Saturday, 12 September, was an unforgettable day for me because it was on this particular day that our guild, The Guild of St Anthony of Padua, visited the St Anthony of Padua Catholic church in Rye. The rather gloomy weather at the start did not varnish the excitement I was feeling. I was aware the church was small, but that didn’t made me feel uneasy – all I cared was that it was St Anthony’s church.
The visit as expected was a great success, although the coach driver could not find the proper place for us to get off to go to the church. After going round twice he decided to let us off where there are steps leading to the Hope Anchor Hotel to get to the church. Many were able to go up but there were some older pilgrims who had to go via taxi but still that was fine as the fare was, for me, quite cheap.
Once I was inside the church I felt awed by what I saw. It was so lovely, small and so nice and quiet, and I could feel St Anthony watching over us. I felt elated when I went up to the best pulpit I’ve ever been to, to do the reading. After the mass, veneration to the relic of St Anthony followed and I sensed that everybody felt wonderful.
The rest of the pilgrims and I would like to thank the priest who was there then for looking after us, the taxi drivers who drove the elders to the church and to the restaurant owners who allowed us to have our lunch in their premises. I am planning to take the members of the Oblates of Westminster Cathedral next year as they have voiced their interest and wish to visit again. Many thanks to you all.
Registrar, The Oblates of Westminster Cathedral