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St Anthony of Padua

St Anthony of Padua near Camber, 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 Camber?

  • The Oxford Lieder Series: Ted Black in concert

    Saturday 26th June @ 7:30pm
    Location: Rye

    Tenor Ted Black was recently a finalist in the world-famous Kathleen Ferrier Awards. He is currently singing two major Mozart ... more

  • Detail & Design by Jenny Bush

    Wednesday 7th July for 13 days @ 11:00am
    Location: Rye

    An exhibition of mixed media studies of nature and pattern in miniature. Sussex artist Jenny Bush works with a range ... more

  • Nature Meets Art

    Wednesday 21st July for 13 days @ 11:00am
    Location: Rye

    WHEN NATURE MEETS ART, DRIFTWOOD AND ABSTRACT/GRAFFITI Judi’s love of art developed from a young age and found an outlet ... more

  • Tuesday Painters Club of Rye

    Friday 13th August for 10 days @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    ART EXHIBITION of members' work Open daily 10.00a.m. - 5.30p.m. From Friday13th to Sunday 22nd August Oil, Acrylic, Watercolour, Pen ... more

  • Rye Flower and Veg Show

    Saturday 4th September @ 8:30am
    Location: Rye

    The annual "open to everyone" Flower and Veg Show with classes and prizes for vegetables, fruit, flowers, plants, photography, cookery ... more

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