Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Archbishop who wasn't a gentleman

There is an intriguing story told by several older priests about one of my predecessors who having been informed that Bishop, later Archbishop, Amigo was to visit St Mary Magdalen's wrote, "My Lord, I will offer you every facility that my Church may afford on your forthcoming visitation, however as for admittance to my house that can never be as you are not a gentleman". More elaborate versions of the story have the parish priest sending Amigo a "half crown" postal order for lunch. There is, possible not surprisingly, no account in the Southwark or Arundel and Brighton archives.
Does anyone have any information on this story? Who was the parish priest?

Many clergy in the diocese of Southwark disliked their bishop intensely, he could be pretty tough, he hated the Archbishop of Westminster (see the story about Mgr Wallace on the Main Page). There is one story about him which I rather like, he was stopped in the street by a rather high church Anglican clergyman, who said, "My Lord, I am a Catholic, I pray for you everyday at Mass, I believe you are my rightful bishop. In my church we obey all your rulings and read your pastoral letters ...etc. etc." To which the Archbishop said, "Mmm, in that case I suspend you, good day sir".

Monday, July 24, 2006

From the archives circa 1910

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These are the first photographs we have of the Church, notice how already the stonework is seriously smoke blackened, Our conservationist says that various colour schemes were tried until in the 1980s the entire Church was painted spray painted battleship grey, with gilt, copper and bronze spray painted highlights.

Monsignor Moore's Morse

Someone asked for a better picture of the Morse which St Mary Magdalen was wearing on her feastday.
It is presumed that it belonged to Mgr Moore, it is rather crude but is covered with irregular polished and facetted semi-precious stones.

Gilbert Blount

Blount was an English Catholic architect active from about 1840-70. He received his earliest training as a civil engineer under Brunel (c.1825-28) for whom he worked as a superintendent of the Thames Tunnel works. After a period in the office of Syndney Smirke, Blount was appointed as architect to Cardinal Wiseman, the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster.
Blount's mature work coincided with the resurgence of Catholic church building in England. His activity as an architect was largely in service of the need for new churches and related ecclesiastical institutions.
About the CollectionHoldings include studies for eleven churches (1844-74), two tabernacles, reredos, two pulpits, a stained glass window, twelve high altars. Among the churches are St. Ambrose Church, Kidderminster, Worchestershire, 1858; St. Edward, Clifford, Yorkshire, c.1844-45; St. Mary, Husband's Bosworth, Leicestershire, 1873-74; St. Mary Magdalene, Brighton, Sussex, 1861-62; St. Peter, Gloucester, 1859-60, 1867-88; Our Lady and St. Catherine of Siena Church, London, 1869-70.