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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?

  • Massive Rye Model Railway Exhibition

    Saturday 29th April @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    You’re invited to make tracks to a model railway show. The first one in Rye in over 20 years and ... more

  • Walk and Talk - A Guided Tour

    Saturday 29th April
    Location: Rye

    David Hopkins takes you on a historical tour of Rye - Tudor boom, bust and plague, 18th century smuggling, the ... more

  • Quiz Night

    Saturday 29th April
    Location: Northiam

    Quiz Night - Tickets £7.50 to include food. Tables of 8 - to book contact 01797 252114 or contactus@northiambonfiresociety.co.uk - ... more

  • Shakespeare at the Mermaid

    Sunday 30th April @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye

    Bowler Crab interpreting Macbeth. "A one off free entry event, 'Interpreting Macbeth' is a new performance presentation project from local ... more

  • Charity Boot Fair

    Monday 1st May @ 7:00am
    Location: Peasmarsh

    Hard-standing pitches from £5 on the day - donated to Rye & District Community Transport. Free admission and parking for ... more

  • Rye Mayor Making Ceremony/Celebrations

    Monday 1st May
    Location: Rye

    There will be a service of Thanksgiving at St Mary's Church, Rye at 11.45am followed by the Throwing Hot Pennies ... more

  • Sturdy Beggars at the Plough

    Monday 1st May @ 4:00pm
    Location: Udimore

    Sturdy Beggars at the Plough - TN31 7AL. ... more

  • Quiz Night

    Tuesday 2nd May
    Location: Rye

    Quiz Night - maximum per team 6. £3 (£2 if paid in advance). Prize for winning team. Light refreshments available. ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 5th May @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

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

  • Rye Auction Galleries - Antique

    Friday 5th May
    Location: Rye

    Auction day open from 8.30 sale commences at 10.00am. For further details, dates for taking in and catalogue visit http://www.ryeauctiongalleries.com/sale-dates/ ... more

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