Paddington: Roman Catholicism

Pages 259-260

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9, Hampstead, Paddington. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.

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Matthew Smale, presumably the lessee of the manor, was absent from church in 1589. (fn. 1) Five residents or former residents of Paddington were charged with recusancy between 1628 and 1640, (fn. 2) one of them being Dame Anne Conway (d. 1647), a relative of the St. Johns. (fn. 3) Mass was said to be celebrated at a lone farmhouse c. 1780 (fn. 4) and a few papists were reported c. 1800 but they had no regular meeting place until the mid 19th century. (fn. 5) Despite the presence of several religious orders and a very large attendance in Bayswater, the total number of Roman Catholic worshippers in 1902, at 2,071, was less than that of either Baptists or Methodists. (fn. 6) The churches, with other places of worship, are described below. (fn. 7)

St. Mary of the Angels, Westmoreland (later Moorhouse) Rd., Bayswater, originated in svces. c. 1849 at no. 4 Sutherland Pl. (fn. 8) Ch. begun 1851 under Revd. A. Magee, with private benefactions; called St. Helen's and St. Mary's c. 1854, (fn. 9) opened 1857 under Hen. Edw. (later Cardinal) Manning, first superior of Oblate Fathers of St. Chas. Borromeo. (fn. 10) Attendance 1886: 548 a.m.; 475 evg.; 1902: 1,352 a.m.; 193 p.m. Chief ch. of Oblates of St. Chas., serving par., schs., and wider missionary work; acquired by archdiocese of Westm. 1974. Grey-stone bldg. in Early Eng. style by Thos. Meyer: nave, N. and S. aisles, sanctuary. Outer N. aisle added 1869, extended 1887, outer S. aisle and Lady chapel 1872 by J. F. Bentley; (fn. 11) unfinished SW. tower. Seating for 500 in 1982. Glass by Bentley. Community ho. c. 1857.

Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Vincent de Paul, Harrow Rd. No. 337 on S. side near Woodfield Rd. bought by Revd. Ld. Archibald Douglas for St. Vincent's boys' home 1877. Chapel dedic. to Our Lady opened 1882. (fn. 12) Reg. as mission ch. of Our Lady Immaculate 1893 (fn. 13) but dedic. soon changed, perhaps to inc. that of home, which closed 1912. (fn. 14) Attendance 1886: 171 a.m.; 255 evg.; 1902: 340 a.m.; 97 p.m. Bldg. in French Gothic Transitional style by J. Hall 1882: nave, apsidal sanctuary, steep wooden roof. (fn. 15) Demol. 1970 and replaced with concrete ch. in contemporary style, seating 500 and adjoining halls and priest's ho., consecrated 1976. (fn. 16)

Our Lady of Sorrows, Cirencester Street. Chapel on ground floor of sch. Attendance 1903: 89 a.m. Chapel of ease to St. Mary of the Angels until 1912, thereafter mission ch. served by Oblates of St. Chas. until 1970, when acquired by archdiocese of Westm. Plain yellow-brick bldg., with hall and classrooms later added overhead, 1912; remodelled after fire 1965. Seating for 325 in 1982. (fn. 17)

St. Katharine's chapel of ease reg. at no. 20 Paddington Green 1920. Closed by 1954. (fn. 18)

Our Lady Queen of Heaven opened 1954 by Oblates of St. Chas. as chapel of ease to St. Mary of the Angels. Separate par. 1973, after disbanding of Oblates of St. Chas. Bldg., no. 46 Queensway, bought from Ethical ch. and originally used by Meths. (qq.v.). Internal alterations left seating for c. 400 in 1982. (fn. 19)

Sisters of Notre Dame de Bon Secours came to Eng. at invitation of Cardinal Manning 1870, stayed temporarily in Kentish Town (St. Pancras), and occupied ho. in Norfolk Terr. (later no. 166 Westbourne Grove) by 1875. Order originally cared for sick at home but later acquired own nursing homes; doctor was writer A. J. Cronin, who lived nearby at corner of Norfolk (later Needham) Rd. 1927. All sisters at Bon Secours convent were state reg. nurses 1984. (fn. 20)

Sisters of the Adoration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmartre, (fn. 21) having left France and stayed briefly in Notting Hill, moved into no. 6 Hyde Pk. Pl., Bayswater Rd., 1903. (fn. 22) Known as Tyburn convent, in memory of martyred Rom. Caths., premises inc. chapel called Tyburn shrine for relics and continuous public worship. Gdn. of no. 9 acquired c. 1913. No. 6 bombed 1944 but worship soon resumed at no. 9, (fn. 23) rented 1944 and bought with no. 10 in 1946. Damaged no. 7 acquired 1945 and no. 8 in 1948. New shrine, comprising chapel and crypt of martyrs, built at nos. 6 and 7 1961-3, (fn. 24) replacing no. 9. Mother ho. of Adorers of Sacred Heart, except 1933-45; Benedictine rule adopted 1914. Tyburn Assoc. of Lay Adorers formed for night watches 1964. (fn. 25) Convent adjoined offices of Our Lady's Missionary League and of International Cath. Soc. for Girls 1981.

Old Roman Caths., established 1704 after excommunication in Holland, reg. chapel of Sacred Heart, no. 119 Gt. Western Rd., 1952 to 1957. Bldg., a single room formerly used as coal merchant's office, reputedly Lond.'s smallest ch. Chapel of Holy Cross at no. 60 Herries Street also reg. 1953 to 1964. (fn. 26)


  • 1. Mdx. County Rec. i. 187.
  • 2. Ibid. iii. 20, 42, 58, 66, 130, 135, 139, 143, 154.
  • 3. P.R.O., C 6/132/34; C 8/133/31.
  • 4. J. Harting, Cath. Lond. Missions (1903), 212.
  • 5. Guildhall MS. 9557, f. 40; below.
  • 6. Mudie-Smith, Rel. Life, 103.
  • 7. For abbreviations used in the following accounts see above, p. 152. Attendance figs. 1886 are from Brit. Weekly, 26 Nov. 1886, p. 16; figs. 1902 (Dec.) are from MudieSmith, Rel. Life, 103.
  • 8. Para. based on A. Rottmann, Lond. Cath. Chs. (1926), 93-6; F. J. Kirk, Reminiscences of an Oblate of St. Chas. (1905), 1-12; inf. from par. priest.
  • 9. Cath. Dir. (1854-7).
  • 10. E. S. Purcell, Life of Card. Manning, ii (1895), 71-2.
  • 11. Pevsner, Lond. ii. 300.
  • 12. Para. based on Kilburn Times (centenary edn.), 15 Mar. 1968, and inf. from par. priest.
  • 13. G.R.O. Worship Reg. no. 34059.
  • 14. Kelly's Dir. Paddington (1888, 1894).
  • 15. Rottmann, Lond. Cath. Chs. 92.
  • 16. Marylebone libr., P 131.1, cuttings.
  • 17. Rottmann, Lond. Cath. Chs. 91; G.R.O. Worship Reg. no. 45548; inf. from par. priest.
  • 18. G.R.O. Worship Reg. no. 47977.
  • 19. Ibid. no. 64749; inf. from par. priest.
  • 20. Inf. from Sister Columcille; P.O. Dir. Lond. (1875 and later edns.); Cath. Dir. (1900).
  • 21. Para. based on Nuns of Tyburn, Tyburn Hill of Glory (1952), 77, 83, 153-4; inf. from Mother John Baptist, sec. gen.
  • 22. G.R.O. Worship Reg. no. 41130.
  • 23. Ibid. nos. 60996, 62859.
  • 24. Ibid. no. 69602; datestone.
  • 25. Montmartre to Sydney (A.C.T.S. booklet, Melbourne, 1975), 25-6, 28.
  • 26. G.R.O. Worship Reg. nos. 63620, 64159; Marylebone libr., P 131.1, cuttings.