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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?

  • Phil Trainor

    Sunday 29th May @ 7:00pm
    Location: Rye

    Phil Trainor playing at the Wipers. Check website for any updates or changes. ... more

  • Bank Holiday Charity Boot Fair

    Monday 30th May @ 7:00am
    Location: Peasmarsh

    Jempson’s are delighted to be hosting a number of charity Boot Fairs again this year in our Peasmarsh car park, ... more

  • Under Winchelsea cellar tours

    Monday 30th May @ 2:00pm
    Location: Winchelsea

    Winchelsea boasts over 50 medieval cellars, a number rivalled only in Bristol, Southampton and Norwich. They were all built between ... more

  • Creepy Crawlies

    Wednesday 1st June @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Go a-hunting with the warden, Chris, as he takes a closer look at the fascinating and bizarre world of insects ... more

  • Children's Afternoon

    Thursday 2nd June @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye

    This afternoon will have a Royal Coronation theme. ... more

  • Collect and Create Clay Creatures

    Thursday 2nd June @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Collect natural materials on a walk through the reserve and create your own clay creature to take home with you. ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 3rd June @ 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

  • Wild Woodland Holiday Club

    Friday 3rd June @ 10:00am
    Location: Beckley

    A whole day of holiday fun for children aged 6-11, when we will have a campfire, play games and try ... more

  • Deep Sea Drivers

    Friday 3rd June @ 9:30pm
    Location: Rye

    Deep Sea Drivers playing at the Wipers. Check website for any updates or changes. ... more

  • Open Cottage Garden

    Saturday 4th June @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    The Old House, The Mint, Rye Cake and Plant Stalls Refreshments Entry £2.50 In aid of ARRCC ... more

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