Saturday, 28 February 2015

London Suburban Catholic Churches 5 - Our Lady of Grace, Charlton

Another South-East London gem, Our Lady of Grace is located in the suburb of Charlton, which developed in the late 19th. Century as London began to expand into previously rural areas. Nearby is the remnant of the old Charlton village, and the Jacobean Charlton House, with its adjoining park. The Valley, home of Charlton Athletic Football Club, is also quite close.

Charlton House

Formerly a diocesan parish, the church is now in the care of the Spiritans (formerly known as the Holy Ghost Fathers), following restructuring in the Archdiocese of Southwark a few years ago. The previous Parish Priest, Fr. Michael Leach is a former Capuchin friar, and an old friend of mine.

Church Interior, looking West
The interior of Our Lady's is beautiful. The Sanctuary was reordered just prior to Vatican II, apparently with the removal of a fussy, and not particularly meritorious, reredos to allow the incorporation of a Calvary and a picture of Our Lady, behind the High Altar, in the manner often seen in Spanish churches.
Church interior, looking East
The fine presbytery is interesting in that it boasts a Blue Plaque, to William Henry Barlow, a Victorian engineer.
Photo of plaque
The Blue Plaque

File:William Henry Barlow High Combe 145 Charlton Road Charlton SE7.jpg
The Presbytery

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