This website uses cookies to help us make your user experience better. To find out more, see our privacy policy.

Looking for a Restaurant in Rye?

The George In Rye … find out more

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
Import to your address book ...

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?

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 24th March @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

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

  • Woodland Birds

    Friday 24th March
    Location: Iden

    The AGM is usually a short affair, which will be followed by Melvin Smith’s talk on Woodland Birds. Iden Natural ... more

  • An Evening with Dom Pipkin

    Friday 24th March
    Location: Rye

    An evening with Dom Pipkin - Solo New Orleans Jazz Piano Singer / Songwriter / Pianist at the Grapevine. The ... more

  • Ticket to Rye

    Saturday 25th March for 30 days
    Location: Rye

    Take a trip through Richard Adams’s whimsical and enchanting pastel works on paper. Come and enjoy this popular and much ... more

  • Drawings from the Collection

    Saturday 25th March for 46 days
    Location: Rye

    A selection of drawings in different media. Charcoal, ink, pencil and paint in Gallery 6 at Rye Art Gallery. ... more

  • Rye Society of Artists

    Saturday 25th March for 30 days
    Location: Rye

    The society returns to Rye Art Gallery in this varied and innovative show. Local artists of both of national and ... more

  • Spring Beach Clean

    Saturday 25th March @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Look out for the first Wheatears and Sandwich terns of the year while helping to remove the rubbish blown in ... more

  • An Evening with Mick Bolton

    Saturday 25th March
    Location: Rye

    An evening with Mick Bolton at the Grapevine. The Grapevine Rye, 1 Conduit Hill, Rye, TN31 7LE ... more

  • Mother’s Day Carvery

    Sunday 26th March @ noon
    Location: Winchelsea

    We are now taking bookings for Mother’s Day carvery on Sunday 26 March. Booking is essential as this is one ... more

  • Rye-Citadel

    Sunday 26th March
    Location: Rye

    Alisdair Kitchen will accompany William Wallace (tenor), who was a memorably sinister Quint in Euphonia’s 2016 Rye Arts Festival at ... more

Message

Rye Message Board