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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

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?

  • Camber Summer Fair

    Sunday 24th July
    Location: Camber

    Camber Summer Fair is being held on Sunday 24th July 2016 on the field next to camber memorial hall all ... more

  • Broad Oak Fire Fighters Grand Fete

    Sunday 24th July @ 1:00pm
    Location: Broad Oak

    Performances by Tenterden Lindy Hoppers, Pulse Circus Acrobatics and The Hastings Twirlers. BBQ, Bar, Cakes, Sweets, Raffle, Games, Table Sale, ... more

  • The Carry on Boys

    Sunday 24th July
    Location: Icklesham

    Acoustic folk, blues, country, jazz, ska and original songs. '... les trois anglais sont magnifiques ...' 'a dashed fine afternoon ... more

  • Marvellous Moths

    Wednesday 27th July @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Bring the family to learn about the moths that fly around the reserve at night and look at the moths ... more

  • Camber Kite Week

    Wednesday 27th July for 5 days @ noon
    Location: Camber

    KITE WEEK 2016 27-31 July In the same idyllic location as last year, on a farm, surrounded by woods and ... more

  • Jazz Supper

    Thursday 28th July @ 7:00pm
    Location: Rye

    The Mardi Gras Jazz Band make a welcome return to The Mermaid for another great evening of swinging jazz that ... more

  • The Merry Wives of Windsor

    Thursday 28th July for 3 days
    Location: Small Hythe

    The Summer Theatre Company with the National Trust present William Shakespeare's rollicking comedy. Grounds open 6pm for picnics. Tickets £12 ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 29th July @ 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

  • Slam

    Friday 29th July @ 9:30pm
    Location: Rye

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

  • Wild Woodland Weekend Club

    Saturday 30th July @ 10:00am
    Location: Beckley

    The monthly outdoor club where children aged 6-11 can explore, play and learn in the woods with campfires, mud, dens ... more

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