Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mass at the Holy Name, Manchester

2011 07 24_0655
I have just returned from a trip to Manchester, where I attended the regular Sunday Low Mass (EF) in one of the great Catholic churches of England, the Holy Name.
2006 02 21_0663
Twenty years ago, after the Jesuits left it, the Holy Name was saved from secular uses, if not destruction, by Fr Ray Matus. Since then he has systematically restored the fabric of the building and built up a valuable apostolate. One of the things he has long had is a regular Sunday Traditional Mass, at 4pm.
2006 02 21_0683
The building is stunning. The site is almost square and the church is immensly wide. The vast roof is upheld by impossibly slender columns: Hanson, the architect, performed this feat by making the ceiling out of hollow ceramic tubes. There are a large number of side chapels and a long row of confessionals. At its peak there were a dozen priests serving the church.
2006 02 21_0666
Fr Matus has developed the church in a number of ways. He has created a chapel dedicated to Bl J.H. Newman.
2011 07 24_0591
The church has one of the extremely rare first-class relics of Newman, a lock of hair, which is now housed in a reliquary bust made for the purpose.
2011 07 24_0594
He was given the almost complete skeleton of an early Roman martyr, and has into a space intended for such a purpose: it is St Benignus. A bust of the saint has been created scientifically on the basis of the dimensions of his skull: a fascinating glimpose of what a saint who died under Diocletian actually looked like.
2011 07 24_0622
Fr Matus himself said the Mass I attended.
2006 02 21_0676

2011 07 24_0631

2011 07 24_0640

2011 07 24_0649
There are more photographs of the church and of Mass here.

3 comments:

  1. xmushtak5:12 pm

    What a beautiful church.  It is quite stunning and the congregation must be very proud of it.

    Kind regards

    Henry Ledger

    ReplyDelete
  2. Et Expecto2:29 pm

    Perhaps one should clarify that the architect is Joseph Aloysius Hansom, the most famous member of the Hansom family which included srveral distinguished architects.  His first great achievement was Birmingham Town Hall, before going on to design the Hansom Cab.  Other great churches that he is responsible for are St Walburga's in preston and what is now the Cathedral in Arundel.  Besides these are numerous smaller churches, including my own parish church, the Sacred Heart in Howden.

    I had not noticed before the shingled "roof" to the tester of the pulpit, an attractive detail.  It closely resembles the spirelet on the church at Howden.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There is another priest who celebrates the EF Mass there, Father Christopher Hilton.  There is now a stable community of Oratorians at Holy Name and application has been made to Rome for Holt Name to be granted full status as an Oratory.  The OF Sunday Mass is also sung and celebrated partly in Latin.

    ReplyDelete

Comments must come from a registered account. Comments for posts more than two weeks old are pre-moderated, you won't see them publish immediately. These measures protect against malicious users and spam.