2012 - In Retrospect


2012 (MMXII) is a leap year that started on a Sunday and is the current year.
In the Gregorian calendar, it is the 2012th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 12th year of the 3rd millennium and of the 21st century, and the 3rd of the 2010s.


© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012

For people living in the United Kingdom the year 2012 was dominated by the Olympic Games.

Tom Daley - only Bronze
London Olympics

This was the year when Tom Daley didn't win a gold medal - and everybody pretended not to notice.


'SUMMER 2012'
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012

And while the Games dominated the Summer - in fact there was no Summer - or rather, if you blinked, then you missed it.


But to go to the beginning - 
                                           the Arab Spring trundled on, and to those who understood  it was clear that it was shaping up into a conflict between fundamentalists (Islamists) and progressives, and Shia (including Alawi) and Sunnis.
As far as the ordinary people in the Middle East were concerned, however, despite the claims for the establishment of democracy and freedom, their everyday standards of living either stood still, or declined, as investments haemorrhaged from the area.
The Arab Spring turned into an 'Arab Winter' as the whole are lurched uncontrollably into an era of instability and uncertainty.

 جمال عبد الناصر
جماعة الاخوان المسلمين
The most worrying aspect of the 'so-called' Arab Spring was the take-over of Egypt by the جماعة الاخوان المسلمين (el-ikhwan al-muslimūn - Muslim Brotherhood).
Ask any Egyptian who they think was the greatest leader of Egypt, and nine out of ten will tell you جمال عبد الناصر (Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein).
But he persecuted the Muslim Brotherhood, rightly imprisoned and executed  سيد قطب‎ (Sayyid Qutb), and led a secularist socialist government.

Sayyid Qutb
Sayyid Qutb (Arabic: سيد قطب‎; October 9, 1906 – August 29, 1966) was an Egyptian,writer, teacher, vicious misogynist, and the leading member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and '60s. Author of 24 books, including novels, literary arts’ critique and works on education, he is best known in the Muslim world for his work on what he believed to be the social and political role of Islam, particularly in his books 'Social Justice' and the infamous 'Ma'alim fi-l-Tariq' (Milestones). His supposed magnum opus, 'Fi Zilal al-Qur'an' (In the shade of the Qur'an), is a 30-volume commentary on the Qur'an.
We have Qutb to thank for Oama bin Ladin and all the other crazy Islamist fanatics who have been responsible for the endless number of deaths all over the world.

So, we are left with the question, did the Egyptians really vote for 'el-ikhwan', an ignorant, reactionary, Islamist party, intent on viciously curtailing what little freedoms the Egyptian people already have, and propelling them back to an era before the great  محمد علي باشا (Mehmet Ali Pasha) ?

Mehmet Ali Pasha
Mehmet Ali Pasha al-Mas'ud ibn Agha (Ottoman Turkish: محمد علی پاشا المسعود بن آغا; Arabic: محمد علي باشا‎  4 March 1769 – 2 August 1849) was an Albanian commander in the Ottoman army, who became Wāli, and self-declared Khedive (Turkish Viceroy) of Egypt and Sudan. He is regarded as the founder of modern Egypt because of the dramatic reforms in the military, economic and cultural spheres that he instituted. He also ruled Levantine territories outside Egypt. The dynasty that he established would rule Egypt and Sudan until the Egyptian Revolution of 1952.

Port Said Stadium Riot
And just to emphasise the breakdown of law and order in the area, in February at least 79 people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured after a football match in Port Said, Egypt.

Al-Ahly Logo
The Port Said Stadium Riot was a mass attack that occurred on 1 February 2012 in Port Said Stadium in Port Said, Egypt, following an Egyptian premier league football match between Al-Masry and Al-Ahly clubs.
At least 79 people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured after thousands of Al-Masry spectators stormed the stadium stands and the pitch, following a 3–1 victory by Al-Masry. Al-Masry fans violently attacked Al-Ahly fans, and also the club's fleeing players, using knives, swords, clubs, stones, bottles, and fireworks as weapons.


The True Greatness of Britain in the Early 50s
Diamond Jubilee
On February 6 the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II marked the 60th anniversary of her accession to the thrones of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and the 60th anniversary of her becoming Head of the Commonwealth.
Particularly for those who could remember the death of the Queen's father, King-Emperor George VI, and the accession of the beautiful young Queen, it was a truly moving anniversary.

However, for many 'baby-boomers' it raised questions with regard to the success of the 'post-war dream' and the 'New Elizabethan Age'.
What had become of the ideals that had made England truly great in the early fifties - and where had it all gone wrong ?
Thinking back to the Festival of Britain, opened 3 May 1951 by the King -Emperor George VI, many in 2012 who were old enough, or well informed enough to know about the festival wondered why such great promise, idealism, and even good humour had been lost in the intervening years.



Winston Churchill
This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. It was with those words, delivered almost 70 years ago to the day, that Winston Churchill greeted news of Montgomery's victory at El Alamein, a turning point in the second world war.
The Conservative party can never get too much of Churchill, so there will be many in the blue half of the coalition who will be hoping that the words are as appropriate for describing the state of the economy today as they were for outlining the global balance of power in late 1942.
Make no mistake, news that Britain's economy grew by 1% in the third quarter of 2012 does not mark the end of the downturn that began more than five years ago, even though it is tremendous morale booster for a government that has had its back to the wall in recent months.

It will take another year of robust growth simply to return the economy to where it was during the period of phoney war between the run on Northern Rock in September 2007 and the collapse of Lehman Brothers a year later, and a decade to make up even half the output lost over the past four and a half years.

The level of gross domestic product is 13-14% below where it would have been had growth continued at its pre-recession trend of 2.5% a year. Some of that has been lost for good: it will never be recovered.
Yes - this is the year when many people realised that the bank adverts were downright lies.
The Banks are not around to help you - but rather to help themselves !
But it's an odd recession.
Get on any bus or train, or walk round a supermarket, and you will see not only adults, but little kids texting away on their 'smart-phones' (and many of them have two mobiles - at anything from £200 to £400 a time for a i-phone or Galaxy).
And where are the barefoot, ragged children, and the thin, haggard adults on the verge of starvation ?
It's not really a 1930s depression - no way !


This blog is dedicated to 'all that is good of England' - but even England can't be all good.
To maintain our standards of decency courage, fairness and good humour, to mention just a few qualities that are associated with the English, it is good on occasions to consider what happens when we let our standards slip.

Savile - Paedophile and Thug
Now it might sound like 'I told you so' but the author of this blog, from the 1960s onwards, always considered Saville to be a 'creepy', vulgar, unpleasant character, and always considered his involvement in charitable, hospital and penal work to be suspicious, to say the least.
The author of this blog was always suspicious that Savile was a pederast.

(Pederasty is an erotic homosexual relationship between a man and a pubescent boy outside his immediate family. The word pederasty derives from Greek (paiderastia) "love of boys", a compound derived from παῖς (pais) "child, boy" and ἐραστής (erastēs) "lover".)

It turns out, however that Saville, (as far as we know at present) was a paedophile and a necrophile - and was little concerned by the sex of the object of his lust.
A couple of news reports on Savile allege that he made unaccompanied visits to mortuaries (such as the one at Stoke Mandeville) and that he spoke publicly to the media about his “fascination” with dead bodies.
A former BBC colleague of Jimmy Savile has claimed the predatory paedophile was a necrophiliac.
It is one of the most extraordinary allegations to have come out in the wake of the scandal.
The claim was made on Radio 5 Live today by Paul Gambaccini, who started working as a DJ on Radio 1 in 1973.

Saville - Paedophile
Sir James Wilson Vincent "Jimmy" Savile (31 October 1926 – 29 October 2011), OBE, KCSG, was an English DJ, television presenter and media personality.
He hosted the BBC television show 'Jim'll Fix It', and was the first and last presenter of the long-running BBC music chart show 'Top of the Pops'.
After his death, hundreds of allegations of child sex abuse and rape became public, leading the police to believe that Savile was almost certainly one of Britain's most prolific sex offenders.
Savile, born in Leeds, was the youngest of seven children (his elder siblings were Mary, Marjory, Vincent, John, Joan, and Christina) in a Roman Catholic family.
Savile was conscripted to work in the coal mines as a 'Bevin Boy' during the Second World War.
He began a career playing records in, and later managing, dance halls.

In the year 200 Savile talked about how he dealt with troublemakers when he was working in clubs: "I never threw anybody out. Tied them up and put them down in the bloody boiler house until I was ready for them. Two o'clock in the f--king morning... We'd tie em up and then we'd come back and I was the judge, jury and executioner."

His media career started as a disc jockey at Radio Luxembourg in 1958 and on Tyne Tees Television in 1960, and he developed a reputation for eccentricity and his flamboyant character.

Jimmy Savile and Ray Teret
(father and son ?)
Savile lived in Salford from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, the later period with Ray Teret, who became his support DJ, assistant and chauffeur.
During this period, Savile referred to Teret as his son, while Teret referred to Savile as Dad (?)
He was famous for his "bizarre yodel", and catchphrases which included "how's about that, then ?", "now then, now then, now then", "goodness gracious", "as it 'appens" and "guys and gals".
Savile smoked very expensive, and obviously 'phallic' Cuban cigars.
He was a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and drove a Rolls-Royce.
Somehow, Saville managed to fool almost everyone.
Perhaps this vulgar, obscene little man was able to manipulate them because he was holding back some information about many of the people who fawned over him.

Margaret Thatcher entertains a Paedophile
Cardinal Basil Hume
Savile became a friend of Margaret Thatcher, who in 1981, described his work as "marvellous" (?).
He spent eleven consecutive New Year's Eves at Chequers with Thatcher and her family.
In 1984, he was accepted as a member of the Athenaeum, a gentlemen's club in London's Pall Mall, after being proposed by Cardinal Basil Hume (?)

Prince Charles entertains a Paedophile
Prince Charles sent him gifts on his 80th birthday and a note reading:
"Nobody will ever know what you have done for this country, Jimmy. This is to go some way in thanking you for that."
A lifelong bachelor, Savile lived with his mother (whom he referred to as "The Duchess") and kept her bedroom and wardrobe exactly as it was when she died (creepy).
In 2007, Savile was interviewed under caution by police investigating an allegation of indecent assault in the 1970s at the now-closed Duncroft Approved School for Girls near Staines, Surrey, where he was a regular visitor. 
In 2012, Sir Roger Jones, former BBC governor for Wales and chairman of BBC charity Children in Need, disclosed that more than a decade before Savile's death he had banned Savile from involvement in the charity, because he felt Savile's behaviour was "strange" and "suspicious".

Edwina Currie
At the Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Savile volunteered for many years as a porter. Savile also volunteered at Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor Hospital.
In August 1988, he was appointed, by junior Health Minister Edwina Currie, to be chair of an interim task force overseeing the management of Broadmoor Hospital, after its board members had been suspended.
One wonders how a government minister, even as stupid and self-serving as Curry, could possibly consider such a creepy, and equally self-serving individual for such sensitive position - particularly as he had no experience or qualifications for such a responsible position.
Savile had his own room at both Stoke Mandeville and Broadmoor - and free access to all the rooms and wards of the said hospitals.

Jimmy Savile - Broadmoor Keys
Jimmy’s Café
At Broadmoor - (Savile called himself the ‘Governor’ of the hospital !) - which was home to the 'Yorkshire Ripper' Peter Sutcliffe - staff presented Savile with his own gold-plated set of keys, giving him access to mentally-ill young patients.
Astonishingly, he was even allowed to take young female patients out of the supposedly top-security hospital for rides in his Rolls Royce.
At Stoke Mandeville Hospital the hospital café was named ‘Jimmy’s Café' in honour of Savile.
We are told that the sign has been removed.

Was all of this sheer madness, or was there some reason why Savile could get such power, privileges and such adulation from apparently responsible people - who included members of the Royal Family (remember the knighthood), a Prime Minister, Members of the Government, Senior Managers of the NHS (although is there anyone responsible in the NHS - considering they are so often indirectly responsible for the abuse and starvation the elderly), and senior managers of Broadcasting Companies ?
Perhaps they were all worried that he might "tie them up and put them down in the bloody boiler house until he was ready for them. Two o'clock in the f--king morning... where he would then be the judge, jury and executioner."
Or did he threaten to 'spill the beans' about what they had been up to ?
Behind the Savile scandal there is almost certainly a 'can of worms' involving not only the entertainment and media industry, but also some of those in the highest echelons of English society.

The Kray Twins - Reggie and Ronnie
There are interesting comparisons between Savile and the Kray twins.
Both were working class, poorly educated individuals, who come from the same era - the early sixties.
Both were involved in the managing of clubs or places of entertainment.
Both 'hobnobbed' with celebrities, and individuals in high government circles.
Both were flamboyant, eccentric characters - and were bi-sexual.
Both were violent thugs.
There were also direct connections between the Krays and Savile.
It has been stated that the Krays had access to many London care homes, and would have boys delivered to parties at DJ Alan ” fluff” Freeman’s large flat over a music shop in East London.
There they would meet with show biz types and DJs including Jimmy Saville, Joe Meeks and on occasion Beatles manager Brian Epstein.

Ronnie Kray
The police, allegedly, knew about the Kray gangsters and the sex parties known as ” Pink ballets ” with young lads but let them continue
At these parties , young boys , specially brought over from several childrens' homes would be plied with drugs and alcohol.
However these parties were forced to come to an end when the MP & Ex Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe was attending them along with several other prominent MP’s…
The difference, of course, was that the Krays 'overstepped the mark' with murder - but apparently Savile's paedophilia was 'ok'.
Of course Ronnie Kray ended up in Broadmoor Hospital, and Saville was the Governor’ , as he called himself, of Broadmoor.
Considering Savile's strange bizarre behaviour, if he had been prosecuted early on, he could well have been 'sectioned' (after all you or I would have been 'sectioned' if we had behaved in public like Savile), and spent his later years in Broadmoor as an inmate, with Ronnie !


In the 1972 New Year Honours, Savile was appointed Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE), which he appended to his signature.

In the 1970s he was awarded an honorary green beret by the Royal Marines for completing the Royal Marine Commando speed march, 30 miles (48 km) across Dartmoor carrying 30 pounds (14 kg) of kit. - Following the allegations of child abuse, the Royal Marines have "erased" the award.

Madame Tussauds London unveiled a waxwork likeness of him in 1986. It was retired in the 1990s (?).

In the 1990 Queen's Birthday Honours he was made a Knight Bachelor "for charitable services". Following the allegations of sexual abuse, British Prime Minister David Cameron indicated in October 2012 that it would be possible for Savile's honours to be rescinded by the Honours Forfeiture Committee.

Savile was honoured with a Papal knighthood by being made a Knight Commander of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Gregory the Great (KCSG) by Pope John Paul II in 1990. After the scandal broke, the Catholic Church in England and Wales asked the Holy See to consider stripping Savile of the honour. In October 2012, Father Federico Lombardi told BBC News,
'The Holy See firmly condemns the horrible crimes of sexual abuse of minors, and the honour, in the light of recent information should certainly not have been bestowed. ...As there does not exist any permanent official list of persons who have received papal honours in the past, it is not possible to strike anyone off a list that does not exist. The names of recipients of papal honours do not appear in the Pontifical Year Book and the honour expires with the death of the individual.

He held an honorary doctorate of law (LLD) from the University of Leeds.

He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bedfordshire in 2009, which was posthumously rescinded in October 2012.

He was an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists (FRCR).

He was also awarded the Cross of Merit of the Order pro merito Melitensi.
The Order of Merit pro Merito Melitensi of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta is a knightly order of merit established in 1920.
It is awarded to men and women who have brought honour and prestige to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta or actively promoted Christian values (you must be joking !) or works of charity in the Christian tradition as defined by the Roman Catholic Church. 

He was a Freeman of the Borough of Scarborough. This honour was removed in November 2012.



'Do all meerkats come from Russia ?'

'Bad Education' is a British sitcom produced by Tiger Aspect Productions for BBC Three. It stars Jack Whitehall as young teacher Alfie Wickers – "the worst teacher ever to grace the British education system" – at the fictional Abbey Grove School in Hertfordshire.
Unfortunately, Abbey Grove is far from fictional !

'Professing to being liberal and caring - in this era - is more important than being so.'

— Victor Davis Hanson

'Two posh boys who don't know the price of milk'

– Nadine Dorries on Cameron and Osborne 23/04

Nick Clegg - has he put on weight ?
'I'm sorry ?'

– Nick Clegg for most of the year, but partcularly 19/09



Seth MacFarlane 
Stewie Griffin
Undoubtedly the TV personality of the year was "Stewie" Griffin, who is a character from the television series 'Family Guy' - or should we say the incomparable Seth MacFarlane.
Stewie is the youngest child of Peter and Lois Griffin, and the brother of Chris and Meg.
He also has a close friendship with the family's anthropomorphic dog, Brian.
He has a strong hatred for his mother Lois Griffin, as it is his lifelong goal to kill her - which seems quite reasonable in the circumstances.
A master of technology, Stewie has not only mastered time travel, and the invention of numerous hi-tech weapons, but has also managed to create the 'elixir' of youth, and appears to permanently one year of age.

Александр Орлов - Alexander Orlov
Александр Орлов (Alexander Orlov) is an anthropomorphic Russian meerkat.
Orlov is of aristocratic stock, and the founder of www.comparethemeerkat.com.
Aleksandr's family have lived in Moscow for many generations. His "greatest grandfather", Vitaly, fought in the 'Meerkat–Mongoose War' of the 1850s, and his grandparents survived the 'Furry Terror' of 1921.
Aleksandr became a billionaire in the 1970s. He lives in Moscow, although he apparently also owns a large mansion in South London. He now spends his time on vanity projects such as his website, numerous self-portraits, various petitions (whether it be banning 'comparethemuskrat.com' or beating Sergei at Scrabble by adding a word to the dictionary), and epic film-making (mostly starring himself and Sergei).
Aleksandr stated in an interview on his official Facebook that he is not married and has no children, despite having many marriage proposals.

Roger Smith
Roger Smith is a character from the television series 'American Dad'.
Roger was born in AD 410.
He is a space alien, reminiscent of the Roswell greys with his hydro-cephalic head, but with a body that resembles E.T.. Roger is sinister, free-spirited, and selfish.
He has a near-obsessive childlike affinity for role-playing various personae in his day to day life, motivated in part by the need to hide the fact that he is an alien.
He came to live with the Smith family after saving Stan Smith's life in Area 51.
Roger describes himself as a "fey, pan-sexual, alcoholic non-human".
Roger's body creates a mucus like fluid which is regularly expelled from several otherwise invisible orifices



There seems to be only two

Family Guy - 'It's a Trap !'

'It's a Trap !' is the double-episode season finale of the ninth season of the series 'Family Guy' and the final part of the series' trilogy 'Laugh It Up, Fuzzball'.
The episode aired on Fox in the United States on May 22, 2011, and was produced for the seventh production season (Season 8)
The episode was written by Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and David A. Goodman and directed by Peter Shin.
It retells the story of 'Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi' as "Blue Harvest" did with 'Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope' and 'Something, Something, Something, Dark Side' did with 'Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back' by recasting characters from 'Family Guy' into roles from the film.
Due to the declining number of Family Guy characters, the episode also features characters from 'American Dad' and 'The Cleveland Show': Roger (see above) appears as Moff Jerjerrod, Klaus appears as Admiral Ackbar, Tim appears as Wicket the Ewok and Rallo appears as Nien Nunb.
Stan was originally going to appear as Wedge Antilles, but his part got cut (he is still mentioned when Lando orders him to destroy the Power Station in the main reactor of the Death Star).
The role of Meg Griffin continues to be minor, this time taking the role of the Sarlacc.
Stewie Griffin again plays a diminutive Darth Vader, with Chris as Luke Skywalker and Brian Griffin as Chewbacca.

Road to the North Pole
'Road to the North Pole' is the eighth episode of the ninth season of the comedy series 'Family Guy'.
Directed by Greg Colton and co-written by Chris Sheridan and Danny Smith, the episode originally aired on Fox in the United States on December 12, 2010.
In "Road to the North Pole", two of the show's main characters, baby Stewie and anthropomorphic dog Brian, who are voiced by series creator Seth MacFarlane, go on an adventure to the North Pole in an attempt to kill Santa Claus.
They eventually discover a dreary, polluting factory full of disease-ridden elves and carnivorous, feral reindeer, along with a sickly, exhausted Santa who begs to be killed. Stewie and Brian take pity on him, however, and decide to fulfill Christmas by delivering gifts to the entire globe, albeit unsuccessfully.
"Christmastime Is Killing Us" was nominated for Best Song Written for a Visual Media at the 54th Grammy Awards.



Gerry Anderson, MBE (14 April 1929 – 26 December 2012) was a British publisher, producer, director and writer, famous for his futuristic television programmes, particularly those involving 'Supermarionation', working with modified marionettes.
Anderson's first television production was the 1957 Roberta Leigh children's series 'The Adventures of Twizzle'; almost a decade later he produced his most famous and successful production, 'Thunderbirds'.
His production company, originally known as AP Films and later renamed 'Century 21 Productions', was originally formed with partners Arthur Provis (hence AP Films – Anderson Provis Films), Reg Hill and John Read.
Other productions associated with Gerry Anderson include 'Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons' 'Stingray' 'Fireball XL5' 'Joe 90' 'UFO' 'Space: 1999'.
Much as he is held in awe by some aficionados, these productions now seem hopelessly outdated, and very much caught up in the 'style-free', tasteless era of the late 1960s and 1970s.
In terms of plot, characterisation and cultural relevance they cannot be compared to Hampson's 'Dan Dare'.


England and the Catholic Church



The re-establishment of the Catholic hierarchy in England began with the rise of Anglo Catholicism in the 19th Century.
The terms Anglo-Catholic, Anglican Catholic and Catholic Anglican describe people, beliefs and practices within Anglicanism which affirm the Catholic heritage and identity of the various Anglican churches, rather than the churches' Protestant heritage.
The term "Anglo-Catholic" was coined in the early 19th century; but, movements emphasising the Catholic nature of Anglicanism have existed throughout history.
Particularly influential in the history of Anglo-Catholicism were the Caroline Divines of the seventeenth century and, later, the leaders of the Oxford Movement, which began at the University of Oxford in 1833 and ushered in a period of Anglican history known as the "Catholic Revival".
In addition, members of the personal ordinariates for former Anglicans in the Roman Catholic Church are also sometimes referred to as "Anglican Catholics".


Henry VIII
Following the passing of the Act of Supremacy and Henry VIII's break with the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England continued to adhere to traditional Catholic teachings and did not initially make any alterations to doctrine.
The Ten Articles were published in 1536 and constitute the first official Anglican articles of faith.
The articles for the most part concurred with the pre-Reformation teachings of the Church in England and defended, among other things, the 'Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist', the sacrament of confession, the honouring and invocation of saints and prayer for the dead.
Belief in purgatory, however, was made non-essential.
This was followed by the Bishops' Book in 1537, a combined effort by numerous clergy and theologians which, though not strongly Protestant in its inclinations, showed a slight move towards Reformed positions and was unpopular with conservative sections of the Church and quickly grew to be disliked by Henry also.
The Six Articles, released two years later, moved away from all Reformed ideas and strongly affirmed Catholic positions regarding matters such as transubstantiation and Mass for the dead.
The King's Book, the official article of religion written by Henry in 1543, likewise expressed Catholic sacramental theology and encouraged prayer for the dead.


A major shift in Anglican doctrine came in the reign of Henry's son, Edward VI, who repealed the Six Articles and under whose rule the Church of England became more identifiably Protestant.
Though the Church's practices and approach to the sacraments became strongly influenced by those of continental reformers, it nevertheless retained episcopal church structure.
The Church of England was then briefly reunited with the Roman Catholic Church under Mary, before separating again under Elizabeth I.
The Elizabethan Religious Settlement was an attempt to end the religious divisions among Christians in England, and is often seen as an important event in Anglican history, ultimately laying the foundations for the "via media" concept of Anglicanism.
The nature of early Anglicanism was to be of great importance to the Anglo-Catholics of the 19th century, who would argue that their beliefs and practices were common during this period and were inoffensive to the earliest members of the Church of England.


The modern Anglo-Catholic movement can be traced to the Oxford Movement of the Victorian era, sometimes termed Tractarianism.
In the early 19th century, various factors caused misgivings among English church people, including the decline of church life and the spread of unconventional practices in the Church of England.
John Keble
The British government's action in 1833 of beginning a reduction in the number of Church of Ireland bishoprics and archbishoprics inspired a sermon from John Keble in the University Church in Oxford on the subject of "National Apostasy".
This sermon marked the inception of what became known as the Oxford Movement.
The principal objective of the Oxford Movement was the defence of the Church of England as a divinely-founded institution, of the doctrine of the Apostolic Succession and of the Book of Common Prayer as a "rule of faith".
The key idea was that Anglicanism was not a Protestant denomination, but rather a branch of the historic Catholic Church, along with the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox churches.
It was argued that Anglicanism had preserved the historical apostolic succession of priests and bishops and thus the Catholic sacraments.

John Henry Newman
These ideas were promoted in a series of ninety 'Tracts for the Times'.
The principal leaders of the Oxford Movement were John Keble, John Henry Newman and Edward Bouverie Pusey.
The movement gained influential support, but it was also attacked by the latitudinarians within the University of Oxford and by bishops of the church.
Within the movement there gradually arose a much smaller group which tended towards submission to the supremacy of the Roman Catholic Church.
In 1845 the university censured the Ideal of a Christian Church, and its author, "Ideal Ward," i.e., the pro-Roman Catholic theologian, W. G. Ward.
1850 saw the victory of the Evangelical clergyman George Cornelius Gorham in a celebrated legal action against the church authorities.
A number of conversions to the Roman Catholic Church followed.
The majority of adherents of the movement, however, remained in the Church of England and, despite hostility in the press and in government, the movement spread.
Its liturgical practices were influential, as were its social achievements (including its slum settlements) and its revival of male and female monasticism within Anglicanism.


Pope Pius IX
'Universalis Ecclesiae' is the incipit of the papal bull of 29 September 1850 by which Pope Pius IX recreated the Roman Catholic diocesan hierarchy in England, which had been extinguished with the death of the last Marian bishop in the reign of Elizabeth I. 
New names were given to the dioceses, as the old ones were in use by the Church of England.
The bull aroused considerable anti-Catholic feeling among English Protestants.
When Catholics in England were deprived of the normal episcopal hierarchy, their general pastoral care was entrusted at first to a priest with the title of archpriest (in effect an apostolic prefect), and then, from 1623 to 1688, to one or more apostolic vicars, bishops of titular sees governing not in their own name, as diocesan bishops do, but provisionally in the name of the Pope.
At first there was a single vicar for the whole kingdom, later their number was increased to four, assigned respectively to the London District, the Midland District, the Northern District, and the Western District (England).
The number of vicariates was doubled in 1840, becoming eight, the apostolic vicariates of the London district, the Western, the Eastern, the Central, and the districts of Wales, Lancashire, Yorkshire, and the North.
The legal situation of Catholics in England and Wales was altered for the better by the Catholic Relief Act 1829, and English Catholics, who before had been reduced to a few tens of thousands, received in the 19th century thousands of converts from Anglicanism and millions of Irish Catholic immigrants, so that Catholics came to form some 10% of the general population of England and a considerably higher proportion of church-goers.
In response to petitions presented by local clergy and laity, Pope Pius IX issued the bull 'Universalis Ecclesiae' restoring the normal diocesan hierarchy.
The reasons stated in the bull are: "Considering the actual condition of Catholicism in England, reflecting on the considerable number of the Catholics, a number every day augmenting, and remarking how from day to day the obstacles become removed which chiefly opposed the propagation of the Catholic religion, We perceived that the time had arrived for restoring in England the ordinary form of ecclesiastical government, as freely constituted in other nations, where no particular cause necessitates the ministry of Vicars Apostolic."
The London district became the metropolitan archdiocese of Westminster and the diocese of Southwark; the Northern district became the diocese of Hexham; that of Yorkshire became the diocese of Beverley; the district of Lancashire became the dioceses of Liverpool and Salford; the Welsh district, with some neighbouring territory added to it, became the two dioceses of Shrewsbury and of Menevia and Newport; the Western district became the dioceses of Clifton and Plymouth; the Central district became the dioceses of Nottingham and Birmingham; and the Eastern district became the diocese of Northampton.
Thus the restored hierarchy consisted of one metropolitan archbishop and twelve suffragan bishops.

Anti-Catholic Reaction

Publication of the bull was met with an outburst of hostility.
The 'Reformation Journal' published an article under the heading 'The Blight of Popery'.
"No Popery" processions were held all over England, and windows of Catholic churches were broken.
And Parliament passed the 'Ecclesiastical Titles Act 1851', making it a criminal offence for anyone outside the "united Church of England and Ireland" to use any episcopal title "of any city, town or place, or of any territory or district (under any designation or description whatsoever), in the United Kingdom".
However, this law remained a dead letter and was repealed 20 years later.

Three Ecclesiastical Provinces

Pope Pius X
Thus, the metropolitan archdiocese of Westminster came to have fifteen suffragan sees, the largest number in the world.
Accordingly, by the Apostolic Letter 'Si qua est' of 28 October 1911, Pope Pius X erected the new provinces of Birmingham and Liverpool, making these two dioceses metropolitan archdioceses.
There remained under Westminster the suffragan sees of Northampton, Nottingham, Portsmouth, and Southwark; to Birmingham were assigned those of Clifton, Newport, Plymouth, Shrewsbury, and Menevia; and to Liverpool, Hexham and Newcastle, Leeds, Middlesbrough, and Salford.
It had for many years been felt that a division was necessary, but there had always been the fear of causing disunion thereby, especially if, as in pre-Reformation times, the division would be between north and south.
This was obviated by ignoring the precedent of York and Canterbury, and arranging for three instead of two provinces.
Under the new Apostolic Constitution, the Archbishop of Westminster was granted the right to "be permanent chairman of the meetings of the Bishops of all England and Wales, and for this reason it will be for him to summon these meetings and to preside over them, according to the rules in force in Italy and elsewhere." He ranks over the other two archbishops.


Shortly after the re-establishment of the English Hierarchy Pope Pius IX convoked an Ecumenical Council.

First Vatican Council
This twentieth ecumenical council of the Catholic Church, held three centuries after the Council of Trent, opened on 8 December 1869 and adjourned on 20 October 1870.
Unlike the five earlier General Councils held in Rome, which met in the Lateran Basilica and are known as Lateran Councils, it met in the Vatican Basilica, hence its name.
Its best-known decision is its definition of papal infallibility.
The Council was convoked to deal with the contemporary problems of the rising influence of rationalism, liberalism, and materialism.
Its purpose was, besides this, to define the Catholic doctrine concerning the Church of Christ.
There was discussion and approval of only two constitutions: the 'Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith' and the 'First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ', the latter dealing with the primacy and infallibility of the bishop of Rome - the Pope.
The first matter brought up for debate was the dogmatic draft of Catholic doctrine against the manifold errors due to Rationalism.

Papal Infallibility

The doctrine of papal infallibility was not new and had been used by Pope Pius in defining as dogma, in 1854, the 'Immaculate Conception of Mary', the mother of Jesus.
However, the proposal to define papal infallibility itself as dogma met with resistance, not because of doubts about the substance of the proposed definition, but because some considered it inopportune to take that step at that time.
McBrien divides the bishops attending Vatican I into three groups. The first group, which McBrien calls the "active infallibilists", was led by Manning and Senestrey.
This group took an extreme view that argued that all papal teachings were infallible and that papal infallibility was the foundation of the church's infallibility.
According to McBrien, the majority of the bishops were not so much interested in a formal definition of papal infallibility as they were in strengthening papal authority and, because of this, were willing to accept the agenda of the infallibilists.
A minority, some 20 percent of the bishops, opposed the proposed definition of papal infallibility on both ecclesiastical and pragmatic grounds.
They opposed the ultramontane centralist model of the Church because, in their opinion, it departed from the ecclesiastical structure of the early Christian church.
From a pragmatic perspective, they feared that defining papal infallibility would alienate some Catholics, create new difficulties for union with non-Catholics, and provoke interference by governments in Church affairs.
Those who held this view included most of the German and Austro-Hungarian bishops, nearly half of the Americans, one third of the French, most of the Chaldaeans and Melkites, and a few Armenians.
Only a few bishops appear to have had doubts about the dogma itself.

'Dei Filius'

On 24 April 1870, the dogmatic constitution on the Catholic faith 'Dei Filius' was adopted unanimously.
The draft presented to the Council on 8 March drew no serious criticism, but a group of 35 English-speaking bishops, who feared that the opening phrase of the first chapter, "Sancta romana catholica Ecclesia" (the holy Roman Catholic Church), might be construed as favouring the Anglican Branch Theory, later succeeded in having an additional adjective inserted, so that the final text read: "Sancta catholica apostolica romana Ecclesia" (the holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church).
The constitution thus set forth the teaching of the "Holy Catholic Apostolic Roman Church" on God, revelation and faith.

First Vatican Council - 1869–70 - (formally closed in 1960 prior to the Second Vatican Council)
Convoked by Pope Pius IX - Presided by Pope Pius IX - Attendance 744 - Topics of discussion rationalism, liberalism, materialism; inspiration of Scripture; papal infallibility - Documents and statements - 'Dei Filius', 'Pastor Aeternus'.
The First Vatican Council was convoked by Pope Pius IX on 29 June 1868, after a period of planning and preparation that began on 6 December 1864.


Many of the Anglicans who were involved in the Oxford Movement or "Tractarianism" were ultimately led beyond these positions and converted to the Catholic Church, including, in 1845, the movement's principal intellectual leader, John Henry Newman.
A steady stream of new Catholics would continue to enter the Church from the Anglican Church, often via high Anglicanism, for at least the next hundred years.
Among a large number from Anglicanism were some who brought British Catholicism a certain amount of public prestige.
Prominent intellectual and artistic figures who turned to Catholicism in the 19th and 20th centuries included the leading architect of the Gothic Revival, Augustus Pugin, the artist, Graham Sutherland, and literary figures such as Newman, Gerard Manley Hopkins, two sons of William Wilberforce, Samuel and Robert, G. K. Chesterton, Ronald Knox, Siegfried Sassoon, Evelyn Waugh, Edith Sitwell, Graham Greene, and Muriel Spark.
Prominent cradle Catholics included the film director, Alfred Hitchcock, writers like Hilaire Belloc, Lord Acton, and J.R.R. Tolkien and the composer, Edward Elgar, whose oratorio, 'The Dream of Gerontius', was based on a 19th century poem by Cardinal Newman.
There is no doubt that at various points after the 16th century real hopes have been entertained by many English Catholics that the 'reconversion of England' was near at hand. 
To some the sign of this being imminent was the steady trickle of establishment converts from the second quarter of the 19th century on.
More important was the arrival of immigrant masses of Irish Catholics.
Together these trends were seen by some as constituting a "second spring" of Catholicism across Britain.


The term "High Church" refers to beliefs and practices of ecclesiology, liturgy and theology, generally with an emphasis on formality and resistance to "modernisation". Although used in connection with various Christian traditions, the term has traditionally been principally associated with the Anglican tradition.
The term is often used to describe Anglican churches using a number of ritual practices associated in the popular mind with Roman Catholicism.
Because of its history, the term "High Church" also refers to aspects of Anglicanism quite distinct from the Oxford Movement or Anglo-Catholicism.
There remain parishes that are "High Church" and yet adhere closely to the quintessentially Anglican usages and liturgical practices of the Book of Common Prayer.
High Church Anglicanism tends to be more conservative and closer to Roman Catholic teaching on sexual morality.
In contrast, the Evangelical wing of Anglicanism is closer to Protestant thinking.


The Catholic Church maintained its traditional ritual, pomp and ceremony, both in Rome and in England as the new century dawned.
The great threat to the Catholic Church in England was the emergence of 'Modernism'.

Modernism in the Catholic Church

'Modernism' refers to theological opinions expressed during the early 20th century, but with influence reaching into the 21st century, which are characterized by a break with the past.
Catholic 'Modernists' form an amorphous group.
The term "Modernist" appears in Pope Pius X's 1907 encyclical 'Pascendi Dominici Gregis'.
'Modernists', and what are now termed "Neo-Modernists", generally do not openly use this label in describing themselves.
'Modernists' came to prominence in French and English intellectual circles and, to a lesser extent, in Italy.
The 'Modernist Movement' was influenced by Protestant theologians and clergy, starting with the Tübingen school in the mid-19th century.

Ferdinand Christian Baur (June 21, 1792 – December 2, 1860) was a German theologian and leader of the Tübingen School of theology (named for University of Tübingen). Following Hegel's theory of dialectic, Baur argued that 2nd century Christianity represented the synthesis of two opposing theses: Jewish Christianity (Petrine Christianity) and Gentile Christianity (Pauline Christianity). In the field of higher criticism, he proposed a late date for the pastoral epistles. Baur's views were revolutionary and often extreme.
Religious conservatives object to the rationalistic and naturalistic presuppositions of a large number of practitioners of higher criticism, which lead to conclusions that conservative scholars find unscientific.
Pope Leo XIII (1810–1903) condemned secular biblical scholarship in his encyclical 'Providentissimus Deus' while affirming the need for a balanced historical study of the Scriptures, however, in 1943 Pope Pius XII gave license to the new scholarship in his encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu: "Textual criticism is quite rightly employed in the case of the Sacred Books. Let the interpreter then, with all care and without neglecting any light derived from recent research, endeavour to determine the peculiar character and circumstances of the sacred writer, the age in which he lived, the sources written or oral to which he had recourse and the forms of expression he employed."

George Tyrrell
Pope Pius X
Some 'modernists', however, such as George Tyrrell, would disagree that the 'Modernist Movement' was influenced by Protestant theologians and clergy.
Tyrrell (some would argue - ingenuously) saw himself as loyal to the unity of the Church, and supposedly disliked  liberal Protestantism.
Pope Pius X, who succeeded Leo, was the first to identify 'Modernism' as a movement.
He frequently condemned both its aims and ideas, and was deeply concerned by the ability of 'Modernism' to allow its adherents to go on believing themselves strict Catholics while having an understanding markedly different from the traditional one as to what that meant (a consequence of the notion of evolution of dogma).
In July 1907 the Holy Office published the document 'Lamentabili sane exitu', a sweeping condemnation which distinguished sixty-five propositions as 'Modernist' Heresies.
In September of the same year Pius X promulgated an encyclical 'Pascendi Dominici Gregis', followed in 1910 by the introduction of an 'Anti-Modernist Oath' to be taken by all Catholic bishops, priests and academic teachers of religion.
With 'Modernism' held in check - but significantly not defeated - the next great crisis to face the catholic Church was the First World War.

World War I

Pope Benedict XV
Coat of Arms of Pope Benedict XV
In 1914, when hostilities began, Pope Benedict XV occupied the Chair of St Peter.
Benedict immediately declared the neutrality of the Holy See and attempted from that perspective to mediate peace in 1916 and 1917.
Both sides rejected his initiatives.
German Protestants rejected any “Papal Peace” as insulting.
French politician Georges Clemenceau regarded the Vatican initiative as anti-French.
Having failed with diplomatic initiatives, the Pope focused on humanitarian efforts to lessen the impacts of the war, such as attending prisoners of war, the exchange of wounded soldiers and food deliveries to needy populations in Europe.
After the war, he repaired the difficult relations with France, which re-established relations with the Vatican in 1921.

Polish Church - London
Irish Catholic Church - Felling
During his pontificate, relations with Italy improved as well, as the Pope now permitted Catholic politicians led by Don Luigi Sturzo to participate in national Italian politics.
The period after the First World War was one of expansion for the Catholic Church in England.
Much of this expansion was fuelled, however, by immigration from Ireland.

Our Lady of Walsingham
This initiated the continuing division in the Catholic population between the upper, and middle-class English Catholics, (wedded to their rustic dreams of a pre-reformation Catholic England), and the lower and working-class immigrant (non-English) Catholics (in the 21st Century mainly Poles and eastern Europeans).
Both groups, however, in the aftermath of the war, were undisturbed by the eruption of 'Modernism', which only affected a very small group of ultra-intellectual, middle class Catholics, many of whom were members of the clergy or members of religious orders.

World War II

Pope Pius XII
Coat of Arms of Pope Pius XII
The next crisis was, of course, the Second World War.
Pope Pius XII (Latin: Pius PP. XII), born Eugenio Marìa Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (2 March 1876 – 9 October 1958), reigned as Pope, head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State, from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958.

Before election to the papacy, Pacelli served as secretary of the 'Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs', 'Papal Nuncio' to Germany (1917–1929),

Reichskonkordat - am 8. Juli 1933 
and 'Cardinal Secretary of State', in which capacity he worked to conclude treaties with European and Latin American nations, most notably the 'Reichskonkordat' with the Third Reich.
The Concordat of 1933, with which the Vatican sought to protect the Church in Germany, and Hitler sought the destruction of 'political Catholicism', and Pius' leadership of the Catholic Church during World War II, including his "decision to stay silent in public about the fate of the Jews", remain the subject of controversy, and severely damaged the reputation of the Catholic Church in England.

Post War Catholicism

One of the unexpected results of the 'right wing' (some would say fascist) stance of the Vatican hierarchy in the 1930s and 40s was a shift, among English Catholic intellectuals, to the political and ecclesiastical 'left' which culminated in the 1970s with the illogical absurdity of the 'Catholic Marxist Movement'.

Pope John XXIII
Coat of Arms of Pope John XXIII
In order to accommodate this shift to the 'left' among Catholic academics and intellectuals, the new Pope John XXIII summoned the 'Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum Secundum' (the Second Vatican Council).
Pope John XXIII (Latin: Ioannes PP. XXIII), born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (25 November 1881 – 3 June 1963), headed the Catholic Church and ruled the Vatican City from 1958 until his death.
Angelo Roncalli was the fourth child of thirteen born in an Italian village to share-croppers.
He was ordained a priest in 1904 and served in various posts including appointment as Papal Nuncio in several countries, including France (1944).
Pope Pius XII made Roncalli a Cardinal in 1953.
Pope John was elected on 28 October 1958 at the age of 77.
He surprised those who expected him to be a caretaker Pope by calling the historic .Second Vatican Council' (1962–1965).
He did not live to see it to completion, dying in 1963, four-and-a-half years after his election, and two months after the completion of his final encyclical, 'Pacem in Terris'.
Pope John was beloved for his evident warmth and kindness. He was beatified on 3 September 2000.

Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum Secundum

Pope John XXIII
Throughout the 1950s, theological and biblical studies of the Catholic Church had begun to sway away from the neo-scholasticism and biblical literalism that the reaction to 'Catholic Modernism' had enforced since the First Vatican Council.
This shift could be seen in theologians such as Karl Rahner, S.J., Michael Herbert, and John Courtney Murray, SJ who looked to integrate modern human experience with church principles based on Jesus Christ, as well as others such as Yves Congar, Joseph Ratzinger and Henri de Lubac who looked to an accurate understanding of scripture and the early Church Fathers as a source of renewal (or ressourcement).
At the same time the world's bishops faced tremendous challenges driven by political, social, economic, and technological change.
Pope John XXIII, however, gave notice of his intention to convene the Council on 25 January 1959, less than three months after his election in October 1958.
The council was formally summoned by the apostolic constitution 'Humanae Salutis' on 25 December 1961.
In various discussions before the Council actually convened, Pope John often said that it was time to 'open the windows' of the Church to let in some 'fresh air'.

Vatican II Liturgy

One of the first issues considered by the council, and the matter that had the most immediate effect on the lives of individual Catholics, was the revision of the liturgy.
The central idea was that there ought to be greater lay participation in the liturgy.
In the mid-1960s, permissions were granted to celebrate most of the Mass in vernacular languages, including the Canon from 1967 onwards.
Neither the Second Vatican Council nor the subsequent revision of the Roman Missal abolished Latin as the liturgical language of the Roman Rite: and Latin remains the official text of the Roman Missal, on which translations into vernacular languages are to be based, continues to be in Latin, and Latin can still be used in the celebration.

The Spirit of Vatican II

Latin Tridentine Mass
Unfortunately, the so called 'spirit of Vatican II' sometimes soared far beyond the actual, hard-won documents and decisions of Vatican II. ... It was as though the world (or at least the history of the Church) were now to be divided into only two periods, pre-Vatican II and post-Vatican II.
Everything 'pre' was then pretty much dismissed, so far as its authority mattered.
For the most extreme, to be a Catholic now meant to believe more or less anything one wished to believe, or at least in the sense in which one personally interpreted it.
One could be a Catholic 'in spirit'.
One could take Catholic to mean the 'culture' in which one was born, rather than to mean a creed making objective and rigorous demands.
One could imagine Rome as a distant and irrelevant anachronism, embarrassment, even adversary.
Rome as 'them'.
Such views of the Second Vatican Council were condemned by the Church's hierarchy, and the works of theologians who were active in the Council or who closely adhered to the Council's aspect of reform (such as Hans Küng) have often been criticized by the Church for espousing a belief system that the hierarchy considers radical and misguided.

Vatican II 'Reformed' Vernacular Mass
Many of the obscure theological resolutions of Vatican II were simply unintelligible to the average lay Catholic.
What they did notice, however, was the changes to the liturgy.
After Vatican II the priest would celebrate Mass facing the congregation, and the Mass would be said in English.
The sanctuaries of most catholic churches were ruined by the new arrangements, and many churches and chapels were 'lumbered' with ecclesiastical art which was both vulgar, poorly designed and in many cases simply ugly.
And instead of the beautiful 'sung high mass' the so called 'folk mass' became the fashion espoused by the clergy.
The old sense of  beauty and mystery disappeared, along with a large proportion of the congregations.
By becoming 'low church' and latitudinarian the Catholic Church in England suffered the same fate as the Anglican Church - empty pews !

High Church Position in the Roman Catholic Church

There was obviously a reaction to the 'modernising' influences of the supporters of Vatican II.
This reaction expressed itself through the High Church position in the Roman Catholic Chuch - analogous to the Anglo-Catholic position in the Anglican Church.

Latin Solemn High Mass - Brompton Oratory
'High Church' Roman Catholics were, by and large, English, (as opposed to immigrant), well educated and conservative, both politically and culturally.
In contemporary Roman Catholicism, the term "high church" is used principally for liturgical distinctions, of which there are many variations.
Some 'High Church Roman Catholics', who favour moderating the reforms of Vatican II, sometimes called "reform of the reform", might favour the use of Latin, Gregorian chant and practices such as eastward celebration and the use of incense in the Mass of Paul VI.
Others, such as Traditionalist Catholics, call for use of the Tridentine Mass.
Brompton Oratory in London is a centre of High Church activity in the Roman Catholic Church.

The Tridentine Mass is the form of the Roman Rite Mass contained in the typical editions of the 'Roman Missal' that were published from 1570 to 1962. It was the most widely celebrated Mass liturgy in the world until the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI in December 1969. In nearly every country it was celebrated exclusively in Latin, but the use of many other languages was authorized both before the Council of Trent and in the course of the succeeding centuries leading to the Second Vatican Council (see below).

Concilium Tridentinum
The term "Tridentine" is derived from the Latin word 'Tridentinus', which means "related to the city of Tridentum (modern day Trent, Italy)". It was in response to a decision of the 'Concilium Tridentinum' (Council of Trent) that Pope Pius V promulgated the 1570 Roman Missal, making it mandatory throughout the Western Church, excepting those regions and religious orders whose existing missals dated from before 1370. The term is now - incorrectly - used to indicate the 'Latin Mass'.
The Concilium Tridentinum is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods. During the pontificate of Pope Paul III, the Council fathers met for the first through eighth sessions in Trent (1545–7), and for the ninth through eleventh sessions in Bologna (1547). Under Pope Julius III, the Council met in Trent (1551–52) for the twelfth through sixteenth sessions, and under Pope Pius IV, the seventeenth through twenty-fifth sessions took place in Trent (1559–63).
The Council issued condemnations on Protestant Heresies at the time of the Reformation and defined Church teachings in the areas of Scripture and Tradition, Original Sin, Justification, Sacraments, the Eucharist in Holy Mass and the veneration of saints.

The Tridentine Mass

There are various forms of celebration of the Tridentine Mass:

Pontifical High Mass: celebrated by a bishop accompanied by an assisting priest, deacon, subdeacon, thurifer, acolytes and other ministers, under the guidance of a priest acting as Master of Ceremonies. Most often the specific parts assigned to deacon and subdeacon are performed by priests. The parts that are said aloud are all chanted, except that the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, which before the reform of Pope Pius V were said in the sacristy, are said quietly by the bishop with the deacon and the subdeacon, while the choir sings the Introit. The main difference between a pontifical and an ordinary High Mass is that the bishop remains at his throne almost all the time until the offertory.
Solemn or High Mass (Latin: Missa solemnis): offered by a priest accompanied by a deacon and subdeacon and the other ministers mentioned above.
Missa Cantata (Latin for "sung mass"): celebrated by a priest without deacon and subdeacon, and thus a form of Low Mass, but with some parts (the three variable prayers, the Scripture readings, Preface, Pater Noster, and Ite Missa Est) sung by the priest, and other parts (Introit, Kyrie, Gloria, Gradual, Tract or Alleluia, Credo, Offertory Antiphon, Sanctus and Benedictus, Agnus Dei, and Communion Antiphon) sung by the choir. Incense may be used exactly as at a Solemn Mass with the exception of incensing the celebrant after the Gospel which is not done.
Low Mass: the priest sings no part of the Mass, though in some places a choir or the congregation sings, during the Mass, hymns not always directly related to the Mass.

High Church, Anglo Catholics and the Oxford Movement

With the success of the Oxford Movement, and its increasing emphases on ritualistic revival from the mid-19th century onward, did the term "High Church" begin to mean something approaching the later term "Anglo-Catholic".
Even then, it was only employed coterminously in contrast to the "Low" churchmanship of the Evangelical and Pietist position.
This sought, once again, to lessen the separation of Anglicans (the Established Church) from the majority of Protestant Nonconformists, who by this time included the Wesleyans and other Methodists, as well as adherents of older Protestant denominations known by the group term "Old Dissent".
From the mid-19th century onward, the term "High Church" generally became associated with a more avowedly Anglo-Catholic liturgica, or even triumphalist position, within the English Church, while the remaining 'Latitudinarians' were referred to as being 'Broad Church', and the re-emergent evangelical party was dubbed 'Low Church'.
High church, however, can still refer to Anglicans who hold a "high" view of the sacraments, church tradition and the threefold ministry but do not specifically consider themselves Anglo-Catholics.


Ritualism, in the history of Christianity, refers to an emphasis on the rituals and liturgical ceremony of the church, in particular of Holy Communion.

In the Anglican church in the 19th century, the role of ritual became a subject of great, often heated, debate.
The debate was also associated with struggles for influence between High Church and Low Church movements.
Opponents of ritualism have often argued that it privileged the actions of the ritual over the meanings that are meant to be conveyed by it.
Supporters have sometimes maintained that a renewed emphasis on ritual and liturgy was necessary to counter the increasing secularisation of the church and laity.
In Anglicanism, the term "ritualist" is controversial (i.e. rejected by some of those to whom it is applied).
It was often used to describe the second generation of the Oxford Movement/Anglo-Catholic/High Church revival of the 19th century which sought to introduce into the Church of England a range of Catholic liturgical practices.
The term is also used to describe those who follow in their tradition.
Arguments about ritualism in the Church of England were often shaped by opposing (and often unannounced) attitudes towards the concept of sola scriptura and the nature of the authority of the Bible for Christians.
The development of ritualism in the Church of England was mainly associated with what is commonly called "Second Generation" Anglo-Catholicism, i.e. the Oxford Movement as it developed after 1845 when John Henry Newman left the Church of England to become a Roman Catholic.
Some scholars argued that it was almost inevitable that some of the leaders of Anglo-Catholicism turned their attentions to questions of liturgy and ritual, and started to champion the use of Roman Catholic practices and forms of worship.
For many who opposed ritualism, the key concern was to defend what they saw as the fundamentally Protestant identity of the Church of England.
Nor was this just a matter of an ecclesiological argument: for many, there was a sense that Catholic worship is somehow "unEnglish". Catholicism was deeply associated in many minds with cultural identities which, historically, many English people had commonly treated with suspicion.
Despite, or because of, the controversies within the Church of England concerning the ritualists use of vestments and wafer bread, these practices became widespread, even normative, in the Church of England for much of the 20th century, however some High Church supporters insisted on a form of worship that was almost indistinguishable from Tridentine Roman Catholic practice.
After the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council some High Anglicans found themselves out of step with reformed Roman Catholic ritual, while being in step with those in the Catholic Church who wished to see a return to Tridentine Liturgy.


Romanticism was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1840.
Very much a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, it was also a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the 'Age of Enlightenment', and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature.
Romanticism reached beyond the rational and Classicist ideal models to elevate a revived medievalism, and elements of art and narrative perceived to be authentically medieval in an attempt to escape the confines of population growth, urban sprawl, and industrialism.
In the religious sphere this obsession with the medieval led to an attempt to revive medieval forms of piety.
In ecclesiastical design and architecture there was an attempt to revive the Gothic style.
This revival was a movement that began in the late 1740s in England.

Neo-Gothic Style
Edward Burne-Jones - The Star of Bethlehem
Its popularity grew rapidly in the early 19th century, when increasingly serious and learned admirers of neo-Gothic styles sought to revive medieval Gothic architecture, in contrast to the neoclassical styles prevalent at the time.
In England, the centre of this revival, it was intertwined with religious movements associated with a re-awakening of High Church or Anglo-Catholic self-belief (and by the Catholic convert Augustus Welby Pugin) concerned by the growth of religious nonconformism.
Ultimately, the style became widespread for its intrinsic appeal in the third quarter of the 19th century.
Related to the rise of neo-Gothic styles was the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (also known as the Pre-Raphaelites) was a group of English painters, poets, and critics, founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
The three founders were soon joined by William Michael Rossetti, James Collinson, Frederic George Stephens and Thomas Woolner to form a seven-member "brotherhood".
Influenced by Romanticism, they thought that freedom and responsibility were inseparable. Nevertheless, they were particularly fascinated by medieval culture, - believing it to possess a spiritual and creative integrity that had been lost in later eras, - and rejected all artistic developments that had occurred since the time of Raphael.

Augustus Pugin
St Peter's College Wexford
Augustus Pugin
Saint Giles Cheadle
The most prolific exponent of the ecclesiastical neo-Gothic style was the Catholic convert Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin.
Pugin's architectural ideas were carried forward by two young architects who admired him and had attended his funeral, W. E. Nesfield and Norman Shaw.
George Gilbert Scott, William Butterfield and George Edmund Street were influenced by Pugin's designs, and continued to work out the implication of ideas he had sketched in his writings.
In Street's office, Philip Webb met William Morris and they went on to become leading members of the English Arts and Crafts movement.
As a result, the neo-Gothic style became the normative style for both High Anglican and Roman Catholic ecclesiastical design and decoration. 

“You must give people what is good and they will come to like it”

Percy Dearmer, (27 February 1867 – 29 May 1936) was an English priest and liturgist best known as the author of 'The Parson's Handbook', a liturgical manual for Anglican clergy.
Dearmer also had a strong influence on the music of the church and, with Ralph Vaughan Williams and Martin Shaw, is credited with the revival and spread of traditional and medieval English musical forms.

Education and Ordination

Percy Dearmer - English Altar
Percy Dearmer
Born in Kilburn, Middlesex, to an artistic family—his father, Thomas Dearmer, was an artist and drawing instructor.
Dearmer attended Streatham School and Westminster School (1880–1881), before moving on to a boarding school in Switzerland.
From 1886 to 1889 he read modern history at Christ Church, Oxford, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1890.
Dearmer was ordained to the diaconate in 1891, and to the priesthood in 1892 at Rochester Cathedral.
On 26 May of that year, Dearmer married 19 year old Jessie Mabel Prichard White (1872–1915), the daughter of Surgeon-Major William White.
She was a writer (known as Mabel Dearmer) of novels and plays.
She died in 1915 while serving with an ambulance unit in Serbia.
They had two sons, both of whom served in World War I.
The elder, Geoffrey, lived to the age of 103, one of the oldest surviving war poets.
The younger, Christopher, died in 1915 of wounds received in battle.

The Parson's Handbook and Vicarage at St Mary's

Percy Dearmer - English Altar
Dearmer's liturgical leanings were the product of a late Victorian debate among advocates of Ritualism in the Church of England.
Although theoretically in agreement about a return to more Catholic forms of worship, High Churchmen argued over whether these forms should be appropriated from post-Tridentine Roman Catholic practices, or revived from the traditions of a pre-Reformation "English Use" rite.
Dearmer's views fell very much on the side of the latter.
Active in the burgeoning Alcuin Club, Dearmer became the spokesman for a movement with the publication his most influential work, 'The Parson's Handbook'.
In this book his intention was to establish sound 'Anglo-Catholic' liturgical practices in the native English tradition, which were also in full accord with the rites and rubrics of the 'Book of Common Prayer', and the canons that govern its use, and therefore safe from attack by Evangelicals who opposed such practices.
Percy Dearmer - English Altar
Such adherence to the letter was considered necessary in an environment where conservatives such as John Kensit had been leading demonstrations, interruptions of services and legal battles against practices of Ritualism and sacerdotalism, both of which they saw as "popery".
'The Parson's Handbook' is concerned with general principles of ritual and ceremonial, but the emphasis is squarely on the side of art and beauty in worship.
Dearmer states in the introduction that his goal is to help in "remedying the lamentable confusion, lawlessness, and vulgarity which are conspicuous in the Church at this time". What follows is an exhaustive delineation, sparing no detail, of the young priest's ideas on how liturgy can be conducted in a proper Catholic and English manner.
In 1901, after serving four curacies, Dearmer was appointed the third vicar of London church St Mary-the-Virgin, Primrose Hill, where he remained until 1915.
He used the church as a sort of practical laboratory for the principles he had outlined, revising the book several times during his tenure.
In 1912 Dearmer was instrumental in founding the 'Warham Guild', a sort of practical arm of the Alcuin Club / Parson's Handbook movement, to carry out "the making of all the 'Ornaments of the Church and of the Ministers thereof' according to the standard of the Ornaments Rubric, and under fair conditions of labour".
It is an indication of the founders' outlook, emphasis and commitment to the English Use that it was named for the last Archbishop of Canterbury before the break with Rome.
Dearmer served as lifelong head of the Warham Guild's advisory committee.


Working with renowned composer Ralph Vaughan Williams and as musical editor, Dearmer published 'The English Hymnal' in 1906.

Vaughan Williams
He again worked with Vaughan Williams and Martin Shaw to produce 'Songs of Praise' (1926) and 'The Oxford Book of Carols' (1928).
These hymnals have been credited with reintroducing many elements of traditional and medieval English music into the Church of England, as well as carrying that influence well beyond the walls of the church.
Eleanor Farjeon
In 1931 an enlarged edition of 'Songs of Praise' was published.
It is notable for the first appearance of the song 'Morning Has Broken', commissioned from noted children's author Eleanor Farjeon.
The song, later popularised by Cat Stevens, was written by Farjeon to be sung with the traditional Gaelic tune Bunessan.
'Songs of Praise' also contained Dearmer's version of 'A Great and Mighty Wonder', which mixed John Mason Neale's Greek translation and a translation of the German 'Es ist ein Ros entsprungen', from which the music to the hymn had come in 1906.

Later Years

For the fifteen years following his tenure as vicar at St Mary's, Dearmer served in no official ecclesiastical posts, preferring instead to focus on his writing.

King's College London
During World War I he served as chaplain to the British Red Cross ambulance unit in Serbia, where his wife died of enteric fever in 1915.
In 1916 he worked with the Young Men's Christian Association in France and, in 1916 and 1917, with the Mission of Help in India.
Dearmer married his second wife, Nancy Knowles, on August 19, 1916.
They had two daughters and a son, Antony, who died in RAF service in 1943.
In addition to his writings, Dearmer served as professor of ecclesiastical art at King's College London from 1919 until his sudden death of coronary thrombosis on May 29, 1936.
His ashes are interred in the Great Cloister at Westminster Abbey.


Sir John Ninian Comper
Ninian Comper
English Altar
Sir John Ninian Comper (1864–1960) was one of the last of the great Gothic Revival architects, noted for his churches and their furnishings.
He is well known for his stained glass, his use of colour and his subtle integration of Classical and Gothic elements which he described as unity by inclusion.
His ecclesiastical commissions include a line of windows in the north wall of the nave of Westminster Abbey; at St Peter's Parish Church, Huddersfield baldachino/ciborium, high altar and east window in memory of the dead of the Great War; St Mary's, Wellingborough; St Michael and All Angels, Inverness; the Lady Chapel at Downside Abbey, Somerset; the ciborium and House Chapel extension for the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Oxford (now St Stephen's House, Oxford) and St Cyprian's, Clarence Gate, London; the Lady Chapel at St Matthew's, Westminster; Lady Chapel and gilded paintings in the chancel of All Saints, Margaret Street.
Ninian Comper
St Sebastian
Ninian Comper

Comper is noted for re-introducing the 'English altar', (see Percy Dearmer above) an altar surrounded by riddel posts. Comper designed a number of remarkable altar screens (reredos), inspired by medieval originals.
Comper's work  is considered by many to be the ultimate expression of 19th Century English Ecclesiastical art. 
Comper was knighted by King George VI in 1950.


Martin Travers
English Altar
Martin Travers
Neo-Baroque Altar
Martin Travers (born Howard Mantin Otho Travers, in Margate, Kent on 19 February 1886 – died in 1948) was an English church artist and designer, whose name is often connected with the Anglo-Catholic movement in the Church of England, especially that part of the movement which favoured a return to the Baroque style of church furnishing.
He designed and constructed a number of spectacular Baroque reredoses for various Anglican churches, usually employing affordable materials such as plywood, white-wood  papier-mache and embossed wallpaper to achieve the desired effect, which, regrettably, has meant that some of his work has not weathered well.
Famous examples of his work in London are the reredos in St Mary's church, Pimlico, and the remarkable Churrigueresque altarpiece in St Augustine's church, South Kensington.
As well as church furnishings he also designed much stained glass, and, as a draughtsman, is perhaps best known for his illustrations for the booklets and cards published by the Society of SS. Peter and Paul, a group supporting the Anglo-Papalist position.

The Society of Staint Peter and St Paul and Anglo-Papalism

SS. Peter and Paul
Anglo-Papalism is a subset of Anglo-Catholicism with adherents manifesting a particularly high degree of influence from, and even identification with, the Roman Catholic Church.
Anglo-Papalists regard the Pope as the earthly leader of the Christian Church. They generally accept in full all the Ecumenical Councils recognised by the Roman Catholic Church, including the Councils of Trent and the First Vatican Council, along with nearly all subsequent definitions of doctrine, including the bodily Assumption of Mary.
Anglo-Papalists regard the Church of England as two provinces of the Western Catholic Church (the Province of Canterbury and the Province of York) forcibly severed from the rest by an act of the English Crown.
Like many other Anglo-Catholics, Anglo-Papalists make use of the rosary, benediction and other Catholic devotions. Some have regarded Thomas Cranmer as a heretic and his first Prayer Book as an expression of Zwinglian doctrine. They have actively worked for the reunion of the Church of England with the Holy See, as the logical objective of the Oxford Movement (see above).

The English Missal has been widely used by Anglican Papalists. This volume, which is still in print, contains a form of the 'Tridentine Mass' (see above) in English (though with an alternative Latin translation of the Canon) interspersed with sections of the 'Book of Common Prayer'.

(The Tridentine Mass is the form of the Roman Rite Mass contained in the typical editions of the Roman Missal that were published from 1570 to 1962. It was the most widely celebrated Mass liturgy in the world until the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI in December 1969. In nearly every country it was celebrated exclusively in Latin. In Masses celebrated without the people, Latin Rite Catholic priests are free to use either the 1962 version of the 'Tridentine Liturgy'. These Masses "may be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted." Permission to use the Tridentine form in parish Masses may be given by the parish priest.)
The Roman Catholic writer Fr. Adrian Fortescue's 'Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described' served as a useful guide as to how to use the missal. At early celebrations, some Anglo-Papalist priests would use only the ' Missale Romanum' (Roman Missal), in Latin or in English translation.
(The Roman Missal (Latin: Missale Romanum) is the liturgical book that contains the texts and rubrics for the celebration of the Mass in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.
Groups and Publications

Anglo-Papalists have established a variety of organisations, including the 'Catholic League and the Society for Promoting Catholic Unity' (SPCU), which published 'The Pilot'. They have also provided the leadership in many more general Anglo-Catholic organisations such as the 'Annunciation Group'. Other Anglo-Papalist groups include the 'Sodality of the Precious Blood'. Priests of the Sodality commit themselves to recitation of the 'Roman Liturgy of the Hours' and to the Latin Rite discipline of celibate chastity. The now-defunct Society of Ss Peter and Paul published the 'Anglican Missal'.
In the 1950s the 'Fellowship of Christ the Eternal Priest', which was established for Anglican ordinands in the armed forces, published a journal called 'The Rock', which was strongly pro-Roman.



English Catholicism continued to grow throughout the first two thirds of the 20th century, when it was associated primarily with elements in the English intellectual class and the ethnic Irish population.
Numbers attending Mass remained very high in stark contrast with the Anglican church (although not to other Protestant churches), and conversions and vocations to the priesthood and religious life were also plentiful. Clergy numbers, which began the 20th century at under 3,000, reached a high of 7,500 in 1971.
By the latter years of the twentieth century low numbers of vocations also affected the church with 16 new priests for England and Wales in 2009 compared to 110 thirteen years earlier.
Annual vocation numbers have been variable in recent years: from 24 in 2003 to the mid 40s in 2006 and 2007 and a drop back to 31 in 2008.
Parishes have been closed or merged: Liverpool, for example, reducing from 60 to 27 parishes.
Significantly, sexual abuse scandals have also damaged the Church.

As in other English-speaking countries such as the United States and Australia, the movement of Irish Catholics out of the working-class into the middle-class suburban mainstream often meant their assimilation with broader, secular English society and loss of a separate Catholic identity.
The Second Vatican Council has been followed, as in other Western countries, by divisions between traditional Catholicism and a more liberal form of Catholicism claiming inspiration from the Council.
This caused difficulties for not a few pre-conciliar converts, though others have still joined the Church in recent decades (for instance, Malcolm Muggeridge and Joseph Pearce), and public figures (often descendants of the recusant families) such as Paul Johnson; Peter Ackroyd; Antonia Fraser; Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC; Michael Martin (politician), first Catholic to hold the office of Speaker of the House of Commons since the Reformation; Chris Patten, first Catholic to hold the post of Chancellor of Oxford since the Reformation; Piers Paul Read; Helen Liddel, Britain's High Commissioner to Australia; and former Prime Minister's wife, Cherie Blair, have no difficulty making their Catholicism known in public life.
The former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, was recently received into full communion with the Catholic Church. 

Since the Second Vatican Council the Church in England has tended to focus on ecumenical dialogue with the Anglican Church, whilst continuing to win converts from it.

Tony Blair
However, the 1990s have seen a number of conversions from Anglicanism to the Catholic Church, largely prompted by the Church of England's decision to ordain women as priests (among other moves away from traditional doctrines and structures).
The resultant converts included members of the Royal Family (Katharine, Duchess of Kent, her son Lord Nicholas Windsor and her grandson Baron Downpatrick), and a number of Anglican priests.
Converts to Catholicism in Britain, for this reason, tend to be more 'conservative' and even traditionalist than Catholics on the European mainland, often opposing trends within the Catholic Church similar to those which induced them to abandon Anglicanism in the first place.
The spirit of ecumenism fostered by Vatican II resulted in 1990 with the Catholic Church in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, joining 'Churches Together in Britain and Ireland', as an expression of the churches' commitment to work ecumenically.
Recently, for example, a memorial was put up to St. John Houghton and fellow Carthusian monks martyred at the London Charterhouse, 1535.
Anglican priest, Geoffrey Curtis, campaigned for it with the current archbishop of Canterbury's blessing.
Also, in another ecumenical gesture, a plaque in Holywell Street, Oxford, now commemorates the Catholic martyrs of England.
It reads: "Near this spot George Nichols, Richard Yaxley, Thomas Belson, and Humphrey Pritchard were executed for their Catholic faith, 5 July 1589."
And at Lambeth Palace, in February 2009, the Archbishop of Canterbury hosted a reception to launch the book, 'Why Go To Church ?', by Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, OP, one of Britain's best known religious, and the former 'Master' of the Dominican Order.

The Church's principles of social justice influenced initiatives to tackle the challenges of poverty and social inclusion.
Cardinal Basil hume
In Southampton Fr Pat Murphy O'Connor founded the 'St Dismas Society' as an agency to meet the needs of ex-prisoners discharged from Winchester prison.
Some of 'St Dismas Society's' early members went on to help found the 'Simon Community' in Sussex then in London.
Their example gave new inspiration to other clergymen, such as Rev Kenneth Leech (C of E) of St Anne's Church, Soho who helped found the homeless charity 'Centrepoint', and Rev Bruce Kenrick (Church of Scotland) who helped found the homeless charity 'Shelter'.
In 1986 Cardinal Basil Hume established the 'Cardinal Hume Centre' to work with homeless young people, badly housed families and local communities to access accommodation, support and advice, education, training and employment opportunities.
In 2006 Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor instituted an annual 'Mass in Support of Migrant Workers' at Westminster Cathedral in partnership with the ethnic chaplains of Brentwood, Southwark, and Westminster.

Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham

Pope Benedictus XVI
In October 2009, following closed-circuit talks between some Anglicans and the Holy See, Pope Benedict made a relatively unconditional offer to accommodate disaffected Anglicans of the Church of England, enabling them, for the first time, to retain parts of their liturgy and heritage under 'Anglicanorum Coetibus', while being in full communion with Rome.

A personal ordinariate is a canonical structure within the Roman Catholic Church enabling former Anglicans to maintain some degree of corporate identity and autonomy with regard to the bishops of the geographical dioceses of the Catholic Church and to preserve elements of their distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony. Its precise nature is described in the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus of 4 November 2009 and in the complementary norms of the same date.

By April 2012 the Ordinariate numbered about 1,200, including five bishops and 60 priests.
The Ordinariate has recruited a group of aristocrats as honorary vice-presidents to help out.
These include the Duke of Norfolk, the Countess of Oxford and Asquith and the Duchess of Somerset. Other vice-presidents include Lord Nicholas Windsor, Sir Josslyn Gore-Booth and the Squire de Lisle, whose ancestor Ambrose de Lisle was a 19th century Catholic convert who advocated the corporate reunion of the Anglican Church with Rome.
According to the group leader, Mgr Keith Newton, the Ordinariate will "work on something with an Anglican flavour, but they are not bringing over any set of Anglican liturgy."
The director of music at Westminster Abbey (Anglican), lay Catholic James O'Donnell, likens the Ordinariate to a 'Uniate Church' or one of the many non-Latin Catholic rites, saying: "This is a good opportunity for us to remember that there isn't a one size fits all, and that this could be a good moment to adopt the famous civil service philosophy - 'celebrating diversity'."



Guilford Anglican Cathedral - High Altar

The Cathedral Church of the Holy Spirit - Guildford Surrey England
Sir Edward Maufe.

Guilford Anglican Cathedral
The Cathedral Church of the Holy Spirit - Guildford Surrey England
Sir Edward Maufe

Guildford was made a diocese in its own right in 1927, and work on its new cathedral, designed by Sir Edward Maufe, began nine years later, with the foundation stone being laid by Dr Cosmo Gordon Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1936.
Construction was interrupted by the Second World War, and the cathedral was not consecrated until 17 May 1961.
Writing in 1932, Sir Edward Maufe said: ‘The ideal has been to produce a design, definitely of our own time, yet in the line of the great English Cathedrals; to build anew on tradition, to rely on proportion, mass, volume and line rather than on elaboration and ornament.'
Pevsner described the building as 'sweet-tempered, undramatic Curvilinear Gothic', and that the interior was 'noble and subtle.'
The tower is 160 feet (49 m) high, and contains twelve bells, ten of which were cast by Mears and Stainbank in 1965.
The bells were augmented to 12 with two Whitechapel trebles in 1975. The largest bell weighs 30cwt (just over 1.5 tonnes) and is tuned to the key of D.
At the top of the tower stands a 15-foot (4.6 m) gilded angel, which turns in the wind.
Inside, the cathedral appears to be filled with light, with pale Somerset limestone pillars and white Italian marble floors.

Guilford Cathedral
The Cathedral Church of the Holy Spirit - Guildford Surrey England
Sir Edward Maufe.

Guilford Anglican Cathedral - High Altar

The Cathedral Church of the Holy Spirit - Guildford Surrey England
Sir Edward Maufe.

Coventry Cathedral

Coventry Cathedral
Chapel of Unity

'Christ in Glory in the Tetramorph'
Graham Southerland
Coventry Cathedral

Holy Trinity Church
Hounslow - Middlesex

Hounslow has existed since the 13th century. Its Anglo-Saxon place-name is found in the Domesday Book and it means the hill, or mound, associated with Hundi (a pagan Anglo-Saxon). The town grew up along both sides of the Great Western Road leading from London to the West Country. In mediaeval times the town’s many inns and the Priory of the Holy Trinity provided travellers with accommodation. Holy Trinity Church was rebuilt in 1963 after a fire in 1943, which destroyed the 1828 church building.
While little known, this Anglican sanctuary is one of the finest to be built in the 20th century.

Holy Trinity Church
Hounslow - Middlesex



On the 11th February the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict would resign.
The resignation of the supreme Pontiff is almost unprecedented, and leaves the hierarchy and governance of the Catholic Church in a state of turmoil.
Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus PP. XVI; - born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger; 16 April 1927) is the 265th Pope, a position in which he serves dual roles as Sovereign of the Vatican City State, and leader of the Catholic Church.

Benedict XVI was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave, celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, on 7 May 2005
A native of Bavaria, Pope Benedict XVI has both German and Vatican citizenship.
Ordained as a priest in 1951, Ratzinger established himself as a highly regarded university theologian by the late 1950s and was appointed a full professor in 1958.
After a long career as an academic, serving as a professor of theology at several German universities—the last being the University of Regensburg—he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and Cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1977.
In 1981, he settled in Rome when he became Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the most important dicasteries of the Roman Curia.
From 2002 until his election as Pope, he was also Dean of the College of Cardinals, and as such the primus inter pares among the cardinals.
Prior to becoming Pope, he was "a major figure on the Vatican stage for a quarter of a century" as "one of the most respected, influential and controversial members of the College of Cardinals"; he had an influence "second to none when it came to setting church priorities and directions" as one of Pope John Paul II's closest confidants.
Like his predecessor, Benedict XVI is theologically conservative in his teaching and prolific writings defend traditional Catholic doctrine and values.
During his papacy, Benedict XVI has advocated a return to fundamental Christian values to counter the increased secularisation of many developed countries.
He views relativism's denial of objective truth, and the denial of moral truths in particular, as the central problem of the 21st century.
He teaches the importance of both the Catholic Church and an understanding of God's redemptive love.

He has reaffirmed the "importance of prayer in the face of the activism and the growing secularism of many Christians engaged in charitable work."
Pope Benedict has also revived a number of traditions including elevating the Tridentine Mass to a more prominent position.
There has been considerable controversy surrounding Benedict's Papacy - which has included the evidence of his involvement with National Socialism during the Second World War, and his response to the scandal of pedophilia in the catholic Church.
Following his 14th birthday in 1941, Ratzinger was conscripted into the Hitler Youth—as membership was required by law for all 14-year-old German boys after December 1939.

In 1943, while still in seminary, he was drafted into the German anti-aircraft corps as Luftwaffen flakhelfer (air force anti-aircraft helper).
 Ratzinger then trained in the German infantry.
 As the Allied front drew closer to his post in 1945, he deserted back to his family's home in Traunstein after his unit had ceased to exist, just as American troops established their headquarters in the Ratzinger household.
As a German soldier, he was put in a POW camp but was released a few months later at the end of the war in the summer of 1945.

Pope Benedict has to date written three encyclicals: Deus Caritas Est (Latin for "God is Love"), Spe Salvi ("Saved by Hope"), and Caritas in Veritate ("Love in Truth").



Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has greeted crowds in St Peter's Square in Rome after his election as the Catholic Church's new Pope, Francis.
Appearing on a balcony over the square, he asked the faithful to pray for him. Cheers erupted as he gave a blessing.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio; 17 December 1936) is the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, elected on 13 March 2013.
In that role, he is both the leader of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of the Vatican City State.
From 1998 until his election as pope, he served as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and was created Cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II.
Francis speaks Spanish, Italian, Latin and German fluently.

Early Life

Jorge Bergoglio was born in Buenos Aires, one of the five children of Italian immigrants, railway worker Mario Jose Bergoglio and Regina Maria Sivori, a housewife.
As a teenager, Bergoglio had a lung removed as a result of an infection.
He received a master's degree in chemistry at the University of Buenos Aires, and then studied at the seminary in Villa Devoto.
He entered the 'Society of Jesus' (The Jesuits) on 11 March 1958.
Bergoglio obtained a licentiate in philosophy from the Colegio Máximo San José in San Miguel, and then taught literature and psychology at the Colegio de la Inmaculada in Santa Fe, and the Colegio del Salvador in Buenos Aires.

Pre-Papal Career

He was ordained to the priesthood on 13 December 1969, by Archbishop Ramón José Castellano.
He attended the Facultades de Filosofía y Teología de San Miguel (Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel), a seminary in San Miguel, Buenos Aires.
Bergoglio attained the position of 'Master of Novices', there and became professor of theology.
Impressed with his leadership skills, the 'Society of Jesus' promoted Bergoglio, and he served as Provincial for Argentina from 1973 to 1979.
He was transferred in 1980 to become the Rector of the Seminary in San Miguel where he had studied.
He served in that capacity until 1986.
He completed his doctoral dissertation in Germany, and returned to his homeland to serve as confessor and spiritual director in Córdoba.
Bergoglio was named Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992 and was ordained on 27 June 1992 as Titular Bishop of Auca, with His Eminence, Antonio Cardinal Quarracino, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, serving as principal consecrator.
Bergoglio succeeded Cardinal Quarracino as Archbishop of Buenos Aires on 28 February 1998, and was concurrently named Ordinary for Eastern Catholics in Argentina, who had lacked their own prelate.


At the consistory of 21 February 2001, Archbishop Bergoglio was created a Cardinal (Prince of the Church) by Pope John Paul II with the title of Cardinal-Priest of San Roberto Bellarmino.
As cardinal, Bergoglio was appointed to several administrative positions in the Roman Curia:
Member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
Member of the Congregation for the Clergy.
Member of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
Member of the Pontifical Council for the Family
Member of the Commission for Latin America
As cardinal, Bergoglio became known for personal humility, doctrinal conservatism and a commitment to social justice.
A simple lifestyle contributed to his reputation for humility.
He lived in a small apartment, rather than in the palatial bishop's residence.
He gave up his chauffeured limousine in favor of public transportation, and he reportedly cooked his own meals.
On the death of Pope John Paul II, Bergoglio was considered one of the papabile cardinals.
He participated as a cardinal elector in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI.
It has been reported that Bergoglio was in close contention with Ratzinger during the election, until he made an emotional plea that the cardinals should not vote for him.
Earlier, he had participated in the funeral of Pope John Paul II, and acted as a regent alongside the College of Cardinals, governing the Holy See and the Roman Catholic Church during the 'interregnum sede vacante' period.
During the 2005 Synod of Bishops, he was elected a member of the Post-Synodal council.
It was reported that Bergoglio was a frontrunner in the 2005 Conclave.
An unauthorized diary of uncertain authenticity released in September 2005 confirmed that Bergoglio was the runner-up and main challenger of Cardinal Ratzinger at that conclave.
The purported diary of the anonymous cardinal claimed Bergoglio received 40 votes in the third ballot, but fell back to 26 at the fourth and decisive ballot.
On 8 November 2005, Bergoglio was elected President of the Argentine Episcopal Conference for a three-year term (2005–2008) by a large majority of the Argentine bishops, which according to reports confirms his local leadership and the international prestige earned by his alleged performance in the conclave.
He was reelected on November 11, 2008.

The Pontifical Coat of Arms of Francis I

Bergoglio was elected pope on 13 March 2013, the second day of the 2013 Papal conclave, taking the papal name Francis.
The pope is named after Francis of Assisi.
Bergoglio is the first Jesuit priest chosen to be pope.
He is also the first pope from the Americas, the New World, and the Southern Hemisphere.
He is the first non-European pope in over 1,200 years.
The last non-European pope, St. Gregory III, was born in Syria and reigned from 731 to 741.

Pope Francis with the Pallium on the Balcony of St Peter's Basillica - Rome

Francis I will probably pursue a conservative agenda, in matters of Liturgy, Church Dogman and public and sexual morality,
However he has a generally good record with regard to justice and human rights


Pope Francis 1 is the first Pope who is also a member of the 'Society of Jesus'
Societas Iesu - (the Society of Jesus - S.J., SJ or SI) is a Christian male religious order of the Roman Catholic Church.
The members are called Jesuits.
The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations on six continents.
The society's founding principles are contained in the document 'Formula of the Institute', written by Ignatius of Loyola.
Jesuits are known for their work in education (founding schools, colleges, universities and seminaries), intellectual research, and cultural pursuits, and for their missionary efforts.
Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes and promote social justice and ecumenical dialogue.

St Ignacio de Loyola
Ignacio de Loyola (Ignatius Loyola) (1491[1] – July 31, 1556) was a Spanish knight from a local noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the 'Society of Jesus' (Jesuits) and was its first Superior General.
Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation.
Loyola's devotion to the Catholic Church was characterized by absolute obedience to the Pope.
Ignatius founded the society after being wounded in battle and experiencing a religious conversion.
He composed the 'Spiritual Exercises' to help others follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.
In 1534, Ignatius and six other young men, including St. Francis Xavier and Bl. Pierre Favre, gathered and professed vows of poverty, chastity, and later obedience, including a special vow of obedience to the Pope.
Rule 13 of Ignatius' 'Rules for Thinking with the Church' said: "That we may be altogether of the same mind and in conformity [...], if [the Church] shall have defined anything to be black which to our eyes appears to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it to be black."
Societas Iesu
Ignatius' plan of the order's organization was approved by Pope Paul III a 'Bull' containing the 'Formula of the Institute' 9  (Pope Paul III signed the Bull “Regimini Militantis Ecclesiae on 27 Sept., 1540.
The opening lines of this founding document would declare that the Society of Jesus was founded to "strive especially for the propagation and defense of the faith and progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine."
The Society participated in the Counter-Reformation.
While the Jesuit Order was infiltrated by Neo-Modernists and Pseudo Marxisrts (Liberation Theologians), since the papacy of Pope Benedict the Society has realigned itself to its traditional, academic and conservative doctrinal and liturgical positions - which are also compatible with the positions held by Pope Francis I.
The Society of Jesus is consecrated under the patronage of 'Madonna Della Strada', a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and it is led by a Superior General, currently Adolfo Nicolás.
Ignatius was beatified by Pope Paul V on July 27, 1609 and canonized by Pope Gregory XV on March 12, 1622.
His feast day is celebrated annually on July 31, the day he died.
Saint Ignatius is venerated as the patron saint of Catholic soldiers, the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Basque country and various towns and cities in his native region.

Church of the Gesù
Church of the Gesù
The Church of the Gesù  is the mother church of the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic religious order also known as the Jesuits. Officially named Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Gesù all'Argentina.
(English: Church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus at the "Argentina"), its facade is "the first truly baroque façade", introducing the baroque style into architecture.
The church served as model for innumerable Jesuit churches all over the world, especially in the Americas. The Church of the Gesù is located in the Piazza del Gesù in Rome.

Madonna Della Strada or Santa Maria Della Strada -  (Italian for Our Lady of the Way, or Our Lady of the Road) - is the name of a late 15th or 16th century image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, enshrined at the Church
of the 'Gesu' in Rome, mother-church of the Society of Jesus religious order of the Roman Catholic Church.

The headquarters of the society, its General Curia, is in Rome.
The historic curia of St Ignatius is now part of the Collegio del Gesù attached to the Church of the Gesù, the Jesuit Mother Church.


San Francesco d'Assisi
Jorge Bergoglio, after his election as Pope, made it known that he wished to be called Francis I.
This was in deference to San Francesco d'Assisi, and may well indicate the general spiritual direction of his papacy
St. Francis of Assisi baptized Giovanni, born Francesco di Pietro di Bernardone; 1181/1182 – October 3, 1226) was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher.
He founded the men's Franciscan Order, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis for men and women not able to live the lives of itinerant preachers followed by the early members of the Order of Friars Minor or the monastic lives of the Poor Clares.
Though he was never ordained to the Catholic priesthood, Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.
Basilica di San Francesco
Francis was the son of Pietro Bernardone dei Moriconi, a wealthy foreign cloth merchant in Assisi, and he lived the high-spirited life typical of a wealthy young man, even fighting as a soldier for Assisi.
While going off to war in 1204, Francis had a vision that directed him back to Assisi, where he lost his taste for his worldly life.
On a pilgrimage to Rome, he joined the poor in begging at St. Peter's Basilica.
The experience moved him to live in poverty.
Francis returned home, began preaching on the streets, and soon amassed a following.
His Order was authorized by Pope Innocent III in 1210.
On July 16, 1228, he was pronounced a saint by Pope Gregory IX.
He is known as the patron saint of animals, the environment, and is one of the two patron saints of Italy (with Catherine of Siena).
It is customary for Catholic and Anglican churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of October 4.
He is also known for his love of the Eucharist, his sorrow during the Stations of the Cross, and for the creation of the Christmas creche or Nativity Scene.
It has been argued that no one in history was as dedicated as Francis to imitate the life, and carry out the work of Christ, in Christ’s own way.

Assisi Tomba di San Francesco
This is important in understanding Francis' character and his affinity for the Eucharist and respect for the priests who carried out the sacrament.
He and his followers celebrated and even venerated poverty.
Poverty was so central to his character that in his last written work, the 'Testament', he said that absolute personal and corporate poverty was the essential lifestyle for the members of his order.
He believed that nature itself was the mirror of God.
He called all creatures his “brothers” and “sisters,”.
In his “Canticle of the Creatures” (“Praises of Creatures” or “Canticle of the Sun”), he mentioned the “Brother Sun” and “Sister Moon,” the wind and water, and “Sister Death.”
He referred to his chronic illnesses as his “sisters."
His deep sense of brotherhood under God embraced others, and declared that “he considered himself no friend of Christ if he did not cherish those for whom Christ died.”
On November 29, 1979, Pope John Paul II declared St. Francis to be the Patron of Ecology



Westminster Cathedral in London is the mother church of the Catholic community in England and Wales and the Metropolitan Church and Cathedral of the Archbishop of Westminster.

Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood
of Jesus Christ
Westminster - London
Arched Pediment Over Main Door
Westminster Cathedral
It is dedicated to the "Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ".
The site on which the Cathedral stands originally belonged to the Benedictine monks who established the nearby Westminster Abbey and was purchased by the Archdiocese of Westminster in 1885.
The cathedral is located in Victoria, SW1, in the City of Westminster.
It is the largest Catholic church in England and Wales, and should not be confused with Westminster Abbey of the Church of England.
Westminster Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Westminster, currently His Grace The Most Rev. Dr. Vincent Nichols.
As a matter of custom, each newly appointed Archbishop of Westminster has eventually been created a cardinal in consistory.
John Betjeman called it "a masterpiece in striped brick and stone in an intricate pattern of bonding, the domes being all-brick in order to prove that the good craftsman has no need of steel or concrete."
In the late 19th century, the Catholic Church's hierarchy had only recently been restored in England and Wales, and it was in memory of Cardinal Wiseman (who died in 1865, and was the first Archbishop of Westminster from 1850) that the first substantial sum of money was raised for the new cathedral.
The land was acquired in 1884 by Wiseman's successor, Cardinal Manning, having previously been occupied by the second Tothill Fields Bridewell prison.
After two false starts in 1867 (under architect Henry Clutton) and 1892 (architect Baron von Herstel), construction started in 1895 under Manning's successor, the third archbishop Cardinal Vaughan with John Francis Bentley as architect

John Francis Bentley
John Francis Bentley (30 January 1839 – 2 March 1902) was the architect who was chosen to bring the dream of a Westminster Cathedral to reality.
Rather than Gothic, the style is Byzantine.
Bentley, however, was also a master of the neo-Gothic.
However, the choice of style appears to have been the result of a decision of Cardinal Vaughan.
The cathedral opened in 1903, a little after Bentley's death.

John Francis Bentley (30 January 1839 – 2 March 1902) was an English ecclesiastical architect whose most famous work is the Westminster Cathedral in London, England, built in a style heavily influenced by Byzantine architecture.

Westminster Cathedral was designed by John Francis Bentley and constructed between 1895 and 1903.
Bentley was born in Doncaster, and died in Clapham. Other examples of his work include the convent of the Sacred Heart at Hammersmith, St John's Beaumont, the Church of the Holy Rood at Watford, and St Luke's Church, Chiddingstone (1897). He was a master of the neo-Gothic and Byzantine Revival styles.
The great opportunity of Bentley's career came in 1894, when he was commissioned to design a new Roman Catholic cathedral in Westminster, London. After deciding on a Byzantine Revival design, Bentley travelled to Italy to study some of the great early Byzantine-influenced cathedrals, such as St Mark's Basilica in Venice. Because of illness and an outbreak of cholera in Istanbul, he was unable to complete his tour with a study of the Hagia Sofia. Bentley ended his tour in Venice and returned to London to begin work on Westminster Cathedral.

For reasons of economy the decoration of the interior had hardly been started and still much remained to be completed.
It is often presumed that Westminster Cathedral was the first Catholic place of worship to be built in England after the English Reformation; however that honour belongs to St Patrick's in Soho Square built in 1792.
Britain's first Catholic churches built after the Reformation are both in Banffshire, Scotland. They are St. Ninian's, Tynet, built in 1755 and its near neighbour, St. Gregory's, Preshome, built in 1788. Both churches are still in use.
Under the laws of the Catholic Church at the time, no place of worship could be consecrated unless free from debt and having its fabric completed, so the consecration ceremony did not take place until June 28, 1910.
The space in front of the Cathedral was opened up in 1975, following the demolition of the buildings that used to run across the frontage along Victoria Street.
Further hindering access was a roadway which ran directly across the front door.
Originally, the Cathedral could be seen only close up, and from a sharp angle.
Now for the first time it was possible to see the Cathedral from afar, and the new area was christened 'The Piazza'.
The fanciful and the romantic entertained visions of Italian style piazzas, fountains and coffee shops, violin music and colourful processions.
In truth, the space created is a difficult area to categorize; spatial compromises with the premises either side mean it is an awkward shape, and the fashion of the times decreed modern grey granite office blocks having no architectural or visual connexion with the Cathedral.
Lacking atmosphere, it has been deserted by day, and at night a haunt of drunks and drug users - so much so Cardinal Hume referred to the Piazza as 'a great improvement, but also a great weight upon our shoulders.'


The whole building, in the neo-Byzantine style, covers an area of about 54,000 sqft (5, 017m2); the dominating factor of the scheme, apart from the campanile, being a spacious and uninterrupted nave, 60 ft (18.3m), covered with domical vaulting.

Temple of Saint Sava - Belgrade
Neo-Byzantine architecture had a small following in the wake of the 19th-century Gothic revival, resulting in such jewels as Westminster Cathedral in London. It was developed on a wide-scale basis in Russia during the reign of Alexander II by Grigory Gagarin and his followers who designed St Volodymyr's Cathedral in Kiev, St Nicholas Naval Cathedral in Kronstadt, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, Saint Mark's church in Belgrade and the New Athos Monastery in New Athos near Sukhumi. The largest Neo-Byzantine project of the 20th century was the Temple of Saint Sava in Belgrade.

In planning the nave, a system of supports was adopted not unlike that to be seen in most Gothic cathedrals, where huge, yet narrow, buttresses are projected at intervals, and stiffened by transverse walls, arcading and vaulting.
Unlike in a Gothic Cathedral at Westminster they are limited to the interior.

Westminster Cathedral
Westminster Cathedral
The main piers and transverse arches that support the domes divide the nave into three compartments, each 60 sqft (5.58m2).
The domes rest on the arches at a height of 90 ft (27.4m) from the floor, the total internal height being 111 ft (33.8m).
In selecting the pendentive type of dome, of shallow concavity, for the main roofing, weight and pressure have been reduced to a minimum.
The domes and pendentures are formed of concrete, and as extraneous roofs of timber were dispensed with, it was necessary to provide a thin independent outer shell of impervious stone. The concrete flat roofing around the domes is covered with asphalt.
The sanctuary is essentially Byzantine in its system of construction.
The extensions that open out on all sides make the corona of the dome seem independent of support.
The eastern termination of the cathedral suggests the Romanesque, or Lombardic style of Northern Italy.
The crypt with openings into the sanctuary, thus closely following the Church of Saint Ambrose, Milan, the open colonnade under the eaves, the timber roof following the curve of the apex, are all familiar features.
The huge buttresses resist the pressure of a vault 48 ft (14.6m) in span.
Although the cruciform plan is hardly noticeable inside the building, it is emphasized outside by the boldly projecting transepts.
These with their twin gables, slated roofs, and square turrets with pyramidal stone cappings suggest a Norman prototype in striking contrast to the rest of the design.
The main structural parts of the building are of brick and concrete, the latter material being used for the vaulting and domes of graduated thickness and complicated curve.
Following Byzantine tradition, the interior was designed with a view to the application of marble and mosaic.
Throughout the exterior, the lavish introduction of white stone bands in connection with the red brickwork (itself quite common in the immediate area) produces an impression quite foreign to the British eye.
The main entrance façade owes its composition, in a measure, to accident rather than design. The most prominent feature of the façade is the deeply recessed arch over the central entrance, flanked by tribunes, and stairway turrets.
The elevation on the north, with a length of nearly 300 ft (91.5m) contrasted with the vertical lines of the campanile and the transepts, is most impressive.
It rests on a continuous and plain basement of granite, and only above the flat roofing of the chapels does the structure assume a varied outline.
On entering the cathedral the visitor who knows Saint Mark’s in Venice, or the churches of Constantinople, will note the absence of a spacious and well lighted outer narthex, comprising all the main entrances; but this is soon forgotten in view of the fine proportions of the nave, and the marble columns, with capitals of Byzantine type, that support the galleries and other subsidiary parts of the building.
The marbles selected for the columns were, in some instances, obtained from formations quarried by the ancient Romans, chiefly in Greece.

High Altar

High Mass
Westminster Cathedral
High Altar and Baldacchino
Westminster Cathedral
The central feature of the decoration in the cathedral is the baldacchino over the high altar.
This is one of the largest structures of its kind, the total width being 31 ft (9.5m), and the height 38 ft (11.58m).
The upper part of white marble is richly inlaid with coloured marbles, lapis lazuli, pearl, and gold.
Eight columns of yellow marble, from Verona, support the baldacchino over the high altar, and others, white and pink, from Norway, support the organ galleries.
Behind the baldacchino the crypt emerges above the floor of the sanctuary, and the podium thus formed is broken in the middle by the steps that lead up to the retro-choir.

The  Retro-choir
Westminster Cathedral
The Choir - Westminster Cathedral
The curved wall of the crypt is lined with narrow slabs of green carystran marble.
The curved wall is responsible for the unique and superb sound of the Cathedral choir.
Opening out of this crypt is a smaller chamber, directly under the high altar.
Here are laid the remains of the first two Archbishops of Westminster, Cardinal Wiseman and Cardinal Manning.
The altar and relics of Saint Edmund of Canterbury occupy a recess on the south side of the chamber.

Cardinal Herbert Vaughan
Cardinal Vaughan Chantry
The little chapel of Saint Thomas of Canterbury, entered from the north transept, is used as a chantry chapel  for Cardinal Vaughan.

Herbert Alfred Vaughan (1832–1903) was an English prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Westminster from 1892 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1893. He was the founder in 1866 of St Joseph's Foreign Missionary College, known as Mill Hill Missionaries. He also founded the Catholic Truth Society. In 1871 Vaughan led a group of priests to the United States to form a mission society whose purpose was to administer to freedmen. In 1893 the society reorganized to form the US-based St. Joseph Society of the Sacred Heart, known as the Josephite Fathers. Vaughan also founded St. Bede's College, Manchester. As Archbishop of Westminster, he led the capital campaign and construction of Westminster Cathedral.

Holy Rood - Reverse
Holy Rood - Obverse
A large Byzantine style crucifix, suspended from the sanctuary arch, dominates the nave.


The chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, on the north side of the sanctuary, and the Lady Chapel on the south, are entered from the transepts; they are 22 ft (6.7m) wide, lofty, with open arcades, barrel vaulting, and apsidal ends.
Over the altar of the Blessed Sacrament chapel a small baldacchino is suspended from the vault, and the chapel is enclosed with bronze grilles and gates through which people may enter. In the Lady Chapel the walls are clad in marble and the altar reredos is a mosaic of the Virgin and Child, surrounded by a white marble frame.
The conches of the chapel contain predominantly blue mosaics of the Old Testament prophets Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
Unlike the Blessed Sacrament chapel, that dedicated to the Blessed Mother is completely open.
Those chapels which may be entered from the aisles of the nave are also 22 ft (6.7m) wide, and roofed with simple barrel vaulting.
The chapel of Saints Gregory and Augustine, next the baptistery, from which it is separated by an open screen of marble, was the first to have its decoration completed.
The marble lining of the piers rises to the springing level of the vaulting and this level has determined the height of the altar reredos, and of the screen opposite.
On the side wall, under the windows, the marble dado rises to but little more than half this height.
From the cornices the mosaic decoration begins on the walls and vault.
This general arrangement applies to all the chapels yet each has its own distinct artistic character.
Thus, in sharp contrast to the chapel dedicated to St. Gregory and St. Augustine which contains vibrant mosaics, the chapel of the Holy Souls employs a more subdued, almost funereal style, decoration with late Victorian on a background of silver.
As in all Catholic churches, there are the Stations of the Cross to be found along the outer aisles.
The ones at Westminster Cathedral are by the sculptor, Eric Gill, and are considered to be amongst the finest examples of his work.



Brompton Oratory
Cardinal John Henry Newman
John Henry Newman converted to Catholicism in 1845; and founded Birmingham Oratory, dedicated to Saint Philip Neri.
Other converts, including Frederick William Faber founded a London Oratory in premises near Charing Cross.
They purchased a 3.5-acre (14,000 m2) property in November 1852 for £16,000; in the (then) semi-rural western suburbs.
An Oratory House was built first, followed shortly by a temporary church; both designed by J. J. Scoles.
An appeal was launched in 1874 for funds to build a church.
Within the Oratory House is a chapel, known as the Little Oratory.
The Church still belongs to and is served by the Congregation of the London Oratory.
There are two other Oratories in the UK, the Birmingham Oratory and the Oxford Oratory.
Tridentine Baroque Magnificance
Baroque Italianate Altar

Built in the Italianate Baroque style, the Brompton Oratory is an exact imitation of the Church of the Gesu in Rome and sports some genuine Italian fittings.
These unique, eye-catching treasures predate the building which also boasts an ornate, colourful ceiling, curving up to a 50-foot vaulted dome.
The first Roman Catholic Church to be built in London after the Reformation, the Oratory - true to its architecture - still practises a rigid, ritualised Catholicism.
Brompton Oratory (also known as the London Oratory) is the second largest Catholic Church in London and every Sunday more than 3,000 people worship in this enormous church.
Visitors are welcome but are requested to dress modestly, maintain a respectful silence and switch off mobile phones.
There is a sung mass in Latin every Sunday at 11am.


Brompron Oratory - Front Elevation
A design from Herbert Gribble, then 29, won a competition in March 1876.
The foundation stone was laid in June 1880; and the new church was consecrated on 16 April 1884.
Brompron Oratory - Sectional Elevation
The church is faced in Portland stone, with the vaults and dome in concrete; the latter was heightened in profile and the cupola added in 1895, standing 200 feet (61 m) tall.
Brompron Oratory - Side Elevation
It was the largest Catholic church in London before the opening of Westminster Cathedral in 1903.
The competition specified the 'Italian Renaissance' style, but the Roman Baroque and Wren are also drawn on.
Devon marble is used in the major order of pilasters and the minor order of columns, with more exotic marbles in the apse and the altars, with carvings in metalwork, plasterwork, wood and stone.
It houses notable Italian Baroque sculpture: the 'Twelve Apostles' by Giuseppe Mazzuoli (1644-1725) acquired from Siena Cathedral in 1895 and the Lady Altar, with sculptures by Tommaso Rues (1650-1690 ca.), from Brescia. Gribble's decorative scheme for the apse was not proceeded with, but the decoration of the St Wilfrid and the St Mary Magdalen chapels do reflect his intentions.
The St Philip Neri altar is to his design.
The second great decorative campaign (1927–32) was by the Italian architect C. T. G. Formilli, in mosaic, plaster and woodwork;the cost exceeding his estimate of £31,000.
Further decoration marked the 1984 centenary.

Cardinal Newman Chapel
The reredos of Doric columns in yellow scagliola (2006) of the St Joseph chapel and a new altar and reredos of the Blessed Cardinal Newman (2010) are by Russell Taylor, from Russell Taylor Architects.
The style is Early English Renaissance.
The statue of Newman in cardinal's robes (1896) is by L. J. Chavalliaud in architectural setting by Thomas Garner.
The church boasts magnificent vestments and altar plate, and the house an important library.