Friday, May 30, 2014

The Ordinariate Church in London re-establishes links with the Portuguese Embassy

The Portuguese ambassador to the United Kingdom is to attend Mass at the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham's central church in Warwick Street, Soho, London next month as part of efforts to restore historic links between that church and the Portuguese Embassy. His Excellency João de Vallera, along with other representatives from the Portuguese community in London, will be at the 10.30 a.m. Solemn Mass on Sunday 15 June, which falls at the end of a week of celebrations to mark Portugal's National Day on 10 June.

The Warwick Street Catholic Church, Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Gregory, which Cardinal Vincent Nichols dedicated to the life of the Ordinariate in 2013, was built on the site of a Catholic chapel which had served the Portuguese embassy in London in the early eighteenth century, when the embassy was located in Golden Square, Soho. That original chapel, built during the Marques de Pombal's term as ambassador from 1724 to 1747 (and subsequently leased to the Bavarian Embassy), was badly damaged during the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots of 1780. It was rebuilt in 1789-90.

The Mass will include music by the Portuguese composer, Manuel Cardoso alongside pieces by English composers including Herbert Howells and John Stainer, and will be celebrated according to the Ordinariate Use. The principal celebrant will be the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, the Rt Revd Monsignor Keith Newton. This will be followed by a reception for all at which Portuguese wine and canapes will be served. Mass is at 10.30 a.m. Sunday 15 June. Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, London, W1B 5LZ. All are welcome.

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