Friday, 20 February 2015

London Suburban Catholic Churches 1 - St Peter's, Woolwich

Some time ago I published a series of posts on Catholic Churches in and around Central London, which I see still get occasional hits. With this in mind, I think it is time to post about some of the lovely churches located in the London suburbs, predominantly those of the Archdiocese of Southwark, to the South and South-East of the Capital.

To begin the series, I would like to look at this gem, designed by the great man, Augustus Welby Pugin himself, and retaining much of its original architecture. There has been some reordering, but this has, thankfully, been carried out around the Pugin features, with little loss of these, apart from the altar rails. The original pulpit was dismantled, but partially survived in a side chapel, and the remaining part has recently been incorporated into the ambo.

An early photo of St. Peter's

The church forms part of a complex of buildings, which also include an adjoining presbytery in matching Gothic Revival style, and a former school, which now serves as the Parish Centre and hall.

The Church complex: presbytery to the left, Parish Centre (former school) to the right

St. Peter's is personally dear to me, and I have often worshipped there. More recently, the Parish Priest, Fr. Michael Branch, made the church available for my late father's Requiem Mass, following the changes at my former parish of Blackfen.
The Sanctuary, showing the original Pugin High Altar and Reredos

At present, Liturgy at St. Peter's follows the Novus Ordo, and some Masses accommodate the various ethnic groups in the Parish.

St. Peter's is equipped with a webcam, and the church interior and services can be viewed here, via the link on the Parish website.

Church Interior

Unlike the Central London churches, I do not have a pub close to St. Peter's which I would care to recommend, although there is a very nice coffee bar in the former Woolwich Equitable Building, a couple of minutes' walk away (excellent Latte and some delicious cakes and pastries (for after Lent)).

Former Woolwich Equitable House - coffee shop on the left
 (there's also rather a good Chinese buffet round the corner on the right)

1 comment:

  1. A marvellous first Post on your new Series of London Suburban Catholic Churches, Matthaeus.

    I look forward to the rest of the Series.


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