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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 9:00 am followed by St Anthony's devotions
Wednesday 9am
Thursday No Mass
Friday 6pm followed by Adoration & Benediction
Saturday 9 am

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," The Greyfriars", and by 1926 the congregation had outgrown St Walburga's. Commissioned to design 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 Friars Minor Conventual") 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 descendants 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?

  • Bridge and Afternoon Tea

    Monday 19th November
    Location: Udimore

    At Udimore Community Hall, Udimore. TN31 6BB. (Please bring table, cards, pencils and cloth) £44 per table – please e ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 23rd November @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Rye Country Market will be open every Friday from 9th March - 14th December. We sell Cakes, Savouries, Preserves, Free ... more

  • Jazz in the Village

    Friday 23rd November
    Location: Pett

    An evening of high quality, sophisticated, melodic jazz with the emphasis on improvisation with Ian Millar – saxophone and Dominic ... more

  • Kate Iles

    Saturday 24th November for 51 days
    Location: Rye

    A little show for Christmas. Peek behind the curtain, where you will spy Kate’s magical illuminated picture boxes and feel ... more

  • Udimore Christmas Fayre

    Saturday 24th November @ 10:30am
    Location: Udimore

    Come and meet Father Christmas and his reindeer at the Udimore Christmas Fayre. St Mary's Community Hall, Udimore, Rye, TN31 ... more

  • Beginners Birds - Winter Waders

    Saturday 24th November @ 1:00pm
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Get to grips with those tricky winter waders with this short course for beginner birdwatchers. Binoculars and field guides available ... more

  • Christmas Craft Fayre

    Sunday 25th November @ 11:00am
    Location: Winchelsea Beach

    Lovely hand-crafted Christmas goods and ideas. Cards, jewellery, screen printing, and lots of other stalls. Refreshments, including tea, coffee, and ... more

  • Jazz Supper feat. gypsy violinist Peter Sellars

    Thursday 29th November @ 7:00pm
    Location: Rye

    Charismatic violinist Peter Sellars joins the Annie Dehaney Steven Trio for our Jazz Supper this month. In the 60 years ... more

  • Christmas Try and Buy

    Friday 30th November
    Location: East Guldeford

    Salts Farm Shop is holding a Christmas Try & Buy Event: meet some of our local suppliers and sample their ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 30th November @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Rye Country Market will be open every Friday from 9th March - 14th December. We sell Cakes, Savouries, Preserves, Free ... more

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