Sunday, 25 August 2013

London Churches 3 - Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Gregory, Warwick Street

At the other end of Soho from St. Patrick's lies this little church, which used to be somewhere I would call in to if I was in the Regent Street area of London. Sadly, it has been several years since I last visited this church, largely because of the scandal surrounding its hosting of 'gay Masses'. Recently, following the ending of these Masses, the church has been given over to the care of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, who I feel will make great and positive use of it.

Clergy of the Ordinariate of OurLady of Walsingham take posession of Warwick Street church

The church is interesting as it dates from pre-emancipation times, originally only being permitted to exist because it was the chapel of the adjacent Portugese Embassy in the 18th. Century. As a result, it has a very plain and anonymous exterior, resembling contemporary non-conformist chapels.

Plaque detailing the history of the church

This simple outside belies a most beautiful interior, with much decoration in a Baroque style.

Church interior

Two noticeable features are the presence of a gallery (typical of protestant churches of the period, but rarely seen in a Catholic church) and also the splendid shrine behind the Lady Altar, incorporating many silver ex voto hearts, given by benefactors of the church.

Our Lady's Shrine

If you happen to be near Regent Street or Piccadilly Circus, I would recommend a visit to this beautiful church, and also ask that you pray for the priests of the Ordinariate.

Regina in Caelum Assumpta, ora pro nobis.

Sancte Gregori, ora pro nobis.

1 comment:

  1. Most interesting series, Matthaeus.

    Thank you.


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