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St Anthony of Padua

St Anthony of Padua in Rye, East Sussex

St Anthony of Padua
Watchbell Street
Rye
East Sussex
TN31 7HB
01797 222 173
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Roman Catholic Church
Franciscan Friary
Fax: 01797 223 066

Mass Times

Sunday Obligation

Saturday 6pm, Sunday 8am and 10:45am

Monday 9am
Tuesday 6:30pm followed by St Anthony's devotions
Wednesday 9am
Thursday No Mass
Friday 9am
Saturday 9am

The Roman Catholic parish of Rye (which includes Rye Harbour) was re-constituted in 1900 with the opening of a tiny neo-Gothic church dedicated to St Walburga, a real "locals" church.

In 1910 the parish was handed over to the care of Franciscan friars, and by 1926 the congregation had outgrown St Walburga's. Commissioned to designed a bigger church, the architect John Bernard Mendham, who had been brought up in Buenos Aires and was familiar with Spanish colonial architecture and mission churches, pulled out his masterpiece. He built a number of other places of worship in Sussex, and was buried in Hastings when he died in 1951 while working on the re-building of Coventry cathedral; but nothing matches the quality of St Anthony of Padua's. Visiting architects have applauded it as a classic example of the correct - and restrained - use of decoration. It is believed to be the only Spanish-Romanesque church in Britain. The astonishing thing is that it perfectly matches the surrounding native English architecture. Opened in 1930, it was the first church built in England by friars of the Conventual branch of the Franciscan order (officially the "Order of the Friars Minor") since the days of Henry VIII.

Many items were transferred to St Anthony's church from St Walburga's. These include stained glass windows, and the memorial to those who died in the world wars. The magnificent rood cross was a gift of the writer Radclyffe Hall; the donor of the Stations of the Cross preferred to remain anonymous.

The church is exactly the right size for the local Catholic congregation, some of whom are direct descendents of the handful of people who kept the "Old Faith" in the early 1800s. It is known that during penal times, when to be a Catholic priest was punishable by death, Rye's fishermen smuggled priests to and from France; the town has a strong "dissenter" (now called "free church") tradition, although many of the old chapels have now gone. There has never been a hint of religious conflict in Rye.

A guide is available at the church; leaflets in Polish and Tacalog are handed out at the port for visiting ships' crews. Visitors are advised to arrive for Mass early since the church becomes very crowded at all times of the year when the town is hosting an event.


Event

What's On in Rye?

  • Book signing of The Book of Tides

    Sunday 11th December
    Location: Rye

    Local author is signing his new book, The Book of Tides, in the Rye Bookshop at 11am on Sunday. This ... more

  • Everest Pioneer-The Photographs Of Captain John No

    Tuesday 13th December @ 7:30pm
    Location: Northiam

    Part of the Northiam Hist. and Lit. 2016/7 Season. Members free Visitors £2 ... more

  • Ian Shaw & Claire Martin - A Xmas Cracker

    Wednesday 14th December @ 7:15pm
    Location: Rye

    Rye Jazz & Blues Festival proudly present a jazz lovers festive delight with two of the best jazz singers in ... more

  • A Musical Christms Celebration

    Thursday 15th December
    Location: Brede

    The Christmas meeting of the National Trust Association is a Musical Christmas Celebration with the Rye Ukele Experiment and the ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 16th December @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Rye Country Market sells local produce which includes: Cakes, Preserves, Savouries, Free Range Eggs, Seasonal Vegetables and Fruit, Unusual Plants, ... more

  • Celebrity Chef John Torode

    Friday 16th December @ 6:00pm
    Location: Peasmarsh

    BBC Masterchef's John Torode will be visiting Jepson's Peasmarsh Superstore - where he will be demonstrating his culinary skills to ... more

  • Cushy

    Friday 16th December @ 9:30pm
    Location: Rye

    Cushy playing at Wipers. Please check website for updates as music listing may be subject to change. ... more

  • Rokitmen Christmas Party

    Sunday 18th December @ 4:00pm
    Location: Rye

    Rokitmen Christmas Party playing at Wipers. Please check website for updates as music listing may be subject to change. ... more

  • Chekhov Triple Bill

    Sunday 18th December @ 4:00pm
    Location: Rye

    With Christmas just a few weeks away Rye Arts Festival is offering a special one-off performance of theatre for you ... more

  • Chekov Triple Bill

    Sunday 18th December
    Location: Rye

    Chekov Triple Bill presented by Euphonia Studio and directed and adapted by Alasdair Kitchen. Tickets: 10 from Grammar School Records ... more

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