St Mary of the Angels

In 1857 the church of St Mary of the Angels was opened with a community known as the Oblates of St Charles.

About this church

St Charles (Borromeo) was a great archbishop of Milan in the 16th century, who had founded a similar order of priests. In Westminster the Oblates evangelised this part of London with great energy and founded several parishes.

The building of houses in the area began at roughly the same time as Catholic bishops were once again able to exercise their ministry fully in England after the harsh restrictions of the Reformation period; and the first Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Wiseman, was keen to purchase land for the building of churches. There was a particular need in this area, as the labourers building Paddington Station from the 1830s to the 1850s were mainly Irish and so Catholic.

In 1857 the church of St Mary of the Angels was opened with a community known as the Oblates of St Charles. St Charles (Borromeo) was a great archbishop of Milan in the 16th century, who had founded a similar order of priests. In Westminster the Oblates evangelised this part of London with great energy and founded several parishes.

Some years later the St Mary of the Angels was enlarged and made more beautiful by the well known architect, Francis Bentley, who later designed Westminster Cathedral. Manning himself succeeded Wiseman as archbishop of Westminster in 1865. The Oblates continued their ministry here until the 1970s, when they were dissolved.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Social heritage stories

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

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