This brick church is as notable for the colourful plaque on the outside as it is for the tall tower and the Ionic entrance porch. Dedicated to a 14th-century queen consort of Portugal, it claims to be oldest standing Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Southwark.

Although there’s been a church on this site since the 1790s, the current building dates from 1824, and was the gift of Elizabeth Doughty.

A gallery was added in 1851, while the chancel, presbytery and tower were rebuilt in 1903.

It’s quite a plain interior, and not at all typical of Roman Catholic churches, but that is part of its charm. Catholic churches can be a bit over the top at times, and some peace and quiet is needed.

The “Wedgwood effect” representations of the Stations of the Cross around the nave were designed by Don Pavey in the 1950s and painted by Jo Ledger.

The last King of Portugal, Manuel II lived locally after he was deposed in the 1910 revolution, and worshiped occasionally at this church.

 

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