Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane – wonderful things happening!

I received a note from Fr. Robinson of the little church in Maiden Lane near Covent Garden in London, Corpus Christ.  Father has quite the restoration project going and it is worthy of notice by everyone.

I also remind the readership of the public witness of so many priests in England regarding Catholic doctrine and the dictates of reason.  HERE

Here is another image of work in progress on the little Lady Chapel at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane.


Also, by email I learned that Fr. Robinson will soon be visiting the counterpart church in NYC, St. Malachy’s, also an “actors church”.  Let us not forget that actors have souls.  Given the difficulties of their environments, they too need the help of prayers, sacraments and sacramentals.
___ UPDATED May 11, 2015
I was recently reminded of the great work Fr. Robinson is doing at Corpus Christi in London, Maiden Lane near Covent Garden.  He has a great restoration project going that could use some global support!

You should know that this is one of the locations where the TLM was preserved even during some of the earliest and more difficult times.

____ Originally Published on: Jan 14, 2015 @ 16:51

I recently visited the beautiful little Church near Covent Garden, Corpus Christi. HERE It is, among other things, the local “actors church”. However, it was originally intended by Cardinal Manning to be a site for special veneration of the Blessed Sacrament in the heart of London. This is a city that needs it!

If you haven’t been in Corpus Christi for awhile, you are in for a treat the next time.

The parish priest, Fr. Robinson, has undertaken an extensive project of renovation. The results so far are wonderful. You might recall that, in the back of the church, the brickwork was covered over with a rather dingy – let’s call it white. The red bricks are now exposed and everything has been tuck-pointed. The lady chapel is being spiffed up with new marble and a new meter high (or so) marble statue of Our Lady of Walsingham from Italy. And, drum roll, an ad orientem altar!

Joseph Shaw of the Latin Mass Society posted a few photos of what the sanctuary is like now without the free standing altar.

The sanctuary right now is free of the free standing table altar and, if I understood Father correctly, it might not be coming back!

I’ve been promised some photos of before and after.  Hopefully I’l be able to post them soon.  In the meantime, check out some renderings. HERE

Every Monday there is a sung Mass at Corpus Christi at 6:30 pm, after which some people go for a drink and a bite.

This parish doesn’t have a church hall, which limits how they can bring in income.  It is a good project and there is a way for Americans to donate and get a tax deduction.  HERE

BTW… since my trip this time has been so filled with Turner, the painter was born in Maiden Lane!  And another point, today – 14 January – is the anniversary of the death of Card. Manning, mentioned above.

And do you know the hymn Sweet Sacrament Divine?  It was written by a former priest of the parish, Fr. Francis Stanfield.

Fr. Z kudos to Fr. Robinson for the great start on the restoration.  I hope people will visit the church when they are in London.  It is close Covent Garden which so many people visit (remember My Fair Lady).

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. WOW – I’m so delighted, Father.

    England is secretly becoming a Catholic country again, and just in time, too.

  2. Riddley says:

    Fingers very firmly crossed they don’t replace the free-standing altar. I’ve only been to Corpus Christi the once, when I went to a Novus Ordo Mass, and the priest seemed perfectly happy to offer it ad orientem.

    I was with my cradle Catholic girlfriend, who was new to ad orientem, and she was really struck by it. As she put it, “The priest’s prayers make so much more sense this way!” She’s now making herself a mantilla…

    As I say, fingers crossed.

    Sorry I missed you Father, and get well soon.

  3. Per Signum Crucis says:

    I had a brief conversation with Fr. Robinson on a recent visit and gained the impression that the old free-standing altar was going to be recycled as an ad orientem altar in the Lady Chapel. I may be wrong on that but, with most of the substantial work elsewhere in the church largely done, the ambience at Corpus Christi is much improved.

  4. jbpolhamus says:

    I would encourage everyone who can to be supportive to the work at Corpus Christ, Maiden Lane. It’s a small church, a dear little place, and will be as beautiful as the effort that is put into it. Its size also belies its huge heart, and its significance in maintaining the chain of Traditional Catholic activity in England, and the world. It was also, in the 1870’s, the first church dedicated to Corpus Christ since the Reformation, and that makes it no small landmark.

    I first went there when I moved to London in the early ’90’s and sought out the traditional mass, and I was able to learn my chant there under the tutelage of the late Richard Hoban, Requiescat in pace. I learned there, directed there, got my first experiences of Traditional Holy Week, Vespers AND Tenebrae there, made musical mistakes there, learned from them, and watched other neophytes make their mistakes there, and learn from them too. And despite all, the only thing that ever mattered in the end, was the priority of the Mass and the Liturgy. It is still one of the three or four spiritual homes of my life, and it remains a place where, for traditionalists, there is always work to do, and a place to be put to work if you will do it.

    |The camaraderie of the place, well, suffice to say I forged ties of friendship there that are as precious to me as any I have ever had, and which endure to this day despite distance, prolonged absence, and even death. Corpus Christi is an important training ground in the Traditional rites for both priests and people alike (and even musicians!;-) ) God Bless Fr. Robinson (I knew Canon McDonald, his predecessor) and his work on behalf or the maintenance and beautification of the parish. When my mind flits around the world on Christmas Eve, touching upon the various places I’ve offered my voice, and the people I’ve met while doing it, it always stops, and always will, for a lengthy prayer of thanks in Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane.

  5. AvantiBev says:

    Fr. Z wrote: “Let us not forget that actors have souls. Given the difficulties of their environments, they too need the help of prayers, sacraments and sacramental.”

    Wow. Glad this little actress checked Fr.’s blog today or I might have been surprised to see my reflection in the dressing room mirror backstage at the theatre this evening. Well, thanks for acknowledging that Father. BTW, my day gig is working for attorneys. I hear it is rumored that they too have souls.

    But seriously, yes, the environment is currently very hostile to not only Catholicism, not only Christianity, but any organized religious outside exotic Eastern ones – considered too cool to criticize– and Islam – considered to scary to criticize. I know a very talented Jewish actress who was mocked by atheistic, cultural Jews in her theatre troupe for keeping a modified shabbas before heading to the theatre to perform and attending Temple services on Saturday morning.

    Yet we few, we happy band called to this vocation, plug along. Thank God the priests at St. John Cantius, Chicago, are PRO-arts and pro-artistic pursuits. That is more than you can say for those churches masquerading as Katholic worship spaces but really just gigantic auto parts warehouses stripped bare of any art except for those crummy little felt banners they insist on hanging.

    Sometimes sleepless but never soulless in Chicago,

  6. Supertradmum says:

    How beautiful. Catholicism is and has been for over 500 years a remnant religion and this will not change. The biggest problem are notional Catholics, who practice contraception and support ssm, as well as the big wish for womynpriestesses.

    I know many excellent Catholics in England and they have been and are being increasingly marginalized by even other Catholics. This movement to the TLM will support the faithful, thank God, in prayer and merit.

    But, as in America, persecution will come to the West and soon.

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