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Westminster Cathedral chapel commemorates English martyrs

The Chapel of St George and the English Martyrs will host the decorative scheme

A new decorative scheme commemorating forty English Catholic martyrs has recently been completed in the Chapel of St George and the English Martyrs in Westminster Cathedral.

The chapel will be dedicated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols on 28 October.

The chapel contains the cathedral’s war memorial and its completion marks the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

The new design by Tom Phillips CBE RA links this event with another chapter in the nation’s suffering, that of the English martyrs in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The names of the forty Catholic martyrs are emblazoned in mosaic across a dark sky in the chapel vault and their suffering is recalled by a depiction of the Tyburn gallows in marble on the west wall.

Meanwhile Cardinal Vincent Nichols has inaugurated a new shrine dedicated to the Rosary at the Dominican church of Our Lady of the Rosary and St Dominic in Haverstock Hill, in north London.

The establishment of the shrine, which Archbishop Nichols of Westminster called a “great joy”, coincides with the 800th anniversary of the Dominican Order.

Fr Thomas Skeats, prior and parish priest, said: “I pray that this shrine will be a place of contemplation for all of us, that in darkness we will bring the light of Christ to others, so that it may radiate from us. May this be the fruit of this shrine.”

The church has 15 altars dedicated to the mysteries of the Rosary, which can be prayed as a Way of the Rosary around the church: five joyful mysteries, five sorrowful mysteries and five glorious mysteries culminating in the coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven.

The Rosary Shrine “will give a focus and a ‘home’ for the promotion of the Rosary in England”, says the church’s website. “It will also add to a growing and increasingly popular network of Catholic shrines throughout the country.” The church’s vision is “to become an important centre for promoting the Christian faith through the Holy Rosary”.


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