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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?

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    Sunday 22nd January
    Location: Pett Level

    Recently re-opened and Under New Management, The Smuggler is a Traditional Pub, great food at reasonable prices, open fire with ... more

  • Whistler And The Thames

    Tuesday 24th January @ 7:30pm
    Location: Northiam

    A talk by Freda Parker. Part of the Northiam and District Historical and Literary Society winter series ... more

  • Jazz Supper at the Mermaid

    Thursday 26th January @ 7:00pm
    Location: Rye

    The Tudor Room at the Mermaid opens at 7pm for Supper. Music from 8pm. Supper £25, Non - Diners £10 ... more

  • Hush Heath Wine Dinner

    Thursday 26th January @ 7:30pm
    Location: Peasmarsh

    Learn about, and taste different Hush Heath Estate Wines from the garden of England, while enjoying canapes and 3 courses ... more

  • On Land and Sea

    Friday 27th January
    Location: Iden

    As well as managing British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) a marine mammal rescue charity and being a trustee of ... more

  • Chinese New Year

    Saturday 28th January
    Location: Rye

    Saturday 28th January is the new Chinese year of the rooster! A celebration will be held at the cinque ports ... more

  • Banish The January Blues

    Saturday 28th January
    Location: Newenden

    Dinner in the White Hart. The buffet will include the choice of a European, Malaysian, Indian or Chinese main course ... more

  • Rye Networking Over Coffee

    Tuesday 31st January @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Business networking event held in The Tudor Room. For more details go to the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/185965121742782/ ... more

  • Antique and Collectables Sale

    Friday 3rd February
    Location: Rye

    Viewing for our Antique & Collectable Sale Thursday 2nd February 9.00am - 4.30pm. Auction day open from 8.30 sale commences ... more

  • Rye Bay Scallop and Seafood Hands-On Cookery Day

    Monday 6th February @ 9:15am
    Location: Rye

    Now in its twelfth year, celebrating the scallop and local seafood species. Prepare and eat a seven course luncheon enjoying ... more

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