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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 9:00 am followed by St Anthony's devotions
Wednesday 9am
Thursday No Mass
Friday 7 pm followed by Adoration & Benediction
Saturday 9 am

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," The Greyfriars", and by 1926 the congregation had outgrown St Walburga's. Commissioned to design 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 Friars Minor Conventual") 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 descendants 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?

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 18th August @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Rye Country Market will be open every Friday from 10th March - 15th December. We sell Cakes, Savouries, Preserves, Free ... more

  • Rag Rug Making

    Friday 18th August @ 10:00am
    Location: Small Hythe

    Learn how to make a fun and colourful rag rug to take home with you. Led by Debbie Siniska, this ... more

  • Rye and District County Show

    Saturday 19th August @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    The Rye and District Country Show is returning for 2017! Elm Tree Farm, Icklesham, TN36 4BH (on the A259). In ... more

  • Tommy Ludford

    Saturday 19th August
    Location: Peasmarsh

    After a long break I'm returning to gigging at my local pub, The Horse & Cart. I'll be playing alongside ... more

  • Rye's Annual Flower and Veg' Show

    Saturday 19th August
    Location: Rye

    Rye's annual flower and vegetable show. Open to all, Show schedule available from early July. Email ryeallotments@yahoo.co.uk or phone 01797 ... more

  • Annual Flower and Veg Show

    Saturday 19th August @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye

    Entries accepted from 9am on the day of the show. Schedule available from Bargain Box or phone 01797 223723. Open ... more

  • Nature Treasure Trail

    Wednesday 23rd August @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Follow the trail around the reserve, hunt for the clues, solve the puzzles and collect the treasure for your chance ... more

  • Summer Crafts - Garden

    Wednesday 23rd August @ noon
    Location: Small Hythe

    Smallhythe Place is getting creative this summer with six weeks of themed craft sessions. Every Wednesday between 12-3pm children can ... more

  • The Drawtones - Rye Jazz Festival - Free Event

    Thursday 24th August
    Location: Rye

    Their special guest is the amazing Jools Holland saxophonist Derek Nash. Apart from the phenomenal success of Jools Holland, Derek ... more

  • Phil Law and Friends- Rye Jazz Festival

    Thursday 24th August
    Location: Rye

    Drop into The Standard Inn on Thursday evening and let festival fringe favourite Phil Law and his talented friends open ... more

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