Thursday, August 04, 2011

St Saviour, Hoxton--A blast from the past

Reading through Martin Travers: An Appreciation, by Rodney Warrener and Michael Yelton, I came to a section on St Saviour's Church, Hoxton. It's the parish that "went all the way" and now is no more. Here is an excerpt:

St. Saviour was a thorn in the side of the usually tolerant Bishop of London, Winnington-Ingram. Ironically, it was the Bishop himself who had intervened to procure the living for Father Ernest Kilburn in 1907, after it was proposed by the Crown, who held the right of presentation alternately with the Bishop, to introduce a Low Church incumbent from Leeds.

Kilburn was inducted as vicar on 26th October 1907. Initially his views appear to have been quite moderate, and he followed the English Use. However, by 1910 incense was being used, and by 1911 the magazines refer to 'Mass' instead of 'Holy Communion.' By the end of the First World War he had turned the church into a working replica of a Roman parish.
Mass after 1919-20 was always said in Latin, and all the usual Roman devotions were observed; the Sunday evening service was normally Vespers and Benediction. Dom Anselm Hughes, in his personal history of the Catholic Movement in the Twentieth Century, a sympathetic observer, wrote: 'occasionally an individual has made the mistake of moving too far ahead of the front line and so losing contact altogether. This is almost certainly true of E. E. Kilburn . . .' The problem facing the authorities was that Kilburn himself was a saintly figure, and the church was always full when others were not.
. . .
In 1927 Father D. A. Ross became vicar; he had to promise before his institution to revert to the vernacular for his services, although the church continued to be Papalist in tone. It housed the offices of the Confraternity for Unity from its establishment in this country in 1929. In 1932 Travers returned to tile the sanctuary.

In 1940 the church was severely damaged in an air raid and, being in an area which was rapidly being depopulated, it was not rebuilt. One of Travers' exotic but cheap schemes from this period was thus lost for ever, and it is fortunate that there is some photographic evidence of what was done there.

Below, the interior of St Saviour at the Dedication Festival in May of 1936, showing the Travers high altar, canopy, and cartouches.

1 comment:

Rev. Daniel McLain Hixon said...

I couldn't find a way to email you, so I'm just posting it here.

I saw your (very nice looking) missal that you apparently published through LuLu. I'm working on an update of John Wesley's revision of the BCP in my spare time and have looked into maybe publishing through them. Were you happy with the quality? Were you able to see a proof before final printing? Did you create the cover design or did they help?

Did you pick the fonts (and the nice "fancy" letters at the beginning of some sections) or did they do that?

Do you receive any revenue from sales of the hardback?

Anyways, if you get a chance to reply, I'd love to hear back from you at