ultimately led beyond these positions and converted to the Catholic Church, including, in 1845, the movement's principal intellectual leader, John Henry Newman.
A steady stream of new Catholics would continue to enter the Church from the Anglican Church, often via high Anglicanism, for at least the next hundred years.
Among a large number from Anglicanism were some who brought British Catholicism a certain amount of public prestige.
Prominent intellectual and artistic figures who turned to Catholicism in the 19th and 20th centuries included the leading architect of the Gothic Revival, Augustus Pugin, the artist, Graham Sutherland, and literary figures such as Newman, Gerard Manley Hopkins, two sons of William Wilberforce, Samuel and Robert, G. K. Chesterton, Ronald Knox, Siegfried Sassoon, Evelyn Waugh, Edith Sitwell, Graham Greene, and Muriel Spark.
Prominent cradle Catholics included the film director, Alfred Hitchcock, writers like Hilaire Belloc, Lord Acton, and J.R.R. Tolkien and the composer, Edward Elgar, whose oratorio, 'The Dream of Gerontius', was based on a 19th century poem by Cardinal Newman.
There is no doubt that at various points after the 16th century real hopes have been entertained by many English Catholics that the 'reconversion of England' was near at hand. 
To some the sign of this being imminent was the steady trickle of establishment converts from the second quarter of the 19th century on.
More important was the arrival of immigrant masses of Irish Catholics.
Together these trends were seen by some as constituting a "second spring" of Catholicism across Britain.


The term "High Church" refers to beliefs and practices of ecclesiology, liturgy and theology, generally with an emphasis on formality and resistance to "modernisation". Although used in connection with various Christian traditions, the term has traditionally been principally associated with the Anglican tradition.
The term is often used to describe Anglican churches using a number of ritual practices associated in the popular mind with Roman Catholicism.
Because of its history, the term "High Church" also refers to aspects of Anglicanism quite distinct from the Oxford Movement or Anglo-Catholicism.
There remain parishes that are "High Church" and yet adhere closely to the quintessentially Anglican usages and liturgical practices of the Book of Common Prayer.
High Church Anglicanism tends to be more conservative and closer to Roman Catholic teaching on sexual morality.
In contrast, the Evangelical wing of Anglicanism is closer to Protestant thinking.


The rise of organised labour and Communism at the end of the 19th Century prompted the Catholic Church to make a pronouncement on both of those developments.

Rerum Navarum

'Rerum Novarum' was the encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII on May 15, 1891.
It was an open letter, passed to all Catholic bishops, that addressed the condition of the working classes. The encyclical is entitled: "Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor." The English Cardinal Henry Edward Manning was influential in its composition.
It discussed the relationships and mutual duties between labour and capital, as well as government and its citizens.
Of primary concern was the need for some amelioration for "The misery and wretchedness pressing so unjustly on the majority of the working class."
It supported the rights of labour to form unions, rejected Communism and unrestricted capitalism, whilst affirming the right to private property.
Many of the positions in Rerum Novarum were supplemented by the later encyclical by Pius XI Quadragesimo Anno (1931).
This encyclical was seen as introducing a new 'liberal' agenda into Catholic teaching - partly related to the influence of the recently incorporated English hierarchy.

Solemn Papal Mass
Papal Coronation
Despite this apparent new 'English' liberalism, the Catholic Church maintained its traditional ritual, pomp and ceremony, both in Rome and in England as the new century dawned.
Many intellectuals and clergy, however, saw 'Rerum Novarum' as a 'green light' for further relaxations - including a relaxation in matters of the interpretation of doctrine, dogma and  scriptural exegesis.

Modernism in the Catholic Church

'Modernism' refers to theological opinions expressed during the early 20th century, but with influence reaching into the 21st century, which are characterized by a break with the past.
Catholic 'Modernists' form an amorphous group.
The term "Modernist" appears in Pope Pius X's 1907 encyclical 'Pascendi Dominici Gregis'.
'Modernists', and what are now termed "Neo-Modernists", generally do not openly use this label in describing themselves.
'Modernists' came to prominence in French and English intellectual circles and, to a lesser extent, in Italy.
The 'Modernist Movement' was influenced by Protestant theologians and clergy, starting with the Tübingen school in the mid-19th century.

Ferdinand Christian Baur (June 21, 1792 – December 2, 1860) was a German theologian and leader of the Tübingen School of theology (named for University of Tübingen). Following Hegel's theory of dialectic, Baur argued that 2nd century Christianity represented the synthesis of two opposing theses: Jewish Christianity (Petrine Christianity) and Gentile Christianity (Pauline Christianity). In the field of higher criticism, he proposed a late date for the pastoral epistles. Baur's views were revolutionary and often extreme.
Religious conservatives object to the rationalistic and naturalistic presuppositions of a large number of practitioners of higher criticism, which lead to conclusions that conservative scholars find unscientific.
Pope Leo XIII (1810–1903) condemned secular biblical scholarship in his encyclical 'Providentissimus Deus' while affirming the need for a balanced historical study of the Scriptures, however, in 1943 Pope Pius XII gave license to the new scholarship in his encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu: "Textual criticism is quite rightly employed in the case of the Sacred Books. Let the interpreter then, with all care and without neglecting any light derived from recent research, endeavour to determine the peculiar character and circumstances of the sacred writer, the age in which he lived, the sources written or oral to which he had recourse and the forms of expression he employed."

Pope Pius X
George Tyrrell
Some 'modernists', however, such as George Tyrrell, would disagree that the 'Modernist Movement' was influenced by Protestant theologians and clergy.
Tyrrell (some would argue - ingenuously) saw himself as loyal to the unity of the Church, and supposedly disliked  liberal Protestantism.
Pope Pius X, who succeeded Leo, was the first to identify 'Modernism' as a movement.
He frequently condemned both its aims and ideas, and was deeply concerned by the ability of 'Modernism' to allow its adherents to go on believing themselves strict Catholics while having an understanding markedly different from the traditional one as to what that meant (a consequence of the notion of evolution of dogma).
In July 1907 the Holy Office published the document 'Lamentabili sane exitu', a sweeping condemnation which distinguished sixty-five propositions as 'Modernist' Heresies.
In September of the same year Pius X promulgated an encyclical 'Pascendi Dominici Gregis', followed in 1910 by the introduction of an 'Anti-Modernist Oath' to be taken by all Catholic bishops, priests and academic teachers of religion.
With 'Modernism' held in check - but significantly not defeated - the next great crisis to face the catholic Church was the First World War.

World War I

Arms of Pope Benedict XV
Pope Benedict XV
In 1914, when hostilities began, Pope Benedict XV occupied the Chair of St Peter.
Benedict immediately declared the neutrality of the Holy See and attempted from that perspective to mediate peace in 1916 and 1917.
Both sides rejected his initiatives.
German Protestants rejected any “Papal Peace” as insulting.
French politician Georges Clemenceau regarded the Vatican initiative as anti-French.
Having failed with diplomatic initiatives, the Pope focused on humanitarian efforts to lessen the impacts of the war, such as attending prisoners of war, the exchange of wounded soldiers and food deliveries to needy populations in Europe.
After the war, he repaired the difficult relations with France, which re-established relations with the Vatican in 1921.

Irish Catholic Church - Felling
Polish Catholic Church - Balham
During his pontificate, relations with Italy improved as well, as the Pope now permitted Catholic politicians led by Don Luigi Sturzo to participate in national Italian politics.
The period after the First World War was one of expansion for the Catholic Church in England.
Much of this expansion was fuelled, however, by immigration from Ireland.

Our Lady of Walsingham
This initiated the continuing division in the Catholic population between the upper, and middle-class English Catholics, (wedded to their rustic dreams of a pre-reformation Catholic England), and the lower and working-class immigrant (non-English) Catholics (in the 21st Century mainly Poles and eastern Europeans).
Both groups, however, in the aftermath of the war, were undisturbed by the eruption of 'Modernism', which only affected a very small group of ultra-intellectual, middle class Catholics, many of whom were members of the clergy or members of religious orders.

World War II

Coat of Arms of Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII
The next crisis was, of course, the Second World War.
Pope Pius XII (Latin: Pius PP. XII), born Eugenio Marìa Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (2 March 1876 – 9 October 1958), reigned as Pope, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State, from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958.

Before election to the papacy, Pacelli served as secretary of the 'Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs', 'Papal Nuncio' to Germany (1917–1929),

Reichskonkordat - am 8. Juli 1933 
and 'Cardinal Secretary of State', in which capacity he worked to conclude treaties with European and Latin American nations, most notably the 'Reichskonkordat' with the Third Reich.
The Concordat of 1933, with which the Vatican sought to protect the Church in Germany, and Hitler sought the destruction of 'political Catholicism', and Pius' leadership of the Catholic Church during World War II, including his "decision to stay silent in public about the fate of the Jews", remain the subject of controversy, and severely damaged the reputation of the Catholic Church in England.

Post War Catholicism

One of the unexpected results of the 'right wing' (some would say fascist) stance of the Vatican hierarchy in the 1930s and 40s was a shift, among English Catholic intellectuals, to the political and ecclesiastical 'left' which culminated in the 1970s with the illogical absurdity of the 'Catholic Marxist Movement'.

Coat of Arms of Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII
In order to accommodate this shift to the 'left' among Catholic academics and intellectuals, the new Pope John XXIII summoned the 'Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum Secundum' (the Second Vatican Council).
Pope John XXIII (Latin: Ioannes PP. XXIII), born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (25 November 1881 – 3 June 1963), headed the Catholic Church and ruled the Vatican City from 1958 until his death.
Angelo Roncalli was the fourth child of thirteen born in an Italian village to share-croppers.
He was ordained a priest in 1904 and served in various posts including appointment as Papal Nuncio in several countries, including France (1944).
Pope Pius XII made Roncalli a Cardinal in 1953.
Pope John was elected on 28 October 1958 at the age of 77.
He surprised those who expected him to be a caretaker Pope by calling the historic .Second Vatican Council' (1962–1965).
He did not live to see it to completion, dying in 1963, four-and-a-half years after his election, and two months after the completion of his final encyclical, 'Pacem in Terris'.
Pope John was beloved for his evident warmth and kindness. He was beatified on 3 September 2000.

Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum Secundum

Pope John XXIII Opens the II Vatican Council
Throughout the 1950s, theological and biblical studies of the Catholic Church had begun to sway away from the neo-scholasticism and biblical literalism that the reaction to 'Catholic Modernism' had enforced since the First Vatican Council.
This shift could be seen in theologians such as Karl Rahner, S.J., Michael Herbert, and John Courtney Murray, SJ who looked to integrate modern human experience with church principles based on Jesus Christ, as well as others such as Yves Congar, Joseph Ratzinger and Henri de Lubac who looked to an accurate understanding of scripture and the early Church Fathers as a source of renewal (or ressourcement).
At the same time the world's bishops faced tremendous challenges driven by political, social, economic, and technological change.
Pope John XXIII, however, gave notice of his intention to convene the Council on 25 January 1959, less than three months after his election in October 1958.
The council was formally summoned by the apostolic constitution 'Humanae Salutis' on 25 December 1961.
In various discussions before the Council actually convened, Pope John often said that it was time to 'open the windows' of the Church to let in some 'fresh air'.

Vatican II Liturgy

Latin 'Tridentine Style' mass
One of the first issues considered by the council, and the matter that had the most immediate effect on the lives of individual Catholics, was the revision of the liturgy.
The central idea was that there ought to be greater lay participation in the liturgy.
In the mid-1960s, permissions were granted to celebrate most of the Mass in vernacular languages, including the Canon from 1967 onwards.
Neither the Second Vatican Council nor the subsequent revision of the Roman Missal abolished Latin as the liturgical language of the Roman Rite: and Latin remains the official text of the Roman Missal, on which translations into vernacular languages are to be based, continues to be in Latin, and Latin can still be used in the celebration.

The Spirit of Vatican II

Unfortunately, the so called 'spirit of Vatican II' sometimes soared far beyond the actual, hard-won documents and decisions of Vatican II. ... It was as though the world (or at least the history of the Church) were now to be divided into only two periods, pre-Vatican II and post-Vatican II.
Everything 'pre' was then pretty much dismissed, so far as its authority mattered.
For the most extreme, to be a Catholic now meant to believe more or less anything one wished to believe, or at least in the sense in which one personally interpreted it.
One could be a Catholic 'in spirit'.
One could take Catholic to mean the 'culture' in which one was born, rather than to mean a creed making objective and rigorous demands.
One could imagine Rome as a distant and irrelevant anachronism, embarrassment, even adversary.
Rome as 'them'.
Such views of the Second Vatican Council were condemned by the Church's hierarchy, and the works of theologians who were active in the Council or who closely adhered to the Council's aspect of reform (such as Hans Küng) have often been criticized by the Church for espousing a belief system that the hierarchy considers radical and misguided.

Vatican II 'Reformed' Vernacular Mass
Many of the obscure theological resolutions of Vatican II were simply unintelligible to the average lay Catholic.
What they did notice, however, was the changes to the liturgy.
After Vatican II the priest would celebrate Mass facing the congregation, and the Mass would be said in English.
The sanctuaries of most catholic churches were ruined by the new arrangements, and many churches and chapels were 'lumbered' with ecclesiastical art which was both vulgar, poorly designed and in many cases simply ugly.
And instead of the beautiful 'sung high mass' the so called 'folk mass' became the fashion espoused by the clergy.
The old sense of  beauty and mystery disappeared, along with a large proportion of the congregations.
By becoming 'low church' and latitudinarian the Catholic Church in England suffered the same fate as the Anglican Church - empty pews !

High Church Position in the Roman Catholic Church

There was obviously a reaction to the 'modernising' influences of the supporters of Vatican II.
This reaction expressed itself through the High Church position in the Roman Catholic Chuch - analogous to the Anglo-Catholic position in the Anglican Church.

Latin Solemn High Mass - Brompton Oratory
'High Church' Roman Catholics were, by and large, English, (as opposed to immigrant), well educated and conservative, both politically and culturally.
In contemporary Roman Catholicism, the term "high church" is used principally for liturgical distinctions, of which there are many variations.
Some 'High Church Roman Catholics', who favour moderating the reforms of Vatican II, sometimes called "reform of the reform", might favour the use of Latin, Gregorian chant and practices such as eastward celebration and the use of incense in the Mass of Paul VI.
Others, such as Traditionalist Catholics, call for use of the Tridentine Mass.
Brompton Oratory in London is a centre of High Church activity in the Roman Catholic Church.

The Tridentine Mass is the form of the Roman Rite Mass contained in the typical editions of the 'Roman Missal' that were published from 1570 to 1962. It was the most widely celebrated Mass liturgy in the world until the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI in December 1969. In nearly every country it was celebrated exclusively in Latin, but the use of many other languages was authorized both before the Council of Trent and in the course of the succeeding centuries leading to the Second Vatican Council (see below).

Concilium Tridentinum
The term "Tridentine" is derived from the Latin word 'Tridentinus', which means "related to the city of Tridentum (modern day Trent, Italy)". It was in response to a decision of the 'Concilium Tridentinum' (Council of Trent) that Pope Pius V promulgated the 1570 Roman Missal, making it mandatory throughout the Western Church, excepting those regions and religious orders whose existing missals dated from before 1370. The term is now - incorrectly - used to indicate the 'Latin Mass'.
The Concilium Tridentinum is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods. During the pontificate of Pope Paul III, the Council fathers met for the first through eighth sessions in Trent (1545–7), and for the ninth through eleventh sessions in Bologna (1547). Under Pope Julius III, the Council met in Trent (1551–52) for the twelfth through sixteenth sessions, and under Pope Pius IV, the seventeenth through twenty-fifth sessions took place in Trent (1559–63).
The Council issued condemnations on Protestant Heresies at the time of the Reformation and defined Church teachings in the areas of Scripture and Tradition, Original Sin, Justification, Sacraments, the Eucharist in Holy Mass and the veneration of saints.

The Tridentine Mass

Tridentine Mass
There are various forms of celebration of the Tridentine Mass:
Pontifical High Mass: celebrated by a bishop accompanied by an assisting priest, deacon, subdeacon, thurifer, acolytes and other ministers, under the guidance of a priest acting as Master of Ceremonies. Most often the specific parts assigned to deacon and subdeacon are performed by priests. The parts that are said aloud are all chanted, except that the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, which before the reform of Pope Pius V were said in the sacristy, are said quietly by the bishop with the deacon and the subdeacon, while the choir sings the Introit. The main difference between a pontifical and an ordinary High Mass is that the bishop remains at his throne almost all the time until the offertory.
Solemn or High Mass (Latin: Missa solemnis): offered by a priest accompanied by a deacon and subdeacon and the other ministers mentioned above.
Missa Cantata (Latin for "sung mass"): celebrated by a priest without deacon and subdeacon, and thus a form of Low Mass, but with some parts (the three variable prayers, the Scripture readings, Preface, Pater Noster, and Ite Missa Est) sung by the priest, and other parts (Introit, Kyrie, Gloria, Gradual, Tract or Alleluia, Credo, Offertory Antiphon, Sanctus and Benedictus, Agnus Dei, and Communion Antiphon) sung by the choir. Incense may be used exactly as at a Solemn Mass with the exception of incensing the celebrant after the Gospel which is not done.
Low Mass: the priest sings no part of the Mass, though in some places a choir or the congregation sings, during the Mass, hymns not always directly related to the Mass.

High Church, Anglo Catholics and the Oxford Movement

With the success of the Oxford Movement, and its increasing emphases on ritualistic revival from the mid-19th century onward, did the term "High Church" begin to mean something approaching the later term "Anglo-Catholic".
Even then, it was only employed coterminously in contrast to the "Low" churchmanship of the Evangelical and Pietist position.
This sought, once again, to lessen the separation of Anglicans (the Established Church) from the majority of Protestant Nonconformists, who by this time included the Wesleyans and other Methodists, as well as adherents of older Protestant denominations known by the group term "Old Dissent".
From the mid-19th century onward, the term "High Church" generally became associated with a more avowedly Anglo-Catholic liturgica, or even triumphalist position, within the English Church, while the remaining 'Latitudinarians' were referred to as being 'Broad Church', and the re-emergent evangelical party was dubbed 'Low Church'.
High church, however, can still refer to Anglicans who hold a "high" view of the sacraments, church tradition and the threefold ministry but do not specifically consider themselves Anglo-Catholics.


Ritualism, in the history of Christianity, refers to an emphasis on the rituals and liturgical ceremony of the church, in particular of Holy Communion.
In the Anglican church in the 19th century, the role of ritual became a subject of great, often heated, debate.
The debate was also associated with struggles for influence between High Church and Low Church movements.
Opponents of ritualism have often argued that it privileged the actions of the ritual over the meanings that are meant to be conveyed by it.
Supporters have sometimes maintained that a renewed emphasis on ritual and liturgy was necessary to counter the increasing secularisation of the church and laity.
In Anglicanism, the term "ritualist" is controversial (i.e. rejected by some of those to whom it is applied).
It was often used to describe the second generation of the Oxford Movement/Anglo-Catholic/High Church revival of the 19th century which sought to introduce into the Church of England a range of Catholic liturgical practices.
The term is also used to describe those who follow in their tradition.
Arguments about ritualism in the Church of England were often shaped by opposing (and often unannounced) attitudes towards the concept of sola scriptura and the nature of the authority of the Bible for Christians.
The development of ritualism in the Church of England was mainly associated with what is commonly called "Second Generation" Anglo-Catholicism, i.e. the Oxford Movement as it developed after 1845 when John Henry Newman left the Church of England to become a Roman Catholic.
Some scholars argued that it was almost inevitable that some of the leaders of Anglo-Catholicism turned their attentions to questions of liturgy and ritual, and started to champion the use of Roman Catholic practices and forms of worship.
For many who opposed ritualism, the key concern was to defend what they saw as the fundamentally Protestant identity of the Church of England.
Nor was this just a matter of an ecclesiological argument: for many, there was a sense that Catholic worship is somehow "unEnglish". Catholicism was deeply associated in many minds with cultural identities which, historically, many English people had commonly treated with suspicion.
Despite, or because of, the controversies within the Church of England concerning the ritualists use of vestments and wafer bread, these practices became widespread, even normative, in the Church of England for much of the 20th century, however some High Church supporters insisted on a form of worship that was almost indistinguishable from Tridentine Roman Catholic practice.
After the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council some High Anglicans found themselves out of step with reformed Roman Catholic ritual, while being in step with those in the Catholic Church who wished to see a return to Tridentine Liturgy.


Romanticism was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1840.
Very much a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, it was also a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the 'Age of Enlightenment', and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature.
Romanticism reached beyond the rational and Classicist ideal models to elevate a revived medievalism, and elements of art and narrative perceived to be authentically medieval in an attempt to escape the confines of population growth, urban sprawl, and industrialism.
In the religious sphere this obsession with the medieval led to an attempt to revive medieval forms of piety.
In ecclesiastical design and architecture there was an attempt to revive the Gothic style.
This revival was a movement that began in the late 1740s in England.

Neo-Gothic Style
Edward Burne-Jones - The Star of Bethlehem
Its popularity grew rapidly in the early 19th century, when increasingly serious and learned admirers of neo-Gothic styles sought to revive medieval Gothic architecture, in contrast to the neoclassical styles prevalent at the time.
In England, the centre of this revival, it was intertwined with religious movements associated with a re-awakening of High Church or Anglo-Catholic self-belief (and by the Catholic convert Augustus Welby Pugin) concerned by the growth of religious nonconformism.
Ultimately, the style became widespread for its intrinsic appeal in the third quarter of the 19th century.
Related to the rise of neo-Gothic styles was the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (also known as the Pre-Raphaelites) was a group of English painters, poets, and critics, founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
The three founders were soon joined by William Michael Rossetti, James Collinson, Frederic George Stephens and Thomas Woolner to form a seven-member "brotherhood".
Influenced by Romanticism, they thought that freedom and responsibility were inseparable. Nevertheless, they were particularly fascinated by medieval culture, - believing it to possess a spiritual and creative integrity that had been lost in later eras, - and rejected all artistic developments that had occurred since the time of Raphael.

Augustus Pugin
St Peter's College Wexford
Augustus Pugin
Saint Giles Cheadle
The most prolific exponent of the ecclesiastical neo-Gothic style was the Catholic convert Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin.
Pugin's architectural ideas were carried forward by two young architects who admired him and had attended his funeral, W. E. Nesfield and Norman Shaw.
George Gilbert Scott, William Butterfield and George Edmund Street were influenced by Pugin's designs, and continued to work out the implication of ideas he had sketched in his writings.
In Street's office, Philip Webb met William Morris and they went on to become leading members of the English Arts and Crafts movement.
As a result, the neo-Gothic style became the normative style for both High Anglican and Roman Catholic ecclesiastical design and decoration. 

“You must give people what is good and they will come to like it”

Percy Dearmer, (27 February 1867 – 29 May 1936) was an English priest and liturgist best known as the author of 'The Parson's Handbook', a liturgical manual for Anglican clergy.
Dearmer also had a strong influence on the music of the church and, with Ralph Vaughan Williams and Martin Shaw, is credited with the revival and spread of traditional and medieval English musical forms.

Education and Ordination

Percy Daermer - English Altar
Percy Dearmer
Born in Kilburn, Middlesex, to an artistic family—his father, Thomas Dearmer, was an artist and drawing instructor.
Dearmer attended Streatham School and Westminster School (1880–1881), before moving on to a boarding school in Switzerland.
From 1886 to 1889 he read modern history at Christ Church, Oxford, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1890.
Dearmer was ordained to the diaconate in 1891, and to the priesthood in 1892 at Rochester Cathedral.
On 26 May of that year, Dearmer married 19 year old Jessie Mabel Prichard White (1872–1915), the daughter of Surgeon-Major William White.
She was a writer (known as Mabel Dearmer) of novels and plays.
She died in 1915 while serving with an ambulance unit in Serbia.
They had two sons, both of whom served in World War I.
The elder, Geoffrey, lived to the age of 103, one of the oldest surviving war poets.
The younger, Christopher, died in 1915 of wounds received in battle.

The Parson's Handbook and Vicarage at St Mary's

Percy Daermer - English Altar
Dearmer's liturgical leanings were the product of a late Victorian debate among advocates of Ritualism in the Church of England.
Although theoretically in agreement about a return to more Catholic forms of worship, High Churchmen argued over whether these forms should be appropriated from post-Tridentine Roman Catholic practices, or revived from the traditions of a pre-Reformation "English Use" rite.
Dearmer's views fell very much on the side of the latter.
Active in the burgeoning Alcuin Club, Dearmer became the spokesman for a movement with the publication his most influential work, 'The Parson's Handbook'.
In this book his intention was to establish sound 'Anglo-Catholic' liturgical practices in the native English tradition, which were also in full accord with the rites and rubrics of the 'Book of Common Prayer', and the canons that govern its use, and therefore safe from attack by Evangelicals who opposed such practices.
Percy Daermer - English Altar
Such adherence to the letter was considered necessary in an environment where conservatives such as John Kensit had been leading demonstrations, interruptions of services and legal battles against practices of Ritualism and sacerdotalism, both of which they saw as "popery".
'The Parson's Handbook' is concerned with general principles of ritual and ceremonial, but the emphasis is squarely on the side of art and beauty in worship.
Dearmer states in the introduction that his goal is to help in "remedying the lamentable confusion, lawlessness, and vulgarity which are conspicuous in the Church at this time". What follows is an exhaustive delineation, sparing no detail, of the young priest's ideas on how liturgy can be conducted in a proper Catholic and English manner.
In 1901, after serving four curacies, Dearmer was appointed the third vicar of London church St Mary-the-Virgin, Primrose Hill, where he remained until 1915.
He used the church as a sort of practical laboratory for the principles he had outlined, revising the book several times during his tenure.
In 1912 Dearmer was instrumental in founding the 'Warham Guild', a sort of practical arm of the Alcuin Club / Parson's Handbook movement, to carry out "the making of all the 'Ornaments of the Church and of the Ministers thereof' according to the standard of the Ornaments Rubric, and under fair conditions of labour".
It is an indication of the founders' outlook, emphasis and commitment to the English Use that it was named for the last Archbishop of Canterbury before the break with Rome.
Dearmer served as lifelong head of the Warham Guild's advisory committee.


Working with renowned composer Ralph Vaughan Williams and as musical editor, Dearmer published 'The English Hymnal' in 1906.

Vaughan Williams
He again worked with Vaughan Williams and Martin Shaw to produce 'Songs of Praise' (1926) and 'The Oxford Book of Carols' (1928).
These hymnals have been credited with reintroducing many elements of traditional and medieval English music into the Church of England, as well as carrying that influence well beyond the walls of the church.
Eleanor Farjeon
In 1931 an enlarged edition of 'Songs of Praise' was published.
It is notable for the first appearance of the song 'Morning Has Broken', commissioned from noted children's author Eleanor Farjeon.
The song, later popularised by Cat Stevens, was written by Farjeon to be sung with the traditional Gaelic tune Bunessan.
'Songs of Praise' also contained Dearmer's version of 'A Great and Mighty Wonder', which mixed John Mason Neale's Greek translation and a translation of the German 'Es ist ein Ros entsprungen', from which the music to the hymn had come in 1906.

Later Years

For the fifteen years following his tenure as vicar at St Mary's, Dearmer served in no official ecclesiastical posts, preferring instead to focus on his writing.

King's College London
During World War I he served as chaplain to the British Red Cross ambulance unit in Serbia, where his wife died of enteric fever in 1915.
In 1916 he worked with the Young Men's Christian Association in France and, in 1916 and 1917, with the Mission of Help in India.
Dearmer married his second wife, Nancy Knowles, on August 19, 1916.
They had two daughters and a son, Antony, who died in RAF service in 1943.
In addition to his writings, Dearmer served as professor of ecclesiastical art at King's College London from 1919 until his sudden death of coronary thrombosis on May 29, 1936.
His ashes are interred in the Great Cloister at Westminster Abbey.


Sir John Ninian Comper
Ninian Comper
English Altar
Sir John Ninian Comper (1864–1960) was one of the last of the great Gothic Revival architects, noted for his churches and their furnishings.
He is well known for his stained glass, his use of colour and his subtle integration of Classical and Gothic elements which he described as unity by inclusion.
His ecclesiastical commissions include a line of windows in the north wall of the nave of Westminster Abbey; at St Peter's Parish Church, Huddersfield baldachino/ciborium, high altar and east window in memory of the dead of the Great War; St Mary's, Wellingborough; St Michael and All Angels, Inverness; the Lady Chapel at Downside Abbey, Somerset; the ciborium and House Chapel extension for the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Oxford (now St Stephen's House, Oxford) and St Cyprian's, Clarence Gate, London; the Lady Chapel at St Matthew's, Westminster; Lady Chapel and gilded paintings in the chancel of All Saints, Margaret Street.
Ninian Comper
St Sebastian
Ninian Comper

Comper is noted for re-introducing the 'English altar', (see Percy Dearmer above) an altar surrounded by riddel posts. Comper designed a number of remarkable altar screens (reredos), inspired by medieval originals.
Comper's work  is considered by many to be the ultimate expression of 19th Century English Ecclesiastical art. 
Comper was knighted by King George VI in 1950.


Martin Travers
English Altar
Martin Travers
Neo-Baroque Altar
Martin Travers (born Howard Mantin Otho Travers, in Margate, Kent on 19 February 1886 – died in 1948) was an English church artist and designer, whose name is often connected with the Anglo-Catholic movement in the Church of England, especially that part of the movement which favoured a return to the Baroque style of church furnishing.
He designed and constructed a number of spectacular Baroque reredoses for various Anglican churches, usually employing affordable materials such as plywood, white-wood  papier-mache and embossed wallpaper to achieve the desired effect, which, regrettably, has meant that some of his work has not weathered well.
Famous examples of his work in London are the reredos in St Mary's church, Pimlico, and the remarkable Churrigueresque altarpiece in St Augustine's church, South Kensington.
As well as church furnishings he also designed much stained glass, and, as a draughtsman, is perhaps best known for his illustrations for the booklets and cards published by the Society of SS. Peter and Paul, a group supporting the Anglo-Papalist position.

The Society of Staint Peter and St Paul and Anglo-Papalism

SS. Peter and Paul

Anglo-Papalism is a subset of Anglo-Catholicism with adherents manifesting a particularly high degree of influence from, and even identification with, the Roman Catholic Church.
Anglo-Papalists regard the Pope as the earthly leader of the Christian Church. They generally accept in full all the Ecumenical Councils recognised by the Roman Catholic Church, including the Councils of Trent and the First Vatican Council, along with nearly all subsequent definitions of doctrine, including the bodily Assumption of Mary.
Anglo-Papalists regard the Church of England as two provinces of the Western Catholic Church (the Province of Canterbury and the Province of York) forcibly severed from the rest by an act of the English Crown.
Like many other Anglo-Catholics, Anglo-Papalists make use of the rosary, benediction and other Catholic devotions. Some have regarded Thomas Cranmer as a heretic and his first Prayer Book as an expression of Zwinglian doctrine. They have actively worked for the reunion of the Church of England with the Holy See, as the logical objective of the Oxford Movement (see above).


The English Missal has been widely used by Anglican Papalists. This volume, which is still in print, contains a form of the 'Tridentine Mass' (see above) in English (though with an alternative Latin translation of the Canon) interspersed with sections of the 'Book of Common Prayer'.
(The Tridentine Mass is the form of the Roman Rite Mass contained in the typical editions of the Roman Missal that were published from 1570 to 1962. It was the most widely celebrated Mass liturgy in the world until the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI in December 1969. In nearly every country it was celebrated exclusively in Latin. In Masses celebrated without the people, Latin Rite Catholic priests are free to use either the 1962 version of the 'Tridentine Liturgy'. These Masses "may be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted." Permission to use the Tridentine form in parish Masses may be given by the parish priest.)
The Roman Catholic writer Fr. Adrian Fortescue's 'Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described' served as a useful guide as to how to use the missal. At early celebrations, some Anglo-Papalist priests would use only the ' Missale Romanum' (Roman Missal), in Latin or in English translation.
(The Roman Missal (Latin: Missale Romanum) is the liturgical book that contains the texts and rubrics for the celebration of the Mass in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.
Groups and Publications

Anglo-Papalists have established a variety of organisations, including the 'Catholic League and the Society for Promoting Catholic Unity' (SPCU), which published 'The Pilot'. They have also provided the leadership in many more general Anglo-Catholic organisations such as the 'Annunciation Group'. Other Anglo-Papalist groups include the 'Sodality of the Precious Blood'. Priests of the Sodality commit themselves to recitation of the 'Roman Liturgy of the Hours' and to the Latin Rite discipline of celibate chastity. The now-defunct Society of Ss Peter and Paul published the 'Anglican Missal'.

In the 1950s the 'Fellowship of Christ the Eternal Priest', which was established for Anglican ordinands in the armed forces, published a journal called 'The Rock', which was strongly pro-Roman.



English Catholicism continued to grow throughout the first two thirds of the 20th century, when it was associated primarily with elements in the English intellectual class and the ethnic Irish population.
Numbers attending Mass remained very high in stark contrast with the Anglican church (although not to other Protestant churches), and conversions and vocations to the priesthood and religious life were also plentiful. Clergy numbers, which began the 20th century at under 3,000, reached a high of 7,500 in 1971.
By the latter years of the twentieth century low numbers of vocations also affected the church with 16 new priests for England and Wales in 2009 compared to 110 thirteen years earlier.
Annual vocation numbers have been variable in recent years: from 24 in 2003 to the mid 40s in 2006 and 2007 and a drop back to 31 in 2008.
Parishes have been closed or merged: Liverpool, for example, reducing from 60 to 27 parishes.
Significantly, sexual abuse scandals have also damaged the Church.

As in other English-speaking countries such as the United States and Australia, the movement of Irish Catholics out of the working-class into the middle-class suburban mainstream often meant their assimilation with broader, secular English society and loss of a separate Catholic identity.
The Second Vatican Council has been followed, as in other Western countries, by divisions between traditional Catholicism and a more liberal form of Catholicism claiming inspiration from the Council.
This caused difficulties for not a few pre-conciliar converts, though others have still joined the Church in recent decades (for instance, Malcolm Muggeridge and Joseph Pearce), and public figures (often descendants of the recusant families) such as Paul Johnson; Peter Ackroyd; Antonia Fraser; Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC; Michael Martin (politician), first Catholic to hold the office of Speaker of the House of Commons since the Reformation; Chris Patten, first Catholic to hold the post of Chancellor of Oxford since the Reformation; Piers Paul Read; Helen Liddel, Britain's High Commissioner to Australia; and former Prime Minister's wife, Cherie Blair, have no difficulty making their Catholicism known in public life.
The former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, was recently received into full communion with the Catholic Church. 
Since the Second Vatican Council the Church in England has tended to focus on ecumenical dialogue with the Anglican Church, whilst continuing to win converts from it.

Tony Blair
However, the 1990s have seen a number of conversions from Anglicanism to the Catholic Church, largely prompted by the Church of England's decision to ordain women as priests (among other moves away from traditional doctrines and structures).
The resultant converts included members of the Royal Family (Katharine, Duchess of Kent, her son Lord Nicholas Windsor and her grandson Baron Downpatrick), and a number of Anglican priests.
Converts to Catholicism in Britain, for this reason, tend to be more 'conservative' and even traditionalist than Catholics on the European mainland, often opposing trends within the Catholic Church similar to those which induced them to abandon Anglicanism in the first place.

The spirit of ecumenism fostered by Vatican II resulted in 1990 with the Catholic Church in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, joining 'Churches Together in Britain and Ireland', as an expression of the churches' commitment to work ecumenically.
Recently, for example, a memorial was put up to St. John Houghton and fellow Carthusian monks martyred at the London Charterhouse, 1535.
Anglican priest, Geoffrey Curtis, campaigned for it with the current archbishop of Canterbury's blessing.
Also, in another ecumenical gesture, a plaque in Holywell Street, Oxford, now commemorates the Catholic martyrs of England.
It reads: "Near this spot George Nichols, Richard Yaxley, Thomas Belson, and Humphrey Pritchard were executed for their Catholic faith, 5 July 1589."
And at Lambeth Palace, in February 2009, the Archbishop of Canterbury hosted a reception to launch the book, 'Why Go To Church ?', by Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, OP, one of Britain's best known religious, and the former 'Master' of the Dominican Order.
The Church's principles of social justice influenced initiatives to tackle the challenges of poverty and social inclusion.
In Southampton Fr Pat Murphy O'Connor founded the 'St Dismas Society' as an agency to meet the needs of ex-prisoners discharged from Winchester prison.
Some of 'St Dismas Society's' early members went on to help found the 'Simon Community' in Sussex then in London.
Cardinal Basil Hume
Their example gave new inspiration to other clergymen, such as Rev Kenneth Leech (C of E) of St Anne's Church, Soho who helped found the homeless charity 'Centrepoint', and Rev Bruce Kenrick (Church of Scotland) who helped found the homeless charity 'Shelter'.
In 1986 Cardinal Basil Hume established the 'Cardinal Hume Centre' to work with homeless young people, badly housed families and local communities to access accommodation, support and advice, education, training and employment opportunities.
In 2006 Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor instituted an annual 'Mass in Support of Migrant Workers' at Westminster Cathedral in partnership with the ethnic chaplains of Brentwood, Southwark, and Westminster.

Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham

Pope Benedictus XVI 
In October 2009, following closed-circuit talks between some Anglicans and the Holy See, Pope Benedict made a relatively unconditional offer to accommodate disaffected Anglicans of the Church of England, enabling them, for the first time, to retain parts of their liturgy and heritage under 'Anglicanorum Coetibus', while being in full communion with Rome.

A personal ordinariate is a canonical structure within the Roman Catholic Church enabling former Anglicans to maintain some degree of corporate identity and autonomy with regard to the bishops of the geographical dioceses of the Catholic Church and to preserve elements of their distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony. Its precise nature is described in the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus of 4 November 2009 and in the complementary norms of the same date.

By April 2012 the Ordinariate numbered about 1,200, including five bishops and 60 priests.
The Ordinariate has recruited a group of aristocrats as honorary vice-presidents to help out.
These include the Duke of Norfolk, the Countess of Oxford and Asquith and the Duchess of Somerset. Other vice-presidents include Lord Nicholas Windsor, Sir Josslyn Gore-Booth and the Squire de Lisle, whose ancestor Ambrose de Lisle was a 19th century Catholic convert who advocated the corporate reunion of the Anglican Church with Rome.
According to the group leader, Mgr Keith Newton, the Ordinariate will "work on something with an Anglican flavour, but they are not bringing over any set of Anglican liturgy."
The director of music at Westminster Abbey (Anglican), lay Catholic James O'Donnell, likens the Ordinariate to a 'Uniate Church' or one of the many non-Latin Catholic rites, saying: "This is a good opportunity for us to remember that there isn't a one size fits all, and that this could be a good moment to adopt the famous civil service philosophy - 'celebrating diversity'."



Guilford Anglican Cathedral - High Altar

The Cathedral Church of the Holy Spirit - Guildford Surrey England
Sir Edward Maufe.

Guilford Anglican Cathedral
The Cathedral Church of the Holy Spirit - Guildford Surrey England
Sir Edward Maufe

Guilford Cathedral
The Cathedral Church of the Holy Spirit - Guildford Surrey England
Sir Edward Maufe.

Guilford Anglican Cathedral - High Altar
The Cathedral Church of the Holy Spirit - Guildford Surrey England
Sir Edward Maufe.

Coventry Cathedral

Coventry Cathedral
Chapel of Unity

'Christ in Glory in the Tetramorph'
Graham Southerland
Coventry Cathedral

Holy Trinity Church
Hounslow - Middlesex

Hounslow has existed since the 13th century. Its Anglo-Saxon place-name is found in the Domesday Book and it means the hill, or mound, associated with Hundi (a pagan Anglo-Saxon). The town grew up along both sides of the Great Western Road leading from London to the West Country. In mediaeval times the town’s many inns and the Priory of the Holy Trinity provided travellers with accommodation. Holy Trinity Church was rebuilt in 1963 after a fire in 1943, which destroyed the 1828 church building.
While little known, this Anglican sanctuary is one of the finest to be built in the 20th century.



Westminster Cathedral in London is the mother church of the Catholic community in England and Wales and the Metropolitan Church and Cathedral of the Archbishop of Westminster.

Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood
of Jesus Christ
Westminster - London
Arched Pediment Over Main Door
Westminster Cathedral
It is dedicated to the "Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ".
The site on which the Cathedral stands originally belonged to the Benedictine monks who established the nearby Westminster Abbey and was purchased by the Archdiocese of Westminster in 1885.
The cathedral is located in Victoria, SW1, in the City of Westminster.
It is the largest Catholic church in England and Wales, and should not be confused with Westminster Abbey of the Church of England.
Westminster Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Westminster, currently His Grace The Most Rev. Dr. Vincent Nichols.
As a matter of custom, each newly appointed Archbishop of Westminster has eventually been created a cardinal in consistory.
John Betjeman called it "a masterpiece in striped brick and stone in an intricate pattern of bonding, the domes being all-brick in order to prove that the good craftsman has no need of steel or concrete."
In the late 19th century, the Catholic Church's hierarchy had only recently been restored in England and Wales, and it was in memory of Cardinal Wiseman (who died in 1865, and was the first Archbishop of Westminster from 1850) that the first substantial sum of money was raised for the new cathedral.
The land was acquired in 1884 by Wiseman's successor, Cardinal Manning, having previously been occupied by the second Tothill Fields Bridewell prison.
After two false starts in 1867 (under architect Henry Clutton) and 1892 (architect Baron von Herstel), construction started in 1895 under Manning's successor, the third archbishop Cardinal Vaughan with John Francis Bentley as architect

John Francis Bentley
John Francis Bentley (30 January 1839 – 2 March 1902) was the architect who was chosen to bring the dream of a Westminster Cathedral to reality.
Rather than Gothic, the style is Byzantine.
Bentley, however, was also a master of the neo-Gothic.
However, the choice of style appears to have been the result of a decision of Cardinal Vaughan.
The cathedral opened in 1903, a little after Bentley's death.

John Francis Bentley (30 January 1839 – 2 March 1902) was an English ecclesiastical architect whose most famous work is the Westminster Cathedral in London, England, built in a style heavily influenced by Byzantine architecture.

Westminster Cathedral was designed by John Francis Bentley and constructed between 1895 and 1903.
Bentley was born in Doncaster, and died in Clapham. Other examples of his work include the convent of the Sacred Heart at Hammersmith, St John's Beaumont, the Church of the Holy Rood at Watford, and St Luke's Church, Chiddingstone (1897). He was a master of the neo-Gothic and Byzantine Revival styles.
The great opportunity of Bentley's career came in 1894, when he was commissioned to design a new Roman Catholic cathedral in Westminster, London. After deciding on a Byzantine Revival design, Bentley travelled to Italy to study some of the great early Byzantine-influenced cathedrals, such as St Mark's Basilica in Venice. Because of illness and an outbreak of cholera in Istanbul, he was unable to complete his tour with a study of the Hagia Sofia. Bentley ended his tour in Venice and returned to London to begin work on Westminster Cathedral.

For reasons of economy the decoration of the interior had hardly been started and still much remained to be completed.
It is often presumed that Westminster Cathedral was the first Catholic place of worship to be built in England after the English Reformation; however that honour belongs to St Patrick's in Soho Square built in 1792.
Britain's first Catholic churches built after the Reformation are both in Banffshire, Scotland. They are St. Ninian's, Tynet, built in 1755 and its near neighbour, St. Gregory's, Preshome, built in 1788. Both churches are still in use.
Under the laws of the Catholic Church at the time, no place of worship could be consecrated unless free from debt and having its fabric completed, so the consecration ceremony did not take place until June 28, 1910.
The space in front of the Cathedral was opened up in 1975, following the demolition of the buildings that used to run across the frontage along Victoria Street.
Further hindering access was a roadway which ran directly across the front door.
Originally, the Cathedral could be seen only close up, and from a sharp angle.
Now for the first time it was possible to see the Cathedral from afar, and the new area was christened 'The Piazza'.
The fanciful and the romantic entertained visions of Italian style piazzas, fountains and coffee shops, violin music and colourful processions.
In truth, the space created is a difficult area to categorize; spatial compromises with the premises either side mean it is an awkward shape, and the fashion of the times decreed modern grey granite office blocks having no architectural or visual connexion with the Cathedral.
Lacking atmosphere, it has been deserted by day, and at night a haunt of drunks and drug users - so much so Cardinal Hume referred to the Piazza as 'a great improvement, but also a great weight upon our shoulders.'


The whole building, in the neo-Byzantine style, covers an area of about 54,000 sqft (5, 017m2); the dominating factor of the scheme, apart from the campanile, being a spacious and uninterrupted nave, 60 ft (18.3m), covered with domical vaulting.

Temple of Saint Sava - Belgrade
Neo-Byzantine architecture had a small following in the wake of the 19th-century Gothic revival, resulting in such jewels as Westminster Cathedral in London. It was developed on a wide-scale basis in Russia during the reign of Alexander II by Grigory Gagarin and his followers who designed St Volodymyr's Cathedral in Kiev, St Nicholas Naval Cathedral in Kronstadt, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, Saint Mark's church in Belgrade and the New Athos Monastery in New Athos near Sukhumi. The largest Neo-Byzantine project of the 20th century was the Temple of Saint Sava in Belgrade.

In planning the nave, a system of supports was adopted not unlike that to be seen in most Gothic cathedrals, where huge, yet narrow, buttresses are projected at intervals, and stiffened by transverse walls, arcading and vaulting.
Unlike in a Gothic Cathedral at Westminster they are limited to the interior.

Westminster Cathedral
Westminster Cathedral
The main piers and transverse arches that support the domes divide the nave into three compartments, each 60 sqft (5.58m2).
The domes rest on the arches at a height of 90 ft (27.4m) from the floor, the total internal height being 111 ft (33.8m).
In selecting the pendentive type of dome, of shallow concavity, for the main roofing, weight and pressure have been reduced to a minimum.
The domes and pendentures are formed of concrete, and as extraneous roofs of timber were dispensed with, it was necessary to provide a thin independent outer shell of impervious stone. The concrete flat roofing around the domes is covered with asphalt.
The sanctuary is essentially Byzantine in its system of construction.
The extensions that open out on all sides make the corona of the dome seem independent of support.
The eastern termination of the cathedral suggests the Romanesque, or Lombardic style of Northern Italy.
The crypt with openings into the sanctuary, thus closely following the Church of Saint Ambrose, Milan, the open colonnade under the eaves, the timber roof following the curve of the apex, are all familiar features.
The huge buttresses resist the pressure of a vault 48 ft (14.6m) in span.
Although the cruciform plan is hardly noticeable inside the building, it is emphasized outside by the boldly projecting transepts.
These with their twin gables, slated roofs, and square turrets with pyramidal stone cappings suggest a Norman prototype in striking contrast to the rest of the design.
The main structural parts of the building are of brick and concrete, the latter material being used for the vaulting and domes of graduated thickness and complicated curve.
Following Byzantine tradition, the interior was designed with a view to the application of marble and mosaic.
Throughout the exterior, the lavish introduction of white stone bands in connection with the red brickwork (itself quite common in the immediate area) produces an impression quite foreign to the British eye.
The main entrance façade owes its composition, in a measure, to accident rather than design. The most prominent feature of the façade is the deeply recessed arch over the central entrance, flanked by tribunes, and stairway turrets.
The elevation on the north, with a length of nearly 300 ft (91.5m) contrasted with the vertical lines of the campanile and the transepts, is most impressive.
It rests on a continuous and plain basement of granite, and only above the flat roofing of the chapels does the structure assume a varied outline.
On entering the cathedral the visitor who knows Saint Mark’s in Venice, or the churches of Constantinople, will note the absence of a spacious and well lighted outer narthex, comprising all the main entrances; but this is soon forgotten in view of the fine proportions of the nave, and the marble columns, with capitals of Byzantine type, that support the galleries and other subsidiary parts of the building.
The marbles selected for the columns were, in some instances, obtained from formations quarried by the ancient Romans, chiefly in Greece.

High Altar

High Mass
Westminster Cathedral
High Altar and Baldacchino
Westminster Cathedral
The central feature of the decoration in the cathedral is the baldacchino over the high altar.
This is one of the largest structures of its kind, the total width being 31 ft (9.5m), and the height 38 ft (11.58m).
The upper part of white marble is richly inlaid with coloured marbles, lapis lazuli, pearl, and gold.
Eight columns of yellow marble, from Verona, support the baldacchino over the high altar, and others, white and pink, from Norway, support the organ galleries.
Behind the baldacchino the crypt emerges above the floor of the sanctuary, and the podium thus formed is broken in the middle by the steps that lead up to the retro-choir.

The  Retro-choir
Westminster Cathedral
The Choir - Westminster Cathedral
The curved wall of the crypt is lined with narrow slabs of green carystran marble.
The curved wall is responsible for the unique and superb sound of the Cathedral choir.
Opening out of this crypt is a smaller chamber, directly under the high altar.
Here are laid the remains of the first two Archbishops of Westminster, Cardinal Wiseman and Cardinal Manning.
The altar and relics of Saint Edmund of Canterbury occupy a recess on the south side of the chamber.

Cardinal Herbert Vaughan
Cardinal Vaughan Chantry
The little chapel of Saint Thomas of Canterbury, entered from the north transept, is used as a chantry chapel  for Cardinal Vaughan.

Herbert Alfred Vaughan (1832–1903) was an English prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Westminster from 1892 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1893. He was the founder in 1866 of St Joseph's Foreign Missionary College, known as Mill Hill Missionaries. He also founded the Catholic Truth Society. In 1871 Vaughan led a group of priests to the United States to form a mission society whose purpose was to administer to freedmen. In 1893 the society reorganized to form the US-based St. Joseph Society of the Sacred Heart, known as the Josephite Fathers. Vaughan also founded St. Bede's College, Manchester. As Archbishop of Westminster, he led the capital campaign and construction of Westminster Cathedral.

Holy Rood - Reverse
Holy Rood - Obverse
A large Byzantine style crucifix, suspended from the sanctuary arch, dominates the nave.


The chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, on the north side of the sanctuary, and the Lady Chapel on the south, are entered from the transepts; they are 22 ft (6.7m) wide, lofty, with open arcades, barrel vaulting, and apsidal ends.
Over the altar of the Blessed Sacrament chapel a small baldacchino is suspended from the vault, and the chapel is enclosed with bronze grilles and gates through which people may enter. In the Lady Chapel the walls are clad in marble and the altar reredos is a mosaic of the Virgin and Child, surrounded by a white marble frame.
The conches of the chapel contain predominantly blue mosaics of the Old Testament prophets Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
Unlike the Blessed Sacrament chapel, that dedicated to the Blessed Mother is completely open.
Those chapels which may be entered from the aisles of the nave are also 22 ft (6.7m) wide, and roofed with simple barrel vaulting.
The chapel of Saints Gregory and Augustine, next the baptistery, from which it is separated by an open screen of marble, was the first to have its decoration completed.
The marble lining of the piers rises to the springing level of the vaulting and this level has determined the height of the altar reredos, and of the screen opposite.
On the side wall, under the windows, the marble dado rises to but little more than half this height.
From the cornices the mosaic decoration begins on the walls and vault.
This general arrangement applies to all the chapels yet each has its own distinct artistic character.
Thus, in sharp contrast to the chapel dedicated to St. Gregory and St. Augustine which contains vibrant mosaics, the chapel of the Holy Souls employs a more subdued, almost funereal style, decoration with late Victorian on a background of silver.
As in all Catholic churches, there are the Stations of the Cross to be found along the outer aisles.
The ones at Westminster Cathedral are by the sculptor, Eric Gill, and are considered to be amongst the finest examples of his work.



Brompton Oratory
Cardinal John Henry Newman
John Henry Newman converted to Catholicism in 1845; and founded Birmingham Oratory, dedicated to Saint Philip Neri.
Other converts, including Frederick William Faber founded a London Oratory in premises near Charing Cross.
They purchased a 3.5-acre (14,000 m2) property in November 1852 for £16,000; in the (then) semi-rural western suburbs.
An Oratory House was built first, followed shortly by a temporary church; both designed by J. J. Scoles.
An appeal was launched in 1874 for funds to build a church.
Within the Oratory House is a chapel, known as the Little Oratory.
The Church still belongs to and is served by the Congregation of the London Oratory.
There are two other Oratories in the UK, the Birmingham Oratory and the Oxford Oratory

Tridentine Baroque Magnificance
Baroque Italianate Altar
Built in the Italianate Baroque style, the Brompton Oratory is an exact imitation of the Church of the Gesu in Rome and sports some genuine Italian fittings.
These unique, eye-catching treasures predate the building which also boasts an ornate, colourful ceiling, curving up to a 50-foot vaulted dome.
The first Roman Catholic Church to be built in London after the Reformation, the Oratory - true to its architecture - still practises a rigid, ritualised Catholicism.
Brompton Oratory (also known as the London Oratory) is the second largest Catholic Church in London and every Sunday more than 3,000 people worship in this enormous church.
Visitors are welcome but are requested to dress modestly, maintain a respectful silence and switch off mobile phones.
There is a sung mass in Latin every Sunday at 11am.


Brompron Oratory - Front Elevation
A design from Herbert Gribble, then 29, won a competition in March 1876.
The foundation stone was laid in June 1880; and the new church was consecrated on 16 April 1884.
Brompron Oratory - Sectional Elevation
The church is faced in Portland stone, with the vaults and dome in concrete; the latter was heightened in profile and the cupola added in 1895, standing 200 feet (61 m) tall.
Brompron Oratory - Side Elevation
It was the largest Catholic church in London before the opening of Westminster Cathedral in 1903.
The competition specified the 'Italian Renaissance' style, but the Roman Baroque and Wren are also drawn on.
Devon marble is used in the major order of pilasters and the minor order of columns, with more exotic marbles in the apse and the altars, with carvings in metalwork, plasterwork, wood and stone.
It houses notable Italian Baroque sculpture: the 'Twelve Apostles' by Giuseppe Mazzuoli (1644-1725) acquired from Siena Cathedral in 1895 and the Lady Altar, with sculptures by Tommaso Rues (1650-1690 ca.), from Brescia. Gribble's decorative scheme for the apse was not proceeded with, but the decoration of the St Wilfrid and the St Mary Magdalen chapels do reflect his intentions.
The St Philip Neri altar is to his design.
The second great decorative campaign (1927–32) was by the Italian architect C. T. G. Formilli, in mosaic, plaster and woodwork;the cost exceeding his estimate of £31,000.
Further decoration marked the 1984 centenary.

Cardinal Newman Chapel
The reredos of Doric columns in yellow scagliola (2006) of the St Joseph chapel and a new altar and reredos of the Blessed Cardinal Newman (2010) are by Russell Taylor, from Russell Taylor Architects.
The style is Early English Renaissance.
The statue of Newman in cardinal's robes (1896) is by L. J. Chavalliaud in architectural setting by Thomas Garner.
The church boasts magnificent vestments and altar plate, and the house an important library.

Christmas at Brompton Oratory

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