Sunday, November 13, 2011

St. Thomas More and Chelsea

The Anglican Chelsea Old Church honors Sir Thomas More--the statue of him seated with his chain of office resting on his knees stands outside it. According to the church website:

Sir Thomas More settled in Chelsea in about 1520 and built himself a house there. It stood on the site of the present Beaufort Street, in spacious, formal grounds which stretched from the river, where his barge was moored to take him to Westminster or Hampton Court on state business, to the present King's Road. No traces of the house remain, other than parts of the original orchard wall, which now border the gardens of the houses on the west side of Paultons Square.
Sir Thomas rebuilt one of the chapels in the Old Church when he moved to Chelsea and his association with the church was close and devout. He and his family worshipped there regularly.
The Old Church was largely destroyed an an air-raid in 1941 and subsquently restored in 1949/1950; however, the More Chapel and Monument were happily rescued almost intact. . . .
Thomas More's links with Chelsea Old Church are commemorated each year in the Thomas More Commemoration Service, at which a distinguished guest preacher is invited to give a sermon on a topic linked to Thomas More or any aspect of his life.

The most current sermon on the website dates from 2000.

The Catholic Church honoring Our Holy Redeemer and St. Thomas More in Chelsea was consecrated in 1905 and St. Thomas More was added to its title after he was canonized in 1935.

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